England look to keep their roll going

England are eager to ensure that they maintain their excellent form in ODI cricket with the World Cup in 2019 in sight.

Middle-order batsman Joe Root says that England need to prove their ODI credentials with a win over New Zealand away from home.

Root conceded that it has been a long winter for the white-ball players who have been away from home for some time now but he feels that the team are prepared to take on New Zealand.

Standing in their way is a Black Caps team that have recorded successive whitewashes in their last two series against Pakistan and before that the West Indies.

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Speaking to Sky Sports Cricket ahead of the first ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton, Root said: “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.

“Especially ahead of next year with the World Cup and everything that brings.”

New Zealand were runners up at the last World Cup, a tournament where England bowed out early prompting a massive shift in thinking within the camp and something of a ODI revolution led by the rise of some dynamic white-ball specialists.

Root feels that winning this series would be a big statement ahead of the World Cup in 2019.

He went on: “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.”

England and New Zealand meet in a five match ODI series that gets underway on Sunday at Seddon Park in Hamilton.