Joe Root has urged England to brush off the defeat at Centurion and wrap up the one-day international series against South Africa with a game to spare in Johannesburg tomorrow.
The tourists’ 2-0 lead, following back-to-back wins in Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein, was halved as the Proteas completed a record chase with ease at SuperSport Park on Tuesday.
Despite the convincing loss, England head back to the Wanderers tomorrow – the venue for their Test-clinching triumph – knowing a return to winning ways will see them secure a series double over South Africa on the same tour for the first time.
“I think we did a lot of stuff, especially with the bat, pretty well the other night,” the Yorkshireman, who hit a century in the third Test at the Wanderers, told ecb.co.uk.
“It’s about not looking too much into it and making sure we concentrate on what we know we need to work on and then taking that out there on Friday.
“Keeping it relatively simple, not having too many pre-conceived ideas about the ground or the pitch and just assessing things when we get out there in the middle.
“We can go out and treat this game like we would treat the first game of the series, or any other game. We need to make sure we do the basics well and play at our best.”
Root’s 125 from 113 balls in Centurion lifted England to 318 for eight, a target that had never been reeled in before at that venue.
De Kock and Amla made things look easy during a 239-run first-wicket stand and Root accepted England were beaten by the better team.
“I was absolutely thrilled to bits (with the ton). It was obviously disappointing to not be on the right side of the result but credit to South Africa, they played very well on a pitch that improved,” Root said.
“You have got to take your hat off sometimes and say well played. We need to learn from it as a side and make sure we are right back on it come the first ball on Friday.
England have their eye on ball at the Wanderers today. They can wrap up the ODI series against SA here tomorrow pic.twitter.com/nT8cZMEJma
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) February 11, 2016
“It’s part of cricket, you take it on the chin. At the end of the day, you go out there to make as many runs as you can, to set up a game or finish it off.
“Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out this time but it makes you hungry to go out again and make sure you are on the right side of it next time round.”
With England having passed 400 for the first time last summer and also posting 399 in the first game of this series, coupled with South Africa completing that record pursuit, Root is unsure what is a par total in 50-over cricket these days.
“It’s amazing as a batting side because you don’t know what a good score is anymore,” he added.
“We got 400 in the first game and without Duckworth-Lewis that would have been a very exciting spectacle as well. It is interesting.
“As players you have just got to make sure you are getting as many as you can and take the 10 wickets you need to win the game.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 11, 2016
“Just make the most of the opportunity when you get in and make sure you get as many as you can. I have played in a few games like that before.
“The guys were trying everything they could to take some wickets and create some chances. As I said, sometimes you have got to give credit to the opposition, they played fantastic.”
The Wanderers will be a sea of pink tomorrow to raise awareness for breast cancer and Root is looking forward to the occasion
“Hopefully it will be a sell-out as well,” the right-hander added. “It is great to play in games like this when you are raising awareness for charity and trying to raise as much money as you can for people that really need it.
“Any way we as sportsmen can offer soemthing to that then we love to be a part of it and try to bring something to that as well.”