Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England batsman Joe Root has announced that the national team “haven’t lost any momentum” after the first ODI against India in Bristol was abandoned due to heavy rain.
England are looking to continue their excellent form after thrashing India 3-1 in the recently concluded five-Test series.
“No, we haven’t lost any momentum,” Root said. “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 [today].”
Root also dismissed former off-spinner Graeme Swann’s comments about England not having “a cat in hell’s chance of winning” the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“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,” Root said. “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.”
Swann added that Alastair Cook should not even bother playing ODIs anymore, but Root came the defence of his captain, saying: “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.”
After scoring two centuries and three half-centuries in the Test series against India, Root is hoping his red-hot form carries on in the ODI series.
“I feel good at the minute,” he said. “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 will now only play ODIs until the World Cup. Following their series against India, they will travel to Sri Lanka in November and then play an ODI tri-series against India and Australia in the Land Down Under in January.
“It is about getting into the routine of ODIs,” Root said. “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 and then move forward. It is about stringing together some wins and taking it from there.”