Root ponders batting line-up
England captain Joe Root says that he has been discussing the batting order as his team prepare for their series against the West Indies.
Following on swiftly from their 3-1 victory over South Africa, England are quickly back in action, taking on the Windies in their first home day/night match taking place at Edgbaston starting on Thursday.
Though England were impressive at times in their series win over the Proteas, there were lingering concerns over their batting.
Root, together with Alastair Cook, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali batted well but there were too many failures, especially in the top order with Keaton Jennings having now returned to county cricket to try and recover his form.
Root has said in the past that he prefers batting at four, but his position in the order has been discussed in the lead-up to Thursday's first Test.
Mark Stoneman has been added to the squad to replace Jennings and Tom Westley will get another chance at three and, with the Ashes approaching, Root says the pair now have a great chance to book a place on the plane.
He told ESPN: "Moving back into the top-order was discussed, but Tom put in a pretty strong performance against South Africa on some pretty spicy wickets.
"It's great to see guys putting their hands up with performances like that and he deserves an opportunity to cement that spot."
England are 1/6 to win the first Test with the West Indies 14/1 and the draw priced at 13/2.
Root admits, at the start of the series, that the Ashes is on their minds with the skipper saying there is still time for those on the fringes of the squad to stake their claim.
"There's still a good opportunity for guys to come in now and state their claim," Root added.
"Is it a concern that there are still some holes ahead of the Ashes? I wouldn't say that. Ideally we want to nail it down soon, but I look at it as a great opportunity for guys to throw their hands up for a big series."
Root is 6/1 to be named Man of the Match at Edgbaston.
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