England captain Joe Root, on Saturday, completed his 22nd Test century, at Lord’s, while batting against India. With this knock, he overtook former captain and opener Andrew Strauss in the list of most Test hundreds by English batters.
The Yorkshireman now sits alongside Ian Bell, Geoffrey Boycott, Colin Cowdrey and Walter Hammond at third place. Ahead of them are swashbuckling batsman Kevin Pietersen (23) and former captain and opener Alastair Cook with 33 Test tons.
He is already England’s leading run-scorer in all international cricket, and second-leading in Test cricket having recently gone past Graham Gooch. The 30-year-old is likely to go past Cook as well – the difference between them is now less than 3500 runs – to become England’s greatest – statically at least – batsmen.
Joe Root once again carries England:
Joe Root once again is leading England into parity. On Day 2, after the England bowlers, riding on James Anderson’s 5-fer, managed to halt India for 364, England found themselves in a precarious position once again at 108/3.
The skipper got an able partner in Jonny Bairstow and both took them at stumps further unscathed. Root and Bairstow were brilliant on the third day as well – both of them batted the entire first session, before Bairstow fell to a short ball after Tea, an over before the new ball was to be introduced.
When it was, Ishant Sharma dismissed the struggling Jos Buttler fizzing past his defences to hit the off-stump.
Joe Root, however, on the other end, continued his love affair with the Indian bowlers, against whom he now has struck 7 Test hundreds of his 22. He now averages close to 60 versus India in 22 Tests, and his overall average is also inching towards 50.
On an individual level, the year 2021 has been fantastic for the England captain. He swept and swept his way to 426 runs in 2 Tests in Sri Lanka leading England to a 2-0 victory, and continued his supreme form in the first Chennai Test against India with another double hundred – in his 100th Test.
However, his own form dipped – from double hundreds and hundreds, to say – and so did the winning ways of his side. England lost the next three Tests in India, before losing 1-0 at home in a 2-Test series to New Zealand – their first series loss at home in seven years.
Then came India again, Joe Root returned to his best. In absence of Ben Stokes, he carried his side’s batting in Nottingham with a fifty and then in the second innings what perhaps was his best home century. He has done the same job so far at Lord’s too.