England Test captain Joe Root left Australia’s Big Bash League with just 93 runs in seven innings this week.
His highest score was 26 and his average 15.50. He was entirely outshone by England and Sydney Thunder teammate Jos Buttler, who struck 273 runs in seven innings, including three half-centuries.
Both have returned to the United Kingdom to prepare for England’s series against the West Indies in the Caribbean.
‘As an overseas player you come over and your main focus is to try and make big runs for your team, but it hasn’t quite materialised the way I would have liked,’ Root told the Daily Telegraph.
‘I’ve made some good starts and feel my game has really come on in this format, but by my own standards I don’t feel like I’ve produced scores I would have liked, which is disappointing.’
Root’s decision to join the Thunder after November 2018’s Test series against Sri Lanka, rather than stay at home ahead of a busy season that will include the World Cup and the Ashes series, divided opinion.
‘You have to think about the bigger picture,’ former captain Nasser Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail prior to Root’s BBL arrival.
‘The old fogey in you might question him playing Big Bash and then being rested from a one-dayer or the Ireland Test match next July, say. But look at the bigger picture: is it making Joe Root a better cricketer?
‘Well it should do and knowing Joe he will throw his heart and soul into it. He won’t go to sit on Coogee beach. This will all be about him improving. Down the line he might well feel a bit jaded. He might look back and wonder whether he needed to go, but given the choice of a few weeks there or freezing cold in Sheffield, it is a no-brainer.’