England captain Joe Root went past greats like Ricky Ponting, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar to become only the fourth cricketer in the history of the game to notch up 1600 Test runs in a calendar year. Root achieved the feat on Day 3 of the second Ashes Test against Australia in Adelaide on Saturday. Root is also the first player in more than 13 years to score more than 1600 runs in a calendar year since South Africa’s Graeme Smith in 2008. Root, who missed out on a maiden Test century on Australian soil, currently has 1606 runs this year in just 14 Tests at an average of 64.24. He has scored six centuries this year with a best of 228 to his name.
Root, who had missed three figures in the first Test Brisbane – he got out for 89 – looked in good nick at the day-night second Test in Adelaide before he edged Cameron Green to Steve Smith at slip to fall for 62.
Root nevertheless wrote another chapter to his incredible season, joining an elite few to make 1,600 Test runs in a calendar year.
Only Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 runs in 2006), West Indian legend Viv Richards (1,710 runs in 1976) and former South African captain Graeme Smith (1,656 in 2008) have made more.
With the Boxing Day Test and another innings in this Adelaide Test to go, Root could dream of breaking Yousuf’s all-time tally.
The Yorkshireman admitted before leaving for Australia that he had been “desperate” to succeed in a country where he had managed a mere 570 runs, without a hundred, at an average of 38, ahead of the current tour.
“I think I probably wanted it too much, I was too desperate, and it probably had a negative impact on the way I played, I put too much pressure on myself,” he said.
Root’s milestone-making however, had little impact on England’s fortunes. The visitors failed to make a comeback in the pink ball Test on Day 3 as Australia looked set to go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
After bowling England out for 236, Australia reached 45/1 at stumps on Saturday, enjoying a healthy lead of 282 runs.
Australia had beaten England comprehensively in the first Test.
(With AFP inputs)
Topics mentioned in this article