Root eager to stand up against Black Caps

England skipper Joe Root is keen to ensure that he makes a big contribution to the England cause in New Zealand after a disappointing Ashes series.

Contrasting his contribution with that of the man of the series, Australia skipper Steve Smith, Root feels he failed stand up and be counted when it mattered.

Once again the battled between Root and Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson is likely to be central to the outcome of the Test series.

Root told Sky Sports: “You look at their senior players, someone like Steve Smith and the amount of runs he scored in a big series like that.

“As a captain and senior player you have to stand up and deliver and I wasn’t able to do that.

“That’s not sitting well with me right now and coming into a new series in New Zealand, you want to make sure you bounce back from that and set the example for the rest of the guys.”

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While critical of his own displays Root would pick out some positives from the 4-0 shellacking the Three Lions took down under.

He added: “Craig Overton came into the side and what a start he had to his international career. His first wicket was Steve Smith and he probably looked our best bowler until he went down [injured] in Perth.

“Dawid Malan as well – he played fantastically well. Mark Stoneman, for the first three Test matches, showed promise of a really good international opening batsman.”

England face the Black Caps in a five match ODI series over the course of the next two weeks with the first of two Tests getting underway at Eden Park on March 22nd.