LONDON - Skipper Joe Root looks certain to bat at number three in the first Ashes test starting at Edgbaston on Thursday in the latest attempt to beef up England's flimsy top order.
Root, widely-regarded as England's best batsman, has been reluctant to bat at three, probably as a result of the unreliability of a succession of opening combinations.
Talking ahead of the opener on Tuesday, Ashes debutant Joe Denly confirmed that Root had phoned him this week and said he wanted to bat at three, dropping Denly to fourth man in.
"I'm very excited," the 33-year-old Kent batsman told Sky Sports. "I wasn't too fussed really where I was batting, it's just great to be in that starting eleven.
"I've batted at four before, playing for Kent and throughout my career so for me it was not a big issue.