It is learnt that the former England Test skipper has given his nod finally. Joe Root will partake in the mini-auctions to be held in December this year. Root had earlier once gone unsold but teams now know the value he brings to a side. The fact that he is currently the world’s best Test batter is not lost on anyone.
Test cricket’s big forces:
Root along with Kane Williamson and Steve Smith are arguably the three best Test batters currently. None of them currently have an IPL contract to their name.
We look at what each one of them can offer an IPL side if they get picked:
#3 Kane Williamson
Not a lot has gone right for Kane Williamson lately. He had a forgettable IPL 2022 where he led the Sunrisers. Williamson was one of the biggest reasons why SRH failed to push for a playoff spot. He needed to be amongst the runs big time to hold onto his spot in the side. A tepid T20 World Cup put paid to any hopes of retention.
CSK to punt on Captain Kane?
Williamson will be back in the auctions this season. There are a lot of cricketing experts who believe that Williamson’s T20 years are beyond him. But there is a lot that Williamson can bring to a side in franchise cricket. He is a proven leader who has a calm head around his shoulders. A team like CSK will be looking closely at Williamson’s development in the auctions. As the slow low wickets of Chepauk would need a tactical leader like him in the future.
#2 Steve Smith
He is undoubtedly the best Test batsman of the current generation. Steve Smith’s transformation from an amateurish wrist-spinner to a top Test batter has been remarkable. There was a phase where Smith arrived at the crease to routinely churn out hundreds. He had a fine impact on the ODI format.
But for some reason, Smith couldn’t push the envelope in the T20Is. It’s his reputation that has kept him in the reckoning in T20Is, unlike the IPL where reputation counts for little.
Can he reinvent himself this season?
Steve Smith will be keen to explore the Indian conditions ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup in India later next year. He is a proven player against spin. But is there a franchise willing to bet on Smith at this juncture? Expect a team like Rajasthan to throw in a surprise as he can work around their fragile middle order.
#1 Joe Root
He has been unstoppable in red-ball cricket in the last three years. Joe Root is the leading batsman in Test cricket. He has scored runs all around the world. Root has finally taken the bait of putting his name into the auctions. He wants to understand the nous of playing white ball cricket in India ahead of the mega event next year.
The dangle of IPL experience rejuvenating his career:
Root believes the IPL can liberate him to be the Test batter his side wants him to be. There have been speculations about how CSK is looking at a player like Root. He is certainly ahead of the other two in the pack in the T20I game. Root it seems will attract attention in the auctions.