Joe Root's 13th half-century in 2015 helped England build a 261-run lead after day three of the first Test against South Africa in Durban. Root’s quality with the bat has been a feature of this year and another half-century from him helped England to take a firm grip on the year ending Test match.

Five years ago in 2010, Indian master-blaster Virender Sehwag plundered 13 scores of 50 or more in a calendar year to topple the legendary West Indian maestro Sir Viv Richards’ record and now Root has done the same in 2015.

The Englishman has made 1372 runs at 62.36 in 2015 and has overtaken Alastair Cook as England's top run-scorer this year. Among England batsmen, only Michael Vaughan (1481 runs, 2002) and Dennis Amiss (1379, 1974) have scored more runs in a year.

Sehwag claimed five hundreds to Root’s three so far, but with day four’s story unwritten, there could yet be a fourth in line for young Yorkshireman, who has become the pillar of England’s batting.

Root finished day three unbeaten on 60 with James Taylor alongside him on 24 not out as England’s lead stood at a healthy 261 with the prospect of plenty more to come with seven wickets remaining.
The English bowlers did an outstanding work of the bowlers, who dismissed the Proteas for 214 and gave the tourists a fine start to the day. Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali picked up four wickets each with Tall fast bowler Steven Finn chipped in with two wickets.

But it was Root who turned it into something special. Batting has looked so easy for him throughout 2015. At times that has also been a part of his downfall, playing shots when he has not really needed to and not going on to get more big scores. But this time the right-hander was more selective with his strokeplay as he and Nick Compton took advantage and set about building England’s lead with care.

The 24-year-old has scored 3020 runs in 35 Test appearances for the Three Lions with an impressive average of 54.90. His instant impact in international cricket made him the rock of England’s middle-order.
Most 50+ scores in a calendar year
 
PlayerMatches50sYear
Joe Root14132015
Virender Sehwag14132010
Viv Richards11121976
Sunil Gavaskar17121979
Jacques Kallis11122004
Ricky Ponting15122005
Mohd. Yousuf11122006
Graeme Smith15122008
Sachin Tendulkar14122010
Kumar Sangakkara11122014
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