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Root ready to rein in recent gung-ho approach to batting

The England captain has tried to emulate his big-hitting team-mates in recent matches.

Joe Root is in England’s final World Cup 15 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Joe Root is in England’s final World Cup 15 (Mike Egerton/PA)

Joe Root intends to tailor his batting to England’s requirements at the World Cup after admitting he sacrificed pragmatism for an occasionally gung-ho approach against Pakistan.

The only member of England’s one-day international side to average in excess of 50, Root has crafted a reputation as a reliable accumulator at first drop in contrast to the more swashbuckling batsmen in the line-up.

But he candidly revealed in the 4-0 series win over Pakistan that he tried to emulate the big-hitting of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, only to discover he was ill-suited to the role.

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Joe Root admitted he batted against type in the series win over Pakistan (Nigel French/PA)

England’s Test captain acknowledged it was a gentle nudge on the eve of this summer’s extravaganza on home soil not to dispense with what makes him important to a side that are favourites to go all the way.

“I was probably a little bit too experimental and trying to play in a manner that didn’t suit myself or the team,” Root reflected.

“I think trying to hit the left-arm spinner (Imad Wasim) over mid-off five times in two games and nearly get out four times to it is a bit dumb really and it’s not what I’m about in that format. It’s not the right option for me.

“It is actually a very good reminder for me personally going into the tournament that on occasions I should rein it in a bit, not get too giddy, not try to follow suit and get carried away by guys like Jonny, Jason and Jos when they’re flying at the other end.

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Root, left, admitted he tried to emulate the likes of Jason Roy, right, recently (Adam Davy/PA)

“Sometimes you look at them and think, ‘I wish I could do that’. I wish I could feel in a position where I could join in but it’s part and parcel of your role in the team.

“I just need to continue to play my role and let them have the freedom to play the way they do.”

Root returned 40, 43, 36 and 84 in the four completed ODIs, solidifying his status as a consistent performer in a batting group that has been central to England’s 50-over resurgence in the last four years.

“My balance is always knowing how to pace it personally and not feel like I’m leaving someone else too much to do,” Root said.

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Root is, by reputation, an accumulator rather than a swashbuckler (David Davies/PA)

“Or similarly not going too early and leaving the guys in a difficult position where they have got to bat too long before they can give it a good clout at the end. So we’ve had a good balance for a while now.

“We’ve got some very good partnerships and guys who really enjoy batting with each other who dovetail very well and are very hard to bowl at as a partnership. So I think as a batting group we’re in a good position.”

England named their final 15-man World Cup squad on Tuesday, with three amendments from the preliminary party as Jofra Archer, Liam Dawson and James Vince replaced David Willey, Joe Denly and Alex Hales.

Root missed his confirmation phone call from national selector Ed Smith – “I had to ring him back as I was busy” – but the Yorkshireman is relieved the build-up to this tournament has been relatively straightforward.

Root told Sky Sports News: “It’s a very unique situation here where you’ve got so many guys that have performed brilliantly. You look at the squad, we’re going into a tournament where there are no question marks.

“Everyone deserves their place, has performed consistently well going into it and it’s a brilliant place to be.

“We’ve worked really hard to deserve the tag of number-one ranked team going into the tournament. We should enjoy that, we should get a lot of confidence from that and really embrace that.”

PA

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