‘We don’t want to overcomplicate things too much’, says Joe Root on England’s approach for 2023 World Cup

Since 2015 World Cup debacle England’s rise in white-ball cricket has been commendable. The brand of cricket they adapted left everyone far behind, and with their current approach, they look likely to take giant strides across formats going forward. In the past four years, England won two World Cups – a 50-over home World Cup in 2019 and the T20 WC in Australia last year. One core member of this extraordinary English side has been their star batter Joe Root. Having achieved what is there to achieve in his favourite format – Tests, Joe found his mojo in ODIs too. In an exclusive chat with the Times of India (TOI), Joe talked about England’s approach for the 2023 World Cup and had some encouraging words for his Test team captain Ben Stokes as well.

Joe Root on England’s approach in 2023 World Cup

Following England’s maiden 50-over World Cup win at home in 2019, they have been looked up to as a side to beat at least in white-ball cricket. Keeping an eye on defending their title in India later this year, Root said having an advantage of playing too much cricket in India could benefit them, but they don’t wish to overcomplicate things at the same time. The veteran batter added growing in confidence would be the motive heading into the big tournament like a 50-over World Cup.

On being asked if England would remain under pressure in their pursuit of a title defence in India, Root said that would anyway be there irrespective of a team having won a World Cup or not.

“There is always pressure around World Cups and big tournaments. That’s a part and parcel of it. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve won it all or not in the previous four years. It’s about how you step up to the occasion. We are just making sure that we’re ready, tick all the required boxes and deliver in those conditions. It’s a big year for everyone,” Root said.

“One thing that we’ve probably got now that we didn’t have four years ago, is a little bit more experience. There are still a lot of guys who have played in Indian conditions. It’s great to have that experience. Guys who have played a lot of cricket in those conditions (in India) will be most important.”

“England don’t want to overcomplicate things too much. All we are doing is trusting ourselves, growing in confidence, and making sure that we’re as ready as we can be to peak at the right time and at those peak moments,” Root told TOI.

Stokes – the best all-rounder in the world

Having himself led England’s Test team for a considerable period, Root knows about the nitty-gritty’s of being a captain and that is where he is highly impressed with Ben Stokes – whom he called the best all-rounder in the world. Showering praises on Ben, Root said,

“Yes. I’m biased. But yes (he’s the best all-rounder in the world). One thing that Ben can do is he can win a game on his own. He can turn things with the ball. He needs just one spell to turn things upside down. The other thing is his captaincy. We’ve seen how good a leader he is. He is a brilliant leader – both as a captain and as a senior player. He leads from the front and his actions, on the field, are just amazing.”

In 158 ODI games for England, Root has amassed 6207 runs at an average of 50.06 with 16 tons and 36 fifties to his name.