Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has revealed that Joe Root came to him seeking advice on how to convert his Test fifties into hundreds during his Big Bash T20 league 2018-19 stint with Sydney Thunder. Compared to Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith, Root has the lowest conversion rate. Root has the least number of centuries (16) among the four top batsmen in the world.
“He said he wanted to have a bit of a chat about his cricket and where he felt he was in his career,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“For me, (his conversion rate issue has) one hundred per cent just got to be a mental hurdle that he can’t quite get over, and the more you start thinking about little things like that, the harder they are to put them out of your mind,” Ponting said.
England’s Test skipper had trouble converting his half-centuries into centuries in the previous Ashes. The 28-year-old scored five half-centuries in five Tests but could not score a single hundred. He was the second-highest run-scorer for England with 378 runs in 9 innings at an average of 49.03.
“I’m sure every time he gets to 50 now, the next 50 runs he scores will probably be the hardest runs he ever scores when it should be the other way around; the first 50 should be the hardest and the second fifty be the easiest, but it always looks like it’s just getting a little bit more difficult for him.
“But like I said (to him), if he keeps putting himself in that situation enough where he gets to that fifty mark, it won’t be long before he starts turning them into hundreds.” Ponting said.
The Ashes 2019 kicks off on August 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. The two teams will be facing each other after the World Cup 2019 semi-final earlier this month which was won by England.