“Don’t be overly surprised” – Mark Butcher on Joe Root’s struggles with the bat
By SMCS - Feb 20, 2024 4:00 pm
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Former England cricketer Mark Butcher said that England shouldn’t be surprised about their key batter Joe Root’s lack of runs in the ongoing Test series against India. He also feels Root’s bowling workload has certainly affected his batting, with the Yorkshire cricketer bowling a lot of overs in the first three Tests as well. He has aggregated only 77 runs in six innings in the series so far but has sent down over 100 overs.

Joe Root
Joe Root threw his wicket away

Butcher said as quoted by Wisden, he said: “If you’re asking your best batter to be a genuine all-rounder and bowl as many overs as your frontline spinners, then don’t be overly surprised if you’re not getting the output from him with the bat that you would like. I’ve thought that that thinking, going back in time to when people were talking about Joe Root being the lone spinner for England in more seam-friendly conditions and said that that was nonsense. I still think that having him having to do so much work as a frontline spin bowler is not likely to yield the sort of results that you’d expect from him with the bat.”

Meanwhile, as a part-time off-spinner, Joe Root has claimed a fifer in India and has bowled decently in the series. The veteran has also claimed five wickets in England’s 28-run victory over India in the first Test in Hyderabad as well which also included four in the first innings. Mark Butcher further added that the toss has consistently gone in India’s favour in the series as well.

Joe Root
Joe Root again falls on a reverse scoop

“I’m not sure what England can do about that with Leach’s injury, but it exposes a little bit the folly of going out there with such a green spin attack anyway to India.”Rehan Ahmed and [Tom] Hartley have performed really really well, but, given the tosses coming down when you’re bowling first and third rather than second fourth, you need a bit more than guys who are just either making their way in the game or guys who are, as Joe Root is, part-time spin bowlers to hold the fort for you. It’s such a fundamental reason why [India] were favourites before it started,” Mark Butcher concluded.