Former England Test captain Joe Root will put his name in the upcoming Indian Premier League 2023 auction on December 23 and is eager to feature in the tournament for the first time in his career, ESPNcricinfo reported on Tuesday (November 22).
The right-handed batter did enter the auction in 2018 but went unsold. The 31-year-old hasn’t been too active in these franchise-based T20 leagues due to international commitments and England’s Test captaincy but now wants to experience the best T20 league prior to the 2023 50-over World Cup in India.
Apart from the T20 Blast and the Hundred, the only time Root has featured in a T20 league was in 2018-19 when he played for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. In fact, he hasn’t played a T20I for England since May 2019.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Root said: "I have no thoughts or feelings of retirement or slowing down or playing fewer formats. If anything, I feel a little bit more freedom with my time. I always used to get rested for the T20s and I feel like I got alienated from the format because I had not played enough of it.
"You can feel like you are getting left behind a little bit. Now, the next couple of years, might be a good time to explore playing a little bit more of that format and see how far I can take that side of my game. That is especially valid because of how we are trying to play now as a Test team. Looking at the game through a T20 lens, will that benefit my Test cricket?
"With a 50-over World Cup next year, there are areas of my game that can benefit from playing more short-form cricket. When am I going to play some white-ball cricket if I don’t go out and search it out domestically?
“I would certainly debate going into the IPL draw quite seriously and hope to get exposure in that tournament. It would be great to get involved in the continuous enormity of each game and how much it means."
The IPL is reverting to a home-and-away format and that could actually work in Root’s favour who is an excellent player of spin. A franchise like Chennai Super Kings could be interested in Root as the Chepauk surface is perfect for spin bowling.