Chennai, Feb 6 (IANS) England all-rounder Ben Stokes heaped praise on his captain Joe Root after he scored his second double century in three matches on the second day of the first Test against India here on Saturday.
“He makes us all feel pretty rubbish, how he makes batting look. I was quite surprised when he ran down the wicket and smashed a six for the double,” said Stokes after play.
“He is in phenomenal form. Makes it look very, very easy, the way he plays spin and dominates spin. Is incredible to watch. I don’t think we have had an England batsman ever play spin the way he does. He’s got an answer and option for everything thrown at him. He is such a delight to watch,” he said.
Root batted for nearly six full sessions for his 218, scored off 377 balls, before falling to left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.
Stokes, who scored 82 and shared a 124-run partnership with Root for the fourth wicket, said that he was surprised by how the England captain crossed 200: dancing down the track and hitting spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a six over the long-on boundary.
Nadeem also praised Root. “Joe Root is very good batsman. He has been in form of late. He is sweeping really well. So to bowl to him you have to plan to stay on the stumps,” he said.
Former England captain Kevin Pietersen paid tribute to Root. “Sir Joe Root!” Pietersen said in his tweet.
Michael Vaughan, another former England captain, tweeted: “Without question @root66 will end up being England’s greatest Batsman across all formats !! #INDvENG.”
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, too, doffed his hat to Root. “Watching some excellence in Test batting from Root & Stokes. Both using that space behind the batting crease against spinners like no foreign batsman I have seen for a while. Brilliant stuff!” he tweeted.