Root calls on England to produce another ‘ruthless’ display in series decider
The Yorkshire batsman’s century set up England’s win at Lord’s.
Joe Root has called on England to produce a “ruthless” one-day international series win over India at Headingley on Tuesday.
Root’s 113 steered England to an 86-run victory at Lord’s on Saturday as Trevor Bayliss’ men squared the three-match series.
India’s limp response of 236 all out in their full 50-over allocation handed England a comfortable win that had appeared at best in the balance at the interval.
David Willey fired a vital unbeaten 50, with captain Eoin Morgan adding 53 as England retained their status as the world’s top-ranked ODI side.
“The pitch was always going to deteriorate quite quickly,” said Root.
“That ruthless side of the ODI team really came out today. And we’re seeing it more and more.
“Hopefully we can back that up and finish the series off now.
“David came in and took a lot of pressure off me, to help us turn in what was at least a par score, so it was a fabulous effort from him.”
Root had faced just three deliveries from Kuldeep Yadav before today, with England struggling previously to decipher the 23-year-old’s left-arm wrist spin.
Kuldeep stunned England with his match-winning six for 25 at Trent Bridge on Thursday, but come the weekend in London the hosts felt they had a better handle on his approach, even though he still claimed three wickets.
“Ultimately you’ve just got to trust your game and trust your technique; I felt I was picking him OK,” said Root.
“It was more about spending time out there and trusting the way I go about things.
“I feel I’ve got a solid approach against spin bowling.
“Having a few overs under my belt today gave me quite a lot of confidence.
“It’s just one of those things, when you don’t spend the time you might like out there on occasions and it happens a few times you’ve got to make sure you stay strong and trust what’s served you so well for such a long time.
“It was a chance to pick as many cues up as possible throughout this innings, to make sure I don’t get caught cold in Leeds.
“On a turning surface it’s important to make sure you feel you’re playing it in the right manner and working things out.”
Relieved to have posted his first ODI century since March, Root added: “I’m just desperate to contribute to us winning games of cricket.
“Thankfully I managed to follow through here. I thought we were quite smart in getting to what we thought was a good total; we didn’t go too hard too early.”
India were left to rue a curiously subdued innings from veteran MS Dhoni, who laboured to 37 off 59 balls and was booed by sections of the Lord’s crowd.
The tourists skipper Virat Kohli defended Dhoni however, insisting India still believe in their high-profile wicketkeeper batsman.
“This comes up again and again when he is not able to play in the normal way he does,” Kohli told Sky Sports.
“It’s very unfortunate people just jump to conclusions very quickly.
“When he does well people call him the best finisher ever and when they don’t go well they all pounce on him. We all have bad days in cricket and today was a bad one for everyone, not just him.
“Other people jump to conclusions but we don’t, we totally believe in him.”