Sheffield’s Joe Root admits he will have to step up as one of England’s senior players, when their five-match Test series against India gets underway at Trent Bridge tomorrow.
The Yorkshire star is expected to earn just his 18th Test cap for England, and is still just 23.
But in a relatively-inexperienced England side, Root - who has experienced a series win in India, as well as two Ashes campaigns - concedes that he will have to step up and lead by example.
“Hopefully, it’ll be an exciting series,” he said.
“The dressing room is hungry to prove a point [after their series defeat against Sri Lanka] and why not do that against India?
“We’ll have to play serious cricket, but we’re more than capable of that and I guess I will have to step up into something of a senior role.
“It’s a five-game series and we have a lot of young lads in our team, so I’ve got to step up and put some performances in.
“But the pleasing thing against Sri Lanka was the likes of Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali and Liam Plunkett stepping up and scoring hundreds and taking five-wicket hauls.
“Liam’s had that Test experience before, of course, but he had a long time away, came back and fitted straight back in. We’ll be a tough side to beat when everyone is fit and firing.”
England face the touring Indians at Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge, which holds happy memories for Sheffield Collegiate product Root.
Almost exactly a year ago, England took a 1-0 lead against Australia on Nottingham soil on their way to a 3-0 Ashes win and Root said: “Trent Bridge has always served us well as a side.
“There’s always a great atmosphere, and hopefully that will continue.
“I think we played good cricket throughout the last series [against Sri Lanka] and, to be honest, we probably outplayed them so it was harsh to lose 1-0.
“We know now we have to be ruthless, nail our key skills and points in the game and bring home another series win.”