Ashes 2019: England Test captain Joe Root to bat at No 3?
Joe Root averages 49.03 from 81 Test matches. © AFP

England captain Joe Root will be promoted one spot up to to No 3 for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston starting Thursday, Sky Sports has reported.

There has been speculation about Root’s batting position after England’s extended top-order worries in Tests, with the most recent case being the four-day Lord’s game against Ireland. The hosts were bowled out for 85 on the first morning and then in the second lost Rory Burns for 6 before the nightwatchman Jack Leach and Test debutant Jason Roy put on a match-winning 145 for the second wicket.

But once Leach was dismissed, England lost seven wickets for 77 runs as they slumped to 303 all out.

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It has been reported that Burns and Roy will again open the innings against Australia at Edgbaston, but that Root will move up a spot from his regular No 4 role where he averages 48 after 60 innings, with seven Test hundreds.

At No 3, Root has scored 1,538 runs at 40.5, with two hundreds, in 40 innings.