Are Delhi Capitals eyeing Joe Root in the IPL 2023 Auction?

Can Joe Root, who has set his base price at INR 1 crores for the IPL 2023 mini-auctions, get a maiden gig this year?
Joe Root?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Root has been signed by Dubai Capitals for ILT20

The IPL 2023 Auction, set to be held in Kochi on Friday, December 22, is less than 24 hours away, and there is a sense of excitement as ever, with a number of international stalwarts having registered their name. Joe Root, the former England Test captain and the country’s premier Test batter, has been roped in by the Dubai Capitals ahead of the inaugural edition of the International League T20 (ILT20) in the UAE, and has also put his name in for the IPL auctions. 

Given that many franchises share common players between global T20 leagues, there are chances that Delhi Capitals might be interested in getting Joe Root into their setup.

Are Delhi Capitals eyeing Joe Root in the IPL 2023 Auction? 

Joe Root’s association with the Dubai Capitals - part of the franchise run by Delhi Capitals joint-owners, GMR Group - perhaps hints that the IPL franchise would be keen on acquiring his services ahead of the 2023 season. Franchises share common players between global T20 leagues, a point in case being Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, who represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and are a part of the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the ILT20. Kieron Pollard, a five-time IPL winner with the Mumbai Indians, will lead the MI Emirates in the league. Dubai Capitals line-up features Rovman Powell, the swashbuckling West Indies all-rounder, who was acquired by the Delhi Capitals for INR 2.80 crores at the IPL 2022 mega-auction.

Root’s link up with the Dubai Capitals is just his second overseas T20 gig, following one with Sydney Thunder in BBL 2018-19. He had gone unsold in the IPL 2018 auctions. A key member of England’s runners-up finish at the ICC T20 World Cup 2016, Root has aggregated 893 runs at a strike-rate of 126.30 till date, his last appearance dating back to May 2019. Overall, he has scored 2083 T20 runs at 32.54 and a strike-rate of 126.7, with 13 fifties. 

The Delhi Capitals currently have six overseas players in their squad - David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Powell, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi and Mustafizur Rahman - with two slots remaining ahead of the mini auction. Their starting XI featured Warner, Marsh, Powell and Nortje for a major part of the last season, wherein they finished fifth.

In a line-up full of power-hitters, the Capitals might just be tempted to have the stabilising impact of Root at No.3, considering Marsh’s relatively inferior skills against quality spin and the perennial fitness concerns. Root’s innovative batting in the longer formats in recent times, none as striking as the reverse-scoops off quality quicks in Tests during the home summer earlier this year, further strengthens his case.

His off-breaks, which have fetched him six T20I wickets till date - Chris Gayle, Ross Taylor, Shaun Marsh, Ben Cutting, Dinesh Chandimal and Johnson Charles - and 52 and 26 in Tests and ODIs respectively, could be as resourceful. 

The Capitals have an INR 19.45 crore purse remaining heading into the auctions, which puts them with a great chance to acquire one of the much sought after all-rounders in Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Cameron Green. They might just target Root too, or perhaps seek a quality international spinner as a backup to Kuldeep Yadav, while also looking out for Indian talents.