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March 6, 2014
Joe Root has been ruled out of the Twenty20 series against West Indies and, in all probability, the World Twenty20 to follow after x-rays revealed he had suffered a broken thumb in the deciding ODI in Antigua on Wednesday. It means Ian Bell, who last played Twenty20 cricket in January 2011, is in line for a place in the World T20 squad.
Although the ECB announcement did not rule Root out of the World T20 in Bangladesh - it just stated that he would be returning to the UK to see a specialist, the recovery time frame means he appears to have very little chance of being available. England's first group match is against New Zealand on March 22.
Root was struck by a Ravi Rampaul delivery third ball of his innings and the medical staff wanted him to retire hurt during a rain break, but Root insisted on resuming and scored a superbly-paced maiden ODI hundred to help England to a series-winning total of 303 for 6.
He also opened the bowling, removing Kieran Powell in his first over, but soon left the field and spent the majority of West Indies' innings in the dugout with a large ice pack strapped to his thumb. His all-round performances in the ODIs earned him the Man-of-the-Series award.
Given the way Root was used to open the bowling in the one-day series against West Indies - with considerable success - it appeared he was in line for the role in Bangladesh while he also has a batting strike of 139 from his seven T20Is, including a career-best 90 not out. Although he has become bogged down at the crease during his Test career, he can manipulate the field, has deceptive power and is electric between the wickets.
Bell has already joined up with the England squad, which arrived in Barbados on Thursday, having been called in as cover for Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan who picked up injuries before the one-day series.
Ashley Giles, the England coach, said that he wanted a batsman who could fill a variety of roles and who was adept at playing spin, but Bell's selection was odd given he has not played a Twenty20 for anyone since January 2011 - an international against Australia.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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