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Michael Atherton Analyzes Joe Root’s Batting Approach In Fourth Test
By CricShots - Feb 24, 2024 3:34 pm
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In the aftermath of Joe Root’s unconventional shot in the third Test against India, former England skipper Michael Atherton has clarified that Root doesn’t adhere to specific instructions from Brendon McCullum or Ben Stokes. Root’s attempted reverse scoop in Rajkot drew criticism, prompting calls for a return to a more traditional approach.

Joe Root
Joe Root 

Contrary to the belief that Root’s recent style was dictated by McCullum and Stokes, Atherton pointed out that it was a self-driven evolution. Root’s desire to embrace a new era and loyalty to Stokes influenced his approach. However, Atherton emphasized that Root is intelligent enough to recognize when a recalibration is necessary.

In his column for the Times UK, Michael Atherton wrote: “There is a misconception that Root has been playing the extrovert of late under instruction, but that is not the case. Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes are not prescriptive, and the expansion of Root’s game has been self-driven, prompted by a desire to buy into a new era out of loyalty to Stokes as well as a desire not to miss out on the fun. “

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He added, “But he is smart enough to know when a recalibration is needed; he knew that in Wellington and he knew it here.”

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton

In the fourth Test in Ranchi, Joe Root showcased remarkable maturity with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 122 runs as England posted 353 runs in the first innings. Atherton praised Root for his sensible approach, highlighting the absence of flashy shots like scoops or reverse-sweeps.

Joe Root’s bat arrived at the ball as if on a plumb line, with impeccable judgment of length against spinners. The Yorkshire-born cricketer responded to the situation, maintaining control without attempting forced shots.

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“So, as they might say in Yorkshire, there was nowt flashy to report. No scoops, reverse-scoops, or reverse-sweeps, and very few horizontal bat shots, on a low-bounce pitch. Instead, his bat arrived to the ball is if on a plumb line, and his judgment of length to the spinners was impeccable. He responded to the situation rather than trying to force it – but controlled it, nonetheless,” Michael Atherton added.