We performed exceptionally well - Joe Root
England batsman and man of the match in the first Ashes Test, Joe Root, expressed his delight with the massive win against Australia in Cardiff.
England defeated Australia by 169 runs in a Test match that lasted just four days, outplaying the visitors in virtually every department of the game.
Hoping that England can carry on the momentum into the second Test at Lord’s, Root stressed on the importance of setting the tone for the rest of the series in the first game itself.
“It was nice to pick up a couple of wickets. I am really thrilled to be a part of this win. The guys really played well all week and as a team we performed exceptionally well.
“First up in an Ashes series, you want to make sure you put the marker down. We needed to get off to a good start.
“It is great to get that win ahead of the rest of the series and hopefully we can now back it up at Lord's.
Root survived the early stage where Mitchell Starc was bowling really well in the first innings, but later on, he began to dominate the proceedings by scoring at a really good pace.
He went on score his 10th Test century, hitting 134 runs from 166 balls, in a match-winning innings that was laced with 17 boundaries.
Root opined that he was lucky to have survived the initial phase of play, but felt that it was right to attack Australia when they were on the offensive.
“You know, everyone is quite vulnerable early on in the innings and thankfully I got through that. I had a bit of luck, lot of inside edges that did not hit the stumps.
“You just had to ride the wave and try and make the most out of it. Thankfully it was my day and I managed to cash in.
“When they attack, I feel it is best time to attack them as well because that’s when the gaps are about and that’s when you get the opportunity to score when they look for wickets.”
Root shared two good partnerships with Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes, which really rescued England after the top order collapsed once again in a familiar fashion.
Praising Ballance and Stokes for their effort, Root stressed on the importance of the role the duo played in setting up a good total for the game.
“More importantly I’ve always had someone at the other to build partnerships with. I thought the way Gary (Ballance) played was exceptional and followed up by Ben (Stokes) as well.
“Those are the sort of things that might go missing and not spoken about enough in this game.”
England have carried on the positive attitude they displayed in the one-day series against New Zealand, as was evident from the way they played in the first Ashes Test.
Root felt that England had begun their turnaround in the Test series against New Zealand while desiring that England play this new brand of cricket for a long time to come.
“I think it started against New Zealand in the Test series. I think the way we went about things against New Zealand was really positive.
“That obviously carried through in the One-Day series. When you have guys who play in both sides, it is going to carry over, long may it continue.”
Root is one of the few youngsters to have taken part in the 2013-14 drubbing in Australia, having had a poor series, scoring 192 runs in four games, before being dropped for the final Test.
Root has been enjoying a great run of ever since, averaging 84.00 since that Ashes series, scoring 1,512 runs in 13 games with five hundreds and eight fifties.
Root hopes that he will carry on playing for England for a long time, while wishing that he can continue to enjoy this good run of form.
“You never want to miss out. You want to play every game and represent your country every opportunity you get.
“For the moment, I want to do that as long as I can and make the most out of this good form.”
Having taken a 1-0 lead in the ongoing Ashes, England will now head to the home of cricket, Lord’s for the second Test, which kicks off on 16th July.
© Cricket World 2015