Root names England team for first South Africa Test

Root names England team for first South Africa Test

Root names England team for first South Africa Test

Ballance averaged 27.85 over four Tests against Pakistan but then only scored 24 runs when England toured Bangladesh - leading to him being left out of the five match India series.

Joe Root, who has now made 98 appearances in the longer format is set to lead England for the first time in Test cricket and will be replacing Alastair Cook, who has captained them 59 times.

Joe Root expects England's Test team to put right the wrongs of past year and has tipped the recalled Gary Ballance - the first big decision of his fledgling captaincy tenure - to demonstrate he is different player to the one dropped from the side in the winter.

Root said: "I've decided on the team, Liam is going to play". He'll bring us a lot of control and a bit of depth in our batting as well.

"I spoke to a few of the players, ex-captains as well, and it was nice to pick their brains to see what they went through in their tenure, to get prepared for what is around the corner".

Root names England team for first South Africa Test

The 27-year-old has struggled to make a similar impact on the worldwide scene, though, and his inclusion to bat at three has raised some eyebrows. Hopefully he will get off to a cracking start this week and show everyone that he's an worldwide cricketer.

"I pulled up really well and I'll train again this afternoon and tomorrow, but I feel confident", the 31-year-old son of former England batsman turned match referee Chris Broad, added.

"I got through the Lord's final on Saturday without any problems and I actually bowled on the Wednesday and Friday before that with no pain as well". His record is very strong.

Besides winning both this summer's series, Root will be desperate to ensure that he continues to score the runs that have been his hallmark since bursting into the team in 2012. It's a really huge opportunity for him and I am sure it's one he will take'.

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