Dawson picked for Lord's Test, Ballance back at three

Posted July 06, 2017

The 27-year-old all-rounder made his England debut against India in Chennai last December and joins Worcestershire's Moeen Ali in an England team which will feature two spinners in a Lord's Test for the first time since 1993.

Root also revealed England's intention to use Yorkshire's Gary Ballance at number three against the Proteas. The captain can at least rely on the complete support of his new team.

"You look at how he [Ballance] has performed this year and the amount of runs he's scored has been phenomenal", Root told a media conference.

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He failed to take a wicket but sent down nine overs in a boost for England, who are without injured pace duo Chris Woakes and Jake Ball for the opening Test of the four-match series.

"I got through the Lord's final with no problems and bowled on Wednesday and Friday before that with no pain", said Broad.

Root, however, can go better than the usual 1-1 or 2-1 results if he makes his captaincy resemble every other aspect of his game.

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"What will make Joe's life easiest of all is if he's doing well himself", wrote former England captain Nasser Hussain in the Daily Mail.

Stuart Broad has taken 368 wickets in 102 Tests he has played so far. Durham's Mark Wood will take the role of the third seamer ahead of Toby Roland-Jones who wasn't provided with the opportunity of making his Test debut in his home ground (Lord's). Spinner Liam Dawson is another option in the 12.

And Root, who will captain England for the first time at Lord's after replacing Alastair Cook as skipper earlier in the year, believes his Yorkshire team-mate can thrive on the worldwide stage. "It was great to have the intensity of a Lord's final, to play in it but also to put my body to the test".

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With Dale Steyn a long-term absentee with a shoulder injury, the tourists will hope that Vernon Philander has fully recovered from the ankle injury that caused him to sit out the warm-up fixture against England Lions with an ankle injury.