Giles keen to keep Root grounded
Ashley Giles has cautioned against building Joe Root up too quickly despite the Lions skipper’s outstanding start to the English summer.
Giles, England’s limited-overs coach, took charge of the second string for their assignment against the New Zealanders at Grace Road.
However, he was forced to watch rain aplenty falling as only 188.5 overs were possible over the four days.
In that time, the Lions enjoyed the better of proceedings and ended 159 runs ahead on 444 for seven in response to 258.
The star of the show was Root, who continued his outstanding season with 179 – an effort that comes on the back of 49, 182 and 236 in his other three innings this season.
Given he also spent the winter awakening the world to his talents when playing full internationals, the 22-year-old is now the talk of English cricket.
Giles refused to get carried away by Root’s burgeoning potential, however, saying: “He works very hard, and very specifically as well, and he's worked his game out.
"We still need to be guarded on how much we build the lad up - he's only played a couple of Tests - but so far so good.”
The Yorkshireman’s effort and that of county team-mate Jonny Bairstow – who struck 68 – gave Giles particular pleasure, for he is part of the selection panel that chose the pair for next week’s first Investec Test against the same opponents at Lord’s.
He admitted: “It was really significant, and pleasing - as a selector, when you've picked those two guys in the squad, and they've both gone and got runs.
"I thought (Trent) Boult bowled really well in this game, so they did really well to come through some of those periods.”
Root’s effort epitomised a quite excellent Lions performance, which began with the bowlers claiming seven wickets for 101 runs after New Zealand had reached an impressive 184 for three on the opening day.
Giles added: "It was great for us to see those four big lads operate together, and certainly when they came back on day two and took seven for 101 it was a good performance.
"Then even more pleasing was the way we went about it with the bat. We talked about grinding them down, and we did.”
For the Black Caps, the encounter was slightly more frustrating given their inability to get the match time in they may have hoped for.
That was particularly true of Doug Bracewell, who missed the drawn reverse series a few months ago due to a foot injury and is now vying with Neil Wagner for a place in the XI.
Bracewell said: “I think I could have done more and I guess I’m a little disappointed with how I went this game; I would have liked to take a few more wickets and score some runs.
“But I cannot do anything about that now, I’ve just got to turn up to training, work hard, and hopefully I get picked.
“It’s always frustrating with an injury and being left out of squads, but that’s past and all I can do is train hard and do what I can do to get back into the team.
“It took a few overs to pick up a couple of wickets. Sometimes that’s the case and I’d have liked another little bowl to pick up a couple more at the end.”