CRICKET: Joe Root set for Yorkshire return... if he can get in the team!

Joe Root is set to return for Yorkshire on Sunday
Joe Root is set to return for Yorkshire on Sunday
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Joe Root is set to feature in his first four-day game for Yorkshire in two years this weekend, yet the world's second-ranked Test batsman admits he is unsure if the back-to-back county champions have room to accommodate him.

The 25-year-old England international is available for the White Rose against Nottinghamshire in a contest that begins on Sunday at Trent Bridge, which was the venue for Root's most recent Yorkshire appearance in September 2014, when he captained them to the County Championship title in the absence of suspended skipper Andrew Gale.

Root's England commitments have ensured Yorkshire have been missing a player who is currently in the top 10 in all formats of the ICC's world player rankings, not that his loss has been too keenly felt at Headingley, where they were celebrating another four-day trophy under first-team coach Jason Gillespie's watch last summer.

Their bid to get off to a quick start in pursuit of a third straight Division One championship will be strengthened by being able to call upon Root for their next two fixtures, even if the Sheffield-born batsman knows they have done just fine without him.

"The opportunities to do it are so rare now; it is really nice to go back and play," said Root, who was speaking in Sheffield after being unveiled as the new ambassador for Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

"Looking at the side at the minute, I'm trying to see where I'll fit into the team. Honestly, there's a lot of guys scoring runs and playing really good cricket. You almost think is it worth upsetting that for a couple of games?

"It's great to be back involved, a lot of the guys I've known since being a really young lad and I've grown up learning the game with so it's nice to be in the same dressing room with them again and playing competitive cricket again."

Root will pad up in a competitive environment for the first time since England lost the World Twenty20 final to West Indies in India earlier this month thanks to Carlos Brathwaite's final-over fireworks.

Brathwaite's four successive sixes off Ben Stokes are likely to be replayed and remembered for years to come, yet Root is not dwelling on the heartache and is already focusing on his next challenge with England, which involves defeating Pakistan and Sri Lanka in home Test series this summer and avenging their recent losses to both nations.

"It was bitterly disappointing but it's gone now and you move on; you get absorbed in what your next hurdle is," Root added.

"Going into that World Cup I'm not sure we'd have been expected to get to the World Cup final, I think we out-did ourselves in that respect.

"The way we performed in the Test arena...South Africa was an outstanding effort from this group of players so it's really exciting going into the summer with all this momentum behind us.

"If we can win both series I think we're holding every trophy between us and other nations which would be a good achievement."