Joe Root’s place in England T20 side is the least of their worries


He defeat by India in the T20 series is not a calamity but it is a chastening reminder that England, whatever the rankings, do not necessarily rule the roost in white-ball cricket.In Bristol in particular there was also the warning that if the sun keeps shining there are going to be some tough days ahead in the ODIs for bowlers on hard-baked pitches and glassy outfields.Paul Farbrace, who was in charge of England during the T20 phase of the summer, is instinctively an optimistic fellow hence he was quick to note: “We’ve learned a lot over the last four matches and we’ve also been taught a lesson in T20 cricket as well”. He highlighted how, in the final game, India kept playing “strong cricket shots” rather than over-elaborating by attempting clever little dinks to third man.Farbrace also expanded on the dropping of Joe Root, a justifiable decision but an interesting one. Root is England’s best batsman; he is the Test captain and Farbrace more or less said that he is not an “anachronism” in T20. Ten days earlier, he had suggested he was undroppable.“You need people who can manipulate the strike, can play spin well and keep you in tight games. That’s a skill Joe has; he has the ability to hit boundaries; he might not have the raw power of a Stokes or a Bairstow but strong cricket shots, even in T20, will get your reward.“I still believe that if England are to be successful in T20 cricket over the next couple of years leading into the World Cup, Joe will play a magnificent and big part in that.”Even so, Root was dropped – though there was confirmation from Eoin Morgan he will return for the ODI at Nottingham on Thursday. It is rare for a player of his stature to be left out rather than “rested”.Root reacted appropriately. He was both disappointed and eagerly ferrying drinks out to the middle. He had no alternative. Root has been – and will be – involved in hairline selectorial decisions for his Test team. He knows all about the emotions involved for the captain and now he has a reminder what it feels like for the omitted player. His character will allow him to use this as a learning experience; it will also spur him on to greater heights against a white ball, I suspect.Once again, Farbrace, who now reverts to his second in command role with Trevor Bayliss returning, sees positives from all this. “Since the Test match in Christchurch [at the end of the New Zealand series] and the two Tests against Pakistan, despite two of the results not being what we wanted, there are signs of Joe really getting to grips with the Test team as captain.“Any experience like he’s had over the last few days will definitely help him. And I’ll stick to what I’ve said many times before: players learn from players and I’m sure that Joe will be watching the way Morgs talks to the team, the way he goes about things, the way that he makes decisions and I’m sure those two will have lots of conversations about the role of being England captain whether it’s with a red ball or a white ball”.