ICC World Twenty20

Root shrugs off pressure for World T20 crunch

2016-03-25 14:30
Joe Root (Getty)

New Delhi - Fresh from visiting the world's most beautiful monument, Joe Root said he would be happy for England to win ugly in Saturday's crunch ICC World Twenty20 showdown against Sri Lanka.

Along with teammates David Willey, Jos Buttler and Liam Plunkett, Root spent Thursday visiting the Taj Mahal in northern India as the team tried to relax ahead of the must-win match in New Delhi.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the match, England's premier batsman said dealing with pressure was part of the job and the team knew it can't afford any slip-ups against the title holders.

"There is always pressure. It's a must win game, but it's always been like that since we got here," said the Yorkshireman.

"The pressure is no more than it has been throughout the whole thing."

Although England pulled off a stunning win against South Africa last weekend when they set a new World T20 record for a successful run chase, their scratchy win over Afghanistan on Wednesday showed they are yet to fire on full cylinders.

Root admitted that England's batsmen and bowlers had yet to perform in unison but said the result rather than the quality of the performance was the main thing.

"We have absolutely not performed our best in the competition yet ... and the really pleasing thing for me is that we are finding ways of winning games of cricket," said Root.

"It's about getting across the line tomorrow."

Root has been England's best batsman in the tournament so far and his 83 off 44 balls was the highlight of an evening of astonishing stroke play against South Africa.

But he made just 12 against Afghanistan, part of a string of failures by the top-order who had a to rely on a cameo from Moeen Ali Root to save their blushes.

"If we're being honest then we have not done one part of our game consistently well. There have been times when we bowled extremely well and times when we have batted well.

"The exciting thing for me is when that comes together and when we can consistently do that then we would be a very hard side to beat."

England's players have sometimes been accused of letting developing a siege mentality on tour but the trip to the Taj gave a hint of the more relaxed atmosphere under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan.

"Being only three hours away in the car, it was a no-brainer for me again to experience a bit of India and to see one of the wonders of the world," said Root. "It was a really enjoyable day."

England are currently second in group four and are handily placed to reach the semi-finals by seeing off a Sri Lankan team which has been hit by injuries and retirements.

But they will want to record a decisive win with run-rate potentially coming into the equation to decide the outcome of a group which also includes the West Indies and South Africa.

Read more on:    england  |  icc world twenty20  |  joe root  |  cricket

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