It's a compliment to be known as England's Aussie, says Joe Root

Batsman enjoying 'every minute' of his fine start in the side which is earning rave reviews

With delicate precision, Joe Root hit his third ball in international cricket through extra cover for three. He drove his 10th crisply in front of square to bring his first boundary.

Those moments facing Piyush Chawla and Pragyan Ojha of India in Nagpur seemed to confirm that England were on to something. It was like watching David Gower all those years ago – 2 June 1978 to be exact – dismissively pulling his first ball in Tests, from Liaqat Ali, for four. You just knew. The idea that 13 December 2012 was the start of a career similarly illustrious is a big one but everything that Root has done then and since suggests style and durability. There have been no hundreds yet, so it is important not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but there have been no failures either.

Root scored 73 in that final Test which added ballast to England's innings when it was most needed and his lowest score in seven one-day innings is 28 not out. He has provided maturity, authority, clarity and probably a few other qualities not necessarily ending in -ity. He looks the part, he manages an innings.

"It's been really enjoyable, I've loved every minute of it," he said here in Queenstown as England enjoyed a day off ahead of their tour match against New Zealand A which precedes the Test series starting next week. "Just being a part of it and representing my country, it's what you want to do growing up. I'm just trying to do things I've always done. It seems to have come off so far."

Everybody around this touring squad talks of how much Root has progressed in the last six months. His new status was authenticated yesterday when he was wheeled out to be interviewed on behalf of sponsors and nobody does that unless they are somebody.

Since breaking into Yorkshire's side as a 20-year-old in 2011 he has been regularly cast as the heir presumptive to a line of magnificent Yorkshire and England opening batsmen – Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott, Michael Vaughan.

But he was still a selectorial punt when he was picked for the tour of India last year. His 2012 season petered out after his accomplished 222 not out against Hampshire in July; there was only one fifty in his last 13 innings. Yet it seemed his duties would predominantly involve nets and drinks carrying when Nick Compton was preferred as Alastair Cook's opening partner. Root's practice time was not wasted. For the last match England changed a winning team, ordaining that he was the man for the job of winning the series.

The other day, New Zealand's captain, Brendon McCullum, said there was something Australian about the way Root handled himself at the crease. "I'll take it as a compliment," said Root. "I'm not a very intimidating bloke to look at so I've got to try and find a way to make sure they know I mean business. I'm quite quiet as well so I need to make sure they can hear me down at the other end."

Root's father Matt played in the same team with a young Vaughan at Sheffield Collegiate club. Root remembers watching from the boundary as a very young boy. By the time he was nine he was picked for the fifths, by 11 he scored his first hundred for his school, by 14 he was in the club first team.

"The thing is, I was so little growing up – I was way behind everyone else – it took me 50 overs to get 50," he said. "A lot of the time I was not out but I just couldn't get it off the square. They'd set a ring field, I wasn't able to get it past them.

"I started to grow from 16 to 18. I had a year, my first year on staff at Yorkshire actually, where I grew about six inches and found my whole technique was wrong. I had to change my whole stance completely just because I'd grown and everything was slightly different. I think that helped me as well."

It is difficult to envisage Root now as a scrawny little kid. He is 6ft tall and he walks like John Wayne in True Grit, bow-legged and deliberate. He confounds this image by patrolling the boundary more like Usain Bolt where, allied to his large, safe hands he has performed sterling service this winter. Vaughan rather upped the ante last week by saying Root would be England's next captain. True, he had been named as captain of England Lions this winter until senior duties came along but it still seemed a bit premature.

Three things are possible imminently: that he will continue in his role at No 6 against New Zealand; that he will open the batting in place of Compton, which would be a hard-nosed call but would firmly look to the future; or that he could be omitted because the selectors think somebody else, his fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow, say, is more suited to the particular matter in hand.

The last of those is the least likely. Root really does seem to have put down roots.

Stats magic: Root in numbers

79: Best ODI score, hit in the second match against New Zealand

30: First player to score 30-plus runs in each of his first six ODI innings

93.00: Test batting average after one match, against India in December

Investec, the specialist bank and asset manager, is the title sponsor of Test match cricket in England. Visit investec.co.uk/cricket or follow us @InvestecCricket

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice