LONDON: Stuart Broad believes England team-mate Joe Root is the “most complete batsman” he has played alongside.
Root’s commanding and career-best 254 against Pakistan in the second Test at Old Trafford laid the platform for a mammoth 330-run win that saw England square the four-match series at 1-1 heading into Wednesday’s third Test at Edgbaston.
The Yorkshireman is unusual in the present England set-up in being a key player in all three international formats — Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s.
“I think Joe’s probably the all-round, complete player,” said Broad, speaking at an event staged by series sponsors Investec.
“I think in 10 years’ time there’s no doubt we’ll be sat with a glass of red saying, ‘Wow, I’m lucky to have played with that Root fella — look at his record in all formats’,” the England paceman added.
“If I had to pick two batsmen to bat for my life, I’d pick Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, but I think Joe is probably the most complete batsman I’ve ever played with,” added Broad.
“He has fewer weaknesses — he’s a fantastic player of spin, a good player of the short ball, a good player of quick bowling.
“He is a brilliant team-man in the way he plays and he’s got every tempo and every shot in the book.”
Broad added: “He’s a very rounded guy and I know he’ll be desperately hungry to get another big score next week.”
After a relatively lean start to the summer, Root’s double century in Manchester saw him deliberately avoid certain strokes.
“For him to rein in his shots slightly and just say, ‘I’m going to bat big’, was a great example of how to put the team first,” said Broad.
“He knew that first-innings runs were going to be vital at Old Trafford and he did it in a no-risk way.
“I think that was one of the best knocks I’ve seen for England.”
Edgbaston England’s Gabba
Broad said he was looking forward to returning to Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground, where England have lost only one Test, against South Africa in 2008, in the last 15 years.
The fast-medium bowler likened the raucous and partisan support at Edgbaston to that Australia receive at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.
“For us Edgbaston feels very pro-England. You can’t say that about every ground but here it feels like the whole ground wants England to do well, wants you take wickets,” he said.
“Those sort of atmospheres give teams a huge lift. You only have to look at Australia in Brisbane, there’s a reason they play the first Test there every summer: because the crowd give them such a lift they don’t lose there.
“Edgbaston feels like our Gabba, so to speak, in the way the crowd roar behind us and I think some of our results reflect that.
“Probably the most memorable for me was Steven Finn’s spell last year — (dismissing) Michael Clarke and Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh — I remember standing at mid-off as he ran in thinking, ‘Wow, the ground is almost shaking here.-AFP