When Joe Root made 254 against Pakistan earlier this year, there was much talk of how he’d cracked it; how he’d responded to the move to number three by adopting a newfound merciless approach. The responsibility of batting at three had firmed Root’s desire to eradicate errors and from now on he would transform all those fifties into daddy hundreds.
Even at the time, we thought: ‘Joe Root’s hit a double hundred before.’
Before that innings, Root was a batsman capable of double hundreds who made a lot of fifties – and he’s been much the same since. Today saw his seventh fifty in that period to go with one hundred.
It’s hard to say whether this ‘conversion’ thing is a problem or not. There are plenty who will say that Root should be reaching three figures more often, but maybe that’s not the freakish bit. Maybe Joe Root is an otherwise average batsman who is just uncommonly good at reaching double figures.