Andrew Gale backs Joe Root to be Yorkshire number one

7:00pm Wednesday 12th February 2014

By Graham Hardcastle

Andrew Gale has confirmed that Joe Root will open the batting for Yorkshire in the LV= County Championship when available this summer.

The Yorkshire captain believes Root should not have been shunted up and down the England Test order as much as he has been.

Gale thinks the 23-year-old has proved that facing the new ball is his best position through county form at various levels during the last ten years.

Upon his return from next month’s World Twenty20, Root is expected to be available for a sizeable chunk of Championship cricket in the build-up to the summer programme of internationals against Sri Lanka and India.

Yorkshire will hope their star batsman replicates his form at the start of last season, when he scored 467 runs in two matches against Durham and Derbyshire.

“Rooty’s had success playing for Yorkshire since he was a 13-year-old opening the batting,” said Gale.

“I don’t think he’s been given a fair run in the England side opening the batting. That’s where he bats for Yorkshire and, for me, that’s where he should bat for England.

“We saw how he came back last year. He got us off to a fantastic start. He won that game at Durham that kick-started our season almost on his own when we chased down a big total.”

Root had a disappointing Ashes tour, where he batted at number six and number three and only scored 192 from four Test matches – but White Rose director of cricket Martyn Moxon has backed his man to bounce back.

He said: “Rooty’s strength is assessing what’s happened and building on it. That’s what he’ll do. I would expect him to be a better player for this experience and not a worse one.”

Gale and Moxon were speaking at the unveiling of new overseas recruit Aaron Finch and were asked whether they will need to pick up the likes of Root, Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan after a disappointing Ashes tour.

Moxon said: “I don’t think we’ll have to. Jonny came back and he was really quite bubbly and looking forward to the Sri Lanka tour. He’s started that tour really well.

“The lads will bounce back. It’s been disappointing. Bres is a very phlegmatic character and he’ll just get on with his job. He’s not going to be affected by the winter – and Rooty the same.”

Meanwhile, Finch today attracted a bid worth approximately £390,000 to play in the forthcoming Indian Premier League for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.


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