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— 19 April 2017

Peter Handscomb, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root will be seeing a lot of each other over the next nine months, starting this weekend in Southampton.

At various stages through the next five and a bit months, the trio will be county team-mates with Yorkshire desperately fighting for the same cause – silverware across three competitions.

Then, come November, they will be going toe to toe Down Under when Australia host England in the Ashes, with Root leading England.

Bairstow and Root, alongside another Ashes contender Adil Rashid, are available for Friday’s Specsavers County Championship match against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

They will join Handscomb to form an international class batting order.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said the 25-year-old Aussie, who was in the Yorkshire team that lost the opening round clash with Hampshire at Headingley.

“It will be great to watch them in their own conditions and see how they go about it.

“But, also, it’s great for Yorkshire to have them back.

“We can put a really strong side out against Hampshire, and it will be a great watch.”

It must be a strange feeling for players who play with and against each other in such a short space of time, but Handscomb is happy to go with the flow.

“That’s part of world cricket at the moment,” said the Victorian, who played alongside Rashid in Yorkshire’s innings victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, which finished on Monday.

“It’s 12 months a year, so you will be playing with and against different guys at all stages with all the tournaments going on.”

This could be one of only two first-class appearances for Root prior to captaining England for the first time in Test cricket against South Africa at Lord’s in early July.

He is also inked in to play in the floodlit four-day match against Surrey at Headingley in late June.

And Handscomb is backing the 26-year-old to make a success of the England captaincy.

Although, without saying so, he will no doubt be hoping he doesn’t do too good a job!

“I think Joe will be great,” he said.

“He’s got a level head on him, that shows with his batting, and I’d also expect him to read the game well.”

“He’s got a great temperament. There’s so much now that weighs on captain’s shoulders with on-field stuff as well as so much stuff off the field now. It makes the job a lot harder. But he’ll be just fine.”

Handscomb will be looking to build on the 75 he scored in the first innings at Edgbaston.

Yorkshire will again be without injured seamers Jack Brooks, Liam Plunkett and Ryan Sidebottom.

Plunkett is expected to return from his calf injury in time to face Nottinghamshire next Saturday in the Royal London one-day Cup opener.

It is hoped that Brooks (calf) and Sidebottom (hamstring) will both be ready to face Lancashire in the Championship at Emirates Old Trafford on May 19.

The White Rose owe Hampshire one after a four-wicket defeat at Headingley earlier this month. The two sides drew a rain-affected clash at the Ageas Bowl last year.

Ben Coad could become the first Yorkshire bowler since Peter Hartley in 1995 to take at least five wickets in an innings in each of the first three Championship matches of a season.

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