Why Joe Root is the best batsman in the world! (book extract)
(extracted from Who Wants to be a Batsman)
I asked Mark Ramprakash, now after all his tribulations and triumphs England’s batting coach, which of the younger English batsmen had the ideal approach.
‘Joe Root,’ he said. ‘He has a good basic method, but he is adaptable. And very strong mentally. He doesn’t get too down if he’s out cheaply. He’s got a good relationship with the other lads, he’s very good at de-stressing – he’s got humour. He prac- tises in a focused manner. He knows what he’s trying to get out of his net, he has a purpose, but he’s not too structured – if he hits ten good balls in the middle of the bat he’s quite happy. There is a good stubbornness about him – he is happy with his game – but the best players are also open to learning new ideas if you float something past them.’
The ingredient that unites all the best players is drive. They have stuck at the disciplines through thick and thin and found a way that works. Not a right way or a wrong way, but their way. Uncovering that is a Eureka moment. Sometimes it is fleeting – like absolutely nailing a perfect three-wood 250 metres down the fairway but thereafter constantly slicing it into the bushes again. The more astute types establish a means of replicating it repeatedly. Much progress is by trial and error. Smart people learn from others’ mistakes. Idiots learn from their own. Or they don’t.
A batsman has the most precarious existence in sport. Every ball, they are dicing with death. It is vital not to worry about that and try to be relaxed. Think about this. Every time you get in to a car, you don’t imagine the accident you might be about to have, despite the endless potential for head-on colli- sions. You just get in and drive. That’s the mindset to adopt in this business. The key to batting is fearlessness.