Nick Compton
Nick Compton has been dropped from the England side that faces Essex in a pre-Ashes warm-up match. [Reuters]

Nick Compton has been dropped from the England side that will face Essex in an Ashes warm up match, with Joe Root moving up the order to open the batting alongside captain Alastair Cook.

The move had been predicted by many after Compton failed to impress in the recent 2-0 Test series win over New Zealand where he managed to score just 39 runs in his four innings.

He now appears to have paid the ultimate price and could well miss the Ashes series if Root excels against Essex. The 22 year old opens the batting for Yorkshire and has impressed for England despite being used in the middle order.

Root has not only excelled in the Test side but he has looked comfortable batting at four as part of England's one-day side. Now he will get the opportunity to open alongside Cook after national selector Geoff Miller confirmed his place in the warm-up match against Essex.

"We believe Joe Root is currently the best opening partner for Alastair Cook and he will open the batting against Essex," Miller said.

"Joe has performed well for Yorkshire at the top of the order earlier this season and during his international career so far has proven to be very adaptable in all three formats and relished the challenge of international cricket."

Compton had been warned by England coach Andy Flower that he needed to impress while playing with his county Somerset and he did manage to score 166, 18, 15 and 56, but he has failed to work his way back into the Test side.

There is a chance that Compton could be recalled but he will need to impress for Somerset when they play Australia at Taunton and Wednesday, while Root will have the opportunity to stake his claim against Essex from Sunday.

England named a 14-man squad which welcomes back Kevin Pietersen after he proved his fitness by scoring a century for Surrey last week, while Boyd Rankin and Graham Onions will provide back up for the seamers.

Graham Swann is also recalled after he missed the latter part of England's Champions Trophy campaign with a calf problem.

"This match is a vital part of our preparations for the Ashes after a period of limited-overs cricket for a large number of the squad," Miller added.

"We have a very exciting two months of Test cricket coming up and it is important that we start well at Chelmsford next week. Kevin Pietersen has had no complications following his recent return to cricket after a knee injury which is pleasing and Graeme Swann is recovering well from a calf injury."

England squad to play Essex at Chelmsford (30 June - 3 July): A Cook (Captain), J Anderson, J Bairstow, I Bell, T Bresnan, S Broad, S Finn, G Onions, K Pietersen, M Prior (wkt), B Rankin, J Root, G Swann, J Trott.