England’s national selector Ed Smith has said “no doors are closed” to Joe Root after the Test captain was once again omitted from the T20I squad for the upcoming series against Australia. The right-handed batsman has completely fallen down the pecking order in the shortest format of the game.
Joe Root was an integral member of the team when England qualified for the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup. He finished the competition as England’s highest run-scorer and third overall behind Tamim Iqbal and Virat Kohli. However, England have not preferred him in their T20I side in recent months.
Since the 2016 T20 World Cup, he has featured in just 12 games while England have played more than 30 during this period. After averaging 39.6 and enjoying a strike-rate of 138.78 in his first 20 T20Is, Joe Root has an average of 29.9 and a strike rate of 107.16 in the shortest format of the game since the last edition of the T20I World Cup.
And while he awaits a recall from the T20I side, Ed Smith has insisted that the batsman still features in England’s T20I plans. At the same time, he stated that Joe Root doesn’t feature in the current plans before insisting that he might get chances in future.
“I don’t think any door is closed to Joe Root. He’s a brilliant cricketer, outstanding man and he’s also England’s Test captain,” Smith said after announcing the squads for the upcoming T20I and ODI series.
“At the moment, we are setting up in a particular way as an XI in T20 cricket and Joe’s not in that. Then the decision moves towards, well if he’s not in that starting XI at the moment – although no doors are closed to him in the future – and that could easily change, where is the right place for Joe?
“He plays so much cricket, gives so much to England every time he plays and the decision is that it is not right for him that we have him in the squad if he’s not likely to be starting, so he’s not in the squad for the T20s,” he added.
Meanwhile, both the series will be played behind closed doors, in a bio-secure environment in Southampton and Manchester. The T20I series will be played at the Ageas Bowl from September 4 while the ODIs will be played in Manchester from September 11.