Root To Open, Pietersen, Rankin In England Squad

Kevin Pietersen in action
Root To Open, Pietersen, Rankin In England Squad
©REUTERS / Action Images

Joe Root will open the batting with Alastair Cook when England take on Essex in their four-day warm-up match ahead of the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Root will move up the order and replace Nick Compton, who struggled against New Zealand, to accommodate the return of Kevin Pietersen while Boyd Rankin is also included.

Rankin is the only uncapped member of a 14-man squad which gives a clear indication of the approach the selectors are taking as the series against Australia looms large.

The four-day game begins on 30th June and the first Test starts on 10th July.

"This match is a vital part of our preparations for the Investec Ashes after a period of limited overs cricket for a large number of the squad," National Selector Geoff Miller said.

"We have a very exciting two months of Test cricket coming up and it is important that we start well at Chelmsford next week. Kevin Pietersen has had no complications following his recent return to cricket after a knee injury which is pleasing and Graeme Swann is recovering well from a calf injury.

"We believe Joe Root is currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook and he will open the batting against Essex. Joe has performed well for Yorkshire at the top of the order earlier this season and during his international career so far has proven to be very adaptable in all three formats and relished the challenge of international cricket."

England XI: Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Graham Onions, Matthew Prior, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott 

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