Root happy to be England ‘rock star’

Wednesday, Jul 06, 2022

BIRMINGHAM: Joe Root said England captain Ben Stokes had urged the side to play like “rock stars” following a record-breaking win over India.

Set 378 for victory in the Covid-delayed fifth Test, more than any other England team have managed and the eighth highest chase in the 145-year-old’s format history, the hosts’ made a mockery of the challenge during a seven-wicket win achieved with more than two sessions to spare at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Root finished on a commanding 142 not out, with Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow’s unbeaten 114 his second hundred of the match and fourth in his last five Test innings.

Root, after compiling his 28th Test century, wiggled his little finger at the England changing room in a reference to a scene from the recently-released Baz Luhrmann movie ‘Elvis’, about the legendary rock ‘n roll star Elvis Presley.

Stokes succeeded Root as captain after the star batsman stood down following a run of just one win from 17 Tests.

But England have struck few bum notes since the appointment of a new leadership pair in Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, with this their fourth win from four matches under the duo following a 3-0 whitewash of Test world champions New Zealand.

“It’s about trying to have fun and really relishing every opportunity you get to showcase what you’re about and put on a show for everyone,” said Root. “It’s like being a kid again.”

The 31-year-old, a veteran of 121 Tests, added: “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to feel or look like a rock star but for 10 seconds out there I might have done.

Root, while essentially an orthodox batsman, said all-rounder Stokes had encouraged him to broaden his repertoire, with a reverse ramp for six off India medium-pacer Shardul Thakur on Tuesday evidence of a growing range of strokes.