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Ashes: Golden year continues for Joe Root but England know there is work to be done

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Ashes: Golden year continues for Joe Root but England know there is work to be done

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Root’s 2021 gold entered the record books once again, as he surpassed mentor Michael Vaughan’s total of 1,481 points in 2002 to score the most points by an England hitter in a calendar year .

When Root turned 27 at Gabba this morning, he broke Vaughan’s record 19 years ago. By strains, he had 86 and became the first Englishman to score 1,500 points in a year.

Only seven batters from any nation have scored more than that in a calendar year, and the England skipper has five innings (including his current unbeaten) to continue to climb the list. In a who’s who of big hitters that include Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar, the leader is Mohammad Yousuf of Pakistan, who scored 1,788 points in 2006.

Root is a little off his highest score in Australia and will be desperate to make his first century in the country, and seventh of the year (which would also be an England record; Vaughan made six in 2002). He said he saw this as a career-defining tour, having struggled on two previous trips to Australia.

He ducked in the opening innings of that game, but led England’s retaliation to an unbroken stand of 159 with Dawid Malan.

“Joe Root is obviously talking about himself, what he’s done in his career,” said Malan. “Fighting with him is great. It relieves you from the pressure. He’s still looking to score, he seems to find a way to put the pressure back on the bowlers.

“And his method works wherever he plays. For him to continue in the form he had during our summer and early winter in England has been fantastic and it is a great sign for us as a team that Joe is playing so well and leading forward. .

Malan was thrilled with his own heats, which had echoes of his performance in Australia four years ago. He has performed well since returning to the team this summer.

“I see trial cricket as the pinnacle,” he said. “I thought I would never play another test again. I actually told Rooty when we were in our 40’s or 50’s – we both had similar scores – and the Barmy Army was singing and said, “I really missed that”.

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“I missed having someone trying to blow my head off all the time; the crowd goes and your adrenaline goes and plays against the best bowlers around. Trial cricket is the pinnacle. Being able to stand out here in an English shirt is, you know, so proud to do it. Especially to do it here at Gabba in front of everyone. It’s a lot of fun. It really is a lot of fun.

Malan said England knew they still had huge amounts of work to do, still running a deficit of 58 with eight wickets in hand. They were eliminated for 147 on Wednesday.

“We spoke this morning and made sure to go out to express ourselves,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is sit ducks and go out and not score.

“The only thing we have to learn is that I think we learned that in the last series, as soon as we think too far ahead, you open the door for them and they’re so brilliant at shutting that door for us. , I think the first hour is really important for us tomorrow, and then we can start thinking about how we can play. But we need another good 100-run partnership to get a good score on the board and who knows what can happen? ”

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