England enters the upcoming One Day International series against India without one of their biggest stars in Jofra Archer but captain Eoin Morgan is really ruing the absence of Joe Root.
Root isn’t currently part of England’s T20I squad and was afforded the opportunity after the Test series to head home to refresh for matches later in the year including the Ashes, meaning he’ll miss the three ODIs.
England’s current congested schedule and constant bio-secure hub requirements have meant players will come in and out of squads to ensure there’s a balance in their lives to keep them fresh mentally along with physically.
Morgan said Root’s absence for the India ODIs opened the door for others to show their wares, but admitted it would be felt.
“I hope it doesn’t change the dynamics too much but obviously losing Joe Root leaves a massive hole,” Morgan said ahead of the first ODI on Tuesday.
“He is a guy who scores at a run a ball and averages 50, he’s an exceptional player and has been for a long time. We will miss him, but it is just a matter of somebody slotting in at three and going about it in their own way.
“We have plenty of options, I think we’re spoilt for choice in terms of batters who want to bat in the top four, very similar to the T20 make-up.
“Throughout the series, we’ll see guys given an opportunity, more so than we did in the T20 series.”
Among England’s batting options to slot into Root’s role for the ODIs are Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, while Liam Livingstone will be looking for a chance too.
“It’s going to be exciting, playing three games on the same ground against a very strong Indian side is a huge opportunity for everyone to go out there and get back into the frame of mind and the pace of 50-over cricket,” Morgan said.
“But guys who haven’t have the opportunity to put their case forward in both formats.”
Moeen Ali wasn’t used in any of the recent T20Is but Morgan indicated he’d likely get his chance in the 50-over format.
“Anybody who is an all-rounder and in our squad is extremely valuable to our side,” Morgan said.
“I know he’s not played but that’s been circumstantial, the pitches that we’ve played on just have not turned and that limits the contribution that a finger spinner might make in the game.”