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Confidence is key to Champions League success for Yorkshire's Joe Root
Yorkshire have an immediate advantage over their opponents in next week’s Champions League qualifying competition, according to key batsman Joe Root.
“With us coming straight out of a season, I think we’ll be slightly more prepared than some of the other teams because they have just come out of a winter and are only just starting their season,” said the 21-year-old.
“We’re fresh and ready to go having had a couple of weeks off. We’ll go out there all guns blazing, which is exactly what you need in Twenty20.
“We’ve got a squad with a lot of lads under 23, and that can only work in our favour.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence, and we can take that into the competition. If we play to our ability, we’ll surprise a lot of people.
“There’s a lot of big names in the other teams, and we’re missing two England players. If you look at it like that, it doesn’t look so good. But we know that we’ve got a lot of young players with great skill and potential.
“We’re playing on the highest stage of domestic cricket. I believe if we play to our full ability, we’ll be a very tough side to play against.”
Yorkshire’s 15-man squad arrived in Johannesburg yesterday morning, where they will be based for the next seven days before either travelling home after the qualifiers or heading to Cape Town for a Group ‘B’ campaign against the big boys.
If they qualify for the main draw with wins over Uva Next and Trinidad & Tobago, two of their matches will be against Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians and MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.
The competition kicks off a busy two months for Root, who will be crucial to Yorkshire’s chances especially now that Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out on England orders.
The right-hander will link up with the England squad in Dubai for a training camp at the end of the month before embarking on his maiden Test tour of India, where he is expected to open the batting with new captain Alastair Cook.
“I was delighted to get the call, and I’m looking forward to the whole experience,” he added.
“I was very surprised to get the call. When you look at it, it was a one in five chance. There were some great players who’ve had fantastic seasons and careers in the reckoning. For me to get the nod was a huge thrill.
“India are a very good side in their backyard, but hopefully we can go out there as a squad and turn things around.”
Yorkshire, meanwhile, are pencilled in to play a warm-up match against Sialkot Stallions from Pakistan on Sunday.
Sialkot are in Pool One of the qualifiers with Hampshire and Auckland.
Yorkshire have also announced that their shirt sponsors will be Welcome To Yorkshire for the event rather than their usual sponsors JCT600.