Zak Crawley celebrates his double century against Pakistan in 2020
Joe Root is set to make his 100th Test cap
Root will join a special club when he joins Virat Kohli for the toss at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium, becoming only the 15th Englishman to win 100 Test caps.
Each of his previous 99 appearances have come behind a subscription paywall, but he will bring up his century in front on free-to-air terrestrial television after Channel 4 secured the rights to the series.
Root was still dreaming of a future in England whites when the broadcaster last showed Test cricket in 2005 and has fond memories of devouring the coverage, including its memorable theme tune.
“It was a huge part of my childhood growing up, turning on and listening to Mambo Number Five, that was always a favourite song of mine purely because it was associated with Test cricket,” he said.
“That accessibility meant I could watch all the time, and as often as possible. Those are really fond memories. I look back now and I associate that with playing Test matches in the garden with my brother. It was all through watching the coverage there.
“This is a great opportunity to reach out to a new audience, to grow the game and for it to be more accessible for everyone else. I think it’s a great thing for the sport and hopefully people will tune in and watch us and have something to smile about at the end of it.”
Root is under no illusion about the size of the challenge ahead over the coming days and weeks, with India back on home turf following a victorious trip to Australia, but is simply happy to continue fulfilling the ambitions he had as an aspiring youngster in Sheffield.
“I think walking out for the first time in an England shirt is probably the proudest moment,” he said, reflecting on his fondest memories.
“I look back on walking out to bat and seeing Kevin Pietersen stood at the other end, someone who I watched as a teenager and a kid growing up, and I couldn’t stop smiling. I was living my childhood dream and ever since have been.
“If I’m ever going through a lean spell where things aren’t quite falling for me, I try and look back at that moment and remember what that feeling was like and embrace that really excitable young lad.”
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