Joe Root all fired up for big England revenge mission
England's player of the year Joe Root is out to exact some revenge on New Zealand at Lord's.
New England vice-captain Root was part of the team embarrassed by the Kiwis, and Tim Southee especially, in an eight-wicket World Cup thumping achieved in less than half the scheduled 100 overs three months ago.
The Yorkshireman, named at a Lord's dinner on Monday evening as Waitrose player of the year, admits England's Wellington trouncing still hurts.
Asked if they may be out for revenge in the first Investec Test - which starts tomorrow - at the start of an Ashes summer, he said: "Absolutely. Of course. That cut us deep.
"I know it is a different format, but there will be a lot of guys in their side (here) who played in that game.
"We want to put that right - and at Lord's ... we have a few guys at the moment in good form with bat and ball, and we are looking forward to really getting out there and starting off strongly."
England exited the World Cup three matches later after defeat against Bangladesh. Coach Peter Moores has since been sacked, after a disappointing drawn Test series in the West Indies.
Southee, who took seven for 33 as England collapsed to 123 all out, is one of those who will be back.
Root, however, believes England can prove that form all wrong - in Test cricket, at least.
"I genuinely think we are a good side," he added. "We played some really good cricket at the end of last season, we thrashed India 3-1.
"In the West Indies, things didn't go quite to plan in the last Test match - but for the majority of the series we did play some really, really strong cricket.
"We are going to have to play really well, but we are more than capable."
Root is hoping, meanwhile, he will not have to deputise for Alastair Cook any time soon.
At the suggestion he is one injury away from leading his country for the first time, he spelled out how badly England need a back-to-form Cook to stay clear of mishap.
"That would be devastating," he said.
"He has hit some very good form lately, and he would be a massive loss to the dressing room - so I definitely don't want that to happen."
Jason Gillespie, the red-hot favourite to take the vacant England head coach job, says it is "very flattering" to be linked with the role but warned he would need some persuasion to leave Yorkshire.
The former Australia fast bowler was immediately linked with the post following the sacking of Peter Moores on May 9 having impressed as coach of the White Rose, who he led to the LV= County Championship title last year.
But the 40-year-old said: "It's very flattering. (But) I love my job here at Yorkshire.
"I haven't had any contact and until that happens I can't say anything.
"It would certainly take some persuading (to leave). I'm in my dream job. It's just fantastic."