Root’s primary attraction to franchises would be his ability against spin, particularly with the IPL reverting to a home-and-away format in 2023. He also provides a bowling option with his offbreaks, and has often bowled in the powerplay during his sporadic T20 appearances.
At 31, Root’s calendar is a little clearer without the burden of captaincy. After a two-months break, following the summer’s final Test against South Africa, he is currently in the UAE where England’s men are preparing for their three-Test tour of Pakistan at the start of December.
From there, the next Test engagement is a two-match series against New Zealand in February 2023. There is a chance Root might play a part in the ODIs in South Africa and the three ODIs contained within March’s white-ball tour of Bangladesh, ahead of the 50-over World Cup in India later that year, but he is expected to be available for the majority of the IPL season. England’s first Test of the 2023 summer, against Ireland at Lord’s, begins on June 1.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Root said he hoped a potential IPL gig would go some way to making up for the blind spots he may have developed in the shortest format, given he has only made 11 appearances (for Yorkshire and Trent Rockets) since the start of 2021. Experiencing Indian conditions ahead of the World Cup there in October would be another bonus.
“I have no thoughts or feelings of retirement or slowing down or playing fewer formats,” Root said. “If anything, I feel a little bit more freedom with my time. I always used to get rested for the T20s and I feel like I got alienated from the format because I had not played enough of it.
“You can feel like you are getting left behind a little bit. Now, the next couple of years, might be a good time to explore playing a little bit more of that format and see how far I can take that side of my game.
“That is especially valid because of how we are trying to play now as a Test team. Looking at the game through a T20 lens, will that benefit my Test cricket?”