England captain Joe Root fell 81 runs short of owning the world record for the most Test runs scored in a calendar year. His dismissal for 28 in Melbourne, where England were shot down for 68, proved to be his last Test innings of 2021. With 1708 runs, the Yorkshire batsman takes the third spot with only Viv Richards (1710) and Mohammad Yousuf (1788) ahead of him. Here’s when and where Root accumulated this tally.
426 runs in 2 Tests vs Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka
Root had a blockbuster start to the year in Galle. After skittling Sri Lanka for 135, England were in a spot of bother at 17/2. The captain took complete control and his marvellous 228 guided his side to a seven-wicket win.
In the following Test, Root piled up 186 in an innings where the 2nd-highest score was 55. He then snared two wickets with his innocuous off-spin as Sri Lanka were cleaned up for 126. England won the Test by six wickets and also pocketed an overseas Test series.
368 runs in 4 Tests vs India in India
England then faced possibly the strongest home Test side of all time as they travelled northwards to India. Root shined brightly in the first innings of the tour. His 218 in Chennai helped England take down the mighty Indians in their own den.
However, the Chennai ton turned out to be Root’s only 50-plus score on the tour. He and his teammates were bewitched by the spin wizardry of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. The visitors endured heavy defeats as India claimed the series 3-1.
97 runs in 2 Tests vs New Zealand in England
The homecoming did not prove fruitful for Root. He squandered two good starts in the first Test (42 and 40). He was ineffective in the Edgbaston defeat where he could only gather 15 runs in two innings.
564 runs in 4 Tests vs India in England
64 runs in the team’s total of 183 and 109 runs from the team’s total of 303 was how Root began the series in Nottingham. At Lord’s, his unbeaten 180 saw England take a slender 27-run lead. He stuck his neck out with an innings of 33 while England capitulated for 120 all out in their second innings.
Continuing the trend, Root once against top-scored for his side in their only innings at Headingley. His 121 came in a winning cause as England equalised the series. The law of averages caught up with the English captain as he fell for 21 and 36 in the defeat at The Oval.
253 runs in 3 Tests vs Australia in Australia
The Ashes was Root’s final assignment of 2021. While his team succumbed to embarrassing lows, the captain worked hard to reduce the margin of defeats. He top-scored for England in three out of these six innings. Root finished the year with a score of 28 in England’s team total of 68.
Root closed 2021 with 1708 runs in 15 Tests and batted in a total of 29 innings. He averaged 61 this year and struck six hundreds and four fifties. He is third on the all-time list for most runs in a calendar year while it is the highest by an Englishman.