Joe Root named Wisden’s leading cricketer in 2021

Joe Root named Wisden’s leading cricketer in 2021- BPN TODAY

England batter Joe Root has been named Wisden’s leading cricketer in the world for 2021.

Root, 31, hit 1,708 runs in 15 matches in 2021, the third-highest number of Test runs scored in a calendar year.

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.

India’s fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and opener Rohit Sharma, New Zealand batter Devon Conway and South Africa women’s captain Dane van Niekerk join 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, Lee hit more runs (632) at a higher average (90.28) than any other batter in the women’s 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 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.

He carried his form into 2022 with back-to-back centuries against West Indies, but England ultimately fell to a 1-0 series defeat in the Caribbean and have now won only one of their past 17 Tests.

Citing the “toll” the job had taken on him, Root stepped down from the captaincy after five years and a record 64 Tests in the role.

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.

“Root rose above the struggles of England’s Test side to produce one of the all-time great performances in a calendar year,” said Wisden editor Lawrence Booth.

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