Joe Root was delighted to make an impact on his return to the England limited-overs team and hailed them for taking an early advantage in the three-match T20 series with India.
The 26-year-old missed the last one-day international with a back injury but returned for the first T20 in Kanpur to hit an unbeaten 46 in his side’s seven-wicket success.
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl, a decision vindicated with a disciplined performance as the visitors restricted India to 147 for seven in their 20 overs with Moeen Ali taking the crucial wicket of Virat Kohli with his first delivery.
Sam Billings and Jason Roy got England off to a flying start with an opening partnership 42 off 20 balls before Morgan (51) and Root guided the tourists to victory with 11 balls to spare. Root, pictured, said: “It was a great game. It was a shame to miss the last one-dayer so it was nice to come back in and make an impact. I thought the guys were brilliant tonight, bowling upfront and taking wickets and putting them under pressure and making it difficult for them to build partnerships.
“With the bat, we knew it would take just one big partnership and not necessarily the prettiest but we got the job done and got off to a great start to the series now.
“I do think the pitch played better second time round under the lights. It skidded on a little bit and a bit of an invariable bounce so yeah, thought it was a good win of the toss in the end. It wasn’t my most fluid knock but we knew what we had to do out there and I thought Morgs played extremely well and took a lot of pressure off me at the other end.”
Speaking on the start made by Roy and Billings, the Yorkshireman added: “It’s great to see them come in and play with confidence. Jason is coming in off the back of a really good one-day series and Sam, coming in at the top of the order and him to play like that first up, and I hope he will gain a lot of confidence going into the rest of the series.”
Morgan added: “I thought the bowlers were outstanding tonight, everyone within the unit produced exactly what we talked about. Moeen Ali, in particular, showed great resolve on a wicket that didn’t really turn a great deal. Also the two guys who came in tonight, Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan, put their hand up and played important roles.”