Root set for another batting change as Flower backs him to bat at three

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Joe Root could be at the centre of yet another England batting reshuffle after Jonathan Trott left the Ashes camp in Australia.

The England management announced earlier this week that Trott, suffering a stress-related illness, would be flying home from the tour after one Test match, a 381-run defeat at the Gabba.

Root, who began his 12-Test career batting at six before being moved to five, two and then six again, is now in pole position to replace Trott at three, with one of Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance or Ben Stokes batting at six in the second Test next week.

The 22-year-old showed his maturity with a solid, unbeaten 26 in the second innings of England’s Gabba demolition, and head coach Andy Flower said: “Joe showed that he is a fine player and a good, mature young man, so he would be capable of batting at three.

“We haven’t made the decision yet, as Jonathan only left us on Sunday night. We will have some discussions and make that decision over the next few days.”

Ex-England captain Michael Atherton has backed Root for the job, saying: “Joe did well at the Gabba, he played Mitchell Johnson well and dealt well with the verbals.

“We keep shunting him up and down the order, but I would have him at three.”