On Tuesday, Joe Root made history by surpassing everyone else to become England’s all-time highest run scorer in ICC ODI World Cups. The former England captain surpassed Graham Gooch’s total during the seventh World Cup 2023 match between England and Bangladesh in Dharamsala. Root scored 82 runs off 68 balls to add to his 77-run innings against New Zealand in England’s World Cup 2023 opener, bringing his total for the tournament to 917 runs in just 19 games. He is the first player from England to score 900 runs in an ODI World Cup. Gooch held the previous record, scoring 897 runs in 21 games between 1979 and 1992. Gooch’s average was 44.85, whereas Root’s was 57.
England’s Joe Root plays a shot during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala (PTI)
Ian Bell, with 718 runs, is third on the list for England, followed by Allan Lamb, with 656 runs, and Graeme Hick, with 635 runs. But Root is in a class by himself. The right-hander is playing in his third ODI World Cup, and given how he has started, there is every reason to think that this may be his greatest tournament yet.
In a stunning performance of strokeplay, the right-hander smashed eight fours and a six, recording a strike rate of 120. The way Root has remodelled his batting over the past year or two has been the most noticeable aspect of it. He now frequently uses a reverse sweep, a ramp shop, or a scoop over the fine leg in his batting. After he got his eyes in, he actually tried at least one of those shots at least once per ten balls.
He appeared to be on track to record his fourth World Cup hundred when the desire to add faster runs to the total caused his demise.
Dawid Malan, however, was the owner of the England innings. As Bangladesh decided to bowl, Malan’s 107-ball-140 served as the cornerstone of England’s large total.
The bowlers for Bangladesh were unable to duplicate their strong performance against Afghanistan in the previous game.
Malan helped build up the large score of 364/9 by putting on 115 runs for the first wicket with Jonny Bairstow (52 off 59 balls) and another 151 runs with Root in just 19.3 overs.
The Bangladeshi bowlers did stage a comeback towards the end of the innings when England suffered a mini-slump and lost seven wickets for 68 runs, preventing them from scoring 400 runs.
Off-spinner Mahedi Hasan (4/71) recovered admirably towards the end of the innings despite taking an early beating, and left-arm seamer Shoriful Islam (3/75) used some subtle variations.
But Malan stole the show, as the southpaw from South Africa reached his sixth century in just 23 games.
Malan’s scores in the last four ODI innings have been 96, 127, 14 and 140. He hit 16 fours and five sixes in his inning.