A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: I felt really intimidated when walking into the England dressing room, admits Joe Root

Root believes he needs to spend more time at the crease to truly understand the challenges of international cricket

England batsman Joe Root admitted that he was seriously intimidated the first time he walked into the national team’s dressing room and added that his blazer size seemed to be at least seven sizes too big.

“It felt like I was wearing Chris Tremlett’s blazer,” Root said. “It was good fun, though, as it was a nice ice-breaker for the rest of the side to get to know me.”

After having scored 73 in the first innings of the final Test against India at Nagpur, Root, 21, has established himself as a batsman who means business every time he walks out to the crease.

In 2011, Root scored 1,000 first-class runs in a season and followed that up by impressing England Performance Programme batting coach Graham Thorpe on back-to-back tours with the side.

Root had another solid year in 2012 and even secured the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Player of the Year award, where the legendary Geoffrey Boycott noted that he was a fan of the 21-year-old.

Root recalled how it felt intimidating walking into the dressing room after having made the national team for the first time in his career and stated that it was rare to see any of the England players representing their counties.

“It was quite daunting walking into that room with guys you’ve spent the last five years watching on the telly,” Root said. “They are heroes you look up to and the next minute you’re training with them every day and learning from them. I didn’t know them at all to be honest.

“But they’ve been brilliant. It’s a great environment to be part of and everyone’s really excited for the rest of the series. Everybody has been very good at making sure I’m welcomed into the side and Tim Bresnan, in particular, made sure everyone got to know me. That was really beneficial. It’s been fantastic.”

With opening batsman Nick Compton having got the nod ahead of him for the first three Tests against India, Root revealed that he had worked on building a healthy relationship with many of the England players and understanding the work ethic of head coach Andy Flower.

“Any time spent around the team is valuable,” he said. “It’s good to almost ease your way in and you get great exposure to all the coaches and all the lads and it’s brilliant to get some advice on board from everyone and a great learning opportunity.”

However, despite having secured a place in the England side, Root stated that he was still in constant contact with the England Performance Programme squad.

The 21-year-old also mentioned that he needed more time in the middle to really get a feel of just how different international cricket is compared to the county circuit.

“Everyone needs time in the middle,” he said. “Especially when you’ve not been playing, you need to have the confidence that, if something does go wrong, if someone does go down, I’ve got a weight of runs behind me to stand me in good stead.

“I’ll just be doing everything I can in the nets, working with all the coaches to try to improve my game and take as much from the tour as possible. And also to make sure that, if required, I’m ready to go.”

When asked about pace bowler Steven Finn’s condition, Root said that he looked more dangerous than ever.

“He looked very dangerous,” Root said. “He bowled fantastically well, took some wickets and got good overs under his belt. He bowled great areas and looked threatening like he always does. I think he’s pretty happy with where he’s at now, and interesting to see how things go.”

Root has also announced that he will be developing his off-spin bowling with spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed.

“I’m working really hard on my bowling,” he said. “I’m trying to take this opportunity of being part of this squad to be a better player and my bowling is definitely part of that. My aim is to improve and give the captain another option, so I have to be able to take some wickets or tie an end up.”

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