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  5. Search for experience could send Joe Root back to No.3 in Ashes

Search for experience could send Joe Root back to No.3 in Ashes

England captain Joe Root has batted at No.3 for England before and could be back in that position despite preferring to bat two-down.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: July 30, 2019 14:37 IST
Joe Root
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Search for experience could send Joe Root back to No.3 in the Ashes

England's batting rejig in Tests could continue in the upcoming Test series as the newly crowned world champions aim for stability against a fiery Australian attack.

The search for experience could force captain Joe Root back to No.3 instead of his preferred No.4 position if coach Trevor Bayliss's words are anything to go by with Jason Roy coming in at the middle-order, a position he is familiar in with his county side Surrey in the Championship.

According to Bayliss, the side's best batsman should bat at No.3 and in whites, there is perhaps none better than Root himself for the Three Lions.

However, the decision will remain with Root and nothing will be forced down the captain's throat in the name of team balance.

"Look, Joe's the captain. He'll make the final decision, as he did when he went back to four. He knows how I feel. Whether he goes in at 1 for 20 or 2 for 20, he can still cop a good one," Cricbuzz quoted Bayliss as saying. 

Root has batted at first-drop earlier for a brief period with Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes also doing the same but if not Root, Stokes remains the other option.

The shuffle would mean Joe Denly and Rory Burns opening the batting with the much talked about Roy in the middle-order.

"We want him to go out and play his natural game but in red-ball cricket you have to be a little more selective. You have to make sure the ball is underneath your eyes or it really is a true half-volley, especially on a wicket that's doing a bit. You've got to make a conscious effort to say to yourself 'right, I'm not going to go for the big cover drive on the up until I'm really settled, the wicket is flat or the ball's not doing as much.

"Like any debutant, he looked nervous but to score 70-odd in your first Test was a good effort. There was a bit more in those wickets than he's been used to in white-ball cricket over the last few years but runs are runs. He wouldn't be the first player to look scratchy and eek out runs. In fact, that's a good sign," Bayliss said. 

But, there is good news as well for the Englishmen. Jofra Archer is fit and in the squad for the first Test but the team may decide not to rush him back from the side injury but he may not be risked in the first game at Edgbaston, starting on August 1.

"He's come back from Barbados saying he's fine. It's something we'll have to discuss between now and the final selection of the XI - whether he's bowled enough overs. We've got a duty of care to him and not necessarily bowl him into the ground when he hasn't played a red-ball game for 12 months," Bayliss said.

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