England batsman Joe Root on Tuesday said that his side hasn’t lost the momentum gained in the triumphant Test series as it prepares to take on India in the second ODI in Cardiff on Tuesday.
The first ODI of the five-match series was abandoned in Bristol without a ball being bowled Monday owing to incessant rain.
“No, we haven’t lost any momentum,” said Root, ahead of the second ODI.
“But we have had an extra day’s practice as a whole squad and we didn’t lose time to rain in that sense. What happened in the Test series is still in the back of our minds and we want to take that momentum forward. We want to start well in this series and a couple of wins will be very handy in that sense going ahead.”
“The World Cup (in Australia-New Zealand) is obviously something we are planning towards but we cannot look too far ahead. India are a good side in the ODI format and we will have to play very good cricket to beat them. We are in a good place as a team at the minute and we are looking forward to the game tomorrow (Wednesday),” he added.
After the Bristol wash-out, ex-spinner Graeme Swann was reported as saying that England don’t have a chance at the World Cup since they have too many Test players and that Alastair Cook shouldn’t be captain either. These comments haven’t really hit home if Root is to be believed.
“The Test players have been picked in the ODI side because they are very capable of making big scores in a one-day series and we have prepared really well as a unit. This is an exciting time for us,” said Root.
“There is not much wrong with our batting order at moment. Alex Hales is an explosive player, exciting to watch and we are looking forward to seeing him doing his stuff. Then we have Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler down the order and we have seen that they can win matches on their own. We have a good balance in our side and this series will be a good judge of that,” he added.
About Cook’s captaincy and ODI record, he said, “He is a leader, our leader, in one-dayers and Tests. He has done well for a number of years now and he is a fantastic player. He has got all of our support. He compliments well with a player like Hales at the top of the order, so hopefully that can be shown in this series. As a team we are very excited and want to show we are a good ODI side, starting tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Root was in red-hot form during the Tests, scoring two hundreds and three fifties in five matches against India. Talking about his own game, he added, “I feel good at the minute. Going into a different format, it will be a challenge to carry the same form but I feel good and quite excited about this series.
“It is about going to basics and working on your strengths. I try not to change too much, maybe play a few more expansive shots. It is about playing the situation and helping your team win and this is what you want to do in the long run.”
England only play ODIs from here onwards until the World Cup in February-March. Along with this series, they have another engagement in Sri Lanka after which they will play India and Australia in a tri-series Down Under in January, a sort of dress rehearsal for the big event.
“It is about getting into the routine of ODIs. It is quite hard at times to change if you have had a good series in one format. Then going into another format you have to make some changes and sometimes you end up struggling. It is hard to do so. And so we have the advantage of just playing one format until the World Cup. It will give us some momentum if we get some good results behind us going to that tournament,”
“It is about preparing well generally and getting good results. We don’t want to look too far ahead so all we can really do is look after this game tomorrow (Wednesday) and then move forward. It is about stringing together some wins and taking it from there,” Root signed off.