Even when the England cricket team was blown away by the Australian fast bowlers on the third day of the Boxing Day test match at MCG, it was the England captain Joe Root again who was the top scorer of the side and was the only batsman who looked somewhat comfortable against the Aussie attack, when the others were falling around him.
Joe Root’s top score for England on the third day at MCG was the 50th occasion in his career where he scored most runs for England in a test innings. Root is miles ahead of all the active players in terms of top-scoring for the team in test cricket. The second on the list is the Indian captain Virat Kohli who has top scored for India 39 times in his test career so far.
The fact that Joe Root has ended up as the top scorer for England so many times in test match cricket is enough to understand the gulf that currently exists between him and the other England batsmen. While he looks class apart in all conditions, the other England batsmen have simply been abysmal.
No England batsman scored one third of total runs that Joe Root scored in 2021
2021 was an incredibly successful year for Joe Root as a test batsman, as he became only the third batsman in the test match history to score more than 1700 runs in a calendar year, but it was a forgettable year for England as a test team, as they didn’t just suffer losses overseas, they got beaten at home too, by New Zealand and India.
No other England batsman scored even one third of the total number of runs that Root scored for England in test cricket this year. The second leading run scorer for England was Rory Burns who scored 530 runs in 10 test matches, while Jonny Bairstow finished third in the list with 391 runs in 9 tests.
Going ahead in this Ashes series which still has two games to go at SCG and Hobart, if the other England batsmen don’t step up to the plate and offer some support to Root with the bat, a 5-0 whitewash might be on the cards for England.
England had suffered a 5-0 whitewash in the Ashes in Australia in 2013-14 as well, however they had managed a draw at MCG during the 2017-18 Ashes and had lost by 4-0. They would want a win or a draw in the next two matches to avoid a whitewash again.