Joe Root shows why he is ‘the best Englishman to EVER play cricket’ with incredible double ton as England dominate India

3 weeks ago
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Joe Root hit an amazing double century against India on his 100th Test to prove why Steve Harmison considers him the greatest to ever play cricket for England.

The captain picked up where he left off on day one with another explosive yet flawless batting display, eventually falling for 218 after tea.

Day two belonged to Root in Chennai

BCCI

Day two belonged to Root in Chennai

Ben Stokes picked up where Dom Sibley left off by piecing together a 124-run partnership with the captain, before falling on 82 by top-edging a slog sweep off the bowling of Nadeem.

Brief cameos by Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler and Dom Bess took England past 500 – before two wickets in two balls from Ishant Sharma removed Buttler and Jofra Archer.

Dom Bess and Jack Leach saw England through to 555-8 at stumps – but it was another day which belonged to Root.

And for Harmison, the poise and style shown by Root on such a grand occasion signalled far more than just a talented batsman in form.

Root is well on his way to becoming England’s leading run-scorer of all-time, with the 30-year-old already two-thirds of the way to Alastair Cook’s total of 12,472.

Root in 2021 (Tests)

Matches: 3

Innings: 5

Runs: 644

Average: 128.8

Highest score: 218

In fact, with 644 runs in his last five Test knocks, there is a sense of inevitability about Root finishing his career alongside the greats.

And Harmison, the former England fast bowler, believes he is already there.

While Cook was one of the classiest Test batsman of all time, Root has all the shots, boasting a certain flair which allows him to score big and fast.

Going back further, legendary all-rounders such as WG Grace, who basically invented modern cricket in the 19th century, and Sir Ian Botham, who was among the world’s great batsmen and bowlers in his prime, often come up in conversations about the best ever.

Meanwhile, James Anderson already has his place in Test history as England’s leading wicket-taker and shows no sign of slowing, while the explosive and brilliant batting of Kevin Pietersen sees him top many of the all-time lists.

WG Grace’s left a legacy which is still felt today

Hulton Archive – Getty

WG Grace’s left a legacy which is still felt today

Beefy remains the greatest in many people’s eyes

Allsport – Getty

Beefy remains the greatest in many people’s eyes

Pietersen was a prolific run scorer for England but Harmison reckons Root is now the number one of all-time

GETTY

Pietersen was a prolific run scorer for England but Harmison reckons Root is now the number one of all-time

But Harmison explains why, for him, it’s now got to be Root.

He told talkSPORT’s new cricket show on YouTube, The Outside Edge: “When in Sri Lanka, he went past Gower, Boycott and Pietersen. He has all them traits.

“You talk about Gower being stylish, and you see some of the shots Joe Root played against India. There is style there.

“You talk about Boycott and determination, he did that. The first hour, hour-and-a-half he got stuck in.

“Everyone describes Pietersen as someone who could go through the gears like you couldn’t believe. There were times in the day’s play today when Dom Sibley got reined in a little bit, he has seen there was a bit of pressure on ,and then all of a sudden Joe Root bang, bang, bang.

“This kid is the real deal and – sorry, Kev – he is the best Englishman I have ever seen. Kevin Pietersen is the best player I have seen play cricket for England but I will give Joe Root that accolade now. Now he is averaging 50, past 100 Test matches, 100 on his 100th Test match.

“Joe Root is definitely the best Englishman I have ever seen play cricket.”

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