Vaughan has absolutely no doubt that Root should be Cook’s opening partner
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has put his money on youngster Joe Root to open the batting for the national team throughout their tour of New Zealand.
Root made his Test debut during the final Test against India in Nagpur, where he scored a brilliant 73 in the first innings, which was more than enough evidence for Vaughan that the 22-year-old should be captain Alastair Cook’s opening partner.
“He looked an England player from the minute he went out to bat in the Test match,” Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo. “He looks like he’ll have a tremendous future with the team.”
Vaughan, who was Root’s batting mentor, also started his career at Yorkshire League club Sheffield Collegiate.
Vaughan wants to see Root at the top of the batting order since he believes that the 22-year-old will continue to grow and develop with every minute spent at the crease, while the move will also hopefully allow Jonny Bairstow, another Yorkshireman, come in at number six.
“I would go for Root in New Zealand and bring Jonny Bairstow back at No. 6,” Vaughan said. “Jonny was unlucky to miss out in India with what he did against South Africa and probably has to do a bit of work on playing spin but if you look at the next 10 months – New Zealand and Australia home and away – it’s seam bowling conditions which Johnny plays so well. You’d want to get him back into the team.”
Bairstow only played in the second Test against India since batsman Ian Bell flew back to England to witness the birth of his first son.
The Yorkshireman then flew back home himself and missed the entire limited overs series due to one of his family members being ill.
Bairstow’s absence allowed Root to also make his ODI debut and despite not batting, he still did enough with the ball to impress Vaughan.
“Since the first Test defeat England have been quite outstanding and winning the first ODI was very important to get their confidence back,” Vaughan said. “It was a big win for the team.
“It’s a good sign that players are playing to their natural ability. The batting is strong, there is such depth. They can all hit the ball out of the park.”
Despite losing 3-2 in the ODI series, Vaughan believes that England have come a long way and should take all the positives with them into the Champions Trophy in June and the back-to-back Ashes series that follows.
Vaughan will be following the England team during their summer on his bicycle in order to raise funds for Chance to Shine and the Laureus Sport for Good foundation.
The former England captain will be joined by other cricketers and their route will take them from Leeds to London, which includes stops in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff and Southampton.
“Chance to Shine have done a great job of getting cricket played in state schools and the more funds you raise the more expertise you can provide,” Vaughan said. “Along the journey we’ll be dropping into schools and doing some coaching and getting involved with some of the Laureus projects as well. It’s a great opportunity to cycle around the country, raise some money and watch a bit of cricket.”
After the Ashes, both England and Australia will square off against each other in an ODI series, and while the English have been labelled as the clear favourites, Vaughan warned Cook and the rest of the national team that Australian captain Michael Clarke can always introduce new players and test out different teams that they may not be accustomed to.
“In Clarke they have a captain who’s very positive, he’s very vibrant and has a young set of players around him that are all going to work and play for him and the baggy green,” Vaughan added. “They’ll be very well led but I don’t think they’ll have enough experience to compete against England in English conditions.”