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Root has fire in his eyes again

— 22 October 2019

Joe Root insists he still has plenty to offer England’s T20 side ahead of the World Cup in Australia next October and November.

The Yorkshire star has not travelled to New Zealand for the five-match series at the start of next month, instead only linking up with the Test squad for the two-match series later in the month.

Root has only played 23 Twenty20 matches since the end of the last World T20 in April 2016.

Twelve of those have come for England, four for Yorkshire and seven for Sydney Thunder.

A busy international schedule has stunted the 28-year-old’s progression in 20-over cricket and is the reason why he is not in New Zealand for the full schedule of fixtures.

The likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes have also been rested from the T20s.

Young gun Tom Banton has been given his chance to impress new head coach Chris Silverwood after some sparkling Vitality Blast form for Somerset.

Root has never hidden away from the fact that he doesn’t possess the power game that a number of his team-mates do – Buttler, Bairstow, Morgan, Stokes and Roy for example.

But he still averages 35.72 across 32 international appearances and has oodles of experience.

  • “Definitely,” he said when asked if the challenge to retain his place in England’s T20 plans was getting bigger and bigger.

    “But for me to get in it’ll mean I’ll have to keep improving and getting better. It will raise the bar for the team if that is the case.

    “If someone like Tom Banton comes in and sets the world alight, and I’ve got to try and force him out in the limited opportunities that I get to play, it’s obviously going to raise the standard of English cricket in that format.

    “That’s the food chain that cricket is. You have to be at the top of it or else you get swept away and eaten up.”

    Root was speaking at The Hundred draft in London on Sunday, a competition in which he will play for Nottingham-based side Trent Rockets.

  • He continued: “I have got good experiences to call upon in T20 cricket. I know what it’s like to have to perform in those scenarios.

    “I scored runs in the (World T20) final and have always felt that when I’ve had a block of that format to get stuck into, I’ve generally done pretty well.

    “I felt that was the case with the T20 World Cup.

    “It took me a couple of warm-up games and a two-week period beforehand to really get into it. But once the tournament started, I found my way and felt like it was very similar to the one-day team where I knew how everyone else was going to play and you dovetail around them.”

    Root has enjoyed a period of rest since the end of the Ashes, but is now back to work in the nets ahead of winter tours to New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

    He has been working with Sheffield Collegiate captain Josh Varley, a childhood friend and a budding coach, and ex-Yorkshire wicketkeeper Simon Guy, who is the director of cricket at Denstone College in Staffordshire.

    “From when I started at Yorkshire, Simon’s been a bit of a mentor for me,” added Root, who usually works closely with England’s Graham Thorpe. “It’s quite nice to go to other people.”

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