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England T20I & ODI squads for South Africa tour analysis - Root not in England's T20I scheme?

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan
©Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

England have announced their white-ball squads for the 3-match ODI series and the 3-match T20I series in South Africa next year. While the team has named a full strength squad for the T20Is, some big names are missing from the ODI squad.

The limited-over leg of the England tour of South Africa begins on February 4 and carries on until February 16.

Big guns return

Many of the top T20I players who were rested during the 5-match T20I series on the New Zealand tour have found a way back to the side. With this, the build up for the next year's T20 World Cup will also begin.

Moeen Ali, who reckoned it "too soon" to return for the South Africa Test series is back in the limited-over squads. Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood also walk into the side.

If the team was successful in winning the T20Is against New Zealand without so many of their top players, one can only imagine how strong the outfit will look when playing at full tilt.

Will Root make it to the T20 WC?

One of the most significant things to come out the of the squad announcement is the absence of Joe Root. Along with the aforementioned players, Root was 'rested' for the New Zealand T20Is. However, with all the big guns returning, Root's absence shows clear signs that he is not an automatic selection for this format any more.

Dawid Malan stood out for England in the last T20I series with 208 runs from 4 innings at an average of almost 70 and a strike rate of close to 165. James Vince also contributed. Now, with Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy at the top and Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali back in the middle order, there is not much room for the England Test skipper, with Tom Banton and Joe Denly breathing down his neck.

Root might be given a chance at a later stage but he will have to perform way better than his current T20I figures, to make the World Cup squad.

Malan and Jordan named in ODIs

On the back of impressive performances in New Zealand, Dawid Malan has found a place in the ODIs as well. Malan has previously played only one ODI, when he made his debut against Ireland, in May this year itself, at Malahide.

Chris Jordan has also been named in both the squads. Jordan played his last ODI way back in 2016 and was part of the the series against Pakistan, just before the World Cup. But, he lost his place to Jofra Archer. With 7 wickets from 4 matches in New Zealand, Jordan has been in good form of late and will like to carry it in the 50-over format as well.

[mpu-1ODIs not the priority

Each of Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood have been picked for the Test series and the T20Is but have been rested for the three ODIs. It is clear that the ODIs are not being given priority, with the focus on the T20 World Cup.

The ODIs instead, are being used to groom personnel for the T20s. National Selector Ed Smith gave us a peek into the management's thought process.

“These two squads were selected with an eye on the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020. In the T20s, a number of players who were rested for the successful 3-2 victory in New Zealand return to the squad: Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Jason Roy.

“We want to expand the pool of players who can perform successfully for England, while also helping the team to peak for major tournaments," Smith noted.

Pat Brown, Banton, Mahmood and Parkinson also included in ODIs

All these four players have been included in the ODI squad to give them opportunities on the international front. One feels that with the competition for spots in the T20Is, only one of Tom Banton or Dawid Malan will make the T20 World Cup squad. While Malan has been doing well, the team is probably looking to keep Banton ready as a backup and hence he finds a place in the ODI squad.

Saqib Mahmood has also been included in the ODIs to groom him further. 21-year-old right-arm fast-medium bowler Pat Brown finds a place in both the squads. Adil Rashid's understudy Matthew Parkinson has also been named in both the white-ball squads.

Sam Billings takes a break

Five players - Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Saqib Mahmood and James Vince - who were part of England's 3-2 victory against New Zealand recently have been overlooked.

After not being picked for the South Africa tour, Sam Billings (the vice-captain for the New Zealand T20Is) has decided to take a break from franchise cricket this season and will take fresh guard for Kent from next year onwards.

ODI squad - Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Tom Banton (Somerset), Pat Brown (Worcestershire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

T20I squad - Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Pat Brown (Worcestershire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Matt Parkinson (Lancashire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham)

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