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Yorkshire batsman Joe Root plans to make most of England tour
Joe Root is determined to make the most of his time with the England squad in India – even if he does not break into the Test team.
The Yorkshire opener is battling it out with Nick Compton of Somerset to partner new captain Alastair Cook at the top of the order ahead of the first of four Test matches, starting at Ahmedabad on November 15.
Compton got the nod for the tour opener against India A earlier this week but scored a three-ball duck.
Root will get the chance to press his claim tomorrow when England start another three-day warm-up match against Mumbai A.
This fixture is set to see Headingley team-mate Jonny Bairstow take the wicketkeeping gloves in order to give Matt Prior a rest.
Stuart Broad will captain the side with Cook also given a breather.
“I just want to enjoy it, take as much from it as possible and come back a better player,” said 21-year-old Root, who has scored 964 runs from 18 first-class matches in 2012, both for Yorkshire and England Lions.
“If that means me playing a game, then brilliant. If not, I’ll be doing all I can to help the other lads out as well as improving my own game too.
“I’ve just got to concentrate on doing my things to the best of my ability and hopefully I will get a go in the Test matches.”
Bairstow had to pass a fitness test on a tweaked thigh muscle today in order for him to claim a place in tomorrow’s line-up.
Despite Bairstow scoring 95 and 54 in his last Test appearance against South Africa at Lord’s in August, Samit Patel is favourite to claim the number six spot in the Tests, having scored a hundred against India A and because of his ability to bowl left-arm spin.
“There’s competition for places all over the squad, not just at the top of the order,” said Root.
Having lost the summer series against South Africa – and with it their ranking as the number one team in the world – the forthcoming series against Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side is a crucial one for England.
They head into it as second favourites but even so, Root says confidence is high within the camp.
“Playing India is always a tough series, especially when they’re in their back yard,” he said.
“But there’s absolutely no reason why we can’t do well with the talent we have in our squad.”