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Joe Root at three: yes or no?

Over the last couple of years, Joe Root has been by far and away England’s best batsman in all formats of the game. At Test level, Root was on the verge of becoming the number one player on the planet not too long ago and Trevor Bayliss’ men have benefited significantly from his advanced stature and increased development.

But now, the Australian has had to make a huge decision. Due to the lack of credible, reliable options at the top of the order, the Yorkshire star has been moved up to three – but for us, it’s a no-brainer. Gary Ballance simply wasn’t getting enough runs to warrant his place and the consistent Root should give England much more balance whilst batting.

At the time of writing, England are currently trailing 1-0 to Pakistan in their 2016 summer series but Bayliss’ men will still be confident of securing yet another impressive victory over the four-tests. In fact, Paddy Power’s cricket odds are offering 2/1 on the hosts to turn the series on its head and Root could be the man to inspire England throughout.

According to ESPN Cricinfo, Root averages 52 runs at Test level; an impressive achievement to say the least. When he’s good, he’s very good. England supporters have seen him demolish some of the most aggressive bowling attacks on the planet and at just 25 years old, the Yorkshireman is set for a long international career. Some have even touted him as a potential England captain…

If truth be told, Root has struggled to carry England in Tests during the last few months. He scored just seven runs in two innings in the final Test match against Sri Lanka in June and his 48 and nine at Lord’s in the opener against Pakistan won’t help his confidence. To be fair, he is probably nervous after climbing the order but he needn’t be. As long as he stays true to himself and maintains confidence, he will perform well.

Mental strength and focus are two of the greatest traits in cricket – and Root is one of the best players in the world when it comes to keeping his composure at the crease. While opposing bowlers and fielders try to get under his skin, the Yorkshire man has a unique ability to wash off any criticism and flack whilst still playing at the top level. If nothing else, his accomplishments in the game are admirable to say the least but he is perhaps undervalued by the wider British public.

Joe Root is a phenomenal young talent and England should do their utmost to keep him at the very top of his game. The ‘3’ experiment hasn’t been a roaring success so far but in the long term, he could become one of the best threes in the sport. Just watch this space…

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