Joe Root has been named ICC men’s Test player of the year for 2021

Test cricket
Joe Root England West Indies

England captain Joe Root has been named men’s Test cricketer of the year by the International Cricket Council.

Despite a testing year for the national side the Yorkshireman scored 1,708 runs in 2021, the third-highest total on record in a calendar year.

Only Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies great Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have scored more.

The magnitude of Joe Root’s sublime form in the year 2021 can be summed up by one simple stat – he has become only the third player in history to aggregate over 1700 runs in Test cricket in a calendar year. Only Mohammad Yousuf and Sir Vivian Richards stand ahead of him.

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Be it Asia or conditions back at home and against a range of bowling, Root has almost conquered all with some sublime innings. His knocks in Galle against Sri Lanka, and against India in both Chennai and Lord’s are some of the finest witnessed in the modern era, and will be spoken of highly for a long, long time. He hasn’t been shabby with the ball as well, chipping in with a handy 14 wickets, including a five-for in Ahmedabad.

Root registered two double centuries and a further four hundreds, including three in successive Tests against India during the summer, and averaged 61. He also chipped in 14 wickets at an average of 30.50 with his part-time off-spin.

Root’s 218 in the first Test of the four-match series against India in Chennai was a masterclass in batting. He swatted away a quality bowling attack, both pace and spin, with utter ease. This continued his form from the series in Sri Lanka, where he was again in sensational touch.

Batting for 377 deliveries, the Indian bowling had no answers to the Root conundrum, as he set up a 227-run victory for the visitors. This was also a sign of things to come for the remainder of the year, as the England skipper played knock after knock of the highest calibre, irrespective of the opposition.

“I am incredibly proud to receive this award,” said the 31-year-old, only the second Englishman to win the award after Sir Alastair Cook in 2011.

“I am very humbled to be in the same breath as a number of wonderful players around the world and it means a huge amount to have got this award.

“If there was one hundred that really sticks out it would probably be in Chennai (he scored 218 in February) against India. With it being my 100th game it is something that will live long in the memory.”