England Lions v New Zealand: Joe Root named as captain for Kiwis Test

England Lions v New Zealand: Joe Root will skipper the hosts for their tour match against the Black Caps in May

Ryan Bailey
By Ryan Bailey
england cricket
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow celebrate England's triumph in India in 2012 Twitter/TIm Bresnan

Joe Root’s meteoric rise onto the international stage continues after the Yorkshire batsman was named as captain of England Lions for their tour match against New Zealand next month.

The 22-year-old, who is expected to be named in the Test squad for the upcoming series against the Black Caps, will skipper a side which contains six players to have already represented England at senior level.

Meanwhile, Ashley Giles, the senior side’s limited-overs coach, will take charge of the team for the four-day match which starts at Grace Road on 9 May.

Root is seen as a possible captaincy candidate for the future and national selector Geoff Miller sees this game as the perfect opportunity to test his leadership credentials.

“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,” Miller said.

“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.”

The talented batsman has enjoyed a successful start to his international career after impressing in all three formats during the winter tours of India and New Zealand, and he will skipper an experienced Lions outfit in Leicester.

Jonny Bairstow and Graham Onions, who both could be included for the two-game Test series against the same opposition, as well as James Taylor, Ravi Bopara and Michael Carberry have all played for England in the Test arena.

Warwickshire duo Chris Wright and Chris Woakes will be hoping to impress the selectors, while Middlesex’s Toby Roland-Jones has been rewarded for his fine early season form, with Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan the only spinner to be included.

Explaining the decision to involve Giles in the set-up, the ECB’s managing director of cricket Hugh Morris added: “Our new limited-overs head coach Ashley Giles will be part of the Lions management team for this fixture and this will enable Ashley to closely monitor the performances of players who are competing for places in our T20 and ODI sides as well as the Test team.”

England Lions team to face New Zealand: J Root (c), J Bairstow (wkt) (both Yorkshire), R Bopara (Essex), M Carberry (Hampshire), V Chopra (Warwickshire), S Kerrigan (Lancashire), G Onions (Durham), T Roland-Jones (Middlesex), J Taylor (Nottinghamshire), C Woakes, C Wright (both Warwickshire)

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