Sticking to our beliefs made us better: England’s Root

Kolkata, April 1 (IANS) England’s top-order batsman Joe Root on Friday said sticking to their beliefs have made them a force to reckon with in the ongoing World Twenty20 cricket tournament.

England were not the favourites when they came into the competition. But now they will take on the West Indies in the summit clash here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

“I don’t think there’s been an attitude swing or the way we approach practice or anything like that. We went into the tournament and stayed true to what we believe in as a side and the way we play our cricket. I think that’s probably been the most important thing,” Root told reporters here.

The right-hander struck a swashbuckling 83 from 44 balls in a group game against South Africa to help his side chase down a target of 231. And from there on the team has improved by leaps and bounds.

“It’s about making sure that we did not go away. It was about how we wanted to play and the way we wanted to approach our cricket (what they showed against South Africa),” Root said.

“Having that self-belief in each other and we could get to win against South Africa and build our confidence from that point onwards. Everyone contributed in some way, shape or form which is always nice getting into the final,” said the 25-year-old from Dore.

Root also heaped praises on his coach Trevor Bayliss and captain Eoin Morgan for the turnaround in their fortunes after the 50-over World Cup last year where England were ousted in the group stages.

“Morgan’s captaincy has been fantastic across ODI and T20Is. We’ve chosen this way and approach probably it is a shift for us and we stuck to our guns and when we went wrong we have not taken a step back. We have looked forward all the time,” Root said.

“We still have got a very inexperienced side but a keen bunch of players who are willing to learn and improve. It will only make us better in the long run. That’s a massive factor how we got to here. Obviously, the management has been calm and positive. Guys have stuck to their game plans. Everyone has gone about their businesses.

Speaking about their opponents West Indies, the batsman said, “We’ve just got to do our business like we want to do — a style of cricket that is positive. Plan to do that on Sunday as well. We know how strong West Indies are as a side. We have to play well to beat them, make sure we look at our own game.”

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