England start new era with Joe Root the new master of Lord's

England spinner Liam Dawson bowls during a practice session prior to the first Test against South Africa at Lord's Cricket Ground in north London

If England do manage to win the series, it will be the first time that they have won back to back series against South Africa since 1964.

Joe Root has backed Gary Ballance to continue his prolific County Championship form after being selected in England's team to face South Africa on Thursday.

Dawson feels that the Joe Root era will be one marked by positivity as the Yorkshireman prepares to skipper England for the first time in Test cricket.

Root also revealed England's intention to use Yorkshire's Gary Ballance at number three against the Proteas. Dawson, who has represented England across all formats and made his Test debut against India previous year will feature in his first home Test as the second spinner behind Moeen Ali. "Yes (England coach) Trevor Bayliss spoke to me and others", said seamer Stuart Broad on Skysports on Tuesday. Root is less experienced than any of his 79 predecessors in the job, however, and Thursday will only be the fifth time he has captained a first-class side.

'I am sure he is desperate to make his mark and to establish himself once again in the team.


Stuart Broad, who had some injury concern in the build-up to the first Test has been declared fit, following his part in Nottinghamshire's victorious Royal London One-Day Cup squad that beat Surrey at Lord's on Saturday.

"You look at how he [Ballance] has performed this year and the amount of runs he's scored has been phenomenal", Root told a media conference. "I knew it was rubbish".

Joe Root, who has now made 98 appearances in the longer format is set to lead England for the first time in Test cricket and will be replacing Alastair Cook, who has captained them 59 times.

Theunis de Bruyn, who played his only Test in New Zealand in March, is likely to replace Du Plessis in an inexperienced line up which also features Heino Kuhn on debut at the top of the order.

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