Joe Root is hoping the near three-month enforced break from cricket will help push his game forwards, both as a batsman and England’s Test captain.

Root returned to the nets at Trent Bridge at the start of the week as he prepares for a resumption in competitive action early next month.

The Coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of England’s late winter tour of Sri Lanka in mid-March, with the players returning home midway through a warm-up match.

In normal circumstances, the summer international schedule would have started this week with a Test Match against the West Indies at the Kia Oval.

Instead, the three-match series has been rescheduled to start at the Ageas Bowl on July 8, with the second and third Tests to be played at Emirates Old Trafford on the 16th and 24th respectively. All fixtures will be behind closed doors.

Prior to returning to net practice in Nottingham – the venue is closer to his south Sheffield home than Emerald Headingley is – Root was maintaining fitness with stay at home training plans.

Now, though, he is increasing preparations for what will no doubt be a busy next 12 months or so, including other scheduled home series against Pakistan, Ireland and Australia.

In October, England are due to travel to Australia for the T20 World Cup before a full winter tour of India.

“It’s been a nice and welcome break,” said the 29-year-old Yorkshireman.

“I’ve enjoyed it and benefited from it, having a bit of time to think about the game as a batter and a captain – to take a bit of stock (and work out) the best way to take the team forwards and how I will get the best out of myself for the next couple of years.

“I could see this having a big impact on longevity.

“Hopefully we can start seeing a few more converted scores and England winning plenty of games.”

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