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Yorkshire's Joe Root happy to be in a spin over England tour call
10:13am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in Sport
Joe Root is hoping practice makes perfect after being called up to England’s Test squad for the upcoming four-match tour of India.
The 21-year-old Yorkshire opener has benefited from Andrew Strauss’ retirement, and has been rewarded for some impressive performances for both his county and the England Lions team this summer.
Root joins county colleagues – York-based Jonny Bairstow and pace bowler Tim Bresnan – in a 16-man squad, minus Kevin Pietersen, for the tour, starting on October 25.
Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance and Azeem Rafiq have also been named in England’s 17-man Performance Programme squad for their month-long tour of India, which runs from mid-November.
Root, one of two uncapped players in the squad alongside Somerset batsman Nick Compton, scored 964 runs from 18 first-class matches in 2012, including two hundreds for Yorkshire and one for the Lions against the West Indies Test team in May.
His career-best 222 not out came against Hampshire at Southampton in July.
Root toured India last year with the Performance Programme squad before going to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with the Lions after Christmas with the emphasis on playing spin bowling better.It is an area in which England have struggled, particularly during their series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year.
“I’m obviously delighted,” said Root, pictured.
“It’s what you play the game for. Just to be in the squad is a fantastic feeling, and we’ll see where we go from there.
“Hopefully it can be the start of something. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it and getting to know the lads.
“I’ll be working really hard to put a case forward for myself.
“It’s going to be a challenge. A lot of teams struggle out there, but I think that experience last winter will definitely be useful and called upon going out there.
“Hopefully I can put it to good use if I get the opportunity.”
York-based Bairstow, meanwhile, has been named in the squad as the back-up wicket-keeper to Matt Prior.
England travel to Dubai for a three-day training camp from October 26 to 28, something which clashes with the latter stages of the Champions League t20 event in South Africa should Yorkshire get that far.
It has not been confirmed what will happen with Root and Bairstow’s availability should a clash arise.
The first Test is at Ahmedabad from November 15 to 19.
National selector Geoff Miller added: “Joe Root is a player who has been successful at every level from county cricket through to EPP (Performance Programme) and England Lions. He deserves this opportunity to step up to the next level and press his case for a place in the Test side.”
The Performance Programme tour will proceed a Lions tour to Australia in February. The squad for that will be selected towards the end of the training camp in India.