For Ottis Gibson, the Yorkshire head coach, it’s exactly what Root needs as he readjusts to life in the ranks.
It’s also what Yorkshire needs as they go in search of wins before the start of the Summer Test, this being the first of three Championship meetings before the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2, when Root he may be far from the only Yorkshire Player involved in that match.
The 31-year-old Root is unlikely to be the kind of cricketer who finds the transition difficult in a performance sense.
When has he not acted, one would have to wonder; Even during a recent slump for the England team, his personal record was always impressive, his ability to compartmentalize the various batting and captaincy challenges not the least of his myriad qualities.
At the same time, this is a new chapter for a man who can proudly look back on having achieved the most test wins (27) of any England captain.
It’s been a rocky few weeks (Root captained his team with pride like no one else), so all the better, Gibson believes, if the player is back among his Yorkshire team-mates, where he’s always guaranteed a warm welcome. .
“With everything that’s happened in the last few weeks, months, whatever, going back to Yorkshire to play cricket with his mates is probably what’s best for him at the moment,” Gibson said.
“Getting away from the pressure and environment of international cricket, and coming back here and hopefully continuing his fantastic racing spree that he has been on for so long, can only be good.
“What I’ve been told is that Joe loves playing for Yorkshire, and it’s fantastic to have him in our batting lineup. We all know what an excellent player he is.”
Root scored at Headingley last week after a short break after the West Indies tour.
“He’s been out so long I wanted to know where all his training gear was,” smiled Gibson, who joked that “I fined him because he had the wrong gear.”
The former fast bowler added: “He came by a couple of times and it was good to have him around. He’s just happy to be here and enjoying being here.”
This game is a reunion between the two previous test captains, Root and Sir Alastair Cook, the latter scoring 272 runs in Essex’s first four matches, exactly 100 of them in his opening innings of the season against Kent at Chelmsford.
After 59 in the first innings of the next game, against Somerset at Taunton, Cook’s returns have dropped with scores of 3, 23, 36, 6 and 19, reflecting the difficulty, no doubt, of hitting in April against the new ball.
Essex, who have big tips to do well this season, have yet to find their best form collectively as they have won one, lost one and drawn two.
Yorkshire, in fourth place, is eight points and one place above them with one game to go, winning one and drawing two and playing well overall.
Gibson does not see this match, however, as a step up in challenge in that Yorkshire have played three largely unappealing sides so far in Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Kent. Rather, he sees each game as a challenge in its own right.
“All games are the same,” he said. “All games are tough. We have a lot of guys in the dressing room who are playing good cricket but we have to keep working. We haven’t won every game we’ve played, but we’ve played well enough to have won every game so far.”
Gibson continued: “Essex are a very good team, even if they haven’t had the best start to the season. If a team doesn’t start well, you don’t want to be the team that starts it up, so hopefully we can do everything right and keep it where it is.”
Root will slot into a batting lineup in which Harry Brook and Dawid Malan have been excellent to date.
Brook has started the season with five straight 50-plus scores, including two hundred, and Malan has hit four straight 50-plus scores, including a century. In current form, both could play for England alongside Root.
“England are looking for batsmen and those two are up there,” Gibson said. “Brooky is playing fantastically well; he reads situations very well and works hard on his game.
“Malan… I guess to a lot of people it would have been a mystery why he wasn’t in the West Indies, and now we’re reaping the rewards of that. He obviously has something to prove to them (England), and he’s proving it with his bat.”
Ben Coad could make his first appearance of the season after recovering from a groin injury. Fellow bowler Haris Rauf has a side injury but traveled to Chelmsford to continue his rehabilitation.
Team: Bess, Brook, Coad, Duke, Hill,…
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This notice was published: 2022-05-04 17:23:09