Cricket - Root staying grounded

Joe Root is playing it safe in New Zealand's adrenaline-rush capital, just to make sure he is ready for action if selected for his second Test cap.

PA Sport
Cricket - Root staying grounded

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Joe Root is hoping to be selected for the first Test

Root impressed with a determined half-century on debut to help England make history by completing a long overdue series win in India in December. Since that first taste of international cricket, the young Yorkshire batsman has added the Twenty20 and 50-over formats to his England CV - most recently in back-to-back series victories here in New Zealand.

England warm-up for the Test series in Queenstown where mountaineering, bungy jumping and water sports on Lake Wakatipu are all on offer as activities, but Root told Sky Sports News: "This is a fantastic place, great scenery, lots to do - just a shame we're not here for longer. We've got to be careful and there are a couple of things we've been told to stay away from. But there's still plenty for us to do."

Off the field then, Root is taking no chances; on it, he is determined to do the opposite and make the most of his opportunities at the start of a year of back-to-back Ashes series.

So far, he has done himself no harm at all with three one-day international half-centuries and no completed innings under 30 from seven visits to the crease in that format.

"We've played some really good cricket, winning both the Twenty20s and one-dayers which is what we set out to do," he said of England's campaign here to date.

There has been no evidence of the tension which might be associated with the start of an international career, and although he admits to some butterflies they did not last long on that successful Test debut.

"I think everyone gets a bit nervous," he said. "But I got out there, and there were thousands of people there and a great atmosphere - really loud - and I just found myself smiling and enjoying myself. That took over for me, and I didn't really worry about anything. I just wanted to make it last for as long as possible.

"There's obviously a jump. It's tough and you're playing against some very good players.

"But more than anything you just need to make sure you know your role and try to stick to it."

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