With 28 Test Tons, Joe Root Goes Miles Ahead of Other Batters in ‘Fab 4’

Joe Root may not have succeeded as a great Test captain for England but as a batsman, he has been inching towards being a legend of the game in the past year. Only a week ago, he equalled Virat Kohli’s tally of 27 Test tons; the most among all the active cricketers. And now, he stands atop with a total of 28 centuries on the longest format of the game.

Edgbaston turned out to be the venue where Root edged past Kohli, and that too, right in front of him. The final day of the rescheduled 5th Test saw the dominance of the former England captain who also features among the ‘Fabulous 4’. He scored an unbeaten 142 to hand his team to a series-levelling 7-wicket win.

‘Fab 4’ – a term coined by cricket pundits that refers to a group of 4 modern-era players who are the flag bearers of Test cricket. It comprises Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, and of course, Joe Root. A couple of years ago, when runs were flowing in for all of them, it was difficult to pick the best out of them. But now, it’s evident that Root leads the race and has gone miles ahead.

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Root on Tuesday scored the fifth Test hundred this year, the most by a batter in 2022. He got to his record-breaking century off just 136 balls in the run-chase. Interestingly, where Smith and Williamson have notched a century each since 2021, Root has smashed 11 to leave all of them far behind. Among these four, Kohli seems to be the unluckiest as it’s been two years since he got an international hundred.

Let’s have a look at the number of hundreds of these batters at the start of 2021 and in the current year:

At the start of 2021:

Player Name No. of Test Tons
Virat Kohli 27
Kane Williamson 23
Steve Smith 26
Joe Root 17

As of July 2022:

Player Name No. of Test Tons
Virat Kohli 27
Kane Williamson 24
Steve Smith 27
Joe Root 28

Root is on the cusp of becoming the greatest England batter. Earlier this year, Root became the first active English cricketer to score 10,000 Test runs. He is only the second Englishman to get past the 10,000-run mark after Alastair Cook (12,474 runs). After the Edgbaston heroics, he now holds  9 Test tons against India. In 2021, he surpassed Alastair Cook’s tally of most Test centuries against India.

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