Nottingham: Joe Root, the batter, has added another cap to his illustrious cricketing career, with the 31-year-old former England captain becoming the first player to score more than 3,000 runs in World Test Championship history.
Thanks to Root’s unbeaten 163, embellished with 25 boundaries, and Ollie Pope’s 145, England gave a befitting reply to New Zealand’s first-innings total of 553, reaching 473/5 at stumps on Day 3 on Sunday. The hosts, who won the opening Test at Lord’s, are only 80 runs adrift of the visitors’ first innings total.
Root brought up his 27th Test century with the splendid unbeaten knock. The 31-year-old has 10 World Test Championship tons to his name and nearly 1,000 more WTC runs than his closest challenger in Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne — 2,180 runs –, according to ICC.
Root’s most recent knock saw him draw level on the same number of centuries as Australia great Steve Smith and India stalwart Virat Kohli, while the right-hander is one of only two England players to have scored more than 10,000 Test runs in total.
The reigning ICC Test Player of the Year has also jumped into second place on the Test batter rankings, with Labuschagne the only player ranked in front of him.
It has led to Root receiving praise from fellow team-mates, with fellow centurion Pope describing the former skipper as the best English player of all time.
“We’re seeing England’s greatest ever,” Pope told BBC Sport. “Watching him do what he’s doing at the moment, it’s amazing. A joy to be a part of.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan agreed with Pope. “We’re witnessing something special. I’ve known Joe for years and I really do believe he’s England’s greatest player,” Vaughan said. “He’s such a joy to watch and he makes batting look so easy.
“It’s just that drive and determination. You’ve got to have an incredible appetite to just keep on scoring centuries.”
Player and WTC runs (2019-2022)
Joe Root (England) — 3,124
Marnus Labuschagne (Australia) — 2,180
Ben Stokes (England) — 1,865
Steve Smith (Australia) — 1,811
Babar Azam (Pakistan) — 1,614