On December 23, Joe Root will participate in the forthcoming IPL auction in an effort to make his professional debut in the league. Root's opportunities, both on the T20 franchise circuit and in the format overall, have been limited by a combination of international commitments and a five-year stint as England Test captain.
In the 2018-19 season, he played for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, which was his sole experience to domestic events besides the T20 Blast and the Hundred. In Root's previous IPL auction appearance in 2018, he failed to find a buyer.
The same might occur this time around, but he is only interested in attending the world's best T20 competition and the England middle order Batsman has no expectations about compensation or destination.
Since hitting 47 from 42 balls against Pakistan in May 2019, just before the 50-over World Cup, he hasn't featured in a T20I. With the IPL switching back to a home-and-away format in 2023, Root's effectiveness against spin would be the main draw for teams.
With his offbreaks, he also offers a bowling option, and during his occasional T20 appearances, he frequently bowled during the powerplay.
With no captaincy duties, Root's schedule is a little bit more open at age 31. He is now in the UAE where England's team is preparing for their three-test tour of Pakistan at the beginning of December after taking a two-month vacation following the final Test of the summer against South Africa.
Following that, a two-match series against New Zealand will be the next Test matchup in February 2023. Prior to the 50-over World Cup in India later that year, there is a chance that Root will participate in the ODIs in South Africa and the three ODIs that are part of the white-ball tour of Bangladesh in March, but he is anticipated to be available for the majority of the IPL season. June 1 marks the start of England's first summer 2023 Test against Ireland at Lord's.
Given that he has only made 11 games (for Yorkshire and Trent Rockets) since the beginning of 2021, Root told the Mail on Sunday that he believed a prospective IPL job would help cover up any blind spots he could have acquired in the shortest format. Another benefit would be to experience Indian conditions before the World Cup takes place there in October.
"I have no thoughts or feelings of retirement or slowing down or playing fewer formats,"
"If anything, I feel a little bit more freedom with my time. I always used to get rested for the T20s and I feel like I got alienated from the format because I had not played enough of it."
"You can feel like you are getting left behind a little bit. Now, the next couple of years, might be a good time to explore playing a little bit more of that format and see how far I can take that side of my game."
"That is especially valid because of how we are trying to play now as a Test team. Looking at the game through a T20 lens, will that benefit my Test cricket?"
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