England call-up a 'fantastic feeling' says Yorkshire batsman Root (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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England call-up a 'fantastic feeling' says Yorkshire batsman Joe Root
Joe Root is hoping practice makes perfect after being called up to England’s Test squad for their forthcoming four-match tour of India.
The Yorkshire opener, 21, has benefited from Andrew Strauss’s retirement and has been rewarded for some impressive performances for both his county and the England Lions team this summer.
Root joins county colleagues Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan in a 16-man squad – minus Kevin Pietersen – for the tour, starting on October 25.
Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance and Azeem Rafiq have also been named in England’s 17-man Performance Programme squad for their month-long tour of India, which runs from mid-November.
Root, one of two uncapped players in the squad alongside Somerset batsman Nick Compton, scored 964 runs from 18 first-class matches in 2012, including two hundreds for Yorkshire and one for the Lions against the West Indies Test team in May.
His career-best 222 not out came against Hampshire at Southampton in July.
Root toured India last year with the Performance Programme squad before going onto Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with the Lions after Christmas, with the emphasis on playing spin bowling better.
It is an area in which England have struggled, particularly during their series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.
“I’m obviously delighted,” he said. “It’s what you play the game for. Just to be in the squad is a fantastic feeling, and we’ll see where we go from there.
“I got a call off Geoff Miller (on Monday). It was very nice to receive a call from the chairman of selectors. Hopefully it can be the start of something. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it and getting to know the lads. I’ll be working really hard to put a case forward for myself.
“It’s going to be a challenge. A lot of teams struggle out there, but I think that experience last winter will definitely be useful and called upon going out there. Hopefully I can put it to good use if I get the opportunity.”
Bairstow, meanwhile, has been named as the back-up wicketkeeper to Matt Prior.