Former England Test captain Joe Root has signed contracts with the Dubai Capitals and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the International League T20 (ILT20) and Indian Premier League (IPL), respectively, to play in the shortest format.
The Yorkshire-born player has made significant progress in Test cricket, surpassing 10,000 runs in June 2022. Root, free of the burden of captaincy, is looking forward to making a name for himself in T20 cricket after a brief stint in The Hundred.
Recent stints in franchise T20 leagues on the subcontinent may help him prepare for the ODI World Cup, which will be held in India in October-November. It should be noted that he has not been named to England’s squad for the three-match One-Day International series against South Africa, which begins on January 27.
Root stated that he wants to improve his white-ball game and cited Sachin Tendulkar as an example of a player who adapted his game as T20 cricket evolved during the latter stages of his career. He told Zee ahead of the start of the ILT20 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):
“I mean obviously there are some wonderful players currently playing but look at what Sachin has achieved, it’s just remarkable really, the longevity, the ability to be such a high-performing player at such a young age, and then to be able to sustain and to keep developing and moving forward in the game,” Joe Root said.
“There have been times when he’s carried the weight of the pressure on his shoulders, and he did it for over 20 years. He made his debut before I was born and played in my debut, and it just shows how and what he was for Indian cricket for such a long period of time.”
“Truly great at the game, someone that you know, along with many others that I was admiring as a kid, how easy it looked, and not only has he contributed to Indian cricket but also to world cricket. So yeah, definitely a standout for me as a kid growing up,” he further added.
𝑨𝑵𝑫 𝑾𝑬'𝑹𝑬 𝑼𝑵𝑫𝑬𝑹𝑾𝑨𝒀 🤩
— Dubai Capitals (@Dubai_Capitals) January 8, 2023
“I really want to develop my white-ball game further” Joe Root
Joe Root was a key figure in England’s victory at the 2019 ODI World Cup. Over the course of the tournament, he scored two centuries and two fifties, finishing as the tournament’s fifth-highest run-scorer and the highest among his teammates.
“I have a lot of experience in playing 50-over cricket now. I have got a good understanding of how to play in Odis. I really want to develop my white-ball game further and if there is anything that I can add to my 50-over game, it will come from playing more T20 cricket and putting myself in situations I have not found myself frequently during the course of my career so far,” Joe Root concluded.
The England international was a late addition to the IPL 2023 mini-auction. He was initially unsold, but was snatched up by the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the final stages of the accelerated round for his base price of 1 crore.
On Friday, January 13, the Dubai Capitals will face the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the first edition of ILT20.