February 4, 2021 4:37:28 pm
On the verge of playing his 100th Test, Joe Root is back to where it all began, and the beginning — his maiden outing in England’s white flannels — remains his life’s “proudest moment”.
It’s an occasion from where he continues to draw positive vibes in crisis situations.
Root, who made his debut in the fourth Test against India in Nagpur during the 2012 series, is back to lead his team in a four-match rubber against the same opponents, as one of modern day greats.
“I think walking out for the first time in England shirt probably (has) been the proudest moment,” Root said on Thursday.
The series starts here on Friday.
Root recalled that, during his first series, playing alongside former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, whom he watched as a teenager, was a “dream come true moment” for him.
“I look back on walking out to bat and seeing Kevin Pietersen still at other end, someone who I watched as a teenager and as a kid growing up and I just couldn’t stop smiling as I was living my childhood dream.”
In that drawn Nagpur game, Root made 73 in the first innings and remained unbeaten on 20 in the second.
“I am happy ever since and if I’m ever going through a lean spell or things aren’t quite falling for me, then try and look back at that moment and remember what that feeling was like and just almost trying to embrace that,” he added.
“That really excited young lad… Bring that into the current situation because as I am still making the dream, so that probably is the one thing that stands out, something I always go back to and look fondly on,” he said.
Root also said that, usually, he tries to relax as much as he can ahead of an important series.
“I just try and relax as much as I can. I think naturally, you will always think about what combination, in terms of the bowling group and trying to figure out in your own mind how you’re going to score your runs.
“Also as captain there might be selection questions in your own mind if you are not clear on the team going into that final day…
“… But most of the time it’s just about having that all done and getting real clarity in all of that and then just being able to switch off and give yourself a chance away from the game,” he said.
According to Root, he does things, which keep him nice and calm.
“Sometimes (I) play guitar, sometimes I watch series on ipad or whatever and sometimes I want to watch some cricket, those games going on around the world. I am a big cricket fan, anything really just to keep you nice and relaxed.