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Root to drop down England Test order in NZ

By AAP Newswire

Joe Root intends to drop back down to four in the Test order for the foreseeable future as he feels England will get more out out of him as a batsman and captain.

A dearth of top-order batsmen meant Root, not for the first time in his career, moved up from his preferred position to first drop for the entirety of this year's drawn Ashes series.

He performed modestly by his own lofty standards with 325 runs at 32.5, while his his overall average at No.3 is a full 10 runs less than when he bats a place lower.

It was expected before the tour to New Zealand that he would return to four, which is where he batted in the first of two practice matches in Whangarei and where he is set to remain - barring any unforeseen circumstances.

"I'd like to be consistent with it now, moving forward," he told the BBC's Test Match Special.

"I just think it suits my game a little bit more. It definitely fits in with captaincy a little bit better for me.

"I know previous captains have preferred to get out there early and just get amongst it but I've found over time that, generally, I've consistently played better in that position."

England were keeping their cards close to their chest around selection for a three-day first-class match, starting on Friday, against a New Zealand A side that is set to include a number of current internationals.

It could be instructive that whoever features at the Cobham Oval between Sam Curran and Chris Woakes will earn the nod for next week's first Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui.