World Cup 2019: Root hits second hundred, school coach shares his journey

As Root blossoms on the World Cup 2019 stage, his school cricket master Peter Maw offers an insight into the making of the world-class player. 

Root, who has an ODI average of 50.73 and a strike rate of 87.34, now has a record three World Cup centuries, the most by an England batsman.   -  getty images

Joe Root, on Friday, scored his second hundred of Cricket World Cup 2019 as England romped home by eight wickets against the West Indies at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.

As Root blossoms on the World Cup stage, Peter Maw's ringside view of the English cricketer's early years in school offers an insight into the making of a world-class cricketer.  

Maw, former cricket Master, King Ecgbert School, Sheffield, monitored Root's progress closely and feels what "stood out was his ability to read and understand the game."

"I had the good fortune of helping to run the cricket teams at King Ecgbert and it was clear as a 12-year-old in Y7 (seventh grade) that he (Root) had an exceptional talent," Maw tells Sportstar.

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"The school team that year got to the Sheffield finals and Joe showed his promise by scoring a chanceless 100, with shots all around the wicket and every one of them on the floor. He possessed a superb technique for a boy of his age and was virtually impossible to dislodge."

Root attended King Ecgbert School in Dore., Sheffield, for four years before taking up a scholarship at Worksop College. "He was a very easy going pupil, had excellent manners and good relationships with staff," says Maw.

"He wasn't a big hitter and was actually somewhat small for his age. We would have occasional winter nets but the vast majority of Joe's progress came through his club Sheffield Collegiate, Yorkshire & his very supportive parents.

"He had a calmness and authority about him that earned him the respect of the other players." Talking about Root's first year, Maw recalls an unbeaten cameo. "During Joe's first year, the team above made it to the Yorkshire Schools finals and although they lost he made an assured 20 not out, a sign of control and steadiness that has served him well."

Root, who has an ODI average of 50.73 and a strike rate of 87.34, now has three World Cup centuries, the most by an England batsman. He's also the second after Kevin Pietersen (who achieved the feat in 2007) to score two in one edition. While Maw believes Root is probably suited to Test cricket, he is clearly an effective run-a-ball performer in ODIs.

"Maybe he isn't quite explosive enough in T20s and perhaps less cricket would do him good. The conversion of 50s to 100s is a nice problem to have, but at the highest level the slightest lapse in concentration is punished. I'm sure he's working mentally on that right now," says Maw.