Cricket

Joe Root to captain England Lions during their four-day match against New Zealand

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Stepping up: Joe Root. (©GettyImages)
Stepping up: Joe Root. (©GettyImages).

Yorkshire batsman Joe Root is set to captain the England Lions in their four-day encounter with New Zealand next week.

Former England spinner Ashley Giles will act as Lions coach for the tour match, and inherits a squad with a wealth of Test experience.

National selector Geoff Miller told Sky Sports: “Joe Root will lead the side in order to assist his development as a cricketer and proved him with valuable experience of captaincy against quality opposition.”

The 22-year-old – who has hit five first-class centuries since 2011 – has the opportunity to stake a claim for a Test place.

Managing direct of England Cricket, Hugh Morris, said of Giles’ appointment: “Our new limited overs head coach Ashley Giles will be part of the Lions management team for this fixture.

“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.”

Ravi Bopara and Graham Onions were both selected for the New Zealand match, and are said to be pushing for recalls to the Test side.

Root’s Yorkshire teammate Jonny Bairstow has also been picked to play, but there was no place in the side for Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Stokes is understood to have upset the hierarchy, having failed to comply with a strict drinking curfew during the Lions tour of Australia.

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