Joe Root chips in

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Joe Root having all of the Ashes runs in big numbers

After England had beaten South Africa in the first Test, several pundits remarked that in a weird way Alastair Cook might be quite happy that the win had been achieved without any major contribution from either himself or Joe Root.

Root made 97 runs. In a relatively low-scoring game by modern standards, that’s surely more than just chipping in, yet we’re sure at least one person even went so far as to use the word ‘failed’.

As we’ve mentioned before, these days Joe Root is just context. His runs are as worthy of remark as the ground in which the Test is played. They’re both undeniably there, but they’re unalterable, so what is there to say?

What’s newsworthy is that other batsmen performed well. A couple of months ago, we said that England’s batting seemed about as well-balanced as a pissed-up baby giraffe trying to moonwalk across a tightrope. On recent evidence, it’s sobering up.


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  1. Are the Joe Root chips the chips you have wrapped in paper? Are they big fat chunky chips or french fries or even the type of slivers that are sometimes referred to as crisps?

    Joe Root is so good, he could be the figurehead for all of those products and other products besides. I think you could even propose Joe Root as the image of a product that wasn’t made from a root vegetable. That’s how generally wonderful he is, Joe Root.

    Given the other suggested uses for paper in the previous thread, I would strongly advocate only one usage of the paper before recycling or disposal, btw.

  2. Their respective scores read like a badly played Bullseye final round. Cook didn’t listen to Tony Green’s advice to aim at the left-hand side of the board. Instead he went for the glory, and scored 5-1-1. So Root needed 94 or more, scored 20-20, and then switched to 19s for the crucial last dart. Treble or bust, he hit the mark and they won a speedboat.

    In this situation nobody would think they were equal contributors, and yet in discounting Root’s efforts alongside Cook’s, that’s exactly what is happening.

    I’m not saying Cook didn’t add anything to this win. His general knowledge was crucial in the lunch Trivial Pursuit tournament.

  3. Turns out that having a couple of grafters higher up the order to combat the new ball allows the players further down to play with more freedom! Who knew?

    The only problem is that, arguably, we’ve got too much freedom now. I reckon the ideal is alternating grafters and free-scorers, to be able to adapt to any situation. So the ideal line-up would be something like Cook, Hales, Compton, Root, Ballance, Stokes, Chris Read, Ali.

  4. hmmm, does Cricinfo delete comments even after they have been published by their moderators?

    I am sure I saw a very funny comment(reminded of the comments posted here) on Stokes/Stocks & English Mutual Fund, but can’t seem to find that now.

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