Root talks up Vaughan influence
Joe Root is hoping to emulate his idol and mentor Michael Vaughan after earning a maiden England call-up.
Root, who has long been earmarked as a future star, was yesterday included in a 16-man touring party for the Test series in India this winter.
His inclusion comes at just the tender age of 21, though he enjoyed an impressive season for Yorkshire, scoring 738 runs – including a career-best 222 not out against Hampshire.
Furthermore, Root also struck an excellent century for England Lions against West Indies in a tour match.
After being given the opportunity to earn full international honours for the first time, he has set his sights on having the kind of impact former England skipper Vaughan – who is from the same Sheffield club – had.
Root told ecb.co.uk: “He has helped me out quite a bit. I’ve come through the same club side at Sheffield College and he has been a figurehead for Yorkshire.
“I can always speak to him if I ever have any issues and can take things from his experiences and get advice. If I am ever a little bit under pressure or uneasy, he is a great person to talk to.
“He had a fantastic career and when you see someone who has come through the same system as you, it feels closer to home and you can picture yourself doing it (playing for England).
“I definitely (want to emulate him). His record speaks for itself as a captain and a batsman. He is an excellent role model and if I can do anywhere near as well as he did then I will be extremely happy.”
Root’s opportunity has come on the back of former skipper Andrew Strauss’ retirement.
That left a slot at the top of the order alongside Alastair Cook, which will likely be battled for by Root and fellow international novice Nick Compton.
England, however, could also opt to move an experienced head like Jonathan Trott or Ian Bell up the order.
Regardless, there is certainly at least one spot for Root et al to fight it out for.
Should the Yorkshireman get the nod, he will not feel any added pressure despite replacing a legend of English cricket in Strauss.
“It is just the same as replacing anyone,” he added. “If I do get the opportunity to make my debut, I will just try and enjoy it.
“I will just be myself and play how I know I can. If I do get the chance, it will be for what I’ve done so far.”
Should Root find himself looking for advice when it comes to starting on the biggest stage in one of cricket’s most difficult environments, the sub-continent, he need look no further than England’s new five-day skipper Cook.
The opener began his career in India, also at the age of 21, and duly stuck 60 and 104 not out on debut in Nagpur.
Expecting the same results would be measuring Root by a harsh yardstick, yet he is confident in his ability to succeed.
“It is obviously a very tough part of the world to go to and win,” he said. “It will be a great challenge for the squad of players going over there.
“That is something I am looking forward to; it is important to be successful in different conditions. If I get an opportunity, I will just do everything I can to do myself and the team proud.”
Fretting over how he will perform if given the chance seems foolhardy for the time being; Root can, for now, just bask in being included in the touring party.
“It is absolutely fantastic to be selected,” he said. “It is one of those things that you strive for when you are coming through.
“I’ve not really thought about it (England). I have just been trying to enjoy my cricket. I am just really pleased it has happened when it has and as quickly as it has.”