- England captain Joe Root failed to break Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf’s race record in the calendar year.
- Roots’ dismissal on day three of the third Ashes Test in Melbourne for 28 left him with 1,708 runs for the year.
- Root is 61 runs behind Mohammad Yousuf’s record of 1,788 in 200.
MELBOURNE: English captain Joe Root failed to break Pakistani Mohammad Yousuf’s race record in the calendar year, finishing 2021 with the third most test races in history.
His dismissal on day three of the third Test in Melbourne for 28 gave him 1,708 races for the year, averaging 61.00, behind only Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indian legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976).
More questions will be asked of his leadership after England were beaten well again by Australia, but Root have been in brilliant form with the bat this year.
He moved past people like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar to get 1,600 races at the second Test in Adelaide, and then he edged South Africa’s Graeme Smith (1,656 in 2008) in Melbourne.
Root, however, had far more laps to compile his total – 29 to 19 by both Yousuf and Richards.
“I obviously feel like I’m playing really well at the moment, but I obviously wanted to swap it all out with wins in Test matches,” he said after England’s innings and 14 races in Melbourne.
“Every player will tell you that there is no better feeling in cricket than winning a test match.”
“It’s great that I feel my game is improving and still evolving as a player, even after playing quite a lot of cricket, and I’m desperate to keep doing that,” he added.
But the 30-year-old Yorkshireman is still looking for the first Ashes hundred in Australia. He has two more tests to do so.
“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 prior to the tour about its will to succeed in Australia.
The extent to which England have relied on Root this year shows the figures.
Second in the rankings is the reviled opener Rory Burns, who scored 530 this year at 27.89, then Jonny Bairstow with 391 at 24.43.