Eoin Morgan has hailed Sheffield’s Joe Root as “the ultimate professional” after the young batsman wrote a new chapter in England’s limited-overs renaissance.
Having come out 3-2 winners over New Zealand in a memorable one-day series, England’s revamped white-ball unit crushed the Kiwis by 56 runs in the tour-closing NatWest Twenty20 at Emirates Old Trafford.
There were impressive efforts from a handful of this summer’s newcomers - with three wickets apiece for Mark Wood and David Willey, who also contributed a brilliant run out, and lively knocks from Jason Roy and Sam Billings - but Root was the standout.
His 68 from 46 balls was yet another reminder of his class, which has been in evidence across all three formats in recent weeks.
And Morgan is in no doubt about his impact on the side.
“Joe has been outstanding again,” he said.
“He’s continued to push the bar in our changing room and he leads by example.
“Although he’s still very young he’s a very senior player in our squad and the guys don’t have to look very far for the ultimate professional in the way he goes about his business.”
Root, meanwhile, is basking in what increasingly seems to be the start of a new shackle-free era for the team.
‘’It’s hard to explain, everyone has gone out this summer with a freedom and it’s really refreshing to see everyone commit to it and absolutely go for it,” he told Sky Sports.
‘’We need to keep developing as a side so we need to make sure we keep moving forwards.”
For his part, Morgan appears a different man to the skipper who trudged his way through a woeful World Cup campaign just months ago.
In that tournament he looked painfully short of both inspiration and enthusiasm, but the fire is now palpably back in his belly.
“This is a fantastic way to finish what has been a great month of cricket,” he enthused after seeing his side post 191 for seven and skittle the Black Caps for 135.
“When you’re trying to implement change within a group it’s important to have successes along the way and these guys have had that.
“We’ve done it the way we said we would and that’s important too.
“I want these guys to play with as much freedom as possible. Every game has epitomised what I want the team to be about and everyone in the squad wants to same.
“The change we’ve seen in the past month is the exactly what I’m asking for.”
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who briefly threatened to damage England with 35 in 15 deliveries, was disappointed to finish a tightly-fought tour with an ugly defeat.
The big-hitting batsman, who returns to Old Trafford with Birmingham on Friday, said: “Some of our batting was pretty amateurish. We got ourselves in a good position and we should have been able to chase down the total.”