Root left out of England T20 squad to face South Africa

LONDON (Agencies): England Test captain Joe Root has been left out of the squad for the three T20 internationals in South Africa.

With a Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in October 2020, the selectors wanted to look at other players, though Root does remain in their plans. Fast bowler Liam Plunkett, a World Cup winner, has been left out of squad for the three one-day internationals.

All-rounder Moeen Ali, who has opted to take a break from Test cricket, is in both squads. The ODIs are on 4, 7 and 9 February and the T20s the following week on 12, 14, and 16, all following the conclusion of the four-match Test series, which starts on 26 December.

The ODIs will be the first time England have played 50-over cricket since being crowned world champions last July. Uncapped quartet Pat Brown, Matthew Parkinson, Saqib Mahmood and Tom Banton feature in a squad once again led by Eoin Morgan and containing eight players that featured during the World Cup.

James Vince and Liam Dawson join Plunkett in being left out. Plunkett took three wickets in the World Cup final but was not given a central contract in September and, at 34, is unlikely to be around when England defend their crown in India in 2023.

The Surrey man tweeted: “Gutted not be involved in the England ODI squad.”

Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood are all rested for the ODIs but return for the T20s, with national selector Ed Smith saying that both squads have been chosen “with an eye on the T20 World Cup”.

In that sense, England’s Twenty20 squad appears to be at full strength. From the players that featured in the 3-2 victory in New Zealand in October, Vince, Banton, Mahmood, Sam Billings and Lewis Gregory miss out.

Batsman Dawid Malan, leg-spinner Parkinson and paceman Brown all retain their places. It is the form of Malan, along with the prolific top-order runscoring of Buttler, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow that seems to have squeezed Root out.

In order to manage his workload, Root, who was part of the side that reached the World T20 final in 2016, has often been rested from T20 internationals in the time that has since passed.

He has spoken of his desire to play all three formats for England and played for Sydney Thunder in the last season of Australia’s Big Bash League. However, it would now appear that the Test skipper faces a battle to win a place in the side for the T20 World Cup in Australia in 10 months’ time.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matthew Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Chris Woakes.

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood.

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