Root calls for batting improvements

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Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Joe Root concedes England will have no chance at next year’s World Cup unless they can start consistently breaking the 300-run barrier.

England have passed the benchmark just three times in 18 completed one-day internationals so far this year, but big scores are expected to be on the agenda when the tournament gets under way in Australia and New Zealand in February.

Mammoth totals are less likely in England, where the ball moves sideways more readily and steady accumulation can win the day, a fact that has informed the country’s 50-over game for years.

But home series defeats by Sri Lanka and India this summer suggested a change in tack is required.

And Yorkshire batsman Root is not hiding from the fact as England prepare for a seven-match series in Sri Lanka that will provide some much-needed one-day practice, albeit in vastly different conditions.

“It has been pretty obvious what’s gone wrong. We have not scored big enough scores and have put our bowlers under pressure when we’re trying to defend them,” said Root.

“You have got to score over 300 generally now to be competitive, we know that. We’re going to have to work really hard on that this winter.

“We haven’t got quite the powerplay overs right, as you can see, and these are all things we will continue to speak about leading up to this Sri Lanka series.

“We need to make sure we score over 300 and if we do that we know we’ve got a great attack that will be very hard to get that many against.”

Despite Root’s forthright optimism, he also accepts England’s underdog status in the 50-over format.

A record of one series win in their last six marks them out as vulnerable, while their ODI side still has the look of transition to it since Peter Moores’ arrival as head coach last year.

Root knows his side must defy the odds to achieve their ambitions in the coming months, but feels inspired by the challenge.

“There’s not an expectation for us to do well, which could work out for us,” said Root.

“We know we’ve not been good enough for the last six months and this period now is about getting it right and making sure we’re in the best shape possible by February 14.

“The great thing about it is people have opportunities now to stand up and doing something special for England.

“Whether it’s young guys trying to make a mark or senior guys putting in performances we haven’t really done over the last six months, now is the time we’ve got to do it.

“We’ve got to stand up, front up and put those performances in. Everyone is determined to do that.”

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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