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Root remains level-headed - Carberry

Investec Test Series

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Opener Michael Carberry sees no change in England Lions skipper Joe Root despite the 22-year-old’s incredible recent rise.

Having awakened the cricketing world to his talents with a series of fine showings in all forms for England over the winter, the youngster has continued his ascent on the domestic circuit.

He headed into his first assignment as the second-string’s skipper on the back of 467 runs at an average of 156 in three LV= County Championship innings for Yorkshire this season.

Not content with those numbers, Root punished New Zealand’s attack for dropping him on 23 in the tour match, ending day two unbeaten on 105 having put his side into a strong position.

Most of the runs came in a 182-run partnership alongside Carberry, who said afterwards: "He's in great form at the moment.

"He's just grown a little bit more confident, as you would expect, after his good time in the winter - and you can just see it through his play.

Michael Carberry

Michael Carberry en route to a 77 that helped put England Lions into a dominant position in their tour match against the New Zealanders

"I don't think he's changed as a person. He's a very nice lad to be around and be in his company, but I think it's just his range of shots have come on since last year.”

The Lions ending the day just 66 runs adrift of the Black Caps on 219 for two did not appear on the cards this morning.

Indeed, the hosts spent much of a rain-shortened first day, having opted to bowl, watching Hamish Rutherford hit boundaries at will in an unbeaten 116 that took his side to 184 for three after 44 overs.

The Lions bowlers responded outstandingly this morning to dismiss New Zealand for 285.

"I think we fought back quite well,” Carberry added. “We were probably a little bit erratic with the ball yesterday. We had a chat this morning, and tried to bowl tighter lines and keep control of our lengths.

"Our reward was we picked up the wickets and made life a little bit easier for ourselves.”

While Root’s hundred stole the headlines, Carberry’s own innings of 77 cannot be underestimated, particularly after opening partner Varun Chopra fell cheaply.

The Hampshire man is unlikely to be alongside Root in England’s XI for next week’s first Investec Test at Lord’s, but has not given up hope of adding to his two five-day caps in the future.

“If the England thing comes up for me, great,” he said. “As I’ve said previously, I would dearly love another crack at Test cricket.

“You just have to keep scoring and keep your name there or thereabouts.”

While pleased with his efforts, Carberry was frustrated not to go on and reach three figures.

He admitted: "As a professional who's been around the game a long time, I've always prided myself on kicking on from 60s and 70s and making it into hundreds.

“So I'm a little bit disappointed at maybe half-a-job done. But I guess in the circumstances of the game, I was trying to do something positive. It was just badly executed.”

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