Broad backs new skip­per Root to go to ‘next level’

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land fast bowler Stu­art Broad be­lieves cap­taincy will take star bats­man Joe Root’s game to the “next level”. Root was named was named as the suc­ces­sor to Alas­tair Cook as long ago as Fe­bru­ary, but Thurs­day’s se­ries opener against South Africa at Lord’s will be the York­shire­man’s first match as Eng­land Test cap­tain.

Test cap­taincy ap­pears to have boosted the per­for­mances of such lead­ing cur­rent bats­men as In­dia’s Vi­rat Kohli, Aus­tralia’s Steve Smith and New Zealand’s Kane Wil­liamson, with Broad con­fi­dent it will in­spire Root to greater heights rather be too heavy a bur­den for the 26-year-old.

“Joe’s not had a huge amount of cap­taincy ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause he played for Eng­land from a young age but he’s learned the game at the top level,” Broad told Sky Sports News at Lord’s yes­ter­day.

“I think it will take his game to the next level, if he can go any higher. He’ll re­ally thrive off the ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity. “He’s an at­tack­ing crick­eter, quite ag­gres­sive in the way he plays, so I think the team will take that sort of shape,” added Broad. “He was an­nounced a long time ago and now he has the chance to put things into place.”

Mean­while Broad, a vet­eran of 102 Tests, in­sisted he was fully fit for the first of a four­match se­ries against South Africa af­ter his par­tic­i­pa­tion was called into ques­tion by a foor in­jury. How­ever, he played in Not­ting­hamshire’s One-Day Cup fi­nal win over Sur­rey at Lord’s last Satur­day, bowl­ing none overs with no ad­verse re­ac­tion.

“I got through the Lord’s fi­nal with no prob­lems and bowled Wed­nes­day and Fri­day be­fore that with no pain,” said Broad.

“I pulled up re­ally well and I’ll train again this af­ter­noon and to­mor­row, but I feel con­fi­dent,” the 31-year-old son of for­mer Eng­land bats­man turned match ref­eree Chris Broad, added. “I’ve been play­ing county cricket since early April, so I’ve got quite a lot of red ball and white ball cricket in. It was great to have the in­ten­sity of a Lord’s fi­nal, to play in it but also to put my body to the test.”— AFP

Joe Root

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