Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England batsman Joe Root has revealed that being dropped from the national team during the 2013-14 Ashes series was the starting point on his road to becoming the top Test batsman in the world.
Root recently dethroned Australia captain Steven Smith as the top-ranked Test batsman, but admitted that being dropped for the fifth Test against Australia in Sydney in January 2014 was a bitter pill to swallow and a sting that he doesn’t want to feel again in the future.
“I felt I was starting to get my game back and thought, ‘I am going to score some runs in this game’ but I went back to the changing room and Cooky [England captain Alastair Cook] sat me down and said, ‘It’s a tough call but you are not going to play in this game’,” Root told Michael Vaughan in the Daily Telegraph. “I can’t remember what I did for the next hour. I was gone. I was an empty vessel for an hour.
“But then I was absolutely spewing. I was so angry and gutted because I had not scored runs, not because I thought I deserved to play.
“In my first Test back against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, I sat there waiting to bat and all I could think about was reliving Cooky telling me I was not playing in Sydney. I was using it as an inner motivation. I did not want that happening again.”
Root has been very consistent throughout the ongoing series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, having made scores of 85, 33 not out, 88 and 71, but he pointed out that he should be converting those scores into centuries.
“A lot of people say I’m one of the top three players in the world, but top-three players don’t get out between 70 and 80 eight or nine times in a year as I have,” he said. “They get big hundreds.
“It is nice for people to say you are up there with AB [de Villiers], Steve Smith and [Virat] Kohli but the best players win Tests, and at the minute I am getting good scores but not going on.”