By Graham Hardcastle

In-form Joe Root returns to the Ageas Bowl with Yorkshire this week, a venue which he believes helped push him onto bigger and better things.

In 2012, during his county’s Championship promotion year and before he had debuted for England, he hit a majestic 222 not out as an opening batsman in a heavily rain-affected draw with Hampshire.

It left many onlookers purring and the man himself brimming with confidence after a breakthrough knock.

Root, now England’s Test captain, will play for Yorkshire against Hampshire at the same venue from Thursday in his second successive Specsavers County Championship appearance as he warms up for a bumper summer of World Cup and Ashes cricket.

In Yorkshire’s season opener, against Notts at Trent Bridge earlier this week, he scored 73 before a superb unbeaten 130 helped steer Yorkshire to a final-day draw.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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