England batsman Joe Root in action on 1st day of 4th Test match between India and England at VCA stadium in Nagpur. HT/Santosh Harhare
As he strode down the pavilion on Thursday to join Kevin Pietersen, after Ian Bell fell cheaply with the scoreboard reading 119 for four, 21-year-old Yorkshire batsman Joe Root became the 655th Test player for England. He also became the fifth English player to debut in 2012.
However, there were more important issues on Root's mind. It seems, the right-handed batsman, who remained unbeaten on 31, managed to play his part perfectly on Day One.
Even Kevin Pietersen remarked, "He is his own man. He played some lovely cricket strokes. Never judge anybody after couple of hours of batting for England but he showed signs of what could be a very good Test career for England."
"I didn't need to help. He came in there and scored freely. He is a good little player and a lovely man. He is a good human being," added Pietersen, when asked if he helped Root.
Though Root might be new to Indian fans, he is not new to the sub-continent. He has been in the country for the past one-and-half-months and even played a few warm-up matches, which eventually helped him negotiate the spinners with ease on the Jamtha track.
"At the start of the season, I was nowhere near Test cricket but to get an opportunity to get so close and see what it's like even though I can't play is wonderful," Root had remarked in Mumbai after England won the second Test. He had fielded as a substitute at the Wankhede.
"You can improve your game. You don't get real turners at Healingley but the opportunity to play on wickets like this (turners) against predominantly spin attacks helps me in progression of my career," he had said after scoring a ton at DY Patil Stadium in a warm-up match.
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