Joe Root partnership pleases Ian Bell

Joe Root
© PA Photos
Ian Bell salutes the performance of Joe Root during England's friendly match against a New Zealand XI.

Ian Bell has saluted youngster Joe Root after the two batsmen put on a partnership of 97 during England's Test warm-up encounter against a New Zealand XI earlier today.

Root, 22, has been widely tipped to claim a slot in the side for the upcoming series against the Kiwis.

Following his knock of 47, Bell was quick to talk up Root's chances of replacing the injured Tim Bresnan.

"Joe played nicely, in a situation where we probably needed to get a partnership together - and we did exactly that," Bell told Sky Sports News. "It's good for us, me batting at five and him at six, the more we bat together and get familiar with each other's games - strengths and weaknesses - the better.

"It's a nice little spot for him there, certainly with Matty Prior just in behind him. He played very coolly and calmly."

Root made his one and only Test appearance against India in December.

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