|Full name||Joseph Edward Root|
|Born||30 December 1990|
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Bowling||Right-arm off break|
|Relations||Billy Root (brother)|
|Test debut (cap 655)||13 December 2012 v India|
|Last Test||24 March 2022 v West Indies|
|ODI debut (cap 227)||11 January 2013 v India|
|Last ODI||4 July 2021 v Sri Lanka|
|ODI shirt no.||66|
|T20I debut (cap 63)||22 December 2012 v India|
|Last T20I||5 May 2019 v Pakistan|
|T20I shirt no.||66|
|Domestic team information|
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 22 May 2022
Joseph Edward Root,(born 30 December 1990) is an English cricketer who plays for the England Test and One Day International (ODI) teams, and formerly captained the Test team. He also represents Yorkshire in English domestic cricket.
Root made his Test debut in 2012, his ODI debut in 2013, and played for the England T20I team between 2012 and 2019. He captained England's Test team between February 2017 and April 2022, and holds the records for most Test matches (64), wins (27) and losses (26) as England captain. On the occasion of England's 1,000th Test in August 2018, Root was named in the country's greatest all-time Test XI by the England and Wales Cricket Board. He was part of the England team that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup and was England's leading run-scorer at the tournament. He was named both the ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Year and the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World for 2021.
A right-handed batsman, Root originally played as an opener but has played the majority of his cricket for England in the middle order. He is England's second-highest run-scorer in Tests behind Alastair Cook, and England's second-highest run-scorer in ODIs behind Eoin Morgan. He holds the record for most ODI centuries for England with 16 and, along with James Anderson, holds the world record for highest tenth-wicket stand in Tests: 198 against India during their 2014 tour of England. Root also bowls occasional off spin, and jointly holds the world record for the most expensive over in Test history, when in 2020 Keshav Maharaj scored 28 off one of Root's overs.
Root is the eldest son of Helen and Matt Root and grew up in Dore, Sheffield. He has a younger brother, Billy, who plays cricket for Glamorgan. He attended Dore Primary and King Ecgbert School in Sheffield, and at 15, on a cricket sports scholarship, Worksop College as a weekly boarder.
Root followed in his father's footsteps by joining Sheffield Collegiate CC, in Abbeydale Park. Former Yorkshire batsman and England captain Michael Vaughan also learnt his trade at Collegiate and was a source of inspiration for Root, who became a protégé of his. Root won the 'player of the tournament' in the prestigious Bunbury Festival. Root supports football team Sheffield United.
Root became engaged to his girlfriend Caroline Cotterell in March 2016. Their son, Alfred William, was born on 7 January 2017 and they married on 1 December 2018. Their second child, Isabella, was born on 8 July 2020.
Root made his Yorkshire Second Team debut on 18 July 2007, against Derbyshire at Abbeydale Park. He scored 57, putting on 133 for the first wicket with Adam Lyth. He continued to represent the Academy side and was named Player of the Tournament as Yorkshire's Academy won the ProARCH trophy in Abu Dhabi.
After success at second team level, Root was given an opportunity in the first team in Yorkshire's final Pro40 match of the season at Headingley, against Essex. Root scored 63 and was top-scorer in Yorkshire's 187–7. Although his half-century could not inspire Yorkshire to victory, Root described his debut as a "dream come true".
After another Man of the Series performance, this time on England Under-19 duty in Bangladesh, Root signed a three-year professional contract with Yorkshire.
Root was selected for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, making an unbeaten 70 in a victory against Hong Kong as England progressed to the quarter finals before being eliminated by the West Indies. Later that winter, he was sent to the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide, South Australia, to fine tune his game.
In 2011, his Championship debut against Worcestershire at New Road in April was one of 15 matches he played that year on top of his England Lions debut against Sri Lanka A. At Scarborough in August, he scored his maiden Championship hundred against Sussex.
Root captained Yorkshire in the match that they won the 2014 County Championship title and then helped them retain it the following year.
In April 2022, Root was bought by the Trent Rockets for the 2022 season of The Hundred.
In the fourth Test against India, Root became the 655th player to represent England at Test cricket, receiving his cap from former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood. Coming in as the number 6 batsman rather than his usual position as an opener, he scored 73 from 229 balls, top-scoring jointly with Kevin Pietersen. In the second innings he made 20 not out to help England bat out the game to secure a historic series win on Indian soil. Root his Twenty20 debut in the second of a two-match series that followed, although he was not required to bat. He was also included in the ODI squad after Jonny Bairstow withdrew. He was not required to bat on his ODI debut, although he bowled nine overs, collecting figures of 0–51, as England won by 9 runs. He made scores of 36 and 39 in the next two matches, before making his maiden ODI fifty in the fourth match of the series, although England lost by 5 wickets. Root finished the ODI series with 163 runs.
Following the successful tour of India, Root was retained in the Test squad for the 2013 tour to New Zealand and was added to the previously announced ODI and Twenty20 squads. After being an unused batsman in the third Twenty20 game, he started the ODI series with two half-centuries, contributing 56 in the first game before top-scoring with 79 off 56 balls in the second. In doing so, he became the first batsman to start his ODI career with six consecutive scores of over 30, and finished the ODI series with 163 runs.
In the Test series, Root continued to bat in the middle-order and in the third Test he made 45 off 176 balls before being bowled by Tim Southee. The Test series ended 0–0 and Root finished the series with 88 runs.
Not long after the series in New Zealand, the Black Caps travelled to tour England. Root's first involvement of the tour was to captain the England Lions against New Zealand in a four-day warm up match, where he scored 179 runs. After scoring 40 and 71 runs in the first Test at Lord's, he scored his maiden Test century at his home ground of Headingley. He hit 104 runs off 167 balls and became the first Yorkshire player to score their first Test century at Headingley. He finished the series as England's top scorer with 243 runs and helped his side to a 2–0 Test series victory. In the ODI series that followed, he made scores of 30, 28 and 33 as England lost the series 2–1.
For the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, England named Root in their squad of 15. He featured against Sri Lanka and hit 68 runs off 55 balls in England's 7 wicket loss. Root then helped England to a 10 run victory over New Zealand by making 38 runs off 40 balls which secured them a place in the semi-finals. In that semi-final, against South Africa, Root scored 48 off 71 balls as England eased to a 7 wicket win and a place in the final. Following England's defeat to India, he was named as 12th man in the 'Team of the Tournament' by the ICC.
Root was named as the opening partner for captain Alastair Cook for the 2013 Ashes series, after the selectors decided to drop Nick Compton from the England squad. In the first Test he made scores of 30 and 5, and took his first Test wicket when he had Ed Cowan caught in the second innings. In the second innings of the second Test, Root made 180 before England declared to set Australia a massive target of 583. In the final innings Root took the wickets of Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke in consecutive overs, with both batsmen on 50-plus scores, which saw him named Man of the Match for his performance with the bat and the ball. England won the series after a draw in the third Test and victory in the fourth, though Root did not contribute significantly to either result. He top-scored for England in the final Test, to finish the series with 339 runs and 3 wickets.
Root was selected to bat at number 4 for the first T20 International, with Australia setting England 249 to win, thanks to an innings of 156 from Aaron Finch. Root came in with England 37/3 and scored 90* off 49 balls but this was not enough to prevent a defeat by 39 runs. Root also played in the second T20I, which England won, to split the series. England lost the ODI series 2–1 with Root finishing the series with 36 runs and a single wicket from four matches (one match was abandoned due to rain).
Root was selected for the 2013–14 Ashes series. He was selected at number 6 for the first Test as Michael Carberry was given the opening batsman role alongside Alastair Cook. Root only managed 2 runs from 7 balls in the first innings before being caught off a Mitchell Johnson delivery. In the second innings he made a steady 26* off 86 balls before running out of partners in England's collapse where Australia took a 1–0 series lead. The second Test in Adelaide saw Root move up the order to third batsman, filling the spot of Jonathan Trott, who had returned home due to stress related illness. He scored only 15 runs, which was the third highest number of runs scored by an England batsman in the first innings, in a disappointing collapse by the English side. However Root's second innings showed some fight as he top scored with 87 and was unlucky not to push on to make a century. England lost this match and went 2–0 down with 3 Tests to play. Root was out controversially for 4 in the first innings of the third Test and made 19 in the second innings, England lost the match and as a result lost the Ashes. England lost the fourth Test by 8 wickets and went 4–0 down in the series. He was dropped for the fifth Test and fellow Yorkshire teammate Gary Ballance was selected. England lost the series 5–0 and Root finished the series with 192 runs.
Joe was selected to bat at number 3 for the first ODI, however he only made 3 runs before getting out from an LBW. He also took the wicket of David Warner as Australia cruised to a 6 wicket victory. England kept faith with the out of form Root and he played in the second ODI, however he only made 2 runs before Mitchell Johnson got him out via an LBW. He did contribute with ball by taking the wickets of Shaun Marsh and Michael Clarke. Root was dropped for the third and fourth ODI's due to poor form. He was recalled for the fifth ODI and batted at number 4, he made 55 runs off 86 balls. Joe finished the series on the losing side in a 4–1 defeat. He made 60 runs and took 3 wickets in the series.
Root was selected for the Twenty20 series and in the first T20 he made 32 runs off 24 balls before being caught by Aaron Finch. In the second T20 he made 18 runs in England's loss. Root finished the T20 series a 3–0 loser. He scored 61 runs and took 1 wicket.
Root was picked in the squad for the 2014 tour of West Indies. He was selected for the first ODI, he took the wicket of Kieran Powell before making 37 runs off 48 balls in England's failed attempt to chase the score. In the second ODI Root took 2 wickets before hitting 23 runs off 43 balls in the successful run chase. Root batted at number 4 in the third ODI where he made his maiden ODI century hitting 107 runs off 122 balls and also taking 1 wicket in England's 25 run win. He finished the series as a 2–1 winner and ended up with 167 runs (the highest run scorer of both teams) and 4 wickets. For this performance, Root received the Man of the Match for the third ODI and also received the Player of the Series award. Due to sustaining a broken thumb in the final ODI, Root was ruled out of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20.
During the first ODI against Sri Lanka as part of the Sri Lankan tour in 2014, Root made 45 runs and also took 1 catch in the 81 runs win. During the fourth ODI he made 43 off 68 balls in England's loss. England lost the series 3–2 and Root finished up with 98 runs.
Following the ODI series, in the first Test Match at Lords, Root scored an unbeaten 200 off 298 balls with 16 fours and guided England to their highest Test score against Sri Lanka of 575-9d. He is the fourth youngest English batsman to score a double century. The series finished 1–0 to Sri Lanka and Root top scored for England with 259 runs.
Root scored his 4th Test century for England in the first Test Match against India at Trent Bridge. His unbeaten 154 helped England recover from 298–9 to post 496 as he and James Anderson shared a world record 10th wicket stand of 198. Although England went into the second innings with a lead, they were unable to force a result. In the second Test of the series, Root made 66 in England's second innings but was unable to prevent a defeat. In the third match of the series, Root made a quick fire 66 in England's second innings to help them force a result and level the series at 1–1. He hit yet another half century in the fourth Test, as England won by an innings to take a 2–1 series lead. In the final Test at the Oval, Root scored his 5th Test century scoring an unbeaten 149 to help England post a first innings score of 486 all out in reply to India's 148 all out. Root won the Man of the Match award for his performance in that Test. This resulted in England winning the match by an innings and secured a 3–1 series win. He finished the Test series with 518 runs and 1 wicket. For his performances in 2014, he was named in the World Test XI by the ICC.
Root had an indifferent time in the ODI series, after the first match was abandoned he made scores of 4 and 2 in the second and third ODI's. However, he made 44 in the fourth game before hitting a match winning 113 in the final game of the series. The series finished 3–1 to India and Root top scored for England making 163 runs.
Now an integral part of the English set-up, Root was selected in the 2014–15 tour to Sri Lanka to play in the 7 game ODI series. He put in a match of the match performance in the 5th ODI by making an unbeaten 104 and helping to guide England to a win that kept the series alive. In the sixth match of the series Root was again one of England's stand out performers, hitting 55. Despite this, England suffered another defeat meaning they trailed 4–2 in the series with just one game left to play. In the final game of the series, Root was again England's top scorer, this time hitting 80 although England went on to lose the match and the series 5–2.
In the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Root scored five against Australia. 46 (out of England's total of 123) versus New Zealand, a single against Scotland. He made 121 against Sri Lanka and in doing so became the youngest English player to score a century at a World Cup. However, England again suffered a heavy defeat, this time by nine wickets.
Root was selected in the England squad for the 2015 West Indies tour. In the first Test Root continued his good run of form as he hit 83 in England's 399 first innings total. During the second innings Root scored his 6th consecutive half-century score in Tests by posting 59 before being bowled. He also bowled 13 overs and took the wickets of Darren Bravo and key man Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the last innings as the match was drawn. In the second Test Root scored his 6th Test century (also his 1st overseas) when he smashed 182* in 229 balls to help England reach a total of 464. This also took him past 2,000 Test runs. England wrapped the match up to win the Test and take a 1–0 lead in the series. For his performance Root was awarded the Man of the Match. He finished the series with 358 runs and 3 wickets.
In the first Test against New Zealand in 2015, Root continued his impressive form for England. He scored 98 in the first innings to help England recover from a precarious position to post 389. He again contributed in the second innings, scoring 84 to help put England in a strong position. He picked up a wicket in New Zealand's second innings as England won the match by 124 runs. In the second Test, Root was dismissed for one in the first innings and was then dismissed for a duck in the second as England lost the game, meaning the series was drawn at 1–1. He finished the Test series with 183 runs and 1 wicket.
Root was selected in a revamped ODI squad for the five-match series. In the first ODI, Root batted at 3 and scored his 5th ODI century hitting 104 off 78 balls to help England to a record 408/9 and a 210 run win. He performed more strongly in the third ODI, scoring 54, but England lost again, this time by 3 wickets. In the fourth ODI, he made his 6th ODI century by scoring 106* off 97 to help England chase a target of 350 to win the match and level the series. During this innings he passed 2,000 ODI career runs. In the fifth ODI he scored 4 in England's successful chase giving England a 3–2 series win. Root finished the series with 274 runs. In the only T20 match between the two sides he scored 68 as England went on to win by 56 runs.
Before the 2015 Ashes series began, Root was made England vice-captain. In the first Test he made a record breaking[why?] century on the first day of the Ashes series. He scored 134 off 166 balls, helping England to a total of 430. In the second innings he hit 60 runs and took the wickets of Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc before making the winning catch, all of which earned him the man of the match award. England won the Test by 169 runs. In the second Test, He took the wickets of Steve Smith and Peter Nevill in the first innings. The third Test was positive for Root as he made 63 in the first innings to give England a lead before hitting 38* from 63 balls to chase England's target of 121 runs to win the Test. In the fourth Test, Root made three catches as Australia were all out for 60 in 18.3 overs, he then went on to make 130 (his eighth Test century) which made him the youngest ever English batsman to make three Ashes centuries and help England to a 3–1 Ashes win. After this Test, Root reached the number one position in the ICC Test batting rankings, overtaking AB de Villiers and Steve Smith. After helping England to win the series 3–2, Root was named Man of the Series. He finished the series as England's highest run scorer making 460 runs and taking 4 wickets.
He was rested for the T20 and ODI series.
Root was selected for the England squad on the tour to the UAE in 2015 to face Pakistan. This was the first time that Root faced this opposition.
In the first Test, Root came in at number 4 and managed to score 85 off 143 balls, to help England to a total of 598/9d. In the second innings England were set 99 to win, after a shuffle in the batting order Root came in at number 3 and finished 33* off 29 balls however bad light stopped play with England needing 25 to win and the match ended as a draw. This performance elevated him from No. 3 in the ICC Player Rankings to No. 2 rising above AB de Villiers. During the second Test, Root scored 88 off 141 balls however he threw away the opportunity to convert this into a century. Root also went on to score 71 off 171 balls in the second innings and this put him up to No. 1 on the ICC Player Rankings for a second time rising above Steve Smith. This also took Joe past 3,000 Test runs. During the third Test Root made scores of 4 and 6 in England's collapse and England succumbed to a 2–0 series loss. Root finished the series with 287 runs, England's second highest run scorer. He was also named in the Test XI of the year 2015 by Cricinfo.
Having been reinstated into the ODI squad, Root batted at number 3 in the first ODI however he was out for 0. In the second ODI he supported Alex Hales's century with 63 from 77 balls to help England to a 95 run win. The third ODI Joe provided 11 runs in England's successful chase, however in the fourth ODI Root scored another half century, this time hitting 71 runs from 71 balls in England's total of 355/5, as England went on to win the game by 84 runs. Root finished a 3–1 series winner and scored 145 runs.
For his performances in 2015, he was named as 12th man in the World ODI XI by the ICC.
Joe was not selected for the first T20I as England fielded an experimental side. However he was included in the second T20I and came in to bat at number 4 behind James Vince. Root made 20 runs off 16 balls in the narrow 3 run win. For the third T20, Root was promoted to bat at number 3 with Alex Hales being rested and James Vince opening. Joe scored 32 runs off 22 balls to help England to a total of 154/8. Pakistan reached this total and took the match to a Super Over which England won. Root finished the series as a 3–0 winner and scored a total of 52 runs.
Root was selected for the England squad on the 2015–16 tour to South Africa. This would be the first time Joe would face South Africa in a Test series. In the first warm up game, against an invitational XI, he scored 26 in the first innings and 37 in the second. In the second warm up game against the South African second team, he was much more prolific scoring 117 off 125 balls helping England to a total of 414-6d.
In the first Test of the series, Root made 24 off 37 balls in the first innings before being trapped lbw to Dane Piedt. During the second innings he scored a 73 off 128 balls to help England to a total of 326 and a 241 run win, taking a lead in the series. In the second Test, Joe scored 50 and 29 in a match where both teams posted 600+ runs in the first innings. Root scored his 9th Test century, scoring 110 from 139 balls, in the third Test to help England to surpass South Africa's total of 313. In the second innings (chasing 73) he hit the winning runs to ensure England won the series. This marks the first time since 2004–05 that a team has won a series in South Africa. In the fourth and final Test, Root scored 76 off 128 balls to help England to a score of 342 all out in reply to South Africa's 475. He finished the series as a 2–1 winner and was England's second highest scorer with 386 runs. For his performances in 2015, he was named in the World Test XI by the ICC and Cricbuzz.
In the first ODI, Root scored 52 from 58 balls to help back up Jos Buttler's century on the way to England's total of 399 (their third highest ever One Day score. In the second ODI he only made 38 before being bowled. Root backed this up with his 7th ODI century scoring 125 in a losing effort in the third ODI. During the fourth ODI, Root scored 109, his second consecutive century, in another losing effort leaving the series drawn 2–2 coming into the fifth ODI. South Africa went on to win the series 3–2. Root finished as England's second highest scorer with 351 runs.
In the second T20 match, Root scored a quickfire 34 coming from just 18 balls in another losing effort to South Africa. England lost the T20 series 2–0.
Root was selected in the England squad for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20. He featured in the first match against the West Indies and scored 48 from 36 balls in a losing effort. In the second match against South Africa he scored 83 off 44 balls in England's record breaking chase of 230. Root was named man of the match for this effort. In England's narrow victory against Afghanistan, Root made 12 runs before being run out. In the final group match against Sri Lanka he managed to make 25 and take a crucial catch in England's 10 run win, ensuring their place in the semi final. England faced New Zealand in the semi final and were set to chase 154, Root scored 27* from 22 balls to secure a place in the final. In the final against the West Indies, Root scored 54 from 37 balls in England's 155–9 and took the key wickets of Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles. However this wasn't enough to secure a win. Root finished the tournament as the 3rd highest scorer with 249 runs. Joe Root became only the 3rd player after Shahid Afridi and Marlon Samuels to score a fifty and to take at least a wicket in an ICC World T20 final. He was also named in the 'Team of the Tournament' by Cricinfo and Cricbuzz.
Root was selected in the England squad for the Sri Lankan tour of England. In the second Test, he scored 80 to help England to a first innings total of 498/9d and eventually secure a 9 wicket win and with it, a series win.
In the fourth match of the series, Root scored 65 as England chased down Sri Lanka's target of 306 to win the match by six wickets. He played a crucial innings in the final match of the series, anchoring England's innings with 93 as they set Sri Lanka 325 to win, and England won the game by 122 runs, to win the series 3–0.
In the second Test of the series against Pakistan, Root scored 254, the highest total of his Test career and the second-highest of any English player (third-highest overall) at Old Trafford. Root went on to receive the man of the match award for his performance as England levelled the series at 1–1. The third Test at Edgbaston was not as memorable, making just 3 in the first innings but then playing a resilient 62 in the second to help England to a total of 445/6 and eventually, a 141 run victory. The final Test was lost by 10 wickets and the series ended in a 2–2 draw. In the ODI series, Root made 61 in the first match as England recorded an opening victory. England won the second match, with Root scoring 89. In the third match, Root scored 85 as England broke the record for the highest ever ODI score, finishing on 444/3.
Root was rested for the ODI series against Bangladesh, but was included in the Test squad. In the first Test against Bangladesh, Root made 40 in the first innings and followed this up with just a single in England's second innings, although they won by 21 runs. In the second Test, Root made 56 in the first innings as England built a first innings lead, but was out for just one in the second innings as England lost the game to draw the series 1–1.
Root made 124 in England's first innings of the first Test against India as England made 537, though the match ended in a draw. For his performances in 2016, he was named in the World Test XI by the ICC.
Root made scores of 90 not-out and 101 in the second and third ODIs of the away series against West Indies in March 2017, with England winning the series 3–0.
Root was named as part of the 'Team of the Tournament' at the 2017 Champions Trophy by the ICC, after he finished as the fourth highest run-scorer with England making the semi-final.
Root captained England for the first time in Tests in the home series against South Africa, having been appointed to the role earlier in the year. In the first Test, he scored 190, which was a new record score for the first match as England captain, as England won the match to setup a 3–1 series victory. A Test-series victory over West Indies followed, in the second Test of which Root equalled AB de Villiers' record of scoring a half-century in 12 consecutive Test matches. On 29 September 2017, during the fifth match of the subsequent ODI series, Root became the third-fastest batsman, in terms of number of innings (91), to score 4,000 runs in ODIs.
Root captained the English team in 2017–18 Ashes series in an unsuccessful defence of the Ashes, losing the four of the five Tests. In Brisbane England batted first and scored 302 and 195, with Root's scores being 15 and 51. In the second Test at Adelaide Root's scored 9 and 67 out of totals of 227 and 233. In Perth, England scored 403 and 218, Root's scores 20 and 14, while Australia made 662/9 declared, winning the match and the series before tea on the final day. In the final match, he retired at 59 in the second innings after succumbing to gastroenteritis. He failed to convert any of his five half-centuries into centuries in the series. His next century did not come until 10 September 2018 against India at The Oval in the second innings, where Alastair Cook also scored a century on his final Test match.
England drew 1–1 at home to Pakistan in a 2 match series.
England bounced back and beat India 4–1. Root failed to make a score in the first 4 Tests, but scored 125 in the last Test. This was his first century of 2018 after going without a century in the last 3 Test series (Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan). This was also Root's last game with former captain Alistair Cook. Root impressed in the preceding ODI series against India, scoring 217 runs, which included two back-to-back centuries.
In 2018 ODIs, he scored a total of 800 runs from 19 innings.
Root became the first English captain to win a Test series in Sri Lanka since 2001, ending a run of 3 series in Sri Lanka without a win. He scored 124 in the 2nd Test to secure a series win; his first ever Test series away win as captain. This was also the first away Test series win England had won since 2016.
In April 2019, he was named in England's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He had a good start to the tournament, scoring two centuries (against Pakistan and West Indies) and three fifties in England's first six matches. On 21 June 2019, in the match against Sri Lanka, Root played in his 250th international match for England.
He was named in the 'Team of the Tournament' for the 2019 World Cup by the ICC. They stated that "England's run machine over the years, Joe Root was the glue that held their famed batting together through the tournament. The Yorkshire batsman finished as the fifth highest run-scorer of the tournament, with 556 runs from 11 innings. Root's flawless technique and ability to keep the scoreboard moving by rotating the strike and finding the boundaries when required makes him a perfect No.3 in this line-up".
Root captained England in the 2019 Ashes Series, as England and Australia drew 2–2 with Australia retaining the Ashes. Root's batting position was widely discussed in the build-up to the series, with Root eventually moving up the order to bat at three. Root made a half century in the first Test as Australia won by 251 runs, while the second Test at Lord's was drawn, with Root making 14 and 0. Steve Smith, who made twin hundreds in the first Test and was a thorn in England's side throughout the previous Ashes series, missed the third Test with a concussion. England capitalised by levelling the series courtesy of an incredible one wicket win at Headingley, with Ben Stokes making 135* in a record fourth innings chase for England, Joe Root scoring 0 and 77. Australia retained the Ashes with a 185 run victory at Old Trafford in the fourth Test, helped by a first innings double hundred from the returning Steve Smith, as Root made scores of 71 and 0. England restored some pride at the Oval with a 135 run victory to conclude the series, which was drawn 2–2. Root again made a half-century but failed to score a century in the series, leading to further criticism of Root's conversion rate. Root averaged just 32.50 throughout the series.
In December 2019, in the second Test match against New Zealand, Root scored his first double century as captain of England, and became the first visiting captain to score a double century in New Zealand in Test cricket.
Root captained England to a 3–1 series victory in South Africa, which he described as his 'proudest result' as captain. England got off to a slow start, losing the first Test at Centurion, but came back to win the series comfortably. In the third Test he took career best bowling figures of 4-87 as England won on a turning Port Elizabeth pitch. Root had a consistent series with the bat, making three half-centuries, but was criticised once more for not converting his fifties into hundreds.
In order to be present for the birth of his second child, Root missed the first Test of the three match series against West Indies. England lost the match; Root returned to captain the side to a 2–1 series victory, with his most significant innings being a score of 68 not out to set up a declaration in the final Test.
Root captained England to a second series win of the summer with a 1–0 win in the three Test series against Pakistan: England won the first Test followed by two rain-affected draws.
In November 2020, Root was nominated for the Sir Garfield Sobers Award for ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade and the award for Test cricketer of the decade.
Root led England for the two match Test series against Sri Lanka, which was previously postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first Test, Root scored 228, his 18th Test century and his first for 13 months. For his efforts (which led to England winning by 7 wickets), he was named Man of the Match. Root's run of form continued into the second, where, by scoring 186, he became the first Englishman since David Gower to pass 150 in consecutive Tests. During the innings he also overtook Geoffrey Boycott, Kevin Pietersen and Gower to become the fourth-highest Test run-scorer for England. In the first innings of the first Test against India he scored yet another double hundred and was named the man of the match. In the third Test against India, he got his first five wicket haul with figures of 5/8 in India's first innings.
On 29 June 2021, in the opening fixture against Sri Lanka, Root played in his 150th ODI match. In the same match, Root also scored his 6,000th run in ODI cricket, making him the fourth fastest player (in terms of innings) to reach 6000 runs. Later in the summer, Root continued his good form in Tests, with centuries in each of the first three games in the series against India seeing him return to the top of the ICC Test batting rankings. As a team England fared less well, trailing the series 2–1 when the final Test was postponed due to Covid-19.
Root's good form did not continue into the 2021–22 Ashes series; though he was the leading run-scorer for England, he only managed three fifties and a top score of 89, as England lost the series 4–0. The result saw the sacking of Chris Silverwood as head-coach of the England team, and calls for Root to step down as captain. However, he was retained for the away series against West Indies, scoring a second-innnings century in the drawn First Test, taking his tally of 100s to 24, and clear second place on the list England Test centurions.
Root replaced Alastair Cook as the full-time Test captain on 13 February 2017 following the latter's resignation, making him England's 80th captain. In his first match as the captain, on 6 July 2017, against South Africa at Lord's, Root scored his 12th Test century with an innings of 190. He was the 6th (and highest scoring) England player to score a Test century on captaincy debut. He also had an influence on county teammate Gary Ballance's recall to the England squad.
Root led what was regarded as a comparatively weak English team to Australia for the Ashes series of 2017–2018, the urn being ceded by the conclusion of the third game of the series. Root's decision to give Australia first use of the Adelaide pitch in the second Test was questioned by some commentators, while others acknowledged that giving his bowlers first use of the ball in this day-night match may have given his team their best chance. Perhaps a more telling criticism was that of former captain of Australia Ian Chappell, who claimed that Root's captaincy was too defensive, more concerned with defending runs than taking wickets. The loss of the series led to media criticism. Also, while Steve Smith and Virat Kohli both had better batting averages and top scores across ODIs and Tests after gaining captaincy roles, Root has poorer Test averages after gaining the captaincy as of 25 December 2017, although this also coincided with his move from No.4 to No.3 in the England batting order. On 4 January 2022, at the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney, he captained England for the 60th time taking the record for the most Test matches as England captain. On 15 April 2022, Root resigned as Test captain stating: "It has been the most challenging decision I have had to make in my career but having discussed this with my family and those closest to me; I know the timing is right".
Main article: List of international cricket centuries by Joe Root
As of March 2022, Root has scored 25 centuries in Tests and 16 in ODIs.