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Shane Warne
Cricket Expert & Columnist

Ashes 2013/14: Honest Joe Root is a future England captain in the making

New number three is an honest fighter and a real solid character...

Shane Warne says Joe Root has the temperament of a future England captain.

Aus v Eng - Second Test, Day 4 Highlights

Root, 22, battled to 87 off 194 balls as the tourists endeavoured to rescue the second Test on day four before reaching 247-6 at stumps - still 284 runs short of the 531-run victory target set by Australia.

Promoted to number three after Jonathan Trott flew home with a stress-related illness, Root notched the highest score by any England batsman in the series so far to help the tourists past 200 for the first time in four innings and earned Warne's praise in the process.

"I think everyone's impressed with Joe Root," said the former leg-spinner. "You can sense and you can see that there is something about him. He's going to be an England player for a long time because he's a quality player.

"I was hoping that he'd have time down in that five or six position to find his feet and then slowly move up to three - but if he can make three his own, then fine. I still think Ian Bell should bat at three even though Root did well.

"He's going to be a 10-year player plus but give him the best possible chance to do that. I think he could even be a captain, given the way he presents himself. He's very honest, very straight up; there is no fumbling of things, he just gives it to you straight.

"He's totally honest and I think probably challenges a few of the other guys in the team as a young player. I think that shows a bit too, to stand up and say 'you know what? I don't agree with you.' I think that is to be commended."

Former England captain Nasser Hussain echoed Warne's views, saying: "Root is a star, that lad. He knows he played a bad shot in the first innings and he fronts up. He's an honest fighter and a real solid character. I think he's got a lot of ability but it shows a lot of character for someone so young to go and get 87 when you are 1-0 down and up against it."

Hussain's view on...

Bumble's lip reading skills

COOK, caught hooking for one: "I think his eyes lit up because it's the first short ball he's had from Australia for about six Tests! That was clever from Mitchell Johnson because all Cook will have been thinking about is getting forward and Mitch surprised him with a ball that was too quick for him."

CARBERRY, caught pulling for 14: "He was more unlucky than Cook. He picked Siddle up off his hip. If there were two men back you'd say 'poor shot' but with just one man back it means that if you get it five yards either side of him you're safe."

PIETERSEN, bowled for 53: "He doesn't like getting bored; he wants to show everyone that he's a superstar and that he's not just going to play how Root played, beautifully. If you get KP out nine times as Peter Siddle has, every time you'd say to Siddle 'here you go, bowl at Pietersen, their best player'."

BELL, caught for six: "I thought this was bad batting from a very good player. Steve Smith is someone you just need to sit on. He'll bowl you dross so why charge down the pitch at him? Maybe it came from Bell's over-confidence. He's the one England player in such good nick that he thought 'I'm hitting everything, I'll go after him'. But he didn't need to on that occasion."

STOKES, caught for 28: "He batted very sensibly, playing with a straight bat. He was under pressure but I thought he played well. The new ball got him in the end - a good nut going across him. You can tell from the way that the Aussies were celebrating getting him out, that it meant a lot to them because he was hanging in there and showing them that he could bat."

PRIOR, unbeaten on 31: "He's had a terrible run and when he first went in today he was very, very nervous. He doesn't like the angle of Lyon bowling around the wicket to him. He's alright in attack but in defence he struggles."

Watch highlights of day four from 11.30am on Sky Sports 2, then join us for The Ashes Verdict at 9pm and The Ashes Extra at 11pm on the same channel before our live coverage of day five gets underway at 11.30pm.