New Delhi: England’s Joe Root has had a phenomenal year with the bat. On Tuesday he scored 73 runs to help England build a decisive lead over South Africa in the first Test in Durban and take a firm grip on the last Test match of the year.
On a run-scoring spree, Root has created many records this year. His 73-run knock helped him equal Virender Sehwag’s record of 13 scores of 50 or more in a calendar year. In 2015, former India opener Sehwag toppled the legendary West Indian maestro Vivian Richards record of 12 half-centuries. Sehwag did it in 14 Test matches and Root also took 14 Tests to hit 13 half-centuries. Sehwag, however, hit five centuries while Root has only three tons.
With this half-century, Root’s tally in 2015 reached 1385 runs which he scored at an average of 60.21. He has overtaken his captain Alastair Cook as England’s top-scorer this year. Cook has 1364 runs from 26 innings of 14 matches scored at an average of 54.56 with the help of three centuries and eight half-centuries. Among England batsmen, only Michael Vaughan (1481 runs, 2002) and Dennis Amiss (1379, 1974) have scored more runs in a year.
Root has also become the second-highest run-scorer in Tests in 2015. Australia captain Steven Smith with 1481 runs is the highest scorer.
Root is third in the list of batsmen with most international runs this year. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson tops the list with 2633 runs.
Root, however, became England’s highest run-scorer in international cricket in a calendar year. With 2228 runs in international cricket in 2015, he has beaten Kevin Pietersen's 2120 runs in 2006. Root's 1352 Test runs in 2015 batting at No. 4 or lower are also the highest by an England batsman in a year batting outside the top 3. He went past Kevin Pietersen's tally of 1343 runs in 2006.