England Test skipper Joe Root says that the ODI group could take a lot of lessons from the way Australia have approached World Cups.
The World Cup hosts come into the tournament in the position often occupied by Australia ahead of Cricket’s biggest showpiece. Root occupies a spot in an England team that are ranked number one in ODI cricket and are clear favourites to win it all.
“Australia have always had strong squads,” Root told Sky Sports. “They’ve gone into every World Cup right up there in terms of the rankings and depth within their squad for a number of those World Cups and they’ve won pressure moments. So there’s plenty to learn from them as a side.”
Root is a key component of England’s hopes of summer to savour that might see them lift the World Cup and regain the Ashes in the coming months. While that prospect excites the Yorkshireman, Root feels that Australia will be no pushovers either in the Cricket World Cup or in the Ashes.
“We’ve got two of the best players [Warner and Smith] back playing for Australia now. It’s bubbling up very nicely to be a very exciting series, and I’m sure that World Cup game won’t disappoint either,” Root said. “We want to beat Australia’s strongest side and those two are definitely in that. It’s a very exciting period for us, and we’ve got such a great opportunity to do something very special.”
When England bombed out of the Cricket World Cup at the group stage four years ago it sparked a concerted effort for a definite improvement in ODI cricket. Coach Trevor Bayliss was appointed with a mandate to make strides in the ODI department, and the Australian has achieved most of his goals. The final hurdle would be to win England their first Cricket World Cup.
Root is hopeful that the team will be able to put the finishing touches to a job four years in the making.
“I’d like to think that the way that we’ve improved over this four-year cycle, we are probably ahead of where we thought we would be at this stage,” Root said. “We’ve worked really hard to deserve the tag of the No.1-ranked team going into the tournament; I think we should enjoy that. We should get a lot of confidence from that and really embrace that and enjoy what we’ve been doing and take it forward into the games.
“The best thing about it is that we are confident, but we are realistic that nothing is ever given to you in this game, and that you are going to have to continue to work very hard. To win a tournament, you have to be consistent as well.”
England begin their Cricket World Cup campaign against South Africa on 30 May but before that face Australia in a warm-up match on 25 May.