Joe Root: England captain hits top spot in ICC Test batting rankings

He has scored six centuries since the turn of the year including three in the current series with India

Rory Dollard
Wednesday 01 September 2021 09:47
England captain Joe Root is top of the ICC’s Test batting rankings
England captain Joe Root is top of the ICC’s Test batting rankings

England captain Joe Root is the new number one Test batsman in the world after returning to top spot in the International Cricket Council rankings for the first time in six years.

Root previously held the number one spot back in 2015 but had drifted to ninth at the start of 2021.

Since then he has been in masterful form, scoring 1,398 runs in 11 matches at a lofty average of 69.90. There have been six centuries since the turn of the year, including three in as many matches in the ongoing series against India

The 30-year-old has hit scores of 109, 180 not out and 121 in the past month, during which he has soared past opposite number Virat Kohli, Australia duo Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

Root has reached 916 ranking points, just one behind his 2015 peak and 15 clear of Williamson. The run-scoring burden that sits on Root’s shoulders is exemplified by the fact Ben Stokes, currently on an indefinite hiatus, is England’s next batsman on the list at number 16. Of those currently in the team, Rory Burns follows at 24.

Among the bowlers former world number one James Anderson is England’s leading name, back up to number five in a list led by Australian Pat Cummins, while Ollie Robinson’s player of the match performance at Headingley sees him jump up to 36th place after only four Tests.

For the first time in almost four years, Kohli is not his side’s top-rated batsman. After just one half-century in seven innings since arriving in England, he has been usurped by opener Rohit Sharma at number five.