Why England must recall Joe Root for the T20I side

Joe Root
Joe Root
Aaron Gales
Modified 21 Feb 2020

Eoin Morgan's England team have continued to impress in limited overs internationals as they move on from last year's historic World Cup victory and turn their attention to the Twenty20 World Cup which will be held towards the end of 2020.

Three supremely close games against South Africa, which England edged 2-1 in thrilling fashion, suggest that they will be among the favourites to win the tournament that they reached the final of in 2016.

However, I believe there is one man England should have in their team who would greatly improve their chances of victory. That man is Test captain Joe Root, who has found himself firmly out of the T20 picture in recent times.

Also see – Women’s T20 world cup points table

The excuse has often been given that Root, who not only captains the Test side but is also a vital part of the ODI side, needs to rest. And apparently, this format of the game is the best opportunity to give him a break from the grind of the international cricket schedule.

The suspicion remains though that the hierarchy believe Root isn't hard hitting enough to justify his place in the team anymore.

However, the statistics suggest otherwise; in fact, they point towards Root being potentially a huge asset for England in the middle order.

Let's not forget that Root was England's top-scorer in the last version of the competition. In total he has played 35 games for England in T20Is, has an impressive average of over 35 and a strike rate of 126.

Now although England did win their most recent series, there were problems in the middle order. England's persistence with Joe Denly in the middle order was particularly baffling.

Joe Denly
Joe Denly

Denly has shown himself to be lacking the required quality to play for England on a consistent basis. However, National Selector Ed Smith seems to have a real blind spot where Denly is concerned.

Compared to Root's impressive record, Denly has played 12 games in T20Is, averages less than 10 and has a strike rate of less than 100. Why he is considered a better bet in the middle order than arguably England's greatest ever batsman, is anyone's guess.

Joe Denly (L) and Joe Root (R)
Joe Denly (L) and Joe Root (R)

Root will captain England in eight Test matches this year as the team continues its revival in the longest format of the game, and it will be vital to ensure that he gets enough rest. To that end, it would make sense to rest him in the ODI series against Australia and Ireland - and get him back in the middle order for England's T20 series in preparation for the World Cup.

Root's calm, composed batting style could be exactly what England need in their middle order. And it could be the difference between winning and losing in the sport's most unpredictable format.

Published 20 Feb 2020
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