Joe Root

England's Test captain is the rock at the heart of his country's 50-over batting order. Though not blessed with the natural range-hitting ability of many of his team-mates, the Yorkshireman has a remarkable knack of accumulating runs at a rapid rate


Born: December 30, 1990

Role: Right-hand bat, right-arm off-spin

Undoubtedly established as one of the “Big Four” in the modern game, the cherubic face and slight frame of Joe Root has proved to be the cornerstone of England’s batting despite its upheaval throughout recent times.

Root’s first steps in the professional game saw him establish himself as a reliable batsman for Yorkshire, and having broken into the County Championship side in 2011, he confirmed his meteoric rise with an undefeated 222 against Hampshire in 2012.

County-level consistency earned him a place in England’s historic series in India that year, and his resilience and determination at the crease was evident from the off as he made a 229-ball 73 on debut in Nagpur with England reeling at 139 for 5.

The Yorkshire batsman, who had been compared with Geoffrey Boycott and Michael Vaughan, confirmed his arrival in international cricket with a maiden Test hundred on his home ground against New Zealand in 2013, and having been promoted to open in the series, a maiden Ashes hundred at Lord’s.

Root, whose brother Billy plays for Glamorgan, looked to be set for an extended run as opener before a combination of poor form, and constant changing of position in the batting order saw him eventually dropped for the fifth Test against Australia in Sydney in 2013-14.

However, an outstanding response in 2014 followed, with several hundreds against Sri Lanka and India as well as leading Yorkshire to the County Championship title at Trent Bridge.

And while 2015 saw an intense battle between Root and Steve Smith for the No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings in a year in which the former scored 1385 Test runs, a conversion problem began to emerge later that year, particularly in the UAE against Pakistan, as he failed to convert entertaining 70s and 80s into big hundreds.

However, to concentrate on those failures would be to thoroughly undermine the scintillating form he demonstrated 2015-17, setting records in the first two years of that period for runs accumulated across all formats in a calendar year with 2,228 and 2,570 respectively, while in 2017 he fell just five runs short of surpassing Vaughan’s 1,481 calendar runs in Tests in 2002.

That period also saw Root become Test captain after Alastair Cook stepped down following the tour of India, and while fears over his workload and the consequential effect on his batting have been vindicated at times, his maturity and steadiness at the crease has only gone upwards since then.

As influential on the ODI scene as he is the Test, Root’s shrewd judgement and crisp strokeplay has enabled him to bat with purpose as others around him flex their muscles with power hitting and which in 2018 saw him surpass Marcus Trescothick’s record of 12 ODI hundreds.

And while leading England in an Ashes series later this summer will be in the back of his mind, there can be no better preparation than experiencing World Cup glory on home soil first.


Moeen Ali

Jonny Bairstow

Jos Buttler

Tom Curran

Joe Denly

Eoin Morgan

Liam Plunkett

Adil Rashid

Joe Root

Jason Roy

Ben Stokes

David Willey

Chris Woakes

Mark Wood



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