English Captain Joe Root missed the boat by few leaps

Published: 10:10 PM, 1 Jan, 2022
English Captain Joe Root missed the boat by few leaps
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Australia didn’t have to wait till the last match to decide the fate of Ashes. They ensured the title by defeating the English side in the first three encounters of the five-match series. Aussie spectators are, definitely, very happy with this convincing performance of their team. There must be another person who would have taken the sigh of relief at the results of the first three matches of the Ashes. This person is none other than Cricket legend Muhammad Yousuf, whose record of most Test runs in a calendar year was in danger by the consistent performance of Joe Root. English Captain finished the Calendar Year 2021 with 1708 runs in 15 Test matches. He fell short of 80 runs to break the 15 years old record set by great Yousuf who was phenomenal throughout the year 2006.  

Yousuf took 19 innings of the 11 Test matches he played in the calendar year 2006 to score 1788 runs. He achieved this milestone with a very handsome average of 99.33 runs per innings. His consistent form throughout the calendar year earned him nine centuries which is also a world record. Yousuf had broken the record of Sir Vivian Richards who scored 1710 runs in the calendar year 1976. Richards also used 19 innings of the 11 Test matches he played to reach this mammoth milestone, which remained a world record for 20 years. He scored seven centuries and five fifties in a yearlong campaign.

For his 1708 runs, Root had the opportunity to bat in 29 innings of 15 Test matches. He scored with a handsome average of 61 runs per innings. He scored six centuries which included two double centuries. He also scored four fifties and once he was out without scoring. Out of the 15 Test matches, nine were played in the away series and six at home. In the calendar year 2021, Root played eight matches against India, two against Sri Lanka, two against New Zealand, and three against Australia.

Root started the year with a bang in the away series against Sri Lanka. He scored a double century in the first innings of the Test played at Galle. This was the start he was looking for and he never looked back. In the first innings of the second Test, he was able to cross the magical figure of 100 and managed to get 186 runs. Start against the Indian Test series was also phenomenal. He made the impression by scoring a double century in the first innings of the first Test in Chennai. After this double century, he looked a little off-colour. Next seven innings against India and four against New Zealand went without crossing the figure of 50.

He then had to wait for a home series against India to regain his form. He started the series with a 64 runs innings and after that, every innings was a treat to watch. He scored 109 runs in the second innings of the first Test of the series played at Nottingham. He started the next Test from where he left the first match. He was able to score 180 runs in the first innings and was able to remain not out. In Leeds, he started the match with a blistering century and scored 121 runs.

At the end of the series against India, Root needed 332 runs in the first three Tests against Australia. He started the series with a zero in the first innings of the Brisbane Test. However, by scoring 89 runs in the second innings, he kept the hopes alive for breaking the 15 years old record of Yousuf. In the second Test, his performance was not very good and he only managed to get 62 and 24. In the last Test, he needed 157 runs to break Yousuf’s record but luck once again did not favour him. He scored 50 and 28 runs in the two innings of the Melbourne Test and fell short of 79 runs to cross the unique milestone in Test cricket.

Root averages 49.90 runs per innings in his Test career of 112 matches. He had to score 332 runs with an average of 55.33 runs to cross the milestone but he only managed to get 253 runs with an average of 42.16. Record books say that player once misses the boat he never gets another chance to board it.

Categories : Opinion
Khurram Kaleem

The writer is a senior journalist and currently working as Director Programming Channel 24NEWS