England legend and batting coach Graham Gooch has suggested that it is between Joe Root and Ian Bell to fill the gap left by Jonathan Trott at number three. This comes about after Trott left the tour due to a long standing stress related illness.
It seems that one of the two batsmen will move up the order with Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance expected to take Trott's place; although Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow have both been touted as potential replacements.
Gooch said: "Root is an opener. We didn't obviously foresee this situation with Trott, but players have to adapt.
"Whoever comes into the team, whether it is Ballance, Stokes or Bairstow, I would have thought they would come in down the order.
"If Joe is selected at number three, or Ian Bell, either of them will relish the opportunity and relish the challenge. You have got to go out there and stick your chest out for England, and that is what both of them will do if they are asked to fulfil that role."
Originally it was first thought that Ballance would start the First Test at number six, but his poor performances in the warm up matches caused the selectors to choose Michael Carberry ahead of him. In England's most recent match against a Chairman's XI the twenty-four year old top scored with 55 and looks odds on to bat at six in the next test as England look to re-group after their 381 run thrashing in Brisbane.
Although Root has already enjoyed some magnificent moments in Test cricket, including a stunning 180 against Australia in the Second Test at Lord's, but has struggled for form since then. However, he is still enjoying Test Cricket and said;
"It doesn't matter to me, I just love playing for England. Regardless of whether
I'm opening, three, five, six, it's been brilliant.
"I've only really been playing for a year and as a young lad you have to find your feet in the international arena, There have been different obstacles to overcome and I just want to improve as a player."
In other team news Tim Bresnan has been called up to the squad and may well replace Chris Tremlett for the second test in Adelaide after the Yorkshireman took 4-31 for the England Performance Programme team last Thursday.
Bresnan had been unavailable for selection since sustaining a back injury in the Fourth Test of the previous Ashes series but has now fully recovered.
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