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Ponting believes Joe Root is fulfilling his "full potential"

Melbourne [Australia], June 22 (ANI): Former Australia skipper and batting great Ricky Ponting said that England batter Joe Root, who was recently crowned as the world number one batter in ICC Test Player Rankings, is fulfilling his full potential with his run over two years, which has seen him smash a total of 13 Test centuries.

Ponting said England's talismanic batting hero was solidifying his status as one of the game's greats.

In the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston, Root produced a spectacular 118 and a quickfire 46.

While Root's runs were insufficient to prevent England from losing by two wickets, they were enough to propel him to the top of the new ICC Test Batting Rankings.

"I do not think he has been underrated because I do not think he has actually probably fulfilled his full potential until the last two years," Ponting said of Root on the latest ICC Review show.

"He is never scored a hundred in Australia, but his last two years I think he has made eight or nine hundreds, which has elevated him from being a very, very good player to one of the great players.""I think now people are starting to understand just how good Joe Root is," concluded Ponting.

Root has amassed 3345 Test runs in 34 appearances since the start of 2021, averaging 58.68 and scoring 13 of his 30 career Test hundreds.

The England hitter has been a formidable force at home, but has also performed admirably on foreign trips, scoring plenty in India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies.

He was also the leading scorer in the last ICC World Test Championship cycle, and he's off to a similar start in the 2023-25 cycle.

Since relinquishing the England captaincy to Ben Stokes, Root has shown a more aggressive side to his Test game, embracing the 'Bazball' credo.

"I mean, the innings he played at Edgbaston was a sensational knock, full of class," Ponting said.

"He has added some shots to his repertoire, which I did not think he would be able to do. Reverse sweeping Pat Cummins' first ball of a day in a Test match at the start of day four was something I did not think I would see," he added.

Root, who is still only 32 years old, is one of only 11 players to have achieved 11000 Test runs and is only six runs behind the top ten all-time run scorers in Test history.

And he still has time in his career to get higher on that list.

Now that he is no longer captain, Ponting (who is second on the all-time list) feels Root's career will cement his place as one of the all-time greats.

"He has in total control of his game now. He has made over 11,000 runs - there are not many players in the history of the game that have done that," he added.

"So, by the time he is finished, I am sure he will be recognised as one of the greats," he added.

After his performance at Edgbaston, Root climbed to the top of the ICC Batting Rankings, with New Zealander Kane Williamson in second, four rating points back.

Four other Australian players from the Ashes series are ranked in the top seven: Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Steve Smith, and Usman Khawaja. (ANI)