Ashes 2019: Joe Denly glad to vacate No3 spot for captain Root

Rory Dollard 23:16 30/07/2019
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Joe Root (l) and Joe Denly.

Joe Denly had no qualms when Joe Root pulled rank on him to claim the number-three spot in England’s Ashes line-up and expects the first Test at Edgbaston to be the pinnacle of his career.

Captain Root approached head coach Trevor Bayliss after last week’s Ireland Test and volunteered to reclaim the key position.

Bayliss has long been keen for Root to accept the responsibility and he has now shelved his concerns in a bid to bolster a top order that has too often looked light on both runs and experience.

As a result, Denly will move down a place in Thursday’s series opener against Australia, his third different slot in four appearances at the highest level.

Far from feeling slighted, the 33-year-old was merely happy to hear he would be part of the team that will lead England’s battle to reclaim the urn.

“Rooty rang me the other day and told me he wanted to bat number three and wanted me to go four. It was as simple as that,” he said.

“He just wants to get involved in the game, get up there and out in the middle, and hopefully get a lot of runs. I don’t think there’s any more to it than that.

“I wasn’t too fussed really where I was batting, it’s just great to be in that XI. I’ve batted at four before when playing for Kent and throughout my career, so it wasn’t really a big issue, I’m just happy to be playing.

“I’m really excited to get going in what will probably be the highlight of my career.”

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