'I've never had more fun playing professional cricket' – Root relishing England's rapid progress

·2-min read

Joe Root declared he has "never had more fun playing professional cricket" after England's terrific red-ball form continued with a 2-1 series victory over South Africa.

Having recorded memorable triumphs over New Zealand and India since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum took over as the side's captain and coach partnership, England enjoyed further success as they sealed a nine-wicket victory over the Proteas at The Oval on Monday.

England have now claimed four consecutive series wins over South Africa, and have won six of their seven Tests under the new regime.

They have also earned widespread praise for their adventurous style under McCullum – dubbed 'Bazball' – and Root has been impressed by their rapid progress.

"It's been absolute class," the former skipper said. "It's been great to be part of, so much fun to play the way we have played, and to win six out of seven is a reflection of the quality with which we've played.

"It makes the winter and beyond look very exciting for this team. To know there's still more potential and areas we can improve is the most exciting part of it.

"We're definitely not the finished article, but to see the strides we've made in such a short space of time has been a breath of fresh air.

"I'm buzzing about it, to be honest, looking forward to the next series already!

"I've never had more fun playing professional cricket. Honestly, it is hard to put into words. You turn up every day, and you're very excited about what's going to happen. It's the unknown.

"It's quite a strange feeling to have played 120-odd games, still to have that feeling when you turn up every day.

"It's a really good place to be. It keeps you very hungry and motivated. You can bounce off the energy of everybody else who is in the same mindset."

Root then compared England's development to that of the country's one-day side, who won the 2019 World Cup following a change in style under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan.

"Some of the things we'd never seen before in Test cricket happened in a short space of time. It's nice to know what we're capable of," he added.

"It almost feels like - I hate drawing the comparison, but there is a small feeling of what it was like when we started to make those really big scores in the white-ball team.

"That's the exciting thing - what is the limit, how far can we go?

"You look at what that team has achieved over a period of time. I know it is early days and a lot of different elements to Test cricket, compared to the white-ball format, but it is very exciting that there is the same sort of vibe around, in my mind anyway."