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Talented Yorkshire opener Joe Root tipped to shine with England
Opener Joe Root has the temperament to flourish during England’s forthcoming tour of India, according to Yorkshire’s director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon.
The 21-year-old began a training camp in Dubai yesterday, where Alastair Cook’s squad are preparing ahead of the four-Test series next month, a challenge which wicketkeeper Matt Prior described as their toughest earlier this week.
It remains to be seen whether Root will be thrown into the team for the first Test at Ahmedabad, starting on November 15.
He is one of three viable options as an opener for captain Cook and team director Andy Flower, who could choose to go with Somerset’s Nick Compton or move Jonathan Trott up from number three and slot Kevin Pietersen back in.
Root gained selection on the back of scoring heavily in first-class cricket during 2012, both for Yorkshire and England Lions.
He scored 964 runs from 18 matches at an average of 41.91, including three hundreds and three fifties.
One of his hundreds was an unbeaten 222 against Hampshire in July, but he only scored one fifty in his next 13 innings until the end of the season – a 70 in a four-day friendly for the Lions against Australia ‘A’.
Root has flown to Dubai from South Africa, where he has just played for Yorkshire in the Champions League t20.
“It’s going to be a challenge for him, but one thing Rooty does is learn quickly,” said Moxon. “Hopefully, he will get the opportunity to play. It will be a great challenge as I say, but one I’m sure he’ll rise to. He’s got a good temperament.
“Hopefully, he’ll have a good preparation period to give him the best possible chance of getting in the side first and foremost. That’s the first hurdle for him above anything else.
“But whatever happens, whether he gets picked or not, it will be a great experience for him at this stage in his career.”
England play three warm-up matches before the first Test. They face India ‘A’ and Mumbai ‘A’ in two three-day clashes and then an unconfirmed opponent in a four-day fixture at Ahmedabad.
Root is joined in the England squad by Yorkshire’s team-mates Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan, while off-spinner Azeem Rafiq has linked up with the England squad in Dubai to help prepare their batsmen against spin bowling.
Rafiq will travel to India next month with the Performance Programme squad for a month-long training camp. Gary Ballance is also included.
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