Joe Root, the England Test captain, is set to move back to the number four slot in the batting order for the upcoming two-match Test series versus New Zealand, starting with the first Test in Bay Oval on November 21.
Root also indicated that he would continue to bat at the number four position in the near future. He took up the number three slot in the order for the Ashes, but struggled to put up consistent performances, averaging a modest 32.5.
Root’s overall Test average at that position also stands at a less than impressive 38.12. The England mainstay has found more success at number four, having scored 2807 runs at an average of 48.39. Incidentally, Root batted at the number five position in the warm-up game against New Zealand XI in Whangarei.
“I’d like to be consistent with it now, moving forward,” he told BBC’s Test Match Special. “It doesn’t always work exactly how you want it to but it would be nice for that to be the case. I just think it suits my game a little bit more. It definitely fits in with captaincy a little bit better for me.
“I know previous captains have preferred to get out there early and just get amongst it but I quite like to split the two and to really focus on my batting. I’ve found over time that, generally, I’ve consistently played better in that position.”
Joe Denly, who has recovered from an ankle injury, is expected to bat at number three with Dom Sibley and Rory Burns opening the batting. “We haven’t officially picked a team yet. As you’d expect, the majority of that will go and play the first Test match.”