Flower: Root 'capable' of playing at three

England

England coach Andy Flower has hinted that batsman Joe Root could be moved into the number three position for the second Ashes Test, after the departure of Jonathan Trott from the tour left a hole at the top of the order.

England coach Andy Flower has hinted that batsman Joe Root could be moved into the number three position for the second Ashes Test, after the departure of Jonathan Trott from the tour left a hole at the top of the order.

Trott went back to England citing a 'stress-related illness' on Monday, and England thus need a new number three. Root, given his experience as opener and at number six, seems to be the most viable option ahead of Adelaide.

Flower said of the impending shift: "Moving around the order might not be ideal. But then the Trott incident, we could not foresee that.

"Root played superbly towards the end of that (first) Test – he showed what a good, young, mature man he is and a very fine player. So he would be capable of doing that. We haven't made that decision yet."

Other options include uncapped duo Ben Stokes and Gary Ballance, though neither have been in good form with the bat. Durham coach Geoff Cook feels his charge, Stokes, could be looked at as an option if they want an all-rounder.

Cook told <i>Sky Sports</i>: "Those two (Stokes and Ballance) are obviously very inexperienced at international level. They are both very talented players. I think whether Stokes plays or not will depend very much on what they think of the balance of the team. He's there as an all-rounder.

"Having known Ben since he was 15 I don't think fear comes into his mind. He's got a burning ambition to play at the highest level. If they are looking to change the balance of the team on a different surface then obviously he'll be the guy to come into contention.

"But I'm sure that they're both really competitive and they will both do their upmost to grasp and add to the performance of the England team if given the opportunity."

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