Root betters Bradman on day one of Oval Ashes Test

Joe Root Headingley England Australia Ashes PA

Joe Root did what Don Bradman famously could not and scored his 7000th Test run during an Ashes Test at The Oval.

While the Don’s infamous second-ball duck in 1948 condemned him to a Test tally of 6996 at 99.94 apiece there were no such problems for England’s captain as he eased a drive to the point fence to reach the landmark. Okay, he had been comically dropped not once, not twice but thrice by Australia before reaching the 35 runs he needed to reach the landmark, but never mind.

Root got his chance after Tim Paine generously opted to bowl first on a sunny day and what appears to be a belting pitch in south London. He is the 12th Englishman and 49th in all to reach 7000 runs in Tests and nobody has done it in a shorter period of time with Root getting their inside seven years since his debut thanks to the mad number of Tests England play.

He is also the third youngest player to reach the 7000-run mark, behind only Sir Alastair Cook and Sachin Tendulkar. Root is playing his 86th Test match. Steve Smith, who is 130 or more accurately one innings away from the landmark himself, is playing only his 68th. Madness.

If/when Smith gets there later in the game, Bradman will drop to 50th in the all-time Test run-scorer list. Either way he’ll be out of the top 50 before long with Ross Taylor (6839) and Virat Kohli (6749) very much in striking distance. David Warner (6442) will probably get there as well once he gets back on his beloved home pitches this winter.

Jonny Bairstow also reached a landmark on day one at The Oval, going past 4000 Test runs.