England batsman Joe Root will not be available to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) this year as he is eager to spend time at home with his newborn son, the 26-year-old has said. (Root and Kohli are the best right now, says Ian Botham)One of the most sought-after batsmen of his era, Root has been reportedly been contacted by several franchises of the cash-rich Twenty20 league beginning on April 5. (Root and Kohli after 50 Tests: Who has the better stats?)”It is a shame because there is a really good window in the international calendar to play. But looking at the schedule, especially next winter, I am going to be away for long periods,” Root told British media.”This will be a great opportunity to spend time at home and watch (son) Alfred grow up a little bit. A lot of great things would come from the IPL, a lot of great experiences and I am sure it would help to improve my game.”But at the moment being at home is my priority and I want to make sure I do not miss out on that. It is quite tough being away in these early days so it will be nice to catch up.”Root made 78 in England’s three-wicket loss in Sunday’s first one-dayer against India. Cuttack hosts the second and penultimate match of the series on Thursday.
Bhupathi also emphasised that players fitness will be of Bhupathi also emphasised that players fitness will be of paramount importance in his reign as captain and he will keep a close watch on them before the April tie. “I want to make sure that whoever plays is match fit. Next four weeks they are all playing different parts of the world, we will be tracking how they are doing. Match fitness and off court fitness are both important aspects on Davis Cup weekend,” he said. Saketh Myneni had pulled out of the New Zealand tie in the last minute due to fitness issues and Vishnu Vardhan had to answer an SOS call from AITA to play doubles with Paes. Bhupathi said it was not this incident that forced him to bring new fitness guidelines for the players as they have to now undergo fitness assessment in Mumbai before making themselves available for Davis Cup. “Not really. It is a very basic idea which every team in the world follows, unfortunately it was never implemented in our country.” Bhupathi seemed realistic when asked if he thinks with the current set of players, India can cross the final hurdle. “This team is a little different, at least two times they had (retired) Somdev. We have a lot of depth now. We have different players to choose from and we are definitely going to try,” he said. Under previous captain Anand Amritraj, the Indian team reached the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs stage thrice, falling to big teams such as Serbia, Czech Republic and Spain eventually. Bhupathi said it was important for Yuki to remain injury-free to get back to top-100. “We will have to wait see. Yuki is coming from an injury and he has done well at the beginning of the year. Need to keep our fingers crossed, we know he is capable of being a top-100 player, so we have to hope he stays healthy then he automatically gets back to were he belongs.” Bhupathi also praised his predecessor. “I think Anand was a good captain. The players were happy and at the end of the day, if players are happy then Anand was a good captain in my opinion,” he signed off. PTI AT BS AHadvertisement