Jonny: New Dad Joe has taken it all in his stride
IT’S BEEN a busy summer for Joe Root – what with captaining England to back-to-back Test series wins and with a new-born baby to look after.
But the Yorkshire ace has taken it all in his stride and actually thrived under his new responsibilities according to his teammate for county and country Jonny Bairstow.
Root guided his country to victories over South Africa and West Indies this year and can now take a back-seat role to Eoin Morgan with the Royal London One-Day International Series against the latter starting on Tuesday.
But with a long overdue rest just a few weeks away, there is no doubt in Bairstow’s mind that his captain can reflect on a job well done – both on and off the pitch.
“Two series wins is something he’ll be delighted with,” he said. “It wasn’t the perfect summer because we lost a couple of Test matches, but if you’d said at the start of the summer that he’d get two series wins I’m sure he would have snapped your hand off.
“Some of the performances the guys have put in will be really encouraging, not only for the team but for Root himself too, there’s a lot to build on.
“He’s been very busy with his little boy, Alfred, so he’s had a lot on off the field too, but being the England captain is always going to be a busy job.With that comes pressure and responsibility.
“But he’s not really changed much either in himself or the environment we’ve been working in, he’s managed to keep things very much the same.”
For many, there was little doubt that Root was going to step into the role of England captain in his already-esteemed career.
However, he and vicecaptain Ben Stokes are the youngest faces in the dressing room and Root has had little playing time – let alone captaincy time – with his county.
But Bairstow insists a fresh approach means there are no scars from the disastrous whitewash of 2013-14.
“What happened last time wasn’t a very good tour for us, so we want to go out there and apply ourselves and our skills, hopefully what we’ve learnt over the past few years,” he added.
“There’s no unfinished business, we’ve got a very different group of players to the ones who went out there and had the disappointment.
“Yes, we’ve got guys who have lost out there, but we’ve also got those who have won in Australia and it’s going to be a fantastic series, but there isn’t a point to prove from the team in that.” Jonny Bairstow was speaking on behalf of Royal London, proud sponsors of One Day cricket, ahead of the upcoming ODI Series v West Indies.
Pats my boy: Joe Root is enjoying his responsibilities on and off the pitch