Clear plan the Root cause of suc­cess

Sport360 - - India V West Indies News - By Rory Dol­lard @thervd ✉ ed­i­to­

Cap­tain Joe Root has chal­lenged his Eng­land side to be­come the best in the world af­ter fi­nally end­ing their win­less run over­seas.

A re­sound­ing 211-run vic­tory in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle ended a se­quence of 10 defeats and three draws on for­eign soil, dat­ing all the way back to Oc­to­ber 2016.

Their home form is con­sid­er­ably bet­ter, though, and they have now won six of their last seven Tests.

Eng­land are cur­rently third in the In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil’s rank­ings, be­hind South Africa and In­dia, and Root’s aim is to repli­cate Andrew Strauss, whose side sat at the sum­mit for a year be­tween 2011/12.

A se­ries win will al­low Eng­land to leapfrog the Proteas, but In­dia boast a hand­some ad­van­tage in top spot.

“This last eight months or so we’ve found some­thing, we’ve had a real clear plan and path as to how we want to get to be the num­ber one side in the world,” said Root.

“We’ve grown through­out the sum­mer and this win was an­other step in that di­rec­tion. We’ve got so much more hard work to do but to see so many tal­ented play­ers around – whether they be in the XI or in the squad – and so many dif­fer­ent op­tions is, I think, a credit to the whole group.

“We had some clear plans about the way we were go­ing to ap­proach this Test and to see them work, to see the hard work lead­ing into the game pay off, is great.

“The way we played in the sum­mer was a sign of this team mov­ing for­ward and we’ve re­ally backed that up in our per­for­mance.”

Eng­land travel from Galle to Colombo on Satur­day, be­fore mak­ing their way to Kandy for next week’s sec­ond Test.

The squad will ob­serve a twominute si­lence in the grounds of their ho­tel to mark Ar­mistice Day.

“This last eight months or so we’ve found some­thing” – Root

On the rise: Joe Root and Moeen Ali.

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