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Team's best is yet to come, insists England hero Joe Root

Joe Root, whose 83 in 44 balls played a huge role in England’s win over South Africa on Friday, entered the media conference room at Wankhede Stadium with his pads on. He probably didn’t want to remove them so soon considering how kind they had been to him in an incredible, successful run chase.

Joe Root acknowledges the crowd after his quickfire 44-ball 83 against England at Wankhede on Friday. PIC/SURESH KARKERA
Joe Root acknowledges the crowd after his quickfire 44-ball 83 against England at Wankhede on Friday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Though England achieved the near-impossible target of 230 against the Proteas, the 25-year-old batsman insisted that the best has still to come for his side.

“The best thing about today (Friday) is that this wasn’t a complete performance. We didn’t play our absolute best and we can still win a game chasing down a total like that. Hopefully, this will give us momentum,” said Root after England’s thrilling two-wicket win.

Batting first, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock scored half-centuries to help South Africa to post a formidable 229 for four in the allotted 20 overs. However, England’s Jason Roy’s 43 off only 16 balls and Root’s attacking 83 which consisted of six fours and four sixes helped England chase the target with two balls to spare.

Yorkshireman Root rated it as his best T20 knock. “Definitely, it was my best in this format of the game and to do it in a World Cup is very special for me,” said Root.

Lessons to be learnt
South Africa’s experienced batsman Duminy, who scored an unbeaten 54 off 28 balls, admitted that the Proteas’ bowlers needed to learn a lesson from this loss. “We need to take responsibility for this as a bowling group. It’s not only the seamers. As spinners we need to try and see where we can improve. We did not bowl, as we would have liked. We backed ourselves to defend 229, but you’ve got to give credit to England,” said 31-year-old Duminy. Both teams’ next opponents are Afghanistan. South Africa clash with the minnows at the Wankhede today while England take them on in Delhi on Wednesday.

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