Former England Test captain Joe Root believes the experience of playing in India will help his team defend their 50-over World Cup title in October-November this year. England won the World Cup on home soil in 2019 and Root believes their success in Indian conditions will hinge on how well they play spin. Root told ‘PTI-Bhasha’ on the sidelines of the ILT20 (International League T20) tournament here, “This (World Cup) is a great opportunity, we have not experienced it before.” It will be a good opportunity for us to defend our world title.
Root, who averages over 50 in ODI cricket (6,207 runs in 158 ODIs), said, “I think players have spent a lot of time in India and they understand those conditions very well. It will depend on how we play spin. How do we play a limited number of 50-over matches before the World Cup? Root’s form in ODIs has not been as good as compared to his Test batting.
He has not scored a single century (ODI) since the 2019 World Cup and has averaged less than 30 during this period. Root, a member of the Dubai Capitals team, believes that playing in the ILT20 will make him a better cricketer. He said, “It feels good to be a part of this tournament, we are getting good experience. The competition has started in a very competitive manner. It has some great players and teams.
Root, who is aiming to make the World Cup squad, said, “Look, we have the World Cup in India at the end of the year.I can learn a lot from ILT20, test myself by putting myself in different situations. For some time I did not get a chance to play limited overs cricket. Opening the innings in the first two matches here, Root scored 26 and six runs respectively. His team Dubai Capitals will play their next match on Thursday.
Root credited Test captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum for the stupendous success in the five-day matches. He also praised the bowlers of England. He said, “I think there is a lot of talk about the way we are playing (Test cricket), how attacking we are with the bat. Should also see how good we are with the ball, taking 20 wickets to win has been fantastic.
The former captain, who scored 10,629 runs in 127 Tests for England, said, “Yes, our intention was to score fast runs (in Tests). This gives us a chance to win those matches which normally we would not have been able to do. We want to keep the opposition under pressure and for this many times clever decisions have to be made. Endorsing the team’s aggressive approach, he said, “I think we have to keep improving. Have to keep moving forward and keep playing fearless cricket.