In a long career filled with a lot of highs and few lows, what worked wonderfully well for England skipper Joe Root is his "sense of humour" as he stands on the cusp of his 100th Test match, batting coach Graham Thorpe said on Friday. (More Cricket News)
The 30-year-old England captain, who made his debut against India in Nagpur in 2012, will play his 100th game against same opposition at the Chepauk from February 5.
When Thorpe was asked about Root's impending milestone, the former left-hander gave an interesting reply.
"Well, it's a real achievement because when you look at the longevity of it, I think you need a good sense of humour to play that amount of cricket.
"Because you will experience, there will be, lot of highs but there's going to be some moments in their way you have your lows and you have to show a bit of character and a bit of resilience," Thorpe said at a virtual media conference.
Thorpe then added the attributes that goes into the making of a great Test cricketer.
"And then you have to keep trying to adapt to the next situation, sometimes you're going to tinker with your technique and you have to manage all that and so to play a hundred Test matches, it's no mean feat and he (Root) will be very proud, his family will be very proud. He has always remained very humble," said Thorpe, who has followed Root's progress since his formative years in Yorkshire cricket.
"I think, when I saw early on with Joe and I was fortunate enough to see some of his early games with Yorkshire. He had character and temperament and then he did play in the Lions (A team) early on and then when I was around him, he just had a great work ethic," said Thorpe.
Root was never shy of experimenting with his technique and that showed in his game.
"He certainly tried to work things out for himself as well. He'd take the different things on board and he'd try and it worked with them, so I think essentially that's, that's what I saw with Joe when he was a younger player. And that's really continued throughout his career. He is always trying to get better," the assistant coach said.
What sets Root apart is his ability to keep on learning from others and the insatiable hunger to score runs.
"He is a great student of the game. He loves watching other people play and learning. He is somebody who doesn't want to stand still. He has got great hunger to score runs as well and improve," said Thorpe, who knows a thing or two about playing hundred Tests.
Root, who scored a magnificent 228 and 186 in the two Test against Sri Lanka, used the sweep shot to perfection and Thorpe said it's all about getting into good position to play the shot.
"Well, I think he (Root) gets himself into a good position, but like I said, he may have an idea that he's going to go and play the sweep shot, but then I think he looks for the line and the length of the delivery.
"And then will almost choose where he is able to put it – whether that fine square sweep, a slog sweep, but being in a really good position and (to) execute is the key to it," he added.
Last but not least is Root's tremendous work ethic that sets him apart in a league of his own.
"In the little breaks in the midst of series, he's been out to look at his own game and keep considering where he can get better as well.
"I think that he's shown in the series in Sri Lanka, that he wants to be a good example.
"The players who are in the team with him have a very good example to watch as well how, how he goes about his business, so his work ethic is fantastic and he is also kept his love for the game, which is so important."