Joe Root is prioritising the performance of his England team despite being within touching distance of personal accolades ahead of England’s LV= Insurance Test Series meeting with India at Trent Bridge.
The England captain requires 22 runs to succeed Alistair Cook as his country’s top run scorer in all formats, and is one win away from surpassing Michael Vaughan’s record of 26 as England’s Test captain.
He maintains, though, that his sights are firmly set on the task at hand, with the challenge of hosting the second-ranked Test side at home being followed by a trip to Australia for the Ashes later in the year.
“It would be nice to start strongly from a personal point of view,” Root admitted, “but Test cricket is not about you as an individual.
“It is about winning for England and contributing to something bigger than yourself. That’s the mindset I’ll have going into this series and this game, and hopefully we can outplay India.
“As a player, you look back at your stats and at what you have achieved at the end of your career. I just know that if I score big runs it gives us the opportunity to win the game. It’s a huge series for us, playing India, one of the best sides in the world, at home.
“People will form opinions and make decisions on me as a captain and my career, but, as a player, all you can do is look after the now, and I will continue to give my best for England cricket, to help us win as many Test matches as possible.”
During their series loss to New Zealand in June, Sky pundit and former skipper Nasser Hussain accused England's top order of trying to 'reinvent the wheel' in their approach to batting.
As India's all-star attack awaits, Root insists that the home side's batsmen are working hard to return to form.
“I didn’t always agree with what Nass was saying, and that’s fine, but you can tell how passionate he is about wanting England to do well,” he said.
“The guys have done what they can in terms of going away and performing in the cricket that has been available to them, and hopefully we can hit the ground running.
“We want to make big partnerships and big individual scores, and work with that scoreboard pressure we have talked about for a long time to implement our game plan."
The Yorkshireman has a number of options at his disposal when choosing his final XI, despite all-rounder Ben Stokes beginning indefinite break from the game for mental health reasons.
On the latter, Root says his priority is on ensuring his vice-captain makes a full return to fitness.
“We have got a lot of things to consider. Balancing the side with Ben not being there is something that will take a lot of thinking, and will be one of the challenges we want to get right in these conditions,” he said.
“We’ve got a talented squad and a number of ways we could go. I’m very excited with the challenges that the game poses and hopefully we can start well.
“On Ben, I just want my friend to be okay. Anyone that knows him will know he always puts other people first, and now is an opportunity for him to put himself first, to take time to look after himself and to get himself to a good place again.”
Root's most recent appearances at Trent Bridge came in the yellow of Trent Rockets, as the right-hander played his part in two victories for his side.
And the right-hander is eager to captialise on the impact of The Hundred by engaging a new audience at Test level.
“One of the reasons for The Hundred was to broaden the audience of cricket, and it has done a wonderful job,” he said.
“I really enjoyed being part of it for those first two games, and I have enjoyed watching it on the telly. There have been some really good matches.
“Widening the reach of cricket is great. Hopefully that can continue, we can get new viewers in the Test arena and they can enjoy what I view as the pinnacle of the game.”