Denly to bat at four for England
Denly to bat at four for England

Kent’s Joe Denly has confirmed he will bat at number four for the opening Ashes Test against Australia beginning on Thursday.

The 33 year old from Whitstable played in the Test against Ireland at Lord’s last week, which England went on to win despite a shaky opening day.

Denly top scored in that first innings, hitting 23 as the home side were skittled for just 85 leading for calls for captain Joe Root to move up to three in place of Denly and the Kent man confirmed that will be the case for the game at Edgbaston:

“I’m very excited,” the 33-year-old Kent batsman told Sky Sports. “I wasn’t too fussed really where I was batting, it’s just great to be in that starting eleven.”

“I’ve batted at four before, playing for Kent and throughout my career so for me it was not a big issue.” Denly revealed after receiving a phone call from Joe Root. 

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

Denly made 10 in the second innings after being run out by Root but has been in a rich vein of form for Kent this season.

Root has batted at three in 41 of his 149 test innings, averaging 31 compared to 46 at number four.