Joe Root returns with a duck for Yorkshire but is determined to earn England Test recall
Joe Root is determined to earn a recall to England's Test side - and has admitted he would prefer to bat four in future.
Last Updated: 27/04/14 11:00pm
The Yorkshireman made his return to first-class cricket on Sunday, though it didn't go according to plan as he made a duck for his county in the LV= County Championship clash against Middlesex at Lord's.
The 23-year-old had missed the start of the new domestic season after suffering a broken thumb whilst making a century for England during the one-day series against West Indies, an injury that ruled him out of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
Root lost his place in the Test XI at the end of the disastrous Ashes tour of Australia during the winter, but is now aiming to prove his worth to the selectors ahead of the home series against Sri Lanka.
"Ideally I'd like to bat at four like I have done in this game for Yorkshire but those things are completely out of my hands," Root said.
"If I can get more opportunities in the summer to bat where I am batting now then I need to make big scores.
"It hasn't happened today but I'm very hungry to make sure that if I do get more opportunities, I really put my name forward for a place in the team."
His failure to get off the mark was a major disappointment for Root, particularly on a day when he became Yorkshire's youngest captain after taking the place of Andrew Gale following the skipper's decision to drop himself.
The right-handed batsman was dismissed by Steven Finn, a man himself who is pushing hard for an England return having been sent home early during the winter.
His form has certainly been impressive so far in 2014; he picked up four wickets for Middlesex on the opening day and was offered words of encouragement from one of his victims.
"If he bowls anything like he did today, he's definitely good enough to play for England," Root said of the paceman.
"He's obviously a fantastic bowler, he's made a really good start to the summer and I'm really pleased for him."
Root is not the only Yorkshire batsman who wants to stake a claim for what is expected to be a new-look England team under the leadership of new head coach Peter Moores.
Gary Ballance made only 20 for the White Rose county out of a total of 178, but the left-hander - who made his Test against Australia in Sydney - has made a strong start to the campaign, including hitting 174 against Northamptonshire at Headingley.
"There are a few people who have retired and moved on so there will be some places available for England," Ballance said.
"A lot of guys are working hard to score runs and to take wickets to try and get themselves into that team.
"I've started off well and hopefully I can build on that and then the rest will take care of itself."