Ashes: Michael Vaughan backs Joe Root's move down the England order

Last Updated: 06/11/13 4:08pm

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Former England captain Michael Vaughan shares his thoughts on England's selection ahead of the first Ashes Test.

Sky Bet

Former England captain Michael Vaughan says England have made a smart move in taking Joe Root out of the firing line at the top of the order and bringing in the experience of Michael Carberry.

Carberry hit an unbeaten 153 on the opening day of England's Ashes warm-up match against Australia A, sharing an unbroken stand of 318 with captain Alastair Cook to further his case to open the batting in the first Test in Brisbane at the end of the month.

Should Carberry make the position his own, Root would likely drop down to No 6, where he has excelled before for England and Vaughan believes England have been clever in their preparations.

"It's quite a clever move by Andy Flower and Alastair Cook," he told Sky Sports News. "They've looked at the No 6 position and decided that a young debutant is not the best idea. Jonny Bairstow isn't playing well enough to get that spot, but Root has done well for England at No 6 in the past - he got a hundred against New Zealand just a few months ago.

"He's a fine player and I'm sure he will end up opening for England, but for this series, this is a good move from England. To throw Gary Ballance or Ben Stokes in there is a tall order at this stage of their careers.

"Carberry has taken his chance. He's been opening for Hampshire and did well last week in Perth too. They made the call for him to open the batting two games before an Ashes series and he's taken it with a big hundred.

"It's going to be a really hot atmosphere in Brisbane for that first Test match. Australia are going to come at England hard and Andy Flower feels that having Carberry at the top and Root at no 6 - he's just trying to put those peices in the right place.

"In a way it is a snub (for Root) but it's part and parcel of what the England camp is about. Andy Flower has shown he's not been shy from making tough calls."


Vaughan also had some words of advice for Australia following Shane Warne's criticism of Cook, in which he labelled the England captain 'boring and negative', adding that his lack of imagination could cost the tourists the Ashes this winter.

"Shane's doing everything but play at the moment," laughed Vaughan. "He's their 12th man. I wouldn't be surprised to see him with a tray of drinks to have a chat with Michael Clarke on the pitch.

"If I was Australia, I'd be looking after my own back yard. I think they've got enough problems as it is to start focusing on England. Australia feel they have to get a psychological edge by headlines to get an advantage on the pitch. England are saying 'we'll do our talking on the pitch' and that's exactly the right option.

"I would agree with Shane that Cook has got areas to improve. He could be a little more imaginative and proactive, but Cook has admitted that. He's looking to improve all the time.

"Don't forget he's only been in the job a year and he's won in India and he's won an Ashes series. He's lost one Test match in 16 so I'm happy with the England captain.

"When there's a lot of criticism around him, he gets the blinkers on, gets his batting cap on and scores runs."

Vaughan believes Boyd Rankin is currently the favourite to take the third seamer spot for the first Test.

Rankin is battling Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett for the right to join James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann in England's bowling unit.

"I don't think Tremlett has done enough. His selection was a surprising one for me. He was bowling well two years ago, but he hasn't bowled well since. He had a bad injury this season and didn't bowl with any real pace.

"It's between Rankin and Finn and I think Rankin has just got his nose ahead. He's fresh, he's new, can bowl with a little bit more venom in some good areas."

You can watch day two of England's warm-up match against Australia 'A' live from Hobart at 11pm on Wednesday on Sky Sports 2 HD.

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