New Zealand tour of England, 2013

Root to lead Lions; Bopara included

George Dobell

April 29, 2013

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

Joe Root plays off his back foot, New Zealand v England, 3rd Test, Auckland, 3rd day, March 24, 2013
Joe Root is again in demand for his captaincy qualities © Getty Images
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Joe Root has been named captain of the England Lions team to play New Zealand in a four-day game in Leicester from May 9.

Root was scheduled to captain the Lions on their limited-overs tour of Australia, but was instead called-up to the senior squad. James Taylor, who captained in his place, remains part of the Lions team.

Among the more intriguing selections is a recall for Michael Carberry, who played one Test in Bangladesh in early 2010, as well as Ravi Bopara and Toby Roland-Jones. The team, which will be coached by England's limited-overs coach Ashley Giles, contains three players from Warwickshire, the club he coached to the County Championship title last year: Chris Woakes, Chris Wright and Varun Chopra.

Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket, in a move that suggests he is currently considered Matt Prior's deputy in Test cricket. Yorkshire and Warwickshire provide five of the 11 players.

England's eagerness to give Root the captaincy once again illustrates how highly the regard the qualities of a player who seems mature beyond his years in cricketing terms.

"With a busy summer of Test cricket ahead, this fixture against New Zealand is an excellent opportunity for our players to show us that they are capable of representing England in the longer format of the game," said Geoff Miller, the national selector. "Joe Root will lead the side in order to assist his development as a cricketer and provide him with valuable experience of captaincy against quality opposition."

Ashley Giles, England's one-day coach, will join the management team for the match as he casts an eye over players who are competing for places in England's Champions Trophy squad this summer.

England Lions Team: Joe Root capt, Jonny Bairstow (both Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Varun Chopra (Warwickshire), Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire), Graham Onions (Durham), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Chris Wright (Warwickshire).

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

Even the England Lions team looks stronger than the Australian Test Team.

I do think the Captains match up in the quality ranks-both Clarke and Cook are world class players,The Aussie Pace department with Jackson Bird looks quality too, but where England have a distinct advantage is Spin. Unfortunately, with the likes of Hauritz you cannot expect to win Ashes. Swann and Panesar are magnificent. The England top order looks solid with both Compton and Cook in great nick. The same can't be said of Warner and Cowan. The English middle order with Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell and KP in the ranks is far better than the Aussies' combination of Khawaja/Huges,Watson,Clarke. Brad Haddin is marginally better than Matt Prior. Overall it would be fair to say that the English start distinct favourites.

Posted by   on (May 4, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

@RandyOZ

I am amazed Bopara is playing - he's had more lives than Brad Haddin

Posted by Lmaotsetung on (May 4, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

This is pretty much England's next in line players. Ofcourse not all 11 will eventually make it to the senior team or be the next generation of superstars. All you need is just 2 or 3 to go on and make a contribution at the next level. It will be an interesting warmup match for sure, one which most England fans will be keen to follow.

Posted by Meety on (May 3, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

@JG2704 on (May 2, 2013, 19:26 GMT) - 3rd time lucky? I have been wanting to say that I think this is a good squad. Particularly pleased that Woakes & Kerrigan have been given a crack. I also wanted to say that I think it is great that the ECB have picked a decent side to play against NZ, unlike the trivial pettiness other Boards (that shant be named) engage in.

Posted by JG2704 on (May 2, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

RandyOz - The talent always has been and always will be wafer thin in England so no need to keep remind us mate

Posted by AKS286 on (May 2, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

AD Hales is missing. Eng must groom this talent and debut him early.

Posted by AKS286 on (May 2, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

One More spinner or a spinning all-rounder must be included. If Bopara bowls then so many pace bowlers are available. Spinner requires.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (April 30, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

@Landl47, Your thoughts on Wright could be true but so far this season he is backing up what he did in 2012 and if he continues to do so for the rest of this season who knows. I would agree that Roland Jones is a fair bit ahead of him in the pecking order & is doing all that can be asked of him, although I suspect the selectors still have him behind Bresnan & Onions in terms of back up to Anderson,Finn & Broad. Aus fans are constantly raving about how great Jackson Bird is largly due to his domestic ave, and some would have us believe he is the 2nd coming of McGrath. However if you look at TRJ record his ave is only marginally down on Bird's & he's taken nearly 50 wickets more. Hopefully James Harris will be fit again soon & when you put that bunch together then I don't think our seam bowling stocks are looking too bad perhaps the only negative would be that none of them are express pace.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (April 30, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Hey Randy...I agree, Bopara should not be playing. Mind you, he did smash you Aussies around last summer and even bowled you mugs out. My favourite stat: Bopara = 13 tests and 3 hundreds whilst Cowan has played 17 tests and Watson 41 tests with the grand total of 58 tests with the same amount of hundreds as dear old Ravi. That is your top order as well! Damn. It really is tough to defend your top order but I admire how you Aussies continue to do so.

Posted by hhillbumper on (April 30, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

Ravi Bopara must have a lucky charm.Shame it does not effect his batting though.

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