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Dawson in Lord's Test XI

06 July 2017

A slight cold aside, the 26-year-old's first pre-match press conference before Thursday's series opener with South Africa was typically upbeat, and was spent fielding questions about plans for the new era and the decision to bring back his Yorkshire team-mate, Ballance, at No3 in a move that sees himself drop down a spot.

Joe Root expects England's Test team to put right the wrongs of a year ago and has tipped the recalled Gary Ballance - the first big decision of his fledgling captaincy tenure - to demonstrate he is different player to the one dropped from the side in the winter.

Sir Ian Botham is predicting plenty of runs for new captain Joe Root and a "liberated" Alastair Cook when England face South Africa.

'I've decided on the team, Liam [Dawson] is going to play.

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"Liam's character is exceptional - the way he bowled in India and so far this season has been brilliant". Toby is the unfortunate one to miss out but he's really impressed everyone with the way he has gone about his business, ' Root said. In five years, no batsman has scored more than his 4,594 Test runs and only India captain Virat Kohli betters him in all forms of the global game.

The 27-year-old has struggled to make a similar impact on the global scene, though, and his inclusion to bat at three has raised some eyebrows.

'Hopefully he will get off to a cracking start this week and show everyone that he's an worldwide cricketer.

"I've been playing county cricket since early April so I've had quite a lot of red-ball cricket, so I am not concerned about the workload and it was great to have the intensity of the Lord's final to put the body to the test", Broad told Sky Sports. South Africa have a really good record in England and are a very risky team... It's a really huge opportunity for him and I am sure it's one he will take'.

Dawson in Lord's Test XI