Joe Root has been a class apart - Kevin Pietersen

Joe Root has been a class apart - Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen, heaped rich praise on Joe Root, hailing the 24-year-old as a stand out performer in the ongoing Ashes series.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has heaped rich praise on Joe Root, hailing the 24-year-old as a stand out performer in the ongoing Ashes series.

Joe Root has amassed 443 runs from four games in the series at an average of 73.83 with two hundreds and two fifties under his belt. 

While the England bowlers have been fantastic so far, Root has been the only batsman for the hosts averaging more than 40 in this series.

Pietersen applauded Root for his stupendous success in the Ashes, as he stated that the 24-year-old deserves to be the man of the series.

“Joe Root has to be the stand out Man of the Series,” said Pietersen on his Paddy Power blog.

“He has been a class apart from everybody.

“His century at Trent Bridge after Australia were bowled out for 60, was simply outstanding.

“That was the major turning point of this Ashes series.” 

Having won the first Test at Cardiff, England slumped to a 405 run defeat at Lord’s in the second Test, but came back dramatically to reclaim the Urn with wins at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.

In the fourth Test at Trent Bridge, England bowled out Australia for just 60 runs in the first innings, going on to win the game by an innings and 78 runs.

Petersen revealed that he is delighted with the brand of cricket England are playing in the ongoing Ashes campaign.

The 35-year-old lauded the England team management for allowing the players to express themselves on the field by playing fearless cricket.

“I’ve always wanted England to win. That’s the bottom line.

“I’ve always believed playing under a coach, or a structure, where the coach lets you go out on to the field and play with freedom, allows you to make mistakes, allows you to be the free spirit that you are, will get the right results.

“So to watch this young England side play this way, and be allowed to make mistakes while playing a really positive brand of cricket, it makes me very happy.

“I’m just ecstatic with the way England are now playing their cricket.”

The turnaround of England started when the team took on New Zealand at home after a disastrous World Cup campaign, which ended in a first-round exit.

After levelling the Test series against New Zealand, England began to play an attacking game in the One-Day Internationals, winning the closely contested series 3-2.

Pietersen believes that the current crop of England players like Root have taken the team to the next level by adopting a confident outlook.

“They (England) have proved to a lot of people that they can play a positive brand of cricket.

“They’ve gone out there without the fear of failure and that has allowed them to take their cricket to a new level.

“The guys England have picked in that side – Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn – these guys know they can get away with making mistakes and it won’t be frowned upon.

“They have a free licence to go out there and enjoy themselves.”

Pietersen also credited England coach Trevor Bayliss and assistant coach Paul Farbrace for the success in the Ashes by terming them as “magnificent coaches”.

“Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace are two magnificent coaches and they have proved that this summer with how happy the dressing room has been.

“It’s really good to see, and I love watching England play like this.”

After the Ashes, Australia are set to undergo major changes with retirements of players like Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers.

The future of players like Brad Haddin and Shane Watson is also uncertain as the duo have played just the one game in the series.

Pietersen expressed that many of the current members of the Australian squad have played their last Test match.

“As for Australia, Ricky Ponting has said that seven or eight of these players won’t play Test cricket for their country again, and I agree.

“There’s a lot of old guys in that squad who are retiring, and there are a few hanging up their pads.”

Going on to acclaim Clarke as a fantastic player, Pietersen opined that the 34-year old had plenty of cricket left in him.

“Michael Clarke is finishing, although in my book he should continue as he is a wonderful player.

“You don’t captain Australia to the success he has had, and score as many Test hundreds as he has unless you’re a very good player.

“So that’s unfortunate for Australia and I feel sorry that he is leaving the game.

“He’s great for the sport and I always enjoyed facing him.”

The ongoing fifth Test at The Oval is an opportunity for England to create history by winning four matches of an Ashes series at home for the very first time.

© Cricket World 2015