While other batsmen around him failing, the captain has been a prolific scorer this year
When England beat India in the third Test at Headingley, the series was leveled 1-1. With that English captain Joe Root became England’s most successful Test captain with 27 Test wins. He surpassed former skipper Michael Vaughan’s 26 wins record.Root was appointed captain on February 13, 2017, when Alaistair Cook stepped down. In his 56 Tests as skipper (till 4th Test), Root has won 27, drawn 19 and lost 7. Out of his 27 Test victories, 17 came in England. He is behind only former skipper Andrew Strauss who won 19 Tests on home soil.
The Leeds win against India ended England’s winless streak of six Tests at home. Their last home win came against Pakistan at Old Trafford last year. It was England’s longest winless streak in Tests at home since eight between 1989 and 1990.
As captain Root’s first assignment was the home series against South Africa. He led England successfully and clinched the series comfortably. Root also won the next Test series against West Indies at home.
Root has been in extraordinary form with the bat in the ongoing five-match Test series. He scored 564 runs in four Tests at an average of 94, including three hundred and one fifty. Overall he has scored six centuries this year.
Root got the reward of his consistent performance in the series against India, reaching No. 1 position in the ICC Test batting rankings, displacing New Zealand’s captain Kane Williamson from the top position.
Root began the year ranked ninth in the ICC?ranking with a rating of 738, having failed to score a single century in 2020.
Root, 30, is the only batsman to score more than 800 runs this year. He has scored 1455 till the fourth Test.
How the England skipper is bearing the burden of England’s batting can be judged from the fact that Ben Stokes is England’s next best batsman in the ICC ranking on No. 16. Opener Rory Burns is on 24th position.
Root is rated one of the top four batsmen of the world with New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, Indian captain Virat Kohli and Steve Smith of Australia.
In his 109 Tests, Root has scored 9,278 runs at an average of 50.15 with 23 centuries and 50 half-centuries.
Root got the attraction of selectors by receiving Man-of-the-Series award for England Under-19 against Bangladesh Under-19 in 2010. Realising Root’s talent, Yorkshire offered him a three-year professional contract in 2011. In the first year, Root proved his skills by scoring unbeaten 222 in the County Championship encounter against Hampshire.
With his consistent performance he was selected for the India tour. Root made his Test debut against India in Nagpur in December 2012. In his first Test he proved his selection right with 73 and 20 not out.
India’s spin brigade of Ravi Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla and Pragyan Ojha had restricted England to 139-5 in the first innings. At this point Root scored 73 runs in 289 minutes - the sixth longest innings by an English batsman on debut. He took his team to 330.
He scored his first century against New Zealand at Leeds in May 2013. His career-best 254 came against Pakistan in Manchester in 2016.
Root also holds the record of highest tenth wicket partnership of 198 runs in Test cricket at Trent Bridge in 2014. Root scored unbeaten 154 while Anderson was out on 81 runs.
They surpassed the previous record of 163 set by Australia’s Ashton Agar and Phil Hughes in the 2013 Ashes series in England, also at Trent Bridge.
In the limited overs game, too, Root has an outstanding record. In his 152 ODIs, he has scored 5109 at 51.33 with 16 centuries and 35 fifties with a strike rate of 86.84.
He was the youngest player in the 15-member squad of England announced for the 2015 World Cup. Root was one of the only two English batsmen who scored more than 200 runs in the mega event.