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Vaughan tips Root to open in New Zealand

Alex Winter

January 14, 2013

Comments: 35 | Text size: A | A

Joe Root scored 28, Mumbai A v England XI, Mumbai, 1st day, November 3, 2012
Michael Vaughan said Joe Root looked an England player the second he went out to bat on his debut in Nagpur © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Jonny Bairstow | Joe Root | Michael Vaughan
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Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, has called for Joe Root to open the batting on England's tour to New Zealand in March.

Root made his England debut in the fourth Test against India in Nagpur and Vaughan saw enough evidence to suggest he will be opening the batting with Alastair Cook sooner rather than later.

"He looked an England player from the minute he went out to bat in the Test match," Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo. "He looks like he'll have a tremendous future with the team."

Root made a composed 73 to help England out of trouble in the first-innings in Nagpur and demonstrated the attacking side of his game in a second-innings unbeaten 20 that saw England safely to a draw.

Vaughan, a batting mentor for Root, also began his career at the same Yorkshire League club, Sheffield Collegiate. He would like to see Root's talent immediately utilised at the top of the order - a move which would also create space in the batting line up for another young, talented Yorkshireman.

"I would go for Root in New Zealand and bring Jonny Bairstow back at No. 6," Vaughan said. "Jonny was unlucky to miss out in India with what he did against South Africa and probably has to do a bit of work on playing spin but if you look at the next 10 months - New Zealand and Australia home and away - it's seam bowling conditions which Johnny plays so well. You'd want to get him back into the team."

Bairstow only played the second Test against India as cover for Ian Bell, who returned home for the birth of his son, and has not travelled with the England ODI squad because of a family illness.

His absence gave Root the chance to make his ODI debut in a winning start for England in the opening match in Rajkot; a performance that impressed Vaughan. "Since the first Test defeat England have been quite outstanding and winning the first ODI was very important to get their confidence back. It was a big win for the team.

"It's a good sign that players are playing to their natural ability. The batting is strong, there is such depth. They can all hit the ball out of the park."

The victory continued England's excellent form in ODIs; form they will hope to carry through to the Champions Trophy in June and an Ashes summer - the ODI leg of which Vaughan will be following on his cycle challenge to raise funds for Chance to Shine and the Laureus Sport for Good foundation.

Vaughan will be joined by other cricketing personalities on a five-leg route from Leeds to London, via Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Southampton.

"Chance to Shine have done a great job of getting cricket played in state schools and the more funds you raise the more expertise you can provide," Vaughan said. "Along the journey we'll be dropping into schools and doing some coaching and getting involved with some of the Laureus projects as well. It's a great opportunity to cycle around the country, raise some money and watch a bit of cricket."

The ODI series follows the Ashes, for which Vaughan has England favourites by a good distance but warns of the ability of Michael Clarke to stir up a new group of players. "In Clarke they have a captain who's very positive, he's very vibrant and has a young set of players around him that are all going to work and play for him and the baggy green. They'll be very well led but I don't think they'll have enough experience to compete against England in English conditions."

The Michael Vaughan Charity Bike Ride will raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and Chance to Shine. Go to www.laureus.com/michaelvaughanodibikeride or www.chancetoshine.org

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Posted by   on (January 16, 2013, 21:53 GMT)

I'm guessing that Cook will want another long-standing opening partnership as he had with Strauss, so unless Compton goes on a horrendous run or gets injured, I think he'll be opening in both NZ series and both Ashes series.

Posted by TripleCenturian on (January 15, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

It's only a matter of time as to how long it will be before Root ones for England with Cook. The time will depend on how all Compton does in the first test in NZ, how many runs they both score in any warm up games and whether Flower looks long or short term for his test side planning.

Root will be wasted at six in the order and end up batting with the tail too many times to stifle his proper development whereby he has to marshal the strike etc.He is a top three batsman with the right temperament. His bowling option will also work in his favour whilst the other 5 top order batsmen continue to focus on batting. Why not put Compton at six instead?

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 15, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

boycs can be typical Yorkshire as he still thinks God was a Yorkshire man, were in fact he was a lancastrian, as was vaughan and only an adopted white rose at that.both can talk a load of tosh sometimes. but i think root offers more in the long run and unlike australia looks a proper cricketer not a T20 player

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 15, 2013, 15:48 GMT)

me thinks that compton did an ok job. but i would have root as opener in NZ. no disrespects to NZ but it will be an easier tour and more like uk conditions. with them to tour in early summer in the uk, he would have by then if all goes well he will have 4/5 test under his belt.

Posted by cloudmess on (January 15, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

So we just ditch Nick Compton, Michael, on the basis of one good test innings for Root? We don't just have to pick promising players from Yorkshire.

Posted by Tigg on (January 15, 2013, 14:35 GMT)

Compton is one of the best batsmen in the country. Why drop him? The openers job is to see off the new ball, something he does very, very well. Keep Root at six.

Strong opening stands are key in test cricket and Compton and Cook provide that.

Bairstow is next in line should injury hit any of the top 6.

Posted by   on (January 15, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

I don't quite understand why you'd drop Compton. If he plays like he did in the county championship last season, he will be invaluable in the ashes, in conditions that he knows. Root has played a handful of first class games, and while he played very well in the last test in India, they were very unique conditions, not English at all. Also, Jonny Bairstow still seemed to have some problems against India...

Posted by DustyBin on (January 15, 2013, 9:56 GMT)

England's future is not bleak. 10 easy wins against Australia in the next 12 months for a start.

Posted by Pettel on (January 15, 2013, 9:49 GMT)

Mikey 76. I like Geoff Boycott but he is the most one eyed Yorkshireman ever, if Root & Bairstow played for a another County he wouldn't even know of their existence. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect someone who's considered a special talent to score heavily at County level. It's surely a better option than picking players on a hunch. Why not leave him at No.6 ? are you underrating the Kiwi seamers hoping for some easy runs for your boy in the next five Tests ? Dont want Compton (who's earned his place) stealing the boy wonders runs !

Posted by zenboomerang on (January 15, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

@Moneypenney... Agree on your comms... Cannot see any reason for changing the batting order that won a series in India - NZ should have a good squad of seamers, so see how that series works out in NZ & if there is a problem then there is the return NZ series in Eng to try something different...

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 15, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

@Mikey76, Whoever does bat at 6 in the ashes has to be in the team for his batting not because he can bowl a few overs. At the moment some1 like Stokes would not make the team for his batting to play him because he bowls a bit would simply weaken the batting unit. At this stage of his career BS can only be considered a bits n pieces player. Back in the 90s we had a conveyor belt of bits n pieces players batting at 6 or 7 (when Stewart played up the order) not because they were one of the best batsman available but because they could bowl a few overs, I'm thinking Hollioake, Irani, Ealham & Craig White b4 he developed his bowling. Samit falls in to the same bracket & has just played in Ind for similar reasons and couldn't score any runs or take any wickets. It would be great to see GS & MP bowl in tandem in the ashes but you have to have a turning surface for it to work & I doubt very much any of the groundsman will be able to produce 1 which turns from day 1!

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 15, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

@Edd Oliver, I think by describing the pitch in Nagpur as 'Flat' doesn't tell the whole story. Although there was nothing in the pitch for the bowlers, runs were very hard to come by. You should also remember the circumstances when JR came out to bat in the 1st inns Eng were a 119-4, it was really his partnership with Prior wbich ensured Eng got up past 300 & posted a decent 1st Inns score. I also don't necessarily agree with batsman having to score stacks of runs in County cricket before they are selected for test cricket. There are already several example on other posts of batsman with outstanding county records who didn't cut it at test level & vice versa.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (January 15, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

@Erebus26, I totally agree, sounds like pro Yorkshire nonsense from MV. Eng's biggest problem since the last ashes has been the no6 slot. For the first time since then it looks like we may possibly have the answer in Root so for me it would make no sense to move him straight to the top of the order after 1 game. Compton did a solid job in Ind without nailing a really big score and certainly deserves the chance against NZL to cement his place at the top of the order. For me Bairstow will now have to wai for another opportunity.

Posted by mikey76 on (January 15, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Southee and Boult will rip em apart! Haha! Yeah Cook will be quaking in his boots. Then again they did rip Australia's terrible top order apart at Hobart. As I said the whole "weight of runs" argument doesn't hold water, many fine players like Vaughan himself, and Trescothick didn't have mountains of runs behind them, they just looked good. On the other hand, the likes of Hick and Ramprakash piled up the runs in county cricket but couldn't make the grade at test level. Sometimes it's just an instinctive call, Root just looks the part.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 15, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

I wonder whether jonesy2 could do a comparative analysis for us of the performances of Root, Hughes and Khawaja in last year's CC.

Posted by trav29 on (January 15, 2013, 5:25 GMT)

you really do have to admire the nerve of an aussie fan coming on to a public message board questioning the batting depth of the england team atm

england have maybe one spot in the top 7 that there is a question mark over , australia have only one spot where there isn't

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 15, 2013, 2:42 GMT)

if NZ plays a full strength side it wont matter who plays, southee and boult will still rip them apart. this surely cant be all england have to work with now and for the future? bleak signs for them

Posted by jonesy2 on (January 15, 2013, 2:39 GMT)

yeah i guess anyone who averages under 40 can be locked in to play for england. not bad for an 11 year old though. im sure heading into the ashes sid vicious and co will be having sleepless nights about having to bowl to the likes of root, bairstow, trott and compton

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 15, 2013, 1:31 GMT)

He can do well in opening. Do not give responsibility , just give him freedom to express. He will shine!

Posted by   on (January 15, 2013, 1:26 GMT)

Root did well but come on, as someone's already said it was one of the flattest wickets in history and the Indian bowling was hardly threatening. Root's been fast tracked through the age groups into the England set-up without getting many runs for Yorkshire. He should have had to earn his place through weight of runs at county level, not because he's a favourite of the England coaches. That's what Compton did for Somerset and he did well in very alien conditions in India. Compton has to play at least the first test in NZ and for me the first two. If he fails in both then fine give Root a go opening and bring back Bairstow at 6 for the third test.

Posted by mikey76 on (January 15, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

Pettel. Bairstow made 90 & 60 at Lords, not sure what you're talking about there. Boycott rates both these players highly and not just because they are Yorkshiremen. The whole "prove yourself at county level" is slightly erroneous as Trescothick for one became an England player on the back of average county form. Root did superbly in India which is all that matters.

Posted by mikey76 on (January 15, 2013, 1:03 GMT)

hhillbumper. There are so many South Africans? KP and Trott makes 2. Don't really get your point. I would give Compton a decent run in NZ, if he doesn't make some big scores then Root should get the opening slot for the return series in England. We need our top 6 decided before the ashes kicks off. I'm a Bairstow fan but at the same time would like the selectors to look at an all rounder at 6, somebody like Stokes. It makes it easier to play 2 spinners which could cause Australia big problems now that Hussey has retired.

Posted by Erebus26 on (January 15, 2013, 0:47 GMT)

Vaughan's comments are full of Yorkie bias. Root does have all the makings of a test match player but I think Compton deserves to open in New Zealand. If Compton fails there then the selectors have the two test matches against NZ in the first half of the English summer to blood Root as a test opener. I'm still undecided about Bairstow - a talented player for sure but his temperament is a bit of an issue for me. Still he's a young lad who has been in and out of the England test and limited overs sides a bit so he really needs a good run in the side.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (January 15, 2013, 0:19 GMT)

Given that he's a Yorkshireman and especially close to Root, I'd have to say that Vaughan is probably a bit biased on this matter. That said, I'm not sure that I can fault his logic. The main concern regarding Root going into the India series was a lack of experience but his performance in the fourth Test has shown that he is capable of playing with a maturity that belies his age. It would definitely be rough on Compton who, while not exactly standing out in India, didn't really do anything wrong and did perform better overall than some others. I said from the start though, given the relative ages of Compton and Root, that Root is going to be the long-term option. With that in mind, if he can come into the team sooner rather than later and do as well as the alternative, England could have a settled and productive opening partnership for the next 10 years. That would likely then leave Bairstow and Taylor to fight over #6, with Bairstow looking the preferred option at present.

Posted by trav29 on (January 14, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

compton wasn't a disaster and probably didn't do anything to deserve getting dropped but nor did he do enough to suggest he has what it takes to really be successful at this level

one 50 in 8 innings isn't impressive and altho he did well seeing off the new ball in most of his innings in those conditions the new ball wasn't really as much of a threat as it will be in NZ or back at home. he really needs to turn one of those starts into a big score very soon as ground out 20s and 30s are not enough

Posted by Pettel on (January 14, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

Is this the same Michael Vaughan who told us Bairstow was a world beater after scoring 16 runs at Lords . The same Bairstow who couldn't deal with long hops at Trent Bridge. No way should Root be preferred to Compton. His only Test Innings was on the flattest track in Test history. His form in CC2 last year was average, he's lucky to have a Test cap, get back to County cricket and earn your stripes young man. Vaughan probably thinks Englands top 6 should be Root, Bairstow, Lyth, Ballance and 2 others!

Posted by Robster1 on (January 14, 2013, 22:33 GMT)

Not convinced that Compton is international class - Root though could be the real deal and and a proper baptism against a weak New Zealand side is a good idea.

Posted by Mattzo12 on (January 14, 2013, 22:22 GMT)

Harsh on Compton, yes, but I don't see Compton holding his place long term anyway. He looked to be playing at the peak of his abilities to average 30s, albeit very tough conditions. We'll see.

Root is a massive talent and a certain for the future.

Posted by AlfAlpha on (January 14, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

Outrageous!! Compton did a pretty solid job in India and deserves a go against New Zealand. Vaughan is a quite annoying media tart who has no scruples against using his position to advocate his favourite players.

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 14, 2013, 21:32 GMT)

Root should not play for England.Until he finds some south african relatives then what is he doing in the national team.Has he not seen the qualification rules?

They should get rid of Cook,Bell,Panesaw,Swaan and Anderson. Then Miller could have his dream team. There are so many South Africans it is like following the new zealand team

Posted by Fifthman on (January 14, 2013, 21:03 GMT)

It would be very unfair for Nick Compton to be edged out of the team after he has done nothing wrong and given England good starts in India. I think Michael Vaughan's Yorkshire bias is showing through here loud and clear. The selectors should ignore him and carry on with Cook and Compton at the top of the order. The two Yorkshire lads are real talents, and will get their chances soon enough. In fact Joe Root is the current No. 6 in possesion, so his place looks pretty secure.

Posted by Moneypenney on (January 14, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

hmmm much as I respect Vaughan's opinion he seems a bit biased towards Yorkshire here. I personally thought Nick Compton did a very good job opening in India in conditions he'd never experienced before and it would be very unfair to drop him in favour of Root. Granted Root did play very well in the 4th test but batting at 6 is a lot different from opening and you have to give Compton a fair chance to cement his place in the side. After all that's what Vaughan himself advocated when he was captain.

Posted by Stevros3 on (January 14, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

Tough on Compton, but I think its the right call.

Posted by CaliforniaMysterySpinner on (January 14, 2013, 20:00 GMT)

I think this is a bit unfair to Nick Compton who looked fairly solid in trying conditions and have the pedigree of coming off consistent great performances at the County level. Root will has his time, but the time is not yet his.

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