Joe Roots for England chance

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THE England claims of Sheffield’s Joe Root have strengthened with the retirement of skipper Andrew Strauss.

It leaves a vacancy alongside new captain Alastair Cook at the top of the England batting order and Root - who was awarded his county cap by Yorkshire this week - is a young player who has been closely scrutinised by the England hierarchy during his emergence in these past two seasons.

He has been playing for England Lions and was named in the initial England squad for the T20 World Cup.

Strauss, who played his 100th Test a couple of weeks ago, announced yesterday he was retiring from all forms of cricket.