Joe Root Wickets in International Cricket

Joe Root isn't best known for his bowling but in fact he's more than handy with the ball and has a respectable record of wickets in international cricket. If you want to know more about his bowling, we have got you covered here. 

Joe Root is arguably the greatest batter England has ever produced and he offers additional value with his bowling. His part-time off-break bowling is pretty useful and it gives England an option when they need one. Much like the second Test of the ongoing Ashes as England went with four frontline seamers. 

Joe Root, who relies on pace variation and accuracy, has made an impact with the ball on quite a few occasions. Whether it's his performance in the Ahmedabad Test against India in 2021 or numerous cameo spells in both Tests and ODIs, Joe Root wickets do make a difference. 

Read: Who will win Ashes 2023?

Joe Root Wickets

Joe Root Best spells in Tests

WicketsOpponentVenue Date 
5/8IndiaAhmedabad 24 Feb 2021
4/87South AfricaGqeberha16 Jan 2020
2/26Australia The Oval12 Sep 2019
2/9Australia Lord's 18 July 2013
2/22Australia Lord's 28 Jun 2023

5/8 vs India, Ahmedabad 2021 

The third Test of England's tour of India in 2021 was a nightmare for batters. With the series levelled, Ahmedabad produced a rank turner and the pink ball in the day-night Test meant that batters had no time to adjust. Batting first, England had no answers to the Indian spinners and were bowled out for just 112. 

Joe Root then picked five wickets for eight runs in just 6.2 overs to bowl out India for 145. Four of his dismissals were Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel, all four of whom were capable of taking the game away. However, It went in vain as England were skittled out for 81 in the second innings.

Joe Root wickets
Photo by Icon sport

4/87 vs South Africa, Gqeberha 2020 

This remains the most impactful bowling performance by Joe Root in Test cricket, helping England win the third Test of their 2019-20 tour of South Africa. England had posted 499 in their first innings before bowling out the hosts for 209 and enforcing a follow-on. 

Root was magnificent with the ball, bowling 29 overs in the innings with 13 maidens and picking 4 for 87. He removed key South African batters Pieter Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock as England went on to clinch the match by an innings and 53 runs. 

2/26 vs Australia, The Oval 2019 

Joe Root played a crucial role in England's victory at the Oval in the 2019 Ashes as they levelled the series by 2-2. The hosts had set Australia a target of 399 and had them reduced to 85/4. Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade put on a 63-run partnership before Root provided England the breakthrough by removing Marsh. The off-spinner later dismissed Wade, who had smashed a brilliant 117 off 166. Root bowled nine overs for 26 runs and bagged two key wickets. 

READ: Steve Smith centuries

2/22 vs Australia, Lord's 2023 

In the ongoing Ashes, England opted to go in with four seamers at Lord's with Joe Root as solitary spin option. Batting first, Australia were looking strong to get past 500 with Steve Smith and Travis Head adding 118 runs for the fourth wicket. The Aussies were 316/3 and Head had scored a blistering 77 off 72 when he decided to go down the wicket to Root. The delivery turned big and Jonny Bairstow did the rest to get the breakthrough. In the same over, Cameron Green tried to take Root on, only to mis-hit it to mid-off. Two Joe Root wickets in the over helped England get back in the game and restrict the visitors to 416. 

Joe Root Best spells in ODIs 

WicketsOpponentVenue Date
3/52Ireland Lord's 7 May 2017
2/9Ireland Bristol 5 May 2017
2/15West Indies North Sound 2 Mar 2014
2/27West Indies Southampton 14 Jun 2019
2/31Australia Brisbane 19 Jan 2018

3/52 vs Ireland, Lord's 2017 

Joe Root was the star of the show in the second ODI against Ireland at Lord's. He scored a run-a-ball 73 while batting first as England posted 328 runs on the board. He then bowled 10 overs and picked three wickets for 52 runs as they won the match comfortably by 85 runs. 

2/9 vs Ireland, Bristol 2017

Joe Root was excellent with the ball in the first ODI of that Ireland series. In an innings where Adil Rashid picked a five-for, Root bowled five overs for nine runs and claimed two wickets. He removed William Porterfield and George Dockrell as they shot out Ireland for 126. 

Joe Root wickets
Photo by Icon sport

2/15 vs West Indies, North Sound 2014

On England's 2014 tour of West Indies, Joe Root opened the bowling in the first two ODIs given the nature of the surfaces. In the second match at North Sound, he bowled five overs for 15 runs while dismissing Dwayne Smith and Kirk Edwards. Batting wasn't easy here as England crawled their way to a three-wicket victory. 

2/31 vs Australia, Brisbane 2018 

The Brisbane ODI against Australia in 2018 witnessed yet another key contribution from Joe Root with the ball. Batting first, Australia were 110 for 1 with Aaron Finch and Steve Smith going well. Root pinned Smith LBW and then had Travis Head caught and bowled. His 2/31 off seven overs helped England restrict the hosts to 270. England went on to win the match by four wickets with Root remaining unbeaten on 46. 

READ: Eng vs Aus head-to-head record

Joe Root Wickets: Bowling Career Summary

Joe Root has represented England in 322 matches in international cricket. There have been a total of 89 Joe Root wickets across three formats. He has played 132 Test matches and has taken 57 wickets at an average of 45. In ODIs, Root has taken 26 wickets from 158 matches although he has bowled in only 69 innings. He has six wickets in T20I cricket, having played only 32 games. For one of the best batters who happens to be a part-time bowler, these numbers aren't bad.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India