3rd Ashes Test: Joe Root surpasses Graeme Smith's record of Test runs in a calendar year

The England captain with 1680 runs moved ahead of Smith, who had scored 1656 runs as the captain of the Proteas in 2008.

England Test team captain Joe Root; Credit: Twitter/@root66

England captain Joe Root scripted yet another Test record as he surpassed former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith’s record of scoring most runs as a captain in a calendar year, during Day 1 of the ongoing third Ashes Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, here on Sunday. Root with 1680 runs moved ahead of Smith, who had scored 1656 runs as the captain of the Proteas in 2008. Root’s tally is also the third-highest by a player in a calendar year behind Pakistan’s Mohammad Yusuf (1778 runs in 2006) and former West Indies skipper Sir Vivian Richards (1710 runs in 1976). 

The 30-year-old scored 50 off 82 deliveries that included 4 boundaries before Mitchell Starc got him caught behind. Root wasn’t happy with the way he got out as he needlessly hung the bat to a ball that was moving away. The skipper was frustrated by the dismissal as his team desperately needed him to make a big score.

Yet again, England’s batting failed to impress in the series as they were dismissed for a paltry 185 in the first innings. Root was their top scorer while Jonny Bairstow was the second best with 35.

Pat Cummins cleans up English to order

Australia captain Pat Cummins took the first three wickets in the first session to put the hosts on the driver’s seat. Starc picked up two while Cameroon Green and debutant Scott Boland took one wicket each to clean up the English batting line up.

In response Australia scored 61 runs for the loss of just one wicket at the end of Day 1. James Anderson picked up the crucial wicket of David Warner (38) while opener Marcus Harris (20) remained unbeaten with night watchman Nathan Lyon (0).

After defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, England trail the best-of-five series 2-0 and must win the Boxing Day Test to keep the Ashes alive.

Sportslumo Desk

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