Cricket: Root delighted to live the dream

Joe Root
Joe Root
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Many’s the youngster who has gone, starry-eyed, to a Headingley Test and dreamed what it might be like to be out there playing for your country.

Joe Root gets to live that dream today when England face New Zealand in the Second Test.

The Sheffield batsman says he remembers going there to watch England against India - “Sachin Tendulkar was playing and so was Michael Vaughan,” he says.

“Now, to have the opportunity to play here in a Test match is really exciting,” added the 22-year-old. “I’ve always dreamed of playing for England and just getting the opportunity is really something to enjoy.”

The initial impact of Root, allied to his batting success at Lord’s, plus the inclusion of Jonny Bairstow, has helped shift extra tickets and the authorities will hope for more despite a dodgy forecast for the first day.

It has become an important game for opener Nick Compton and with Kevin Pietersen fully expected to be ready for the Ashes in July, someone will be fighting for their place.

It looks to be between Compton and Bairstow and should Compton fail again then it is likely to see Root takes his place when the Aussies hit town.

Captain Alastair Cook acknowledges Root - a natrual opener - will one day move up the order but believes Compton is in the side on merit.

“Rooty has always opened the batting, so he sees himself as an opener,” said Cook.

“He’s been given his chance in a different position and I think anyone would say that you’re prepared to bat anywhere to play for England.

“I’m sure down the line, at some stage in the future, you will see Joe Root opening the batting, because that’s where he bats, but Compo’s got the shirt at the moment.”