Classy Joe Root shows panache to be England fixture straight away

New Zealand 269 England 270-2 (England win by eight wickets)

Napier

Joe Root is planting himself firmly in England's batting order. He may be taking a similar hold in the selectors' collective psyche. He has panache, composure and authority and these enviable qualities ensured that England levelled the one-day series against New Zealand.

In assembling a lovely if not flawless 79 off 56 balls he became the only batsman in history to score above 30 in each of his first six ODI innings. Root was fortunate to start batting when England were in command of their destiny at McLean Park in the second of three matches but he never looked remotely as if he would spurn this good fortune.

England won by eight wickets with 14 balls left, which makes the final match in Auckland on Saturday the decider. Root and Jonathan Trott shared an unbroken partnership of 121 after Alastair Cook and Ian Bell had put on 89 for the first wicket and Cook and Trott 60 for the second.

With Jimmy Anderson taking five wickets in an ODI for the second time and Steve Finn bowling like the wind from his short new run, it was quite enough to repel the spectacular interventions of two Kiwis.

Ross Taylor, their sacked captain, scored an excellent 100 and was given an overwhelming reception by the crowd. The general feeling is that he has been woefully treated by New Zealand's officials. Brendon McCullum, his replacement, played scintillatingly to plunder 74 off 36 balls and while the pair shared 100 runs in 53 balls, England briefly lost control.

Since he was propelled unexpectedly into the Test team last December for the final match of the series against India, Root has constantly played with aplomb. He scored a mature 73 and has continued to match the promise of that innings.

England are still trying to avoid placing too much expectation on him and now they have an additional difficulty. Root is playing in this series perhaps only because Kevin Pietersen is being rested. If it would be a stretch to imagine Root being omitted any time soon most of the other batsmen are in form as well.

"It's a good problem to have," said Cook. "He can only keep doing what he's doing which is scoring crucial runs. He has surprised me with how well he has done, especially that knock here in Napier when he played shots I didn't know he could play. He bats in the middle for Yorkshire in one-day cricket and that's where you learn to play those."

Root unleashed the scoop shot on several occasions but was equally inventive in other areas, regularly trying to find the gaps with something not quite conventional but not quite outrageous either. He was dropped twice, on 25 and 58, playing bold shots on both occasions.

It will be difficult for England to prevent assessments that he will be the next champion batsman from Yorkshire, a line going back to Herbert Sutcliffe and whose most recent member was Michael Vaughan, from whose Sheffield club Root also hails.

There is more to it than obvious skill and the simple scoring of runs. Root simply has what it takes. As Cook, the England captain, said: "A lot of playing international cricket is about temperament and how you can handle yourself and he has certainly shown at the moment the right attitude and how to deal with pressure."

The bookmakers who promptly installed Root as 5-6 favourite to be the next England captain may have been guilty of rampant opportunism but it was only an example of what will attend Root now in a double Ashes year. Indeed, McCullum compared him to the men who seem certain to be Root's opponents later this year.

"He's busy, almost Australian like in his presence at the crease," he said. "He calls real loud and puts a lot of pressure on the fielders too. He has played really well so far, setting up a platform for the guys behind him, Morgan and Buttler, and we're going to have to come up with some strategies for him at Auckland."

Only briefly did England surrender authority in the match. Anderson and Finn exerted a vice-like grip at the start and although their opponents eventually broke free they could never entirely repair the damage inflicted then.

Anderson took two early wickets and then cleaned up at the end with three more. Finn was quite as effective, however, operating from a smart new short run. It did not hamper his approach and as Cook observed he may actually have been faster than from the longer one. This change in approach has been long in gestation. Finn resisted for long enough but now he has seen that it works there will be nothing to argue about.

Root's amazing start

Joe Root is the first player to pass 30 in his first six ODI innings.

He averages 74.50 with the bat in ODIs and has a strike-rate of 92.83.

The Yorkshire all-rounder also has an ODI economy-rate of 5.42 with his off-breaks. The 22-year-old helped ensure England drew the fourth Test in Nagpur and won the series in India before Christmas with innings of 73 and 20 not out in his first Test. His 73, off 229 balls, was the sixth-longest innings on debut for England in terms of balls faced.

Napier scoreboard

Napier (One Day): England beat New Zealand by eight wickets; England won toss

New Zealand

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

B J Watling c Cook b Anderson 7/0/0/23/22

H D Rutherford c Cook b Anderson 11/0/2/25/36

K S Williamson b Woakes 33/0/3/47/75

L R P L Taylor c Buttler b Anderson 100/1/9/117/178

G D Elliott c Sub b Finn 23/0/0/30/43

*†B B McCullum c Woakes b Broad 74/4/9/36/43

J E C Franklin c Root b Woakes 1/0/0/5/4

N L McCullum c Buttler b Anderson 7/1/0/3/1

T G Southee b Woakes 2/0/0/3/3

K D Mills not out 3/0/0/3/6

T A Boult c Woakes b Anderson 1/0/0/2/1

Extras (lb3 w3 nb1) 7

Total (48.5 overs) 269

Fall 1-12, 2-19, 3-91, 4-143, 5-243, 6-245, 7-254, 8-261, 9-267.

Bowling J M Anderson 9.5-2-34-5, S T Finn 10-1-33-1, C R Woakes 10-0-68-3, S C J Broad 9-0-69-1, G P Swann 10-0-62-0.

England

Runs/6s/4s/Bls/Min

*A N Cook c & b Southee 78/1/7/92/118

I R Bell c Rutherford b Williamson 44/0/5/65/82

I J L Trott not out 65/0/3/73/106

J E Root not out 79/2/7/56/68

Extras (lb1 w3) 4

Total (for 2, 47.4 overs) 270

Fall 1-89, 2-149.

Did not bat E J G Morgan, †J C Buttler, C R Woakes, S C J Broad, G P Swann, J M Anderson, S T Finn.

Bowling K D Mills 6.4-0-43-0, T A Boult 9-1-55-0, J E C Franklin 5-0-32-0, T G Southee 9-0-54-1, N L McCullum 10-0-46-0, K S Williamson 8-0-39-1.

Umpires C B Gaffaney and R J Tucker.

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?