Morgan lauds match-winner Root

Eoin Morgan has hailed Joe Root as “the most complete” batsman England have ever had.

The Yorkshireman showcased his quality during yesterday’s scarcely-believable triumph over South Africa in their ICC World Twenty20 clash in Mumbai.

Root produced a masterclass in Twenty20 batting, hitting 83 from 44 balls to help England produce the second-highest Twenty20 international chase.

He showed coolness under intense pressure, hitting six fours and four sixes, as England overhauled the Proteas’ 229 for four with two wickets and two balls still in the bank.

“He is the most complete batsman we’ve ever had,” limited-overs skipper Morgan said.

“It says a lot, considering the players we’ve had in the past, and players I’ve played with. His innings was class, absolute class. It was so substantial, very special.

“It was the best chase I’ve been involved with in an England shirt – or in any shirt.

“It is a monumental innings, given the experience he showed, with a young head on his shoulders but still to come out with an incredible amount of humility.

“It goes a very long way in our changing room.”

Root’s game appeared more suited to Test cricket in the early stages of his international career, when he made his debut in India four years ago, but he has adjusted to all formats remarkably.

The 25-year-old has registered nine centuries in Test cricket, one more than in one-day internationals, and already has three fifties to his name in just 16 T20 internationals.

Averaging 54.93 in Tests, 44.34 in ODIs and 39.66 in T20s, Root is on course to rewrite the country’s record books.

“Four years ago, he made his (T20) debut at this ground in Mumbai at number seven, didn’t get a bat as we chased down 177,” said Morgan.

“The turnaround in the player from then to now is quite phenomenal.

“Other players might be quite one-dimensional in looking to get off strike or get a four, he’s looking to diffuse it with any scoring option at all. And it seems to be always low-risk.

“He does hit sixes, he does hit fours, but it never seems to be a big issue.

“It gives a huge amount of confidence to us knowing that he can go out and play the way he does without changing his game a great deal.

“It shows his class and composure, as if it was a 50-over game or a Test match.”

England’s unbelievable victory over South Africa breathed new life into their Group 1 campaign, having lost to West Indies in their first outing.

They have struggled with the ball in both games, though, failing to defend 182 versus the Windies and then allowing the Proteas to rack up 229, and Morgan insists they have to improve.

“I wasn’t happy with it (the bowling), absolutely not,” said Morgan.

“I think we did well to drag South Africa back to 229, which doesn’t say a great deal about it.

“But when you turn up on a surface like that, who’d want to be a bowler? It’s crazy.

“Mumbai is a bowler’s graveyard, if you miss your yorker by half a foot it seems to disappear into the crowd.

“Delhi is more short and straight, with lower bounce, so it might mean we bowl a bit shorter or play an extra spinner. We’ll assess the conditions when we get there.”

Source: ECB

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