You can't rule Joe Root out: Eoin Morgan on veteran batsman’s T20 World Cup chances

Tags: T20 World Cup, England, Joseph Edward Root, Eoin Joseph Gerard Morgan

Published on: Jun 30, 2021

England’s white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan has admitted that veteran batsman Joe Root is very much in contention for a place in England’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held later in the year. Root scored an unbeaten 79 not out off 87 balls as England defeated Sri Lanka by five wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. Root was, however, not part of the T20I outfit that thrashed Sri Lanka 3-0 recently. Morgan though admitted that Root cannot be ruled out of the T20 World Cup.

The England captain was quoted as saying in a Sky Sports report, "I think there are a lot of people who are (in contention) and certainly you can't rule Joe out. The role he played in 2016, the runs he scored and the manner in which he scored them as well went a long way towards getting us to the final. His knock in the final as well was outstanding.

"I think circumstances in the last two years, given how busy the schedule is but also Test matches being a priority, hasn't allowed Joe to play as much T20 as he'd have liked. But he's one of the best in the world in most situations and he showed his class. Even yesterday at training it was notable how easy he found things,” Morgan added.

According to the England captain, Root doesn’t look in trouble even when the surface is a bit two-paced. Referring to the Test skipper’s innings in the first ODI, Morgan said, "He just does the basics unbelievably well and never seems to struggle, even though the wicket might have been a little bit two-paced. So it was a joy to watch him see the team home."

After England stumbled to 80 for 4 in a chase of 186, Root featured in a fifth-wicket partnership of 91 with Moeen Ali as the hosts got home with nearly 15 overs to spare. Chris Woakes was named man of the match for his excellent four-wicket haul.

Speaking about Root not being part of the current T20 side, former captain Michael Atherton opined that it reflected the strength of England’s setup in the shortest format of the game. He told Sky Sports, "It's not to say he can't play well in T20 or that he wouldn't get into many other sides - it's just that the strength of competition for this England short form team is so immense.

“He would want to play all formats but, given his responsibility as Test captain and if he's going to play in the 50-over side as well, where do you get your breaks as a player?” Atherton wondered.

Root was England's leading run-scorer in the 2016 edition and scored 54 in the final, which the team lost to West Indies.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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