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Yorkshire players urged to follow attacking example of Joe Root
Forget the Dilscoop, watch out for the Rootscoop is the message from the Yorkshire camp as they prepare for this summer’s Friends Life T20 competition, which starts for them on Friday with a home match against Durham.
We heard England Lions batsman Joe Root talk a fortnight ago about how he feels that his best plan of attack in the one-day arena is to innovate, playing his own version of Tillakaratne Dilshan’s scoop over the wicketkeeper’s head.
Root, a right-hander of slight figure, believes he still has some work to do on his strength before he can be confident of clearing the ropes with regularity in the more conventional areas.
But according to White Rose skipper Andrew Gale, that will not harm his chances of being a big hit in Twenty20 cricket during the next month.
“Joe started experimenting with it in the nets and the lads immediately called it the Rootscoop,” explained Gale.
“I didn’t know whether he’d be gutsy enough to play it in a match with the pressure on but he played it a bit last year and has pretty much nailed it in every innings he’s tried it.
“They put fine-leg back for him straight away but it doesn’t matter. He just backs himself to get it.
“He played it first ball in a pre-season match in Barbados and hit it for six, so that’s how confident he is.”
Gale is keen for the rest of his players to follow Root’s lead; maybe not play the Rootscoop, but certainly play any attacking shot with freedom and without fear.
Yorkshire have seemed reluctant to break the shackles in Twenty20 in recent seasons, going a long way to explaining why they have never reached Finals Day.
Left-hander Gale said: “It’s about playing with that freedom. If you want to go in and play that Rootscoop first ball or hit it back over the sight screen first ball, then do it.
“If you get out doing it, so what. Just play with that real freedom.
“One of the games that really stood out for me last year was the Leicestershire game at home. They got a massive score first up, 190 or 200, something like that.
“We got 170 or 180 in reply because we played with that freedom having thought ‘we’ve got a hell of total to chase, we’ve got to go all the way through’.
“We’ve got to continue that this year. We need to play like we’re chasing 200 every innings.
“We shouldn’t be looking to dab it into gaps for one, we should be looking to hit the men on the edge. If you feel like you can go over them, do it.”