Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir was mighty impressed with England captain Joe Root's batting display in the first India vs England Test in Chennai. As a result, the southpaw has reckoned that Root and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson should not be compared to Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. Notably, the aforementioned players are part of the famous 'Fab 4' list in cricket and comparisons between them are a quotidian thing.
Root scored a scintillating double hundred (218) in the first innings of the first India vs England Test and followed it up with a quickfire 40 in the second innings. Incidentally, the Chennai Test was Root's 100th match in the purest format of the game which made him the only batsman in the sport to score a double ton in his 100th Test. Remarkably, Root also became the first batsman to score centuries in his 98th, 99th and 100 Tests.
While speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Gambhir said that one has to realize that someone like Kane Williamson and Joe Root probably play in the toughest of conditions. He stated that England is not an easy place to play with the Duke ball in English conditions and New Zealand is equally tough to play when the ball is swinging and seaming in overcast or windy conditions. The former cricketer reckoned that when you look at the sub-continent conditions or the conditions in Australia, they tend to go flat but he added that in England, that is hardly the case, especially with the Duke ball.
According to Gambhir, one cannot compare Virat Kohli and Steve Smith to Joe Root or Kane Williamson because of the conditions. The former opener went on to laud Root for his exceptional form in the sub-continent. Further heaping praise on the England skipper, Gambhir opined that it is unbelievable, especially on these turning tracks in the subcontinent where the ball starts spinning from day one, he has scored 600 runs in three Test matches.
Gambhir reiterated that the conditions had changed from Day 1 to Day 2 but he has looked in complete control. He added that one should not forget what Root has done in Sri Lanka. The 39-year old also said that if Kohli would have gone to England and New Zealand and got these kind of runs, one could only imagine the praise he would have got.
The Root vs Kohli matchup is expected to be the highlight of the Test series. While both the players are deemed as modern-day greats, it remains to be seen who out of the two comes out on top after the four-match series. Ahead of the India vs England 2nd Test, Root has scored 8,507 runs in the longer format with 20 centuries and 49 half-centuries at an average of 50.3. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, has featured in 88 Test matches and has amassed 7,401 runs in the longer format. The Indian captain has scored 27 centuries and 24 fifties in red-ball cricket. Moreover, he also has an average of 53.2 when compared to Joe Root.
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