Joe Root on Delhi Daredevils' radar as Sourav Ganguly praises matchwinning hundred

Joe Root made good use of the sweep shot Getty Images

A tweet from Sourav Ganguly to Parth Jindal, the co-owner of Delhi Daredevils, may have helped to revive Joe Root's long-held ambition of picking up an IPL contract.

Root, who went unsold in the 2018 IPL auction, made a brilliant 124 in the second Test against Sri Lanka, batting with skill and intent on a spinning wicket to set up England's series-sealing victory.

And Ganguly, who is reportedly playing an advisory role to the director of the Delhi franchise, was so impressed by Root's efforts, he tagged Jindal while praising the innings on Twitter.

"What a performance from joe root and england on that surface ..one of the best test hundreds one will see on a pitch which is turning square .. @root66 @ParthJindal11 @ECB_cricket," Ganguly wrote.

In March this year, Jindal South West (JSW) Sports bought a 50% ownership stake in Delhi, in a deal valued at INR 1100 crore (USD 169 million approx), nearly double the amount the franchise was originally bought at in 2008.

Root was one of England's outstanding performers in the World T20 in India in 2016, anchoring a world-record run-chase of 230 against South Africa before claiming two wickets in three balls with his offbreaks after opening the bowling in the final against West Indies.

However, he has made no secret of his desire to secure an IPL contract, not least because he fears being left behind in the 20-over game unless he is able to compete with and against the best on a regular basis.

Since that 2016 final, he has played in just eight T20Is for England (and just four for Yorkshire Vikings), not least because, as England's Test captain and key member of their No.1-ranked ODI team, he is indispensable in the longer forms of the game.

Having entered himself for the IPL for the first time this year, Root was left unsold over the two-day auction after no team met his base price of INR 1.5 crore. Later, he admitted it was hard to make himself more attractive to franchises without playing more often.

"I was disappointed," Root said. "The reason I wanted to go out there was to play more Twenty20 cricket; it wasn't to go and earn as much money as possible."

He will finally get a chance to step up his T20 experience this winter, having agreed terms for a seven-match stint with Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash.

However, this year's IPL auction has been brought forward to December 18, meaning he will not have had a chance to take the field for Thunder before the bidding begins in what is expected to be a smaller affair than usual, given that all eight franchises have retained their core group.

A further sticking point for Root might be his IPL availability ahead of a defining summer for English cricket, with a home World Cup being closely followed by the Ashes.

The BCCI is thinking of bringing the tournament forward, from a start date of March 23 and lasting till mid-May. But it is understood that the ECB has told the IPL that its players would need to be released by May 1 to prepare for the international summer. Last week Delhi offloaded several players, including the England pair of Jason Roy and Liam Plunkett.