On debut, Root digs deep & ticks India box
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Mick Jagger would've shed a proud tear. Linked by their shoulders, the Barmy Army — a large section of it — weren't just moving like him, but also hollered the following: "Get your kicks," (long pause), " On Rooooute 66! " Just then, the game halted for lunch. The scoreboard read — Swann 19, Root 65. The Army jeered and sighed, now improvising to another Stones hit — " I can't get no ," short pause, " Satisfaction ."
A hundred from a debutant could not have been more eagerly awaited. The crowds wanted Root on 66, and now they would have to wait. When he did get that single, he acknowledged them. Not with a raised bat, but a blush. The Army were on their feet, and off their tunes.
With a sensational start to his career and a must-not-forget-to-pun name like that, Root had given his dressing room and the manic support all around enough to, well, get their kicks. Now, however, the shy young lad from Yorkshire will be expected to give it to them quite often in the future.
Why, you may ask? For one, the last 21-year old Englishman who fashioned such a debut in Nagpur not only captains the current side, but has also scored the most centuries by any England cricketer in history. "Rumour has it that debutant is a future England captain," tweeted David Lloyd. Bumble says it as he sees it. But if you make an incision deeper than the obvious, Root has a few more legacies than just Alastair Cook's to match up to.
In promising footsteps
Very few batsmen from outside the subcontinent have made their mark on debut in India. But a decent percentage of those who have, have gone on to make it pretty big. Apart from Cook (60 and 104*, Nagpur), others who have done the same include Michael Clarke (151, Bangalore), Clive Lloyd (8 and 78*, Mumbai) and Gordon Greenidge (107 and 93, Bangalore), to name a few.
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