Former England captain Joe Root has put his name forward for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 mini-auction. His last T20I game was back in 2019 when England hosted Pakistan in a bilateral series.
Root is one of the best batters in the modern generation. His elegance and class on the ball can be matched by very few players. However, he is yet to make an appearance in the cash-rich glamor league (IPL).
His T20 exploits were recently seen in England's T20 Blast. Root has also a year's experience with the Sydney Thunders at the Big Bash League under his belt (2018-19). He last put up his name in the 2018 IPL auction but failed to attract any bidders.
As per ESPNcricinfo, Root is aware that he could go unsold once again at the mini-auction on December 23. The IPL has some of the best players across the world and making a space for Root at this point could prove to be tricky. Despite knowing the possibility of rejection, Root has still put his wish forth to attempt to experience the Indian Premier League.
Root, unlike his contemporary greats, is not known for power-hitting or flashy shots. He is brilliant at anchoring the innings and playing flawless cricket shots. Root is also a brilliant player of spin, which is a great asset for a batter in the IPL. He is also a handy option as a part-time bowler.
ESPN Cricinfo's report also mentions that with several players also playing in the IPL, along with key members placed in management roles from England, Root's chances to get his services bought at this year's auction could be higher.
Trevor Bayliss, who is the current head coach of Punjab Kings (PBKS), and Andy Flower, the coach at Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) have both worked with Root in close quarters. Root, due to his lack of full-time commitment to international cricket is also likely to be available for the entire tournament window in the IPL.
He is a regular in the Test setup and will be a key player for England in their upcoming Pakistan tour. The English team will play three Tests. They will take on New Zealand at home after that, followed by a one-off Test against Ireland in June.
"I would certainly debate going into the IPL draw quite seriously" - Joe Root
Root has some serious batting numbers in the subcontinent, including the shortest format of the game. He famously scored a 44-ball 83 against South Africa at the Wankhede Stadium in the 2016 T20I World Cup. He also recorded 126 runs in three T20Is against India, but his strike rate was put under the scanner.
In a recent interview with Daily Mail, Root admitted his interest to play the shortest format of the game. He added that playing in the IPL would be crucial to best understand T20Is.
"I would certainly debate going into the IPL draw quite seriously and hope to get exposure in that tournament. It would be great to get involved in the continuous enormity of each game and how much it means."
"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."
As mentioned before, the mini-auction for the 2023 IPL will take place on December 23. Franchises have already submitted their list of retained and released players.
Will Joe Root find a franchise at the upcoming IPL 2023 mini-auction? Let us know what you think.