Joe Root is heading for India after staying back in England for the birth © Associated Press
Joe Root is expected to be available for the opening ODI of the series between England and India after missing the start of the tour to witness the birth of his first child.
Root, England’s highest rated ODI batsman (he is currently No. 7 in the ICC’s rankings), is expected to fly to India on Wednesday (January 11) having been by his partner’s side as she gave birth to their son. The rest of the squad flew to India on January 5, which was the baby’s due date.
England play two warm-up matches in Mumbai on January 10 and 12 before the first ODI in Pune on January 15. While Root’s plans have not been confirmed, the ECB hope he will be able to play in that second warm-up game and anticipate him being available for the first ODI.
The lack of time available for Root to spend with his new family is symptomatic of the pressures created by England’s busy schedule. Alastair Cook faced a similar journey in October when he flew back to England from Bangladesh to witness the birth of his second child, but was only able to spend a few hours with his family before re-joining the tour in time for the first Test.
With England’s schedule for the rest of the year as busy as ever – they depart for Australia and New Zealand in October and, for those playing all formats, will not return until April – such journeys are likely to become the norm.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo