“Not The Finished Article But…”: Joe Root On England’s Recent Test Successes

Joe Root has warned England’s rivals not to be “one trick pony” after the team took a sixth Test win in seven games with their new hyper-aggressive cricket brand. England’s fortunes in the red ball game have been transformed under their new leadership team of head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes. The home side sealed a 2-1 series win against South Africa at the Oval on Monday to add to a 3-0 success against New Zealand and a win in the single postponed game against India.

It is in stark contrast to their dismal track record in the final stages of Root’s captaincy, which ended with one win in 17 games in April.

Success under Stokes and McCullum has been attributed to unwavering positivity and has led to some hasty layoffs, but Root believes England’s performance has become more nuanced as the season has progressed.

“We’re not just any one trick pony,” he said. “There will always be periods in Test Cricket that you need to manage well and smartly.

“We’ve not got it right every time this summer, but we’ve got it right more often than not and that’s why we’re here with six (wins) out of seven (Tests).

“We’re certainly not the finished article, but to see the progress we’ve made in such a short time was really a breath of fresh air.”

England chased more than 275 totals in the fourth innings of all three Tests against New Zealand, then set a new record against India, easily hitting their 378 goal.

Former skipper Root, who scored an average of 68 with an impressive success rate over the seven matches, believes the team’s progress under Stokes is comparable to the transformation of England whiteball cricket under captain-skipper Eoin Morgan.

That culminated in their 50-over World Cup win in 2019.

“I’ve never had so much fun playing professional cricket,” Root said. “Honestly, it’s hard to put into words. You show up every day and you’re really excited about what’s going to happen. It’s the unknown.

“It’s a very strange feeling to have played 120 more games and to have that feeling when you show up every day. It’s a really good place to be.

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“Keeps you very hungry and motivated. You can reflect the energy of anyone who has the same mindset.”

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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