Joe Root backs Test cricket to tie the cent for excitement as England go on the attack


oe Root believes England’s attacking brand of Test cricket can be just as potent a gateway drug for the next generation of cricket fans as the Hundred.

England won a series against South Africa yesterday, their sixth victory in seven Tests this summer under the new management duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

It was a quick turnaround, given England have won just one of their last 17 Tests under Root, which ended when he stepped down in April.

The transformation was built on an offensive brand of cricket that proved popular with fans and was successful on the pitch.

Root believes the longer form of the game can attract new fans to the sport just as effectively as the Hundred, the ECB’s controversial short-form tournament designed specifically to appeal to children. Root represents Trent Rockets in the Hundred, which had its second edition this year.

“Coming out and playing like we did this summer has been awesome,” Root said. “I’m really excited and hope we can encourage and excite people about Test cricket, young children, etc.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the Hundred as a great opportunity to get people into the game. Well, there’s no reason Test cricket can’t do that either.

“You show up and watch Ollie Pope try to sweep a 6ft 8in bowler in reverse to try and win a test match. You got guys running and bowling spells like Ollie Robinson has and how Jimmy [Anderson] and Broady [Stuart Broad] played boules on Sunday. I would like to think that people will want to go and watch this and also get involved in cricket through this format.

Root believes England are not a ‘one-trick pony’ and his approach can be transferred to conditions abroad, such as in Pakistan in December.

“We will definitely try, give it a try,” he said. “At Old Trafford [against South Africa]you saw a different side of this team, a side that can absorb pressure, can play in a slightly different way.

“We are not just a one trick pony. There will always be cricket test periods that you have to manage well and smartly. We haven’t succeeded every time this summer, but we have succeeded more often and that’s why we’re sitting here with six out of seven.

standard Sport

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