Joe Root has dropped out of the World’s Top 10 Test batting rankings for the first time in more than five years. He fell to 11th rank in the latest ICC rankings, released on Tuesday, after scores of two and 11 in England’s innings defeat in the first Test against New Zealand.
With an average of 27.40 from 10 Tests this year compared with 47.35 for his career, it is the first time since August 2014 that Root – who was the world’s No. 1 batsman in August 2015 – has sat outside the top 10. His figures have also fallen since he took over the England Test captaincy in 2017, averaging 39.70 since then compared with 52.80 beforehand.
“I’ve had a rough time in terms of scores. I’m working hard. You have to go through a bit of a dip. The fact I’m captain, it’s an easy excuse to use. I’m going to have to keep trusting my game because I’ve got a lot in the bank. I must not overthink things and just try to find that rhythm which allows me to get my innings off and running.” Root said.
After Monday’s defeat at the Bay Oval, Root said he was “not too worried”, adding that the captaincy was not to blame for his form. “Sometimes players go through phases of their career where they are not as consistent or make the scores they would like,” Root said.
Ben Stokes reached a career-high and achieved ninth on the latest list to be the highest-ranked England player in the batting rankings. India opener Mayank Agarwal broke into the top ten for batsmen, replacing Root at No. 10.
Wagner’s team-mate BJ Watling who became the first New Zealand wicketkeeper to make a Test double-hundred shot up 12 spots to be placed 12th among Test batsmen. Watling had soaked up 473 balls in Mount Maunganui – only Sri Lanka’s Brendon Kuruppu has faced more balls than the New Zealander among wicketkeeper-batsmen in a Test inning.
Steve Smith continues to be the No.1-ranked Test batsman with 931 points, followed closely by India captain Virat Kohli with 928 points, having hit a century in the first-ever pink-ball Test in India.