Joe Root praises Eoin Morgan’s ‘fantastic’ leadership of England’s white-ball teams

Joe Root has praised the “fantastic” leadership of England’s white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan ahead of the ODI series against New Zealand.

Morgan has been instrumental in transforming England’s white-ball fortunes since the 2015 World Cup and guided the one-day team to a comprehensive 4-1 series win over Australia in January.

He has been in his role since December 2014 and Root, who is approaching a year since his appointment as Test captain, says he thoroughly enjoys playing under the Middlesex batsman in the shorter formats.

“One thing I love about this white-ball team is Morgs’ leadership,” he told Sky Sports Cricket. “I think he’s fantastic. I think he had a really good series as captain in Australia.”

Root was specifically impressed by the decision to play a top three of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales and take the attack to the Australian bowlers from ball one.

“I think he was very shrewd to change the batting order slightly so that we went really hard at them up front and I think it probably put them a little bit more on the back foot than they were expecting,” he added.

“I knew that my role would be to play second fiddle on occasion but I thought we got a really good balance with that, especially with the batting.

“Again, guys stepped up – people like Tom Curran coming in and performing like he did in that last game, Chris Woakes played a magnificent role throughout the series with bat and ball – and we just continued to gather that momentum going towards the World Cup.”

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Having got the better of Australia in the 50-over format, Root has stressed the importance of England building on that as they face five ODIs against a New Zealand side who have whitewashed Pakistan and Windies in their last two home series.

“The challenge for us, at the end of a long winter for this white-ball group – we’ve been out here for a long time and as a white-ball group you don’t normally tour for long periods like this – is to back-up that series performance, that is really crucial,” Root said.

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“Especially ahead of next year with the World Cup and everything that brings. If we’re going to be really serious about competing in that we’re going to have to win series like this one, which will be tough against a good side like New Zealand.”

Watch the first ODI between New Zealand and England from 12.30am, Sunday on Sky Sports Cricket.

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