Root ready to grow
Batsman Joe Root believes the trip to India this winter with the England Performance Programme will help him develop into a more accomplished player.
The 20-year-old’s reward for an impressive debut first-class season for Yorkshire was a call-up to the EPP winter squad, where the youthful batting department will be accompanied by a host of senior England players at training camps in Pune and Mumbai next month.
After England’s difficulty to manoeuvre spin was highlighted during their recent 5-0 one-day series whitewash in the sub-continent, Root believes developing his game in Indian conditions will only benefit his approach to manipulating slow bowlers.
“I want to improve as a player. It’s a great opportunity to learn against spin and playing in different conditions and that’s what I want to get from it. I just want to try and improve and get as much out of it as I can,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“There has been a lot of talk about how English players play spin, not just at international level but in county cricket as well, and if you really want to go to the next level, it’s an area you need to excel in.
“Going out there will help me develop that side of my game and potentially make me a better player.”
Root, who is joined in the batting ranks by White Rose team-mate and England limited-overs international Jonny Bairstow, insists the guidance of EPP batting coach and former international batsman Graham Thorpe will have a major influence on the youngsters’ developments.
“Thorpey’s covered every area for us, making sure we are fully prepared for when we get out there. That’s great credit to him and the lads are working really hard and by the time we get out there, we will be ready to get cracking,” he said.
“He’s very good, he’s got a very good understanding of the game. He’s going to India and especially as we are looking to work on spin, he is probably one of the best players to speak to about it and learn from. In that respect we are all very lucky and will try to get as much out of him as we can.
After completing a three-week training programme at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, Root is hopeful he has done enough to be included in the England Lions squad, which is due to be named next month.
“I’m keen to develop my game as much as possible and try and play at the highest level whenever I can, I really want to get in that side,” he added.