Sheffield's Joe Root makes England cricket history on otherwise disappointing day against India

Sheffield’s Joe Root made England cricket history on an otherwise disappointing day for his side as their Test series against India began at Trent Bridge.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 7:04 pm
England's captain Joe Root raises his bat after being dismissed against India (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Root, who is based in Dore and grew up playing cricket at nearby Sheffield Collegiate CC, became England’s leading international run-scorer on day one, eclipsing Sir Alastair Cook’s record of 15,737.

The Test skipper brought up the milestone in typically-elegant fashion, with a square drive for four, and he was the standout player on an otherwise disastrous day, top scoring with a classy 64 in England’s first innings score of 183 all out. Jonny Bairstow, Root’s Yorkshire teammate, was the next top scorer with 29.

On the eve of the series, which can also see him eclipse another former Collegiate man Michael Vaughan’s record of 26 Test wins as captain with one more victory, Root insisted that the success of the team means more to him than any personal milestones.

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But this was another example of his importance to a Test team badly lacking in red-ball cricket form.

Root still has some way to eclipse Cook’s record of 12,472 Test runs, with 8,778 to his name, but his far superior record in one-day internationals and Twenty20 games means no-one has scored more runs in an England shirt in the history of cricket.

But time is on his side if he harbours private ambitions of overtaking Cook’s record in the longest format of the game, too. Root doesn’t turn 31 years of age until December, and this is the 106th Test match of his career. Cook, Root’s predecessor as England captain, retired after playing 161.

Root’s hopes of going on to make a century on the first day of the series were dashed when he was trapped lbw by Indian bowler Shardul Thakur, who felt that the wickets of Yorkshire pair Root and Bairstow were key in putting his side on top.

"Getting him - or Joe Root - was crucial in that period and we got him. Then the wickets started falling down,” Thakur said.

On Root, Thakur said: “He is one of the top players in the world so, whether you get him out in the 60s or early in the innings, it is always a good wicket to have."