Joe Root believes that England’s historic World Cup win has provided them with a surge of confidence for the 2019 Ashes, claiming that the team ‘could not be in a better place’ ahead of the first Test, which begins on August 1.
“Ashes cricket always has a different edge to it, and that in itself will get everyone going,” Root said at The Oval, a day after England won their first-ever World Cup title, after edging out New Zealand by the thinnest of margins at Lord’s. “It’s what we set out to do two or three years ago, and we’re halfway there.”
England have dominated ODI cricket over the last four years, having won 65 of the 99 ODIs they have played since the end of the 2015 World Cup. The No.1-ranked ODI side, however, encountered a significant blip in the longest format, when they conceded the Ashes 4-0 to Australia in the 2017-18 series.
The long-awaited World Cup win seems to have come right on time for the side, with the first Test scheduled to begin in two weeks from now, just after England host Ireland for a one-off four-day Test, on July 24. An excited Root, who was England’s leading run-getter in the World Cup, with 556 runs, is itching to transition from the white ball to the red cherry, as his side looks to reclaim the urn.
“To potentially be able to experience all that again is very exciting. It’s always so special. The atmosphere, the way it builds up, and the way the guys get excited about it, it’s like no other series in Test cricket,” he said.
Root believes that England’s thumping eight-wicket win over Australia, in their semi-final clash at Edgbaston, will hold them in good stead against the same opponents in the five-Test Ashes series.
“Ultimately, the confidence this will give the guys to take into a series like that – especially the way we’ve played against Australia at Edgbaston in that semi – the guys involved will relish that and want more of that,” he said.
“Having achieved what we’ve achieved here, there will be talk about us going one step better and picking ourselves up off the back of it. It’s something I’m really looking forward to, and it’ll be massive, especially on the back of this. It’ll make it even bigger.”