Joe Root says England are definite Champions Trophy contenders
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 30/04/17 2:55pm
Joe Root thinks England have what it takes to claim Champions Trophy glory on home soil this summer.
And Root is hopeful recalled pace bowler Mark Wood can play an important role in England's bid for limited overs glory.
Root will begin his tenure as England's new Test captain later this year, but first he will be a key member of Eoin Morgan's limited overs squad.
England have been much improved in 50-over cricket since disappointing at the last World Cup and will warm-up against Ireland and South Africa in May before kicking off their Champions Trophy campaign against Bangladesh on 1 June.
Asked if England are capable of winning, Root told Sky Sports News HQ: "Absolutely.
"We have been playing some great cricket over the last couple of years and we keep progressing all the time. We are by no means the finished article and we are very ambitious, very hungry.
"We feel we have now got to a place where we feel we can compete consistently against the best sides in the world.
"It is probably one of the strongest sides I have been involved in. It has got great depth in all departments and that is really exciting.
"We have got some really important games coming up and we need to make sure we keep looking to drive home wins and keep building confidence that way."
Wood is back in the squad, having returned to fitness after an ankle operation, and Root thinks the Durham seamer adds an important ingredient to the bowling attack.
"The thing you get with Woody is raw pace," said Root.
"He is obviously very talented, you have seen over the last couple of years what he is capable of.
"He has the ability to go through sides in the middle overs, when it can be very difficult to take wickets.
"It is really exciting to see him back playing and hopefully he can be really successful in the coming months."
Root only managed 10 runs in two innings for Yorkshire in their County Championship match over the weekend but says he is not concerned about his own form.
"It was one game," he said. "It was quite frustrating but that is cricket. I am pretty happy with where my game is at the moment.
"Before the Test stuff starts we have some really important white ball stuff and over the next few games we need to get Yorkshire's campaign off to a great start in the 50-over competition."
Root was at Dore Primary School on Tuesday with Chance to Shine and explained: "June 19-23 is the Yorkshire Tea national cricket week.
"So, just trying to get that out there, get the kids aware of it, and get them into cricket."