Vaughan buoyed by Root beginning
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has been pleasantly surprised by the outstanding start to Joe Root’s international career, admitting he did not know just how good his protégé is.
The relationship between Vaughan and Root, who are from the same Sheffield Collegiate club side, has often been talked about over recent months.
Indeed, Root in September spoke to ecb.co.uk about his desire to emulate, if not surpass, Vaughan’s achievements after being selected for the tour of India.
The 21-year-old certainly started impressively, belying his tender years to debut - and impress - in all three forms, highlighted by Test and one-day international half-centuries.
Vaughan was one of those with a keen eye on those performances and, in an exclusive interview, confessed he did not expect Root to be so good so soon.
“He’s done well,” said Vaughan. “He’s a good lad and he’s actually better than I thought he was. I texted him the other day saying ‘I didn’t realise you were that good!’
“It’s his composure and his temperament that has come across really well. He’s got the game; he’s got the shots; he’s got the technique, but I think more importantly he’s got the mentality to succeed and be a long-term success for the England side.”
The sky seems the limit for Root - something Vaughan illustrated by talking up his potential as a future England opener and leader.
He added: “I’m sure he’s going to end up opening the batting eventually. England can be pretty sure that he’s going to be around for a few years.
“He loves cricket. He loves playing cricket; he loves talking about cricket, thinking about new ideas and in time he’s going to be a good leader.”
Root’s ascent has coincided with a major structural change in English cricket after Ashley Giles, Vaughan’s former team-mate, was appointed limited-overs coach.
He was another who enjoyed a positive start to a new role, overseeing a 3-2 one-day-international defeat in India in the absence of several senior players.
Vaughan said: “I’m pleased for Giles. He’s a good man and I think what happens in coaching in sport is that general common sense prevails. That’s what you’ve got in the England set-up now.
“You’ve got a lot of common sense, a lot of communication, a lot of good people and within that you generally get consistent performances.
“He did well. He was without a number of key players, particularly in the bowling unit, which is so important in Indian conditions against that formidable batting line-up.
“I think to lose 3-2 is a real good result for him. The transition of coming in as a coach, from being a player previously. He had done so well at Warwickshire and he’s actually coaching players that he played with, so that’s always a difficult relationship to manage.”
The back end of the India tour represented the beginning of an exciting 2013, featuring two Ashes series and a home Champions Trophy. Understandably perhaps, it is the clashes with the old enemy that whet Vaughan’s appetite.
He enthused: “It (2013) is all about the Ashes. Two Ashes series with Alastair Cook as captain and the way that he started in India was quite extraordinary; the way that he played as an individual and also the way that he got the other players to play around him.
“He comes up against an Australian side under Michael Clarke, who again is a young captain but very positive and vibrant with an Australian side that is going through a transition.
“If I was an England player I'd be looking at this year and thinking there's an Australian side there for the taking.”
Vaughan was speaking in his role of ambassador for Yorkshire Tea, who have recently become the “Official Brew of England Cricket”.
“I’ve drank Yorkshire Tea all my life and I'm involved with the brand, which is terrific,” he said. “I think the marriage of cricket and tea is one that goes back pretty much to the day cricket started.
“All the lads drink it. I know; I've been in that dressing room and we all had a brew in the morning.”