Wednesday Jun 30, 2021
LONDON: Joe Root still has ambitions to break into England's powerful batting line-up for the Twenty20 World Cup, with the Test captain insisting the controversial rest-and-rotation policy was "being put behind us".
Root last played a Twenty20 international in 2019 and, in his absence, England have climbed to the top of the T20 world rankings.
But although England are blessed with several big hitters, Root's more traditional methods of run-scoring could prove effective on the slow and low pitches expected at the T20 World Cup later this year.
The event will now take place in the United Arab Emirates and Oman following the worsening coronavirus situation in original host country India.
Root restated his white-ball credentials with an unbeaten 79 off 87 balls as England beat Sri Lanka in Tuesday's first one-day international at Chester-le-Street.
"As a batter, all you can do with the quality and strength in depth in that (England) T20 side is try and score as many runs as you can and try and affect as many games in a positive manner as you can," Root said on Wednesday.
Asked if he would like to feature at the T20 World Cup, the 30-year-old Yorkshireman replied: "Of course. Every player wants to be part of that squad."
Root, a member of the England team that won the 2019 50-over World Cup under white-ball captain Eoin Morgan, dismissed fears that he risked burn-out if he added T20 duty to his already packed schedule.
"I am desperate to play for England across all the formats as much as I can," he added ahead of Thursday's second ODI against Sri Lanka at the Oval.
"In a way it's not a conversation I need to have (with the selectors). It is their decision and I am sure that they will pick the squad they think will win the tournament — all I can do is force my case."
England, who have lost four of their past five Tests, have been criticised for how they implemented a rest-and-rotation policy, designed in response to the pressures of "bio-secure cricket" during the Covid pandemic.
It left Root unable to field his strongest side for much of this year's 3-1 series loss in India and again for the more recent 1-0 defeat by New Zealand, his first home campaign reverse as captain.
Senior players such as Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Chris Woakes were all rested at various times.
But Root said he expected the red-ball side, with a home Test series against India to come before an Ashes tour of Australia later in the year, to be at full strength from now on.
"We are coming into a period of time now where rest and rotation is put behind us," he said.
"With COVID-19, and the amount of cricket that we've had, there's been compromises made over different formats and different teams.
"We now have 10 very hard Test matches against two brilliant opposition teams coming up but it is a great opportunity for us to play some strong cricket and, if everyone is fit and available, we will have a good team ourselves.
"I'd like to think that over the next five Test matches we'll be trying to play our strongest side."