The batter, Joe Root, has added another cap to his illustrious cricketing career, becoming the 31-year-old former England captain to score more than 3,000 runs in World Test Championship history.
England responded appropriately to New Zealand’s first-innings total of 553, reaching 473/5 at stumps on Day 3 on Sunday, thanks to Root’s unbeaten 163 and Ollie Pope’s 145. The hosts, who won the first Test at Lord’s, trail the visitors’ first innings total by only 80 runs.
Root’s unbeaten innings brought him to his 27th Test century. According to the ICC, the 31-year-old has 10 World Test Championship tonnes and nearly 1,000 more WTC runs than his closest challenger, Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne (2,180 runs).
Root’s most recent century brought him level with Australia’s Steve Smith and India’s Virat Kohli in terms of centuries, and 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 risen to second place in the Test batter rankings, with only Labuschagne ahead of him.
It has earned Root praise from his teammates, with fellow centurion Pope describing the former captain as the greatest 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
(Inputs from IANS)