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Joe Root returns to fitness for England's ODI opener against Australia

14 January 2018

Yesterday the batsman returned to the day job, hitting 52 from just 35 balls as England warmed-up for the one-day series with Australia with a five-wicket win over a Cricket Australia XI at the Drummoyne Oval in Sydney.

But the Test captain has finally shaken the bug and will give the tourists a major boost by reclaiming his place in the top order for Sunday's Gillette Series opener.

Joe Root is set to play for England in tomorrow's opening one-day global here after recovering from a viral illness but Australia opener David Warner is troubled by a stomach bug.

OK, the tongue may be firmly in cheek here, and it is Twenty20 cricket that we Test lovers really should be anxious about, but that should not hide any kernels of truth, with this part of the winter always representing England's likeliest prospect of success. Since the start of the Champions Trophy, England have scored their ODI runs at 6.8, with a run of seven out of nine matches in which they have scored at quicker than 6 per over.

"He's obviously a key part". He is a very versatile player and can score in any strike-rate that needs to be required, given the situation.

Morgan stopped short of stating what England's line-up will be in Melbourne, but indicated Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy and Alex Hales could all play.

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"We've managed to distinguish between the formats over the past year-and-a-half or so", captain Morgan said. "Our batting has been our strength over the last couple of years and we don't want to compromise that, so it'll be a case of picking our strongest six, plus an all-rounder possibly, or an extra seamer".

Since Australia's World Cup final win at the MCG in 2015, the left-hander has averaged more than 80 from 11 games in Australia, including five centuries.

Had Bayliss not been brought in with the 2019 World Cup so strongly in mind, with that marquee competition being played on English soil, a witch-hunt might already have burned him at the stake.

"Australia are a good team and they're confident from the Ashes but it is a different squad and a different unit here", he said. We certainly thrived on that.

"You can't replace Ben Stokes, but you can go some way to filling his spot with the variety England have got in their limited-overs set-up", said Taylor.

Joe Root returns to fitness for England's ODI opener against Australia