January 10, 2018 / 1:49 PM / 2 months ago

Cricket: England's Root likely to be fit for opening ODI against Australia

(Reuters) - England test captain Joe Root is expected to be fit for Sunday’s one-day series opener against Australia in Melbourne as he continues to recover from the illness that saw him treated in hospital during the fifth Ashes test.

Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - WACA Ground, Perth, Australia, December 18, 2017. England's captain Joe Root reacts as he walks off the ground after losing the third Ashes cricket test match. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

The 27-year-old returned to training on Wednesday after receiving treatment for gastroenteritis, which forced him to retire hurt on the final day in the Sydney defeat that gave Australia a 4-0 test series triumph.

“He’s obviously a lot better than he was on Monday,” England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was quoted saying by the Australian Associated Press.

“He’s up and about so I think a few more days and his bug should have gone. He’s a huge part of our side so we’re desperate for him to be fit and well. I’m sure he will rest up and try and get his energy back.”

Ahead of a busy international schedule, including home test matches against India and Pakistan, England coach Trevor Bayliss has urged Root to skip the 2018 Indian Premier League.

Cricket - Ashes test match - Australia v England - SCG, Sydney, Australia, January 8, 2018. England's captain Joe Root arrives at the ground before the start of the fifth day of the fifth Ashes cricket test match. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

Root, however, remains keen to play in limited overs competitions to prepare himself for the next year’s 50-over World Cup in England.

“We had that discussion a few days ago, I suggested to him that he shouldn’t play, that he should have a break,” Bayliss was quoted as saying by British media on Tuesday.

“He feels that whenever he’s had a break in the last couple of years, it’s always been a T20 series. He wants to play in 50-over World Cups and T20 World Cups.

“He thinks if he keeps missing all the T20 cricket he’s just going to fall behind and not be up to speed when those come along. There are difficult decisions to make.”

England are scheduled to play five one-day internationals against Australia followed by a Twenty20 tri-series with the hosts and New Zealand which starts on Feb. 3.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris

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