Former England Test captain Joe Root is set to make his debut with the Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. Ahead of the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday, RR’s director of cricket and head coach, Kumar Sangakkara, was seen presenting Root with his maiden cap during the team huddle.
The 32-year-old, who went unsold at the 2018 auction, was picked up for Rs. 1 crore ahead of this iteration of the IPL.
Interestingly, just ahead of the cap presentation ceremony, Root told the broadcasters: ”I may not be playing but I feel like I have had a huge amount of learning in the last few weeks. If I get an opportunity, I’ll try to do my best for the side.”
Root, who has accumulated 18,048 runs in a much-celebrated international career, also said, it has been quite some time since he could devote his full concentration to the Twenty20 format. “I’m very passionate about playing for England clearly. It was a dream to just play one Test match, let alone so many. Looking forward to what’s to come later on in the year. But got my hands full now, and I’m enjoying what’s happening here right now. The last few weeks have been really good to just be around T20 cricket. Been a long time since I’ve had a block of time to concentrate only on T20,” he said.
Root has been away from the T20 set up with the Three Lions, having played his last T20I for England in May 2019. However, he played a key role in England’s runner-up finish during the 2016 T20 World Cup, scoring 249 runs at an average of 49.8 and striking at 146.47.
Elaborating on his learnings at the RR camp, Root said, “To get the opportunity to be here, learn from the coaches and see some young guys come through has been beneficial for me as a player. I’m in this format just to try and look at the game slightly differently, and that’s always what you want to do when you’re new somewhere - just be a sponge and soak as much as possible.”
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