Root preferred as England opener for Ashes warm-up in place of Compton

London, June 25 (ANI): England batsman Joe Root has reportedly been named as an opener for the squad for the Essex Ashes warm-up game, ending the hopes of his teammate Nick Compton.

According to the Mirror, Root was pencilled in to partner skipper Alastair Cook at the top of the order with fit-again Kevin Pietersen returning, adding that the news will devastate Compton, who had his heart set on taking on the Australians and competing not only for the Ashes but also for the man-of-the-series award, which bears his grandfather Denis's name.

The report further said that although Compton scored the second of back-to-back hundreds against New Zealand on tour, his dismal performance against the same team at home was responsible for his loss of favour with the selectors, with the freedom shown by both Root and Jonny Bairstow as compared to his performance being the final nail on his coffin.

England's selectors have put their faith in the remarkable talents of Root, who they believe is simply the better opener, with national selector Geoffrey Miller saying that they believe that Root is currently the best opening partner for Cook for which he has been selected to open against Essex.

Stating that the young batsman has performed well for his county side Yorkshire at the top of the order earlier this season, Miller also said that Root has also proven to be adaptable in all three formats and has relished the challenge of international cricket during his international career so far.

According to the report, England also includes the uncapped Boyd Rankin in a strong 14-man squad.

England takes on New Zealand tonight in the first of two T20 internationals at the Oval. None of the likely Ashes team will play, but Pietersen will be back for the second clash on Thursday, the report added. (ANI)

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