Number 3. The standard position for the best batsman in any cricketing side. Whether the team is one down after one ball or 300-1 after a whole day’s play, the pitch then becomes centre stage for this batsman. Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest batsman of all time, made this batting position a mark which all future batsmen are judged upon. There have been many players since who have graced that position and further given proof that it is the most important place in the whole battling lineup and the team’s style of play is based around this player. With Joe Root being the latest player to take control of this position, he could not be more well positioned to make a mark this time round.
He has previous experience.
Back in late 2013, on the disastrous Ashes tour of Australia, Root took over the number 3 position after Jonathan Trott left the tour due to a stress-related illness. Like his colleagues, he struggled as Mitchell Johnson and co ripped apart the batting lineup that had become synonymous with success. After the end of the fourth test match, Root was dropped and that must have been a huge setback for the young Yorkshireman. At that moment, it was clear that he was simply not adept enough to be comfortable batting at 3. Ever since that moment, however, Joe has gone from strength to strength. Coming into the 2016 season, he has established himself as the best player in the England side and continues to deliver crucial knocks at the most pivotal moments. Trevor Bayliss will hope his main man can deliver at number 3 this time.
Playing style gives England exactly what they want.
Among all the top sides in the world, the number 3 batsman dictates the batting style of the whole team. Steven Smith of Australia plays in a flamboyant manner, and so does the rest of his team. For South Africa, Hashim Amla plays in a classical fashion, where the rest of his team members have the freedom they need to play at their best. Even though Kane Williamson sometimes plays in a reserved manner, his concentration and determination allows New Zealand to dominate the opposition. Joe Root’s style is so adaptable to any format, he can bring England back into the game if they are struggling, or he can take the game away from the opposition. This can only benefit the players in the side and enable them to express their own style, while Root has the responsibility. He seems to thrive on pressure and England will hope he does for many more years to come.
Balance of the side is improved.
With Root being at number 3, he will now take the majority of the spotlight. In recent years, an opening partner for Alaistair Cook and the number 3 batsman have proved troublesome for England to find. With Hales now seemingly comfortable being Alastair’s partner in crime, the England hierarchy will hope Root gives them the solution for their other batting concern. This opens up a position at number 4 for the team and without seeming too complacent, England could be afforded the luxury to experiment who they use in the position. It may be the case that after Buttler’s recovery from injury, he may come back into the team as a batsman alone. Also, Ben Stokes will demand a position in the side when recovering from his own injury. Whatever lineup England choose, Root will be at the centre of their plans.
As England take on Pakistan this week, their main man could be about to show the world he is ready to become undoubtedly, the best batsman on the planet. #Cricket