Handscomb gets early look at Ashes rival

Australian Test No.5 to have front-row seat for Joe Root's first outing on English soil since being named Test skipper

Australia batsman Peter Handscomb will get an early look at England's new Test captain Joe Root, with the pair named in a formidable Yorkshire line-up for their County Championship match on Friday.

Root will play his first-innings on English soil since being named Alastair Cook's successor as skipper of the Test side in February.

LIVE: Yorkshire v Hampshire

The 26-year-old, whose first assignment at the helm won't come until July, is one of eight players with international experience in the Yorkshire XI to face Hampshire.

With Root rested for the county's first two County Championship matches, Handscomb has batted at No.3 but coach Andrew Gale confirmed the Australian would slip down the order for the four-day clash at the Rose Bowl.

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"To have two guys like that, world-class players right on top of their game, it's going to strengthen us no doubt," Gale told the club's official website.

"We have one of the best number threes in the world available, so I'd doubt Peter Handscomb will bat there.

"He'll come in down the order I'd imagine, and that's a good place to be in as a team."

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Root will have seven Tests at home - four against the Proteas and three against the West Indies - to get accustomed to the Test captaincy before next summer's Ashes in Australia.

Fresh off a record-breaking year with both gloves and bat, England Test wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow also returns for Yorkshire having joined Root on the sidelines for their first two games.

Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance exercised his right as away skipper to bowl first on an overcast first morning, meaning Root and Handscomb will have to wait a little longer for their chance with the bat.

The Victorian last week chalked up his first half-century for Yorkshire, scoring 75 against Warwickshire to help the visitors to a comprehensive innings victory.   

Handscomb opted against playing a second season in the lucractive Indian Premier League, where he was contracted to Pune, instead deciding to hone his red-ball skills in English conditions.

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"I wanted to get over (to England) and play Division One county cricket for a full season and get used to what happens in England and try and figure out a way of playing over there," Handscomb explained in February. 

"You go to the tough places and play the best players in the world in either spin bowling or seam bowling and it's a great challenge.

"I see myself as a longer-format player, so sitting on the sidelines in the IPL for me wasn't going to be great practice.

"Especially after I'd spent two months in India (during the Test series) already playing in these conditions. 

"So to get over to England and test myself in those conditions but also play games I thought was a much better move."

James Pattinson (Nottinghamshire), Adam Voges (Middlesex), John Hastings (Worcestershire) and Cameron Bancroft (Gloucestershire) are among the Australians to feature in other Championship games getting underway on Friday.

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2017-18 International Fixtures:

Men's Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night)

Third Test Perth TBC, December 14-18

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test)

ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14

Second ODI Gabba, January 19

Third ODI SCG, January 21

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2

T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21

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