Jul 062017
 
Root 'excited' to lead England at last

Joe Root/File PhotoLONDON: Joe Root says he feels excited by the prospect of finally leading England in a Test on the eve of the South Africa series opener at Lord´s.Months of waiting will come to an end on Thursday for the 26-year-old Yorkshire batsman, who was named as Alastair Cook´s successor as Test captain back in February.England, however, have been concentrating on limited overs action since then but Thursday´s match, the first of a four-Test series, will mark their return to red-ball cricket.“I´m very excited,” Root told reporters at Lord´s on Wednesday.“For it to finally come round has made it feel a little bit more real. I just want to get out there.”Root confirmed that Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson would play on Thursday.Meanwhile recalled batsman Gary Ballance will come in at number three, the new skipper at four and their Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow at five.“I have had a long time to think about a few things since becoming captain and that is the decision I have made,” said Root. “I think it is where I play my best cricket.”Dawson´s inclusion means that, for the second year in a row, uncapped paceman Toby Roland-Jones has missed out on the chance of making a Test debut at his Middlesex home ground.This match will be left-armer Dawson´s first Test on home soil after he made a debut in an innings and 75-run defeat by India at Chennai in December.The 27-year-old Dawson made an unbeaten 66 in that match and also took two [Read More…]

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