Jos Buttler, with an unbeaten 80, and spinner Dom Bess, who took 3-33 on debut, helped England to a victory by an innings and 55 runs which levelled the NatWest Series at 1-1.
But the England skipper now insists they must use the momentum change from series defeats against Australia and New Zealand in order to tackle the might of India later this summer.
“The two guys have definitely performed exceptionally well throughout this game and throughout the series,” said Root.
“The one thing we knew we were going to get from Dom was that character. Jos is very street-smart. He’s played a lot of international cricket, has huge amounts of experience, and he reads the game exceptionally well.
“It looks as if he’s got his head round that role at No7, so I hope that’s something long term that can really benefit this side.”
Victory in Leeds allowed Root to put the disappointment of a nine-wicket defeat at Lord’s behind them. But he insisted the win must not hide their flaws.
“It was a very tough week last week for the group but [this] is a really step in the right direction,” said the England captain.
“It’s very important we don’t paper over the cracks and think this is going to be us [sorted] forever – we have to make sure we don’t find ourselves in those positions like last week.
“We have to learn the lessons as quickly as we have this week and adapt just as we have. If we can do all that, you will see more consistency from this group.
“The talent is never questioned, and as you’ve seen throughout these three days, there’s plenty there in the skill levels.”
Victory also relieved building pressure on coach Trevor Bayliss for all that he received support from Root.
“Trevor is the easy target when the side is losing,” he said. “It would have been very easy for the whole group to get tense and have a negative feel around but Trevor’s experience pulled through.”
Bayliss maintained there was much work still to do but said: “I wouldn’t say it was by any means our most perfect game but it was a step in the right direction.
“Now it’s about how we can put in that type of performance more often. It might be a case of having to remind the guys what it’s like to be embarrassed in one game if we don’t keep focused.”