Joe Root © Getty Images
Joe Root © Getty Images

England’s tour of India 2016-17 ended in disappointment for the visitors as they went on to lose in all three formats. India dominated the Test series 4-0, the ODIs were pocketed 2-1 and England despite having taken a lead in the T20I series, went down 1-2 post a dramatic batting collapse at Bengaluru. However, it was a good series for Joe Root, who plundered plenty of runs, starting with a hundred at Rajkot.

Root took an extended Christmas break to attend the birth of his first child. On January 7 this year, Root and his girlfriend Carrie Cotterell welcomed their son — Alfred William. He had to soon arrive in India to play the limited-overs leg of the tour but post the series, the Root family had more good news awaiting. Alastair Cook stepped down from England’s Test captaincy and Root was crowned the successor. It was a matter of time because he was tipped to be the next-in-line for a long time.

In bid to remain fit for the long home season and spend time with his newborn, Root had pulled himself out of the lucrative IPL which begins on April 5. He was quoted by the British press as saying, “It is a shame because there is a really good window in the international calendar to play. But looking at the schedule, especially next winter, I am going to be away for long periods. This will be a great opportunity to spend time at home and watch (son) Alfred grow up a little bit.”

Though he praised the Indian T20 league, he mentioned “home” was his priority. “A lot of great things would come from the IPL, a lot of great experiences and I am sure it would help to improve my game. But at the moment being at home is my priority and I want to make sure I do not miss out on that. It is quite tough being away in these early days so it will be nice to catch up,” Root added.

One of the best batsmen in modern cricket, 26-year-old Root is all set for his Caribbean sojourn as England play West Indies in 3 ODIs. The young father posted an adorable picture with his son and wrote, “Going to miss chilling out with the big man over the next few weeks but excited to get back playing again! Great to be back in St Kitts.”

England will play three ODIs with the series starting on March 3 at North Sound, Antigua. The English team will be led by their limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan. Root’s journey as England’s Test captain begins later in the summer, on July 6, against a strong Faf du Plessis-led South African side.