Joe Root has endured a torrid time in the 2019 Ashes contest. England squandered the opportunity to retain the Urn after losing the fourth Test against Australia at Old Trafford and Root has faced some tough questions regarding his credentials as captain. Heading into the final Test at The Oval, England still have plenty at stake as they look to draw the series and ensure their unbeaten run against Australia is extended by another four years. Australia chose to bowl at The Oval and Mitchell Marsh was the star with four wickets as England ended the day on 271/8.
England's total owed much to Jos Buttler and Root's attacking fifties. While Buttler notched up his maiden fifty in the current series, Root notched up his 45th fifty and during the course of his knock, he entered an elite list of England players. Root became the 12th England player to go past 7000 runs in Tests with Sir Alastair Cook leading the overall runs tally with 12472 runs in 161 Tests.
Apart from Cook, no other England player has even crossed 10000 runs. Graham Gooch was the leading run-getter before Cook with 8900 runs followed by Alec Stewart with 8463 runs. David Gower ended with a tally of 8231 runs while Kevin Pietersen, known for his flamboyant batting, smashed 8181 runs in his 104 Tests. Geoffrey Boycott, who will also be knighted, was the first England player to go past 8000 runs with 8114 runs.
Michael Atherton, Ian Bell, Colin Cowdrey, Wally Hammond and Andrew Strauss are the other players to have gone past 7000 runs in Tests. Root has endured a tough time in the last two Ashes contests. In the 2017/18 series Down Under, Root scored five fifties but did not convert any of them into centuries. Root scored 51 in Brisbane, 67 in Adelaide, 61 in Melbourne and scores 83 and 58* in Sydney. In the last innings in Sydney, he had to retire ill due to dehydration. England lost the series 0-4 and in the 2019 series, the pattern has very much remained same.
After being dismissed for two consecutive ducks, Root bounced back with 77 in Leeds and 71 in Manchester before being dismissed for a duck in the second innings. His last century was 130 at Trent Bridge and it came in the match where Australia were bowled out for 60 thanks to a brilliant haul of 8/15 from Stuart Broad.