The name is Root, Joe Root
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The theory of nominative determinism states that a person's name will have some impact on the life that they go on to lead. Take the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, for instance, the man responsible for sending Salman Butt and his fellow spot-fixers to jail in November 2011. With the foreboding moniker of "Igor Judge", stand-up comedy was never going to be his calling.
Similarly, it's a fair bet that Jamaica's meteorologically monikered superstars, Chris Gayle and Usain Bolt, spent their schooldays living up to their surnames in the playground. As for the Chicago weathergirl, Amy Freeze, I suspect she developed an unnaturally precocious obsession with isobars at a very tender age.
It doesn't always add up, of course. A decade on from his glorious entrenchment at Headingley in 2002, Sanjay Bangar is still waiting to play his first shot in anger. And then there's Somerset's Peter Bowler, an opening batsman who didn't send down a single delivery in an 18-year first-class career.
But at Nagpur last week, the theory seemed back on track as Yorkshire's Joe Root took root on debut to smother India's hopes of a series-levelling win.
Joe Root! Not since Bob Wilson penned the Stanley Bagshaw series of children's books (our Stan lived "up north where it's boring and slow") has any character, fictional or otherwise, been given quite such a stereotypically Yorkshire name. Sure enough, his first impressions were reassuringly dour. At the age of 21, Root emerged from his debut with an average of 93 and a reputation for unflappability that brings to mind a young Michael Atherton - a comparison that, for a certain generation of Englishman, is a very favourable one indeed.
England were in some strife when he arrived at 119 for 4, but before long he'd judged the pitch for the pancake that it was and adjusted his approach accordingly. A confident push through the covers launched his career, and with his pristine England cap to the fore, he set about scripting a proper Test innings. Len Hutton, another 21-year-old debutant from Yorkshire, would have approved.
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