Joe Root has revealed how patience was the key to England completing the second-highest Twenty20 international run-chase and shocking South Africa at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The Yorkshireman produced a phenomenal innings under intense pressure, clubbing 83 from 44 balls to help England overhaul the Proteas’ 229 for four with two wickets and two deliveries to spare.
The brilliant batting performance was the perfect response to a disappointing bowling display, which allowed Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy to record rapid fifties, and breathed new life into England’s ICC World Twenty20 hopes.
“When they get such a big score like that at half-time, all we spoke about is not getting greedy and trying to get 20 an over, but be sensible and play some smart cricket, build some partnerships out there and take it really deep,” Root said at the post-match presentation.
“The guys were so calm under pressure and it sets us up nicely now for the rest of the group stages.”
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) March 18, 2016
That set the platform for Root and Jos Buttler to add 75 and take their side closer to victory.
“After the start we got, we couldn’t have asked for a better start, the guys up front were absolutely outstanding and made the rest of the guys in the middle order’s job a lot easier,” Root said.
“It was great under pressure, and meant we were ahead of the game from the off, which is exactly where we needed to be.”
The pitch in Mumbai saw a remarkable 459 runs scored in just 40 overs and Root was delighted to cash in.
“It was a good wicket,” the Yokshireman added. “To get 460 runs in 40 overs is a tremedous wicket. I’m sure the batters would want to wrap it up and take it with them all tournament.”
— ICC (@ICC) March 18, 2016