(Photo: Getty Images)
By Adam Ellis
England Test captain Joe Root has addressed the team changes ahead of the first day’s play against Pakistan at Lord’s on Thursday, including his move up the order to no 3.
The Home of Cricket hosts the first of two Tests against Sarfraz Ahmed’s tourists and will see Somerset spinner Dom Bess handed his debut after an impressive 18 months for his county and the England Lions.
“Dom’s going to come in and make his debut; a very exciting time for him, for everyone involved, for his family. He’s approached this week really well,” Root said of the 20-year-old, speaking to England’s official website.
“He’s obviously had a really great start to his career at Somerset and he’s impressed whenever he’s been around this England team.
“I’m very excited for him. He looks a very confident young lad. He’s very sure about how he wants to go about things in the game and his plans moving forward throughout this series. I’m sure he’ll have a great week.
“He’s done all the work, he’s prepared as well as he can do this week. We’ve had three really good days of practice and he’s really embraced that and made the most of the opportunity.”
As Root gets set to embark on his sixth home summer with England, he was asked what advice he would give to Bess as he prepares for his first.
Root added: “It will be his first experience of playing at Lord’s and ‘soak it all in’ is all I’ll say. It’s such a great ground, the atmosphere is different to any other there’s a real buzz around the ground. There’s like a humming noise and lots of champagne bottle corks flying everywhere.
“‘Make sure you’re paying attention and keeping your eye on what I’m telling you to do, but make the most of it and keep smiling’ is the only thing I’d say to him.
“A lot of clichés come out when someone makes their debut and how should they approach it. There will be nerves, there will be a number of different feelings that you go through throughout the day. But just smile and remember it.”
Some one to have already tasted Test cricket is Jos Buttler who comes back into the fold after 18 months of cricket concentrated in the shorter formats.
Confirmed to start at seven in the batting line-up, with Jonny Bairstow moving up the order, the England captain observed that it will was almost like a debut in its own right for Buttler after missing out on selection for several series.
“Jos is a world-class player and he’s done some freakish things for England – even if they are in white-ball cricket.
“The potential he has to come in at no 7 and either counteract and throw a few blows back at the opposition is really exciting. And if we’re in a position of strength and we have a lot of runs from the top order for him to come and make that even more damaging and put us in a winning position is really helpful.
“Of course, all his experience batting towards the back-end of an innings and working with the tail and getting the most out of them.
“He’s got a great cricket brain, a very experienced campaigner, he speaks very well and he brings a lot to the field which can be underestimated sometimes.
“You watch him this week go about his business and it is like it’s his debut, he’s like a little kid again.