Joe Root is a future England captain, says Bob Willis


Middlesex were appalling with the ball in their televised YB40 game at Lord's on Monday and Toby Roland-Jones, also on Lions duty this week, was certainly their standout performer.

He's got a very good, controlled run up and he's got pace. I'd like to see him accelerate a little bit more in his run up but he's very much a bowler in the mould of Steven Finn and I'm sure Gus Fraser will get him working hard and concentrating on pitching the ball up and finding movement.

Bowling at Lord's is never easy so those attributes are essential and it should be a good nursery ground for him.

Playing for the Lions, though, should be a big step up because New Zealand are very much an improving side led by an inspirational captain in Brendon McCullum.

While their top order - McCullum and Kane Williamson aside - may struggle in English conditions, recent scores suggest that the Test pitches at Lord's and Headingley will be pretty flat.

Bruce Martin is a steady performer, while their seam attack is strong. Tim Southee and Trent Boult are both a threat if the ball swings, while Doug Bracewell has got plenty of pace and Neil Wagner will run in all day for you. He's an excellent team man.

To my mind, New Zealand are stronger in bowling than batting but if the likes of Ross Taylor, McCullum and Williamson get in then they will be capable of scoring decent runs.

This is a great opportunity for England's young guns to show what they can do in what should be an excellent test.{"count":3,"widgets":[{"name":"Quote - Bob Willis","id":1,"type":"quote","content":{"citer":"Bob Willis","quote":"I hope the Lions can help the senior side along and give New Zealand a bit of payback.","image":{"id":"","new_id":"","url":""}}},{"name":"Additional Media 1","id":2,"type":"media","content":{"mediaTypeId":"11","imageDim":"null","mediaPosition":"1"}},{"name":"ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND","id":3,"type":"fact","content":{"mainHeader":"ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND","factType":"paragraphs","factDetails":[{"textArea":"First Test, May 16, 10am, Sky Sports 1 HD"}]}}]}