England newcomer Joe Root not affected by nerves on the big stage
England star Joe Root says nerves never get the better of him after impressive start to his international career. Harry Kemble reports
England newcomer Joe Root says that nerves never get the better of him and he just wants to enjoy every minute of his international career.
Danny Briggs’ loss after turning an ankle during a fitness session in India is 22-year-old Root’s gain, as he was called up to the Twenty20 squad for the trip to New Zealand as the Hampshire star’s replacement.
The inclusion means the Yorkshire batsman could play in all three formats during England’s next leg of their winter travels – an opportunity that does not faze him.
“I don’t see the point in getting nervous, you want to go out and enjoy it and make the most of it,” said the Sheffield-born youngster.
“You don’t know how many international games you are going to play so I just want to enjoy every minute of it, absorb it and make the most of it.”
“Yes. I’m gutted for Danny Briggs, who’s worked very hard in India and I wish him a speedy recovery, but it’s a great opportunity now and hopefully I can just keep doing what I’m doing.”
Root has been a revelation since making his Test debut in Nagpur in December, leading him to quickly make his first appearances in T20 cricket and one-day internationals for England.
So far in the ODI series in India, Root is averaging 66 with the bat, illustrating a real calmness under pressure.
And according to Root, his team-mates are the reason behind his mature performances in the pressure cooker environment of the sub-continent.
“The lads have been fantastic. No fuss for anyone and they’ve really helped me settle in,” he added.
“You just try and enjoy the occasion. When you play in front of 70,000 crowds, like in Kochi, it’s not hard to get absorbed in it an really enjoy it.
Before Briggs’ injury, which happened while undergoing fitness work with England coach Huw Bevan, Root was listed to be Lions captain in Australia.
The ECB have identified the need to give their stars of tomorrow valuable captaincy experience, which they would not get with their counties.
But Root is excited about what lies ahead in New Zealand, where England will play three T20s, three ODIs followed by three Tests.
“It’s just a different challenge. If i get an opportunity I try and rise to it and try to be successful with it.
“I would have done the same going to Australia, take it for what it is but this is a great opportunity for a couple of months and we’ll see where we are at the end of it.”