Joe Root and David Willey: The Yorkshire-pair hasn’t been included in the 14-member squad for T20I series against Australia.
For the first time this summer, England will play a white-ball match with their best XI. Barring opening batsman Jason Roy (misses due to left side strain) and all-rounder Ben Stokes (family reasons), England have all other all-format players in the squad for the first T20I against Australia tomorrow.
With the selectors leaving out the likes of Test captain Joe Root and all-rounder David Willey, there have been discussions in the media with respect to the pair from Yorkshire.
Root, who last played a T20I 16 months ago, decided to represent Yorkshire in the ongoing T20 Blast to press a case for T20I comeback. While he celebrated his Blast comeback with two half-centuries, he was unable to find a spot in the T20I team for Australia series.
Speaking on the eve of the first T20I at the Ageas Bowl, England captain Eoin Morgan didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of Root playing in the shortest format at the highest level but also mentioned that the current side doesn’t have a place for him.
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“We have had that conversation with Joe [Root] and he certainly does have a future. The conversation was surrounding Joe not getting in the best XI at the moment.
“We didn’t want to carry him round and him not play any cricket. Joe wants to play T20 cricket and put his best case forwards particularly when he doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to go back to Yorkshire and play T20 cricket. We felt it was a really good opportunity for him to do that,” Morgan told the reporters in Southampton.
Co-incidentally, Root and Willey’s last T20I was the same match – against Pakistan in Cardiff. Willey, who picked eight wickets and scored 47* and 51 against Ireland, was recalled into the T20I team for Pakistan series but didn’t get to play a match.
Being asked about Willey’s ouster from both the formats despite him doing well, Morgan gave a similar response as that in Root’s case. Unlike Root, Willey is yet to play a Blast match for Yorkshire this year.
“I’ve had this conversation with David [Willey] himself. He was supposed to be in this squad as a reserve but chose to go back and play for Yorkshire. We agreed it’s better he’s playing when he’s bowling well,” Morgan added.