TOP SPIN AT THE TEST: Root eclipses Cook as England top Test skipper

TOP SPIN AT THE TEST: Joe Root eclipses Alastair Cook as England’s top run-scoring Test skipper… while Steve Smith jots first single-figure innings since 2017

  • RECAP: Joe Root falls in final over as England slip towards second Test defeat 
  • Despite a disappointing day Root surpassed Alastair Cook’s 4,844 runs   
  • The captain went to hospital just two hours before after a warm-up injury  

When Joe Root back-cut Cameron Green for four from the first ball after the final session drinks break, he became the highest-scoring England Test captain in history, overtaking Alastair Cook’s 4,844 runs during his time in charge.

Steve Smith’s dismissal for six, caught behind down the leg side off Ollie Robinson, was his first single-figure Ashes score in 13 innings – stretching back to the last Adelaide Test four years ago, when he fell lbw to Chris Woakes, also for six.

Marnus Labuschagne’s second-innings 51 was the seventh time in 11 innings against England he has scored at least a half-century – all since replacing Smith as a concussion substitute at Lord’s in 2019. Despite that, his Ashes average of 58 is lower than his overall average of 62.

Joe Root became England’s top run-scoring Test skipper despite a bad day at the Ashes

When Haseeb Hameed was caught behind off Jhye Richardson without scoring, it was England’s 49th Test duck in 2021, which means they are closing in on their all-time record for a calendar year: 54 in 1998. 

Those 49 have been made by 19 different players, with 13 coming from their various openers: Hameed, Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley.

Hameed’s scores of six and nought in this game mean his Test average has dropped below 30 for the first time in his career.

Steve Smith was dismissed for six by Ollie Robinson, his first single-figure score in four years

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