Jonny: New Dad Joe has taken it all in his stride

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE - By Ross Law­son

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

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