Joe Root - Is THREE the magic number for Yorkshire and England’s star performer?

England's Joe Root leaves the pitch after scoring 254 against Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

England's Joe Root leaves the pitch after scoring 254 against Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

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THE Old Trafford heroics of Yorkshire’s Joe Root for England against Pakistan last week prompted Trevor Bayliss to compare the Sheffield-born batsman to one of his former star performer - Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara.

Root made 254 and 71 not out in England’s series-levelling 330-run win and Bayliss labelled him “as good as any of those” other No 3 batsmen he has worked with.

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA.

Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA.

Sangakkara was Bayliss’s previous staple at first drop in Tests and batted in that position in 207 of his 233 Test innings.

It brought him his best Test score, 319 against Bangladesh in 2014, and saw him average 60.82 compared to his career mark of 57.40. He made just one hundred and two fifties elsewhere in the order.

Root, by contrast, has just 12 innings to date at No 3, but England head coach Bayliss acknowledged that “he’s pretty much at the start of his career.”

Old Trafford brought his first hundred and second fifty at three - his 325 runs for one dismissal were in stark contrast to 258 in 10 previous innings, lifting his average in the position from 28.67 to 58.30.

India's Rahul Dravid leaves the field after scoring 146 not out during the 4th Test against England at The Oval in 2011. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA.

India's Rahul Dravid leaves the field after scoring 146 not out during the 4th Test against England at The Oval in 2011. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA.

Sangakkara aside, the only man to make 10,000 Test runs at No 3 is India’s Rahul Dravid, with 10,524 at 52.88 (including 23 for an ICC World XI).

Ricky Ponting is the only other batsman to come close, with 9,904 - but of course, when it comes to averages, another great Australian takes the prize.

READ MORE - England coach Trevor Bayliss thankful prolific batsman Root 
is ‘pretty much at the start of his career’

Discounting those with only a couple of innings at three, Don Bradman is clear of the pack - and, while he famously ended his Test career averaging 99.94, at No 3 he broke through the magic three-figure barrier.

LEGEND: Sir Donald Bradman is patted lovingly by one of the many boys to whom he was a hero as he walks out at Headingley for the last time in 1948. He did not disappoint his admirers, making 173 not out in a memorable Australian victory.

LEGEND: Sir Donald Bradman is patted lovingly by one of the many boys to whom he was a hero as he walks out at Headingley for the last time in 1948. He did not disappoint his admirers, making 173 not out in a memorable Australian victory.

Brian Lara made his Test-record 400no at first drop, against England in 2004, while fellow West Indian Viv Richards averaged 11 runs higher at three than he did overall.

Or, being facetious, perhaps Root’s head coach at Yorkshire, Jason Gillespie, is history’s greatest No 3: one innings, 201 not out - albeit as nightwatchman for Australia against Bangladesh ...

Joe Root (England)

Overall: 44 matches, 80 innings, 3,875 runs at 56.15, 10 hundreds, 21 fifties, top score 254

Australia's Ricky Ponting celebrates making a century against England during the Third Ashes Test at Old Trafford in July 2015. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

Australia's Ricky Ponting celebrates making a century against England during the Third Ashes Test at Old Trafford in July 2015. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA.

At No 3: 7 matches, 12 innings, 583 runs at 58.30, 1 hundred, 2 fifties, top score 254

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)

Overall: 134 matches, 233 innings, 12,400 runs at 57.40, 38 hundreds, 52 fifties, top score 319

At No 3: 125 matches, 207 innings, 11,679 runs at 60.82, 37 hundreds, 50 fifties, top score 319

Rahul Dravid (India)

Overall: 164 matches, 286 innings, 13,288 runs at 52.31, 36 hundreds, 63 fifties, top score 270

West Indies' Brian Lara kisses the wicket after breaking the world record score of 380 during the third day of the fourth Test against England in Antigua in April 2004. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA.

West Indies' Brian Lara kisses the wicket after breaking the world record score of 380 during the third day of the fourth Test against England in Antigua in April 2004. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA.

At No 3: 136 matches, 219 innings, 10,524 runs at 52.88, 28 hundreds, 50 fifties, top score 270

Sir Donald Bradman (Australia)

Overall: 52 matches, 80 innings, 6,996 runs at 99.94, 29 hundreds, 13 fifties, top score 334

At No 3: 40 matches, 56 innings, 5,078 runs at 103.63, 20 hundreds, 10 fifties, top score 334

Ricky Ponting (Australia)

Overall: 168 matches, 287 innings, 13,378 runs at 51.85, 41 hundreds, 62 fifties, top score 257

At No 3: 113 matches, 196 innings, 9,904 runs at 56.27, 32 hundreds, 43 fifties, top score 257

Brian Lara (West Indies)

Overall: 131 matches, 232 innings, 11,953 runs at 52.88, 34 hundreds, 48 fifties, top score 400no

At No 3: 45 matches, 66 innings, 3,749 runs at 60.46, 9 hundreds, 13 fifties, top score 400no

Sir Viv Richards (West Indies)

Overall: 121 matches, 182 innings, 8,540 runs at 50.23, 24 hundreds, 45 fifties, top score 291

At No 3: 45 matches, 59 innings, 3,508 runs at 61.54, 12 hundreds, 14 fifties, top score 291

West Indies' legend Viv Richards batting at Lord's against England back in 1988.

West Indies' legend Viv Richards batting at Lord's against England back in 1988.

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