Joe Root moved himself back to No.4 for ‘good of the team’

Joe Root moved himself back to No.4 for ‘good of the team’
  • 1

Joe Root has insisted his decision to bat at No. 4 in England’s second innings in Southampton was made “for the good of the team”.
Root has batted at No. 3 throughout the English summer but, having averaged just 28.54 in that time, says he made a “spur of the moment decision” to move back to the No. 4 position in which he averages 52.45.
That meant a promotion for Moeen Ali, who had batted at No. 7 in the first innings. And while he scored only 9, Root described Moeen as “very excited” about the opportunity to bat up the order and suggested the move had “worked very well”. Root made 48; his highest score in six innings.
“Ultimately I did it for the good of the team and to try and get the best out of myself,” Root told Sky Sports ahead of the fourth day’s play at The Ageas Bowl. “I know if I score runs we’ve got a great chance of winning the game.
“It was a bit of a spur of the moment decision. We’re in a position where Moeen is in great form. He bats at No. 3 for his county, so we thought it was a good opportunity for him to go out there and play in his own manner at No. 3 for England.
“I felt batting at No. 4 in this situation and getting the best out of myself would give us a better chance of getting up towards 230-250. It’s worked pretty well.
“It might not have been Moeen who got runs but part of being a team is that you all play your part and the fact I’ve come down to No. 4 in this innings worked in a way.
“Mo was very excited about it and it wouldn’t have been the case if he hadn’t desperate to do it. He sees himself as a top-order batter. He goes back to Worcester and bats at No. 3. He got a double-hundred last week. He was pleased to have that opportunity. It didn’t work out this time around but there’s no reason he wouldn’t be able to be successful in that position in the future.”
Whether Moeen will get another chance to bat at No. 3 remains to be seen with Root declining to confirm that his move back to No. 4 would be permanent.
“Whether it’s a long term thing with Mo we’ll have to wait and see,” Root said. “I tried to get the best out of myself in this situation so I put myself at No. 4. I think every situation is different.
“Every now and then you might have to change things around. It’s not something that is good to do a lot – especially with your batting – but every now and then, I don’t think it’s a bad thing.”
While Root described the decision as “spur of the moment”, it seems it was made ahead of the fourth day’s play. Earlier in the summer, Root was described as having moved to No. 3 by his own choice by Ed Smith, the national selector.