England Test skipper Joe Root's sole focus may be on Test cricket but the 28-year-old is simultaneously not taking T20I cricket lightly and feels he will have to get better even in the shortest format of the game. England had a busy home summer with consecutive assignments. England first hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which they won at Lord's and later hosted the Ashes, which they drew 2-2 against Australia. England will now visit their World Cup 2019 final opponents New Zealand, where both the teams will indulge in five T20Is before they play two Tests at Bay Oval and Seddon Park.
England have rested some of their star players like Root, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for the T20I series and have included Tom Banton and Saqib Mahmood. In a healthy way, Root sees Banton as his competition.
Speaking on the upcoming series, Root said: "For me to get into the T20I side, it will mean that I have to keep getting better."
"If someone like Tom Banton comes in and sets the world alight, I've got to try force him out in the limited opportunities I get to play. If that happens, it raises the standard of English cricket in that format. That's the food chain that cricket is sometimes. You have to be at the top of it otherwise you get swept away and eaten up," the skipper was quoted as saying by the ICC.
Root, who has made 32 T20I appearances for England, scoring 893 runs at an average of 35.72, added that it's just a matter of getting into the groove with the switch in formats.
"I obviously scored runs in the 2016 final and I've always felt that when I have had a block of that format, to really get stuck into it, I've generally done pretty well," Root said.
"I felt that was the case with the last T20 World Cup. It took me a couple of warm-up games over a two-week period beforehand to really get back into it. But then once the tournament started, I found my way in, and felt like it was very similar to the one-day team where I knew how everyone else was going to play. Then you dovetail around them. I've got good experiences to call upon. I know what it's like to have to perform in those scenarios," he added.
England will face the Black Caps in the first T20I of the series on November 1.