Bat me where you want, Root tells England

(Reuters) – Joe Root is willing to bat anywhere in the order to help England claw their way back from a 1-0 deficit in the Ashes series against Australia, the youngster said yesterday.

He and Ian Bell are the leading contenders to replace Jonathan Trott at number three after the Warwickshire player left the tour because of a stress-related problem following England’s comprehensive defeat in the first test in Brisbane.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” the 22-year-old Root told reporters in Adelaide ahead of the second test that starts on Thursday. “Just to represent my country regardless of opening, batting at three, five, six, it’s been brilliant.

“If I get the chance to do it (bat at three) it will be a great experience. I’ll just be making sure I prepare well over the next couple of days.

“Whether it be three or five I’m comfortable and confident and ready to go regardless of the situation.”

Root, who opened the batting in the home Ashes series earlier this year, went in at six when England slumped to a 381-run defeat in Brisbane.

Left-armer Mitchell Johnson was the destroyer-in-chief for Australia, taking nine wickets in the match with some hostile, short-pitched bowling at the Gabba.

Root was asked if Johnson was the quickest bowler he had faced in his 12-test career.

“It was probably close to it, yeah,” the Yorkshireman replied.

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