JOE ROOT will likely sit out Yorkshire’s County Championship match against Northamptonshire next week.
Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire first team coach, said that the England Test captain will probably not play in the game at Emerald Headingley that starts on April 29.
Root’s availability is being determined on a weekly basis ahead of the international season that starts in June.
Root himself said that he hopes to play in more Championship games prior to the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s on June 2 after confirming his availability for tomorrow’s fixture against Sussex at Hove.
The 30-year-old has played in the opening two rounds at home to Glamorgan and away to Kent and could potentially feature in the reverse fixtures too, with Kent visiting Headingley from May 6 and Yorkshire facing Glamorgan at Cardiff from May 13.
Gale explained: “Originally we said Rooty would be available for the first two games and after that we’ll take it game by game.
“Joe said last week, after playing against Glamorgan, that he’d probably play at Sussex as well, and I’d imagine that after Sussex he’ll probably have a week off – the game against Northants at Headingley.
“But we’ll just have to take it game by game.
“It’s how he’s feeling in himself; he’s got a hell of a lot of cricket in front of him, and he’s got to stay mentally fresh more than anything.”
Having led tours to Sri Lanka and India last winter, Root faces a busy few months, culminating in an Ashes campaign.
He started the Championship season with three low scores –perhaps understandably taking time to readjust to English conditions – and then made what looked like an effortless second innings hundred against Kent in Canterbury, helping Yorkshire to a 200-run victory.
“I think what you find with players like Rooty is that they don’t stay out of form for long,” said Gale. “He went three knocks without making a substantial innings so you knew that one was just around the corner.
“In the nets he’s looked good, his preparation has been good, and he looks to have rhythm in his batting at the moment. Whether it was in the second innings against Kent, or in the first innings at Sussex, you sort of felt that a big score was on its way.”
On the subject of big scores, George Hill hit 207 and Will Fraine 186 in the second team match against Gloucestershire at Bristol. Gary Ballance scored one on his return from concussion and is available for Hove.
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