Root values Ashes win over individual feats


After setting a new run-scoring benchmark for England in 2015, Joe Root has insisted this year's Ashes success means far more to him than any individual achievement.

Ahead of the first Test against South Africa in Durban, which begins on Saturday, Root has amassed 2,131 international runs across all formats in the calendar year - a record for an England player.

The Yorkshire batsman moved past Kevin Pietersen's previous record of 2,120 - set in 2007 - as he scored 32 in the third and final Twenty20 international with Pakistan in Sharjah on November 30.

Yet Root was not aware he was closing in on Pietersen's tally and preferred to focus on England's 3-2 Test series win over Australia when selecting the highlights of a productive 12 months.

"Honestly, I didn't have a clue [that the record was within reach]," Root told Omnisport.

"I'm very proud of that achievement, but more importantly I'm proud of what we accomplished as a team. At the start of the [English] summer, no one gave us an opportunity or a chance that we were going to beat Australia.

"To prove a lot of people wrong and put in such a special performance, that was really pleasing."

Root, who is set to feature in Durban after overcoming a stomach illness, has scored six centuries, shared equally across Test and ODI cricket, for England this year.

His innings of 130 in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, after Australia had been sensationally dismissed for 60 with Stuart Broad taking 8-15, provided particular satisfaction.

"I think it's hard to look past the innings at Trent Bridge [as a standout moment of the year]," Root added.

"Having Broady doing all that hard work and the bowlers putting in such a tremendous effort to bowl them out for such a small total, and to then finish the [first] day so far ahead of them [on 274-4] was really pleasing.

"And to have been able to contribute to that myself, I look back on that and it was a really special day for me."

Pressed on the reasons for his consistency, Root said: "I'm not really sure, to be honest. I think consistency in my practice, trying to play the same way across all three forms, so you're not trying to change too much when you are practicing and getting ready for games.

"I try to make sure that my process and the way I think about the game is not too dissimilar and keep it dead simple when I go out there and play, just trying to react to the ball and react to the situation and just do that to the best of my ability."