Joe Root set for Big Bash League debut with Sydney Thunder
England Test captain Joe Root will make his Big Bash League debut later this year after he completed a deal with Sydney Thunder. He will now join his England teammate Jos Buttler as the duo will play together under Shane Watson in the eighth edition of the Big Bash.
Since the World T20 final in 2016, Root has played just 11 T20s and was even dropped from the England side for the third T20I against India at Bristol, where Ben Stokes took his place. He signed for the auction ahead of IPL 2018 but he found no takers and in a bid to play more T20s ahead of the World T20 in Australia in 2020, Root will now feature for the Thunder, as they look to capture their second Big Bash League title this year.
The gap in England's schedule this winter will mean that Root is likely to be the first of many England regulars to feature in the BBL, which is set to begin in the third week of December, the schedule for which will be out next week.
England's final Test on their tour of Sri Lanka ends on November 27 and England have no games scheduled in the month of December. The schedule for England's tour of West Indies, which comprises of three Tests and six ODIs/T20Is, hasn't been confirmed but early indications are that it will start towards the end of January. If that is the case, the Test players are only expected to report two weeks ahead of the first Test, which would give Root at least half a dozen T20 games under his belt.
Although Root remains a part of England's plans across all formats, he hasn't had as much success in T20Is, a format in which he has played just 28 games for England since his debut in 2012. A successful outing with the Sydney Thunder, who have Shane Watson as their captain and earlier announced Shane Bond as their coach, might be just what the doctor ordered for the 27-year-old as he looks to seal his spot ahead of the next edition of the World T20 in Australia.