In Brief

England vs. Pakistan: Joe Root is ready for more batting responsibility

The England skipper will move to No.3 in the order against Pakistan

Joe Root will bat at No.3 in the first Test match against Pakistan. The England captain says the move will give him the chance to take on “more responsibility at the top of the order”.

Root’s last Test century was against the West Indies last September, The Daily Telegraph says, and the Yorkshireman believes that he’s ready to bat at three now that he’s comfortable in the captaincy. “I think it’s an opportunity for me to take on a bit more responsibility at the top of the order”, he said. “I’ve had a year in the captaincy now and I feel I’ve gained enough experience to feel comfortable doing that.”

The move also allows Jonny Bairstow to bat at five and the returning Jos Buttler to bat at seven. Root said: “It’s an opportunity to get Jonny batting at five or six and on the back of this winter he’s proven he’s a consistent performer and deserves an opportunity to do it at the top of the order as well as the back end of an innings”.

The England captain added that he was optimistic he could make a success of things. “For me it was getting used to the role of captain and making sure I could separate the two and make sure my full focus was on my batting when it came around”, he said. “I feel that I’m able to do that now and will go out to try to set the tone and score as many runs as I can from that position.”

Buttler returns to Test cricket for the first time since December 2016, having impressed with the bat in this season’s Indian Premier League. Root is excited that Buttler is back in the England Test squad but says he must be patient.

Speaking to The Guardian, Root said: “It is really important Jos does not put too much pressure on himself. It is about expressing himself and finding consistency. It is exciting but it might take a bit of time to come right. If he bats for any period of time, especially the way he’s played recently, it’s going to be very exciting.” 

England Test squad

Joe Root (Yorkshire, captain); James Anderson (Lancashire); Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire, wicketkeeper); Dom Bess (Somerset); Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire); Jos Buttler (Lancashire); Alastair Cook (Essex); Dawid Malan (Middlesex); Ben Stokes (Durham); Mark Stoneman (Surrey); Chris Woakes (Warwickshire); Mark Wood (Durham)

England vs. Pakistan Test series

England host Pakistan in two Test matches this summer:

  • 24-28 May: 1st Test at Lord’s, London (11am start each day; live on Sky Sports
  • 1-5 June: 2nd Test at Headingley, Leeds (11am start; live on Sky Sports)

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