Alex Hales, Nick Compton receive support from Joe Root

Alex Hales, Nick Compton receive support from Joe Root
Alex Hales gets another opportunity at the Test level.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

England batsman Joe Root feels that Alex Hales and Nick Compton will be eager to prove their critics wrong by putting up good performances with the bat in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

While Compton scored 245 runs in the Test series against South Africa at an average of 30.62, Hales struggled, scoring just 136 runs from eight innings at an average of 17.00.

Despite the pair not living up to their potential, the England selectors have backed them and selected them for the series against Sri Lanka.

Backing Compton and Hales, Root said that they had a lot of potential and feels that it will not be long before they post big scores.

"We see these guys play a lot, we spend a lot of time together as a squad and we know what they’re capable of doing," he said.

"I’ve got every confidence in those guys ahead of me to go in and make big scores.

"They’ll want to prove a lot of people wrong who’ve been doubting them, and it’s a very exciting time for them."

The England selectors have also picked the uncapped pair of James Vince and Jake Ball for the series and Root is quite excited to see them in action.

Root also added that Vince is one of the players who has been proving himself time and again over the last couple of seasons in county cricket.

"James (Vince) played extremely well against Yorkshire a few weeks ago," Root said, referring to a century that Vince made in a drawn County Championship game.

"He’s been one of the guys over the past couple of years who have kept proving themselves."

Speaking about Ball, who dismissed Root in a more recent County Championship clash, Root said, "He (Jake Ball) did for me. He was far too good for me, and he’s a very talented cricketer."

Sri Lanka are currently undergoing a period of transition after the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.

Nevertheless, Root feels that it will be arrogant of England to be expecting an easy encounter against Sri Lanka as there are a number of talented cricketers in their ranks.

"It would be silly to be arrogant and think we’re going to wipe the floor with them.

"They have a lot of guys with a lot of talent who could do some special things in Test cricket."

Meanwhile, England speedster Stuart Broad wants England to win the series in order to take revenge for the 2014 series defeat.

Broad said that the defeat in 2014 hurt badly and he is also expecting a good contest against Sri Lanka in the upcoming series.

"There is a bit of revenge to be had," he admitted.

"I played in the Test matches at the start of 2014 and that was a tough time to play.

"It was quite an emotional series, it really hurt us as a team to lose in our own conditions.

"We know when we play Sri Lanka they play with a lot of pride and passion.

"They’re always in the battle and they beat us in that battle last time."

The first Test of the three-match series between England and Sri Lanka begins on 19th May at Headingley in Leeds

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