• New Zealand tour of England, 2013

Root to lead Lions

George Dobell
April 29, 2013
Joe Root has been added for his leadership qualities © Getty Images

Joe Root has been named captain of the England Lions team to play New Zealand in a four-day game in Leicester from May 9.

Root was scheduled to captain the Lions on their limited-overs tour of Australia, but was instead called-up to the senior squad. James Taylor, who captained in his place, remains part of the Lions team.

Among the more intriguing selections is a recall for Michael Carberry, who played one Test in Bangladesh in early 2010, as well as Ravi Bopara and Toby Roland-Jones. The team, which will be coached by England's limited-overs coach Ashley Giles, contains three players from Warwickshire, the club he coached to the County Championship title last year: Chris Woakes, Chris Wright and Varun Chopra.

Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket, in a move that suggests he is currently considered Matt Prior's deputy in Test cricket. Yorkshire and Warwickshire provide five of the 11 players.

England's eagerness to give Root the captaincy once again illustrates how highly the regard the qualities of a player who seems mature beyond his years in cricketing terms.

"With a busy summer of Test cricket ahead, this fixture against New Zealand is an excellent opportunity for our players to show us that they are capable of representing England in the longer format of the game," said Geoff Miller, the national selector. "Joe Root will lead the side in order to assist his development as a cricketer and provide him with valuable experience of captaincy against quality opposition."

Ashley Giles, England's one-day coach, will join the management team for the match as he casts an eye over players who are competing for places in England's Champions Trophy squad this summer.

England Lions Team: Joe Root capt, Jonny Bairstow (both Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Varun Chopra (Warwickshire), Simon Kerrigan (Lancashire), Graham Onions (Durham), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Chris Wright (Warwickshire).

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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