India and England will clash in a four-Test series for the Anthony de Mello Trophy, starting February 5. Meanwhile, England is coming off a 2-0 Test series win in Sri Lanka, where skipper Joe Root was the top performer, as Geoffrey Boycott has backed him to scale greater heights.
England is coming off a terrific performance in the just-concluded two-Test series in Sri Lanka and has inflicted a 2-0 whitewash upon the host. With this win, England would now switch its attention to India, where it would be involved in a four-Test series for the Anthony de Mello Trophy.
The series against Lanka was crucial for England, while the win made it even more critical. Skipper Joe Root was the top performer among batsmen, having scored 426 runs in the four innings at a bradmansque average of 106.50, including twin centuries.
Owing to the superb display by Root, former English great Geoffrey Boycott has backed the former to scale greater heights, and even challenge the record of scoring most runs in the format, of Sachin Tendulkar. "Forget just scoring more Test runs for England than David Gower, Kevin Pietersen and myself. Joe Root has the potential to play 200 Tests and score more runs than even Sachin Tendulkar," he wrote for The Telegraph.
"Root is only 30. He has played 99 Tests and scored 8,249 runs already. As long as he does not suffer serious injury, there is no reason why he cannot beat Tendulkar's all-time record of 15,921. His contemporaries, such as Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson, are wonderful players as well who could also score that many runs. We should enjoy Root and only judge him alongside those guys, not great names of the past because every player is a product of their environment," he added.
He also noted that the long break during the pandemic allowed Root to work on his batting. "Until this tour, Joe had not been making the big scores that influence matches. Perhaps the COVID-19 lockdowns allowed him time to take stock of his batting. For too long, he appeared to be influenced by Twenty20 cricket. He was trying to force his way back into England's T20 side, but that frenetic type of batting is not for him," he heeded.
However, Boycott has warned that Root's most significant essay would come on the Australian soil, when it travels for the Ashes, later this year. "Joe's biggest test will be against pace in Australia, but, right now, by not batting in a gung-ho style, he has settled down and is giving himself a chance to bat big," he concluded.
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Last Updated Jan 26, 2021, 6:06 PM IST