cricket: England’s dual Ashes-winning captain Andrew Strauss has backed Yorkshire’s Joe Root to make the opener’s spot his own during the forthcoming series.
Strauss will be watching from the commentary box after retiring last year, but although Alastair Cook has replaced him as captain, his place at the top of the order has been harder to fill.
Nick Compton was given the chance to take it and scored back-to-back centuries in New Zealand in the winter, but a slide in form led to chairman of selectors Geoff Miller to say Root was “currently the best” option ahead of the Trent Bridge opener next month.
Compton has impressed for Somerset this week, though, and will turn out as a guest for Worcestershire against Australia next week, but Strauss still feels Root is the man for the job.
“He’s dealt with everything that’s come his way, including that punch,” Strauss said, referencing Root getting punched by Australia’s David Warner in a bar earlier this month.
“He looks very composed, looks entirely capable of making that job his own and I’m looking forward to watching him and Alastair Cook.
“England are in relatively very good shape. The Aussies have been in turmoil over the last few weeks, sacking their coach and David Warner whacking an England player. England have gone about their business very quietly and have never had a better chance to win the Ashes.”