Mumbai: Chief architect of their record run chase against South Africa, Joe Root said it wasn’t the most complete performance from England but felt that the two-wicket win over South Africa in the ICC World T20 encounter will give them a massive shot of confidence.
England chose to bowl and let South Africa amass 229 runs through some shoddy and indisciplined bowling. But Root (83 off 44 balls) came to the rescue after some solid work from openers Jason Roy (43 off 16) and Alex Hales (17 off 7) to script the highest run chase in the history of World T20 on Friday night.
“The best thing about today is that it wasn’t our complete performance as we didn’t play our absolute best and we can still win a game chasing down a total like that. So that will give the squad a massive confidence going further into the tournament, be it with bat or ball. Hopefully this will give us a momentum to go through the group stages,” Root said at the post-match media conference.
“That was a very positive result for us. Obviously in the halfway stage we were up against it but the fact that we can pull off performances like that with the bat will give us a lot of confidence as we go further in the group stages and in the tournament as well,” said the Man of the Match.
The 25-year-old attributed the 48-run opening stand between Roy and Hales as a key factor in the win saying a good start was needed for them to emerge victorious.
“We have always got a chance in this format of the game with the quality of players we got in our dressing room. We knew that we have depth in our batting and if we get a good start, which we did, we are more than capable of winning that game. Without that start that would have been difficult for us, the guys did a fantastic job and were ahead of the game and made batting in the middle overs a little bit easy.
“Guys were calm under pressure and did held their nerves which is very important in this format,” he said.
On the role of spinners, Root said, “Spinners have been crucial for our success for a number of months now. They are developing all the time and gaining experience and they are a big threat in ODI cricket and T20s. That will give them a lot of confidence to take that forward into the next group game.”
The England batsman said it was West Indies opener Chris Gayle’s unbeaten century on Wednesday that showed that anything was possible in these conditions.
“Gayle’s innings showed that anything is possible, in these conditions and in a wicket like that. It helps that we have lot of strength in batting; it gives one the licence to play some risky shots. It came off today and we managed to get over the line,” he said. PTI