Root 'could easily come back into reckoning' for T20Is – Ed Smith
Smith suggested that Root's absence from the squad was down more to workload management than any questions over his value as a player in the shortest format, although the selector also admitted that the Yorkshire batsman would not be in England's preferred starting XI at the moment.
"He's a brilliant cricketer, an outstanding man," Smith said after announcing the squad which would face Australia. "He's also England's Test captain. And at the moment we are setting up in a particular way as an XI in T20 cricket. Joe's not in that, and then the decision moves towards, well if he's not in that starting XI at the moment, although no doors are closed to him in the future and that could easily change, where's the right place for Joe?"
Root has had a relatively heavy workload over the past two months having played five of England's six Tests over that period – missing only the first West Indies Test in order to attend the birth of his daughter. But Smith was also keen to stress that the Test captain is not far from making the T20 team, and the decision to leave him out of the squad was largely based on him not being likely to appear during the series.
"He plays so much cricket, he gives so much to England every time he plays. And the decision is that it's not right for him that we have him in the squad if he's not likely to be starting, so he's not in the squad for the T20s. Moving forward, that could easily change. I think we've all seen that Joe's an exceptionally adaptable and outstanding batsman, and he could easily come back into the reckoning, but at the moment that's where it sits.