Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England captain Joe Root has revealed the main reason why he put his name forward for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction is to get more match practice in the Twenty20 format.
Root entered the auction, which will be held on January 27 and 28 in Bangalore, for the first time despite being advised not to do so by England head coach Trevor Bayliss.
Despite Bayliss voicing his concerns about Root’s workload if he were to play in the IPL, the 27-year-old insisted that his body can handle it.
However, should that not be the case going forward, Root made it clear that he will always put his country first over the star-studded Twenty20 competition.
“I get that. The schedule is very full on if you play in all three formats,” he was quoted as saying by The Telegraph. “I’ve always said I put playing for England first and if it means resting from things like the IPL, which I’ve done in the past, I’ll happily do that.
“For however long my international career last it’s going to be focused about as giving as much as I can for this team and playing for England.”
Given that the next World Twenty20 will take place in two years’ time, Root feels the IPL presents him with a golden opportunity to develop his game in the shortest format and test his skills by playing alongside and against some of the best names in the sport.
“One thing I’ve been very aware of for the past two years is the lack of T20 cricket,” he said. “When that World Cup does come around in a couple of years’ time, this is probably the best window of opportunity for me to develop that white-ball side of my game.
“You’ve seen how quickly one-day cricket has moved forward in the last three or four years. As someone involved in the Test side I don’t want to be missing white ball cricket and falling behind, trying to catch up. I want to make sure I’m keeping my place and setting the standards in this team, leading the way.
“I think the IPL is a great opportunity. It may be that I don’t have a great IPL but the best thing would be the exposure to different players and different ways of looking at the game, being under pressure for long periods of time.
“I can’t see how that could hamper my game or be detrimental to my England career. I spent a good four or five months making that decision, that’s where my head is at. Hopefully we’ll see the benefits in a couple of years’ time.”