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Lord's family friendly for Root

Investec Test Series

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Joe Root is eager to follow in his family’s footsteps by taking to the field at Lord’s next week.

The England Lions captain will hope to be selected for the first Investec Test against New Zealand, having enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence over the winter and a prolific start to the county season with Yorkshire.

Yet should Root feature at the home of cricket, he will only do so after father Matt and younger brother Billy, unless you count a short stint as 12th man for Yorkshire.

Just last week on the hallowed turf, the other Roots turned out on opposing sides for the MCC and MCC Young Cricketers.

They took centre stage too, although not for long in Root senior's case before - according to his eldest son - he was out cheaply, before his youngest had a chance to bowl at him.

As for Joe, preparing at Leicester for a four-day match starting against the Kiwis tomorrow, he has been restricted so far to a bit-part or spectator role.

"I've never played there. I've been there a couple of times - I've been to watch, and I was 12th man once for Yorkshire," he said.

"My dad and my brother played there last week, so I'm a bit jealous of those two. My dad came out to bat, and my brother was bowling. But I think he got out the other end, before he got a chance (to get him). So they've played at Lord's before me."

Advice may be forthcoming then from within the family about how to handle the big stage.

Joe Root

Captain for the game between England Lions and New Zealand, Joe Root is hoping to make a first appearance at Lord's in next week's first Test

In his more imminent, and unaccustomed, role as Lions skipper Root may seek counsel from just slightly less close to home before he tosses up at Grace Road.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan famously hails from the same club as Root, the Yorkshire League's Sheffield Collegiate, and is always available should the protege want any tips.

"I haven't called Michael Vaughan yet, but I might do this evening and just try and pick his brains and see what he says," said Root.

"But I am quite relaxed about going into tomorrow. I know I have a great dressing room to work with."

Root has had precious little captaincy experience at any level, but characteristically is not stressing about entering new territory.

"It's a real privilege for me to get this opportunity, and I hope we can do something special this week," he said.

"I've grown up captaining at age groups and a little bit of club cricket, but not a great deal.

"It will be a good challenge for me, and I am really looking forward to it."

He is confident he has sourced enough tactical knowledge in his tender years to put into effective practice - and voice too, when the time is right.

"The more you play the more you pick up, the more confidence you get to say things that are on your mind," he said.

"If I think I can say something that might help the team then I will try and express that now.

"As a young lad you sometimes have to let the older guys take charge - but especially coming back (to county cricket) this year, I have tried to help out when I can."

Root's eventful and much-travelled winter was a sharp upward curve - including a half-century on debut in the series-clinching Test at Nagpur and an impressive run of one-day international scores both in India and then New Zealand.

He was nonetheless chastened by his and England's relative struggles in three Tests against the Kiwis.

"I have to keep learning, and make those low scores as few and far between as possible," he said, confirming his ongoing readiness to bat wherever required by his country even if he has always had a personal preference to open - a position which is not currently vacant for England.

"I've always been an opener growing up. If you can bat at the top, it helps you if you (then) have to bat elsewhere.

"But I just want to play cricket; if I have to bat in the middle order, that's fine. I'm not bothered where I play, I just want to represent England. I'm just proud to put on the badge."

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