England Batsmen Joe Root scored 1,708 runs in 15 matches in 2021, the third-highest number of Test runs scored in a calendar year. Joe Root has been named the ‘Leading Cricketer in the World’ in the latest edition of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
Joe Root has stepped down as England captain, saying the decision was the most challenging one of his career. Joe Root has stepped down as England Test captain. The 31-year-old, who succeeded Sir Alastair Cook as captain in 2017, ends his tenure with the most matches (64) and wins (27) as an England men’s Test skipper.
His stellar form came despite England winning only four Tests last year, with Root stepping down from the captaincy on Friday.
England seam bowler Ollie Robinson was named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year. Along with him, India’s fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and opener Rohit Sharma, New Zealand batter Devon Conway and South Africa women’s captain Dane van Niekerk and Robinson on the 2021 list.
South Africa opener Lizelle Lee (30) was named the leading women’s cricketer in the world. Across 11 one-day internationals in 2021, Lizelle Lee scored more runs (632) at a higher average (90.28) than any other batter in the women’s cricket game.
A player can only be named as one of the Cricketers of the Year once in their career and is based on achievements during the English summer – whereas the leading cricketer in the world award given to Joe Root is for worldwide performances.
Root is the third Englishman to win the leading cricketer in the world award since its inception in 2004, following all-rounders Andrew Flintoff (2005) and Ben Stokes, who won the two previous editions. He scored a century in all four of England’s Test wins last year, hitting six hundreds in total, including two double tons.
Yorkshire’s Root had an average of 61 throughout 2021 and only Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (1,788) and West Indies’ Viv Richards (1,710) have scored more Test runs in a calendar year.
England’s second-highest Test run-scorer of all time – after his predecessor as captain Alastair Cook – Root has overseen the most wins (27) but also the most defeats (26) as Test captain.
Wisden editor Lawrence Booth says that, “Root rose above the struggles of England’s Test side to produce one of the all-time great performances in a calendar year”.
Conway hit a double century on his Test debut against England in June, before making a crucial 80 in the second Test as New Zealand secured their first series win in England since 1999.
Jasprit Bumrah took 18 wickets in four Tests for India against England last summer and was instrumental in his side taking a 2-1 series lead. The rescheduled fifth Test, which was postponed after India withdrew over Covid-19 concerns in September, will take place on 1-5 July. Team-mate Rohit hit 368 runs in those four Tests, including a vital 127 in his side’s fourth-Test victory at The Oval.
Van Niekerk captained Oval Invincibles to victory in the inaugural Hundred tournament and was the leading run-scorer and most valuable player in the women’s competition.
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan was named the leading Twenty20 cricketer in the world. The 29-year-old broke the record for the most runs scored in a calendar year across all T20 matches (2,036) and in T20 internationals (1,326) in 2021.