Root makes no excuses for Champions Trophy exit

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Much has been made of the pitch for England’s Champions Trophy semi-final defeat to Pakistan but Joe Root isn’t buying any of that.

Root has also backed England’s aggressive approach to limited overs cricket despite the team’s failure to adjust to conditions in Cardiff.

England were bowled out for 211 in their semi-final and afterwards skipper Eoin Morgan said that they weren’t prepared for the sluggish used surface.

Root, who is the Test skipper, said of the match: “We can make excuses, we can say the wicket was more favourable to Pakistan.

“Of course, when you’re playing at home, you’d like to think conditions are going to be slightly favourable to you. But, you still have to play your best on a number of different surfaces if you are going to win a major tournament.

“Yes, it’s frustrating, but to be brutally honest, we weren’t at our best and it would be wrong to hide behind excuses.

“We played really well in the competition but we weren’t at our best on the day. We knew that to get through a semifinal, we had to be somewhere near our best.

“Still sore, the lads are feeling disappointed but we have to make sure we bounce back for an important T20 series (against South Africa) and then moving forward as a side. Slightly frustrating right now but plenty to look forward to in the future.”

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It was the dismissal of Root that triggered the England collapse after a solid start saw them reach 128 for 2.

England looked comfortable initially but as the ball got older the spinners came into the game and the quicks extracted reverse swing to rattle through the hosts.

Root revealed that England felt they were on track for a 300-320 total initially.

He said: “I think for the first part of our innings, we played pretty well.

“We got ourselves in a position where 300-320 was a realistic possibility, and the way we’ve been playing, maybe even more.

“Once that ball started reversing, credit to Pakistan, they put it in very good areas and made it very difficult to build new partnerships once we lost a couple of wickets. I think those 15 overs in the middle when we lost quite a few wickets was vital.”

When asked if England should have picked an extra batsman Root was emphatic in his response: “No.

“I think we need to continue playing exactly as we are and just get better at it. The more experience guys get in that middle order, the more they learn to play on these surfaces. I think it’d be wrong to change the approach we’ve had.

“We’ve been playing fantastically well and it’s important that we keep that positivity in our batting, because if we change that, we’ll change our chances of getting scores of 400 which we’re more than capable of scoring.”

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