Former England pacer Steve Harmison has reckoned that English skipper Joe Root will continue his rampage and haunt the Indian bowlers in their dreams. Root produced another masterclass and registered a century in the third successive game to become the first batsman in history to score hundreds in three consecutive Tests twice in a calendar year.
Root buried his Headingley demons, a place where he averages the least amongst home venues and notched up a scintillating hundred in just 124 balls. The knock pretty much ensured that India is out of the game, and Steve Harmison had nothing but praise for the 30-year-old batsman.
“The Indian bowlers will be going to sleep tonight and seeing Joe Root’s New Ballance bat in their dreams. It will just be like that. I’ve been there many times thinking I can’t get away from him.”
“Especially in a 5-match series, if you’re a bowler and a batsman is having a good time, I’ll just be thinking ‘I’ve bowled 30 overs in a day and I’m really tired and the heat’s got me.’ And all I can see is the batsman in me sleep so I’m assuming that’s what’s happening to the likes of Shami and Bumrah and Siraj,” he pointed out in a chat with ESPNcricinfo.
“I think this is as good as I’ve seen anybody play” – Steve Harmison
Harmison compared the likes of form Joe Root is in, to the phase Michael Vaughan had in the 2002-03 Ashes series against the mighty Australians. Root is currently the top scorer in the calendar year, and the next on the list is nowhere close to the amount of runs Root has stacked up.
“He’s [Root] phenomenal at this moment in time. I think this is as good as I’ve seen anybody play from an English point of view in a series. Michael Vaughan possibly [in] 2002-03 against a great Australia side. Kevin Pietersen in the 2007-8 time.”
“But nah, I don’t think I’ve seen anything as good as Joe Root is accumulating now in this series so far. Still, two Test matches to go,” Harmison added.
Root has already scored close to 500 runs in the series so far, with 5 more innings to go. If he continues to score at the same rate, Root can break Don Bradman’s record of 974 runs in a 5-match Test series.