Root says England are ready for must-win game

Joe Root insists England are fully prepared for their must-win ICC World Twenty20 clash against holders Sri Lanka in Delhi tomorrow.

England, winners in 2010, have proved they can handle the pressure of big-game situations with back-to-back victories, over South Africa and Afghanistan, since their opening defeat to West Indies.

They head into the Sri Lanka match knowing a third consecutive triumph will keep them in the hunt for a semi-final place, although results elsewhere will also have an impact on their progression.

But rather than worrying about other scenarios in Group 1, Root is only focusing on winning.

“There is always pressure to perform. We know it’s a must-win game but it’s been like that since we got here,” the Yorkshireman said.

“For us it’s ultimately about winning our game. That’s all we can worry about because that’s the only way we’re going to be able to qualify.

Joe Root was part of a top-order collapse against Afghanistan on Wednesday

“You can only really afford to lose one game and even then you can still crash out of the competition. It’s T20. It’s a complete knockout from here on in if we want to win it.

“The pressure is no more than it has been since that second game. It’s all about getting over the line.”

Despite following the loss to the Windies with two wins, England have yet to produce a complete performance.

Their bowlers conceded 229 against the Proteas before redeeming themselves with an impressive display to dig their batsmen out of a hole versus Afghanistan.

England’s top-order struggled to negotiate the spinning wicket at the Feroz Shah Kotla, slipping to 57 for six after winning the toss, and Root knows they need to improve when they bat there again tomorrow.

“It’s about learning from the mistakes we made last time in case we are on a similar pitch and face a similar attack with a lot of spin,” he assessed.

“Everyone has their own way of playing spin, there’s no right or wrong way, but for me it’s about trying to face as few dot balls as possible and trying to cash in with the boundaries when they are available.

“Every surface is different so it is about giving yourself the best chance on that particular pitch. Sometimes you might need to take a few extra balls to get accustomed to it but ultimately it is about playing the situation in front of you.

“You still want to keep that intent but there’s other ways of scoring quickly. Maybe you score down the ground a bit more, maybe knock it into gaps and look for twos.

“It’s about communicating that with the guy at the other end, watching the game if you’re coming in to bat and doing what you need to do to put a big score on the board or chase one down.”

England made two changes for the Afghanistan clash, one of them enforced due to Alex Hales’ back problem.

Root and several of his England team-mates visited the Taj Mehal on a rare day off yesterday

Root is still unsure if the opening batsman will be fit enough to replace James Vince in Eoin Morgan’s XI.

“He has improved,” said Root on Hales.

“We will get a good idea from how he will be tomorrow, but it is going to be important making sure he is absolutely ready. If not we have a strong squad and I am sure someone will fill in for him.”

Away from the pitch, Root has been exploring India on his days off, yesterday visiting the Taj Mahal with team-mates Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Sam Billings and Jos Buttler.

“Having the opportunity to do something like that and being only three hours away in a car, it was a no-brainer for me,” said Root.

“Getting to experience a bit of India and see one of the wonders of the world was a really enjoyable day and something I’m really glad I did.”

Source: ECB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.