Root to lead England Lions
Joe Root has been handed the honour of captaining England Lions as his stock continues to rise.
Root, 22, struck a magnificent 182 to guide Yorkshire to County Championship victory over Durham at the weekend to enhance his reputation as one of the country's leading batsmen.
Joe Root will lead the side in order to...provide him with valuable experience of captaincy against quality opposition.Geoff Miller
Now he has been given the opportunity to develop his leadership skills against New Zealand in a four-day match at Grace Road starting on 9th May.
As an age group player, Root was part of the rank and file at Headingley, with all-rounder Azeem Rafiq captain.
National selector Geoff Miller said: "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.
"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."
Root's Yorkshire and England team-mate Jonny Bairstow is also included in the 11 names who will be led by England one-day coach Ashley Giles.
In all there are half-a-dozen players capped at Test level with the uncapped quintet including Warwickshire trio Varun Chopra, Chris Woakes and Chris Wright, Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones, and Simon Kerrigan, of Lancashire.
"Our new limited overs head coach Ashley Giles will be part of the Lions management team for this fixture and this will enable Ashley to closely monitor the performances of players who are competing for places in our T20 and ODI sides as well as the Test team," said Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket.
Meanwhile, England are 1/20 to win the Ashes series this summer, while Australia are at 8/1. A 3-0 England victory can be backed at 2/1.
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