Joe Root: Record-breaking run chase will send England confidence soaring

Published: Friday 18th March 2016 by The News Editor

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Joe Root believes England’s sensational run-chase against South Africa can inspire them for the rest of the World Twenty20.

Root’s 44-ball 83 was the game’s decisive contribution as England reeled in 230 in Mumbai – the second highest pursuit in the history of the format.

Few could have expected the Three Lions to add 40 runs to their previous highest successful chase but, spurred on by a freewheeling 43 from opener Jason Roy, they did just that to claim a two-wicket win.

Defeat would have pushed them perilously close to the exit door, but now Root says the squad will be full of positive energy.

“It’s a massive result and it’s filling us with confidence now,” said Root, still donning his batting pads and spikes as he addressed the media.

“At the halfway stage we were up against it but the fact we can pull performances like that out with the bat will give us a lot of confidence going in to the rest of the group stage and hopefully further on as well.

“To do something like that in a World Cup is very special for me personally. There’s no better feeling than winning a game of cricket when you’re up against it.

“More than anything I can’t wait to get back in the dressing room and celebrate with the boys.”

Despite the formidable nature of the target, built around rapid half-centuries from Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy, Root claims England never felt out of the game.

Instead, having seen Chris Gayle tear them apart with a 47-ball century in their previous outing at the Wankhede Stadium, they saw an opportunity to make their mark on the tournament.

“You’ve always got a chance in this format of the game, especially with the performers we’ve got in that dressing room,” he said.

“Chris’ innings showed us anything is possible in these conditions on a wicket like that.

“Eoin Morgan just said ‘go out and play, keep believing we can do something special’.

“Thankfully it all came off and we got across the line. This is a talented group of players who are capable of doing special things.

“We’ve proved that and now it’s about being consistent for the rest of the competition.”

Morgan added: “Honestly, I felt we would have felt to play out of our skin to chase them.

“But there’s a lot of talent in our team if we play with freedom.

“It’s been going for just under a year now and we’ve had some big chases. But to get a start like that, Roy and (Alex) Hales were outstanding.

“We’ll take a lot of confidence.”

South Africa saw plenty of Root over the winter, with a Test hundred in Johannesburg and two more during the one-day series between the sides, and Duminy likes what he sees.

“He’s definitely been the man in form,” he said.

“He’s always had that sort of demeanour about him, a calm head, assessing the situation, he’s been the anchor of their team no matter what format.”

Published: Friday 18th March 2016 by The News Editor

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