sport

Giles: I underestimated Root

England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles has admitted surprise at the amount of early success accrued by Joe Root at international level.

Afforded a debut in all three formats on the recent tour of India, Root performed superbly in the absence of the unavailable Jonny Bairstow.

A fine knock of 73 in the fourth Test paved the way for selection during the ODI series, with the talented 22-year-old gathering a solid average of 54.33 after five matches.

"I didn't know he could bat as well as he has. He had all the ingredients to show that he could bat really well. He just looks at home and he's the sort of player with which English cricket is in good hands," said Giles.

"Joe's had a fantastic first tour and has developed game on game into someone who is playing all forms of the game."

Giles lauded the outstanding effort of spinner James Tredwell, too. England's lone specialist spinner after the decision was taken to rest the in-form Graeme Swann, Tredwell was the series' top wicket-taker on the back of 11 victims at the mere average of 18.18.

"It just gives us great options - I don't see at some point why you couldn't play two off-spinners in the same side. James has been fantastic this trip," he added.

"It has been an enjoyable tour, playing cricket in these beautiful arenas, and while we are disappointed to lose, we have learned a lot."

England's next assignment is three-Twenty International, three-ODI and three-Test tour of New Zealand, which gets underway with the first T20I at Eden Park in Auckland on 9 February.