West Indies survived from four down on a very slow, flat pitch after Root set them 286 to win in 71 overs on the final day.
That England were making the running on the final day represented a decent recovery from 48 for four on the first morning, and the concession of a 64-run first innings deficit.
This was England’s first game since the Ashes, which they lost 4-0, and the sacking of head coach Chris Silverwood and the overhaul of personnel that included dropping the legendary bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
“I’m really proud of the team,” said Root. “I thought the attitude throughout the whole week was just fantastic.
“We threw everything into the game and to be in the position we were after that first hour to respond as we have done since it’s been a really pleasing performance on what turned out to be a very docile wicket which didn’t offer a huge amount for anyone really.
“But the way we applied ourselves and went about it was really pleasing and very encouraging going into the rest of series.”
England made three centuries (including one for Root), which pleased the captain, who picked out Jack Leach’s performance as another positive.
“It’ll definitely do a lot of the guys a lot of good,” said Root. “There were runs at the top of the order for Zak [Crawley], Jonny [Bairstow]’s innings and some other contributions around him as well under pressure and the way Dan [Lawrence] played today was brilliant.
“It gave us the opportunity to get that declaration a little bit sooner and really give us a sniff of trying to get a few extra overs out there.
“And Leach was incredible throughout the whole game. It’s very difficult for the seamers but they held things together very well under great pressure in that first innings. The guys worked extremely hard and Ben is somewhere near his best again, which is always very exciting and very promising. So I think there’s a lot of good things to take into next week.
“I really hope the guys gain so much confidence from it. When things weren’t going our way, when it was flat and not much happening with ball in hand, that was a really good sign of where we are as a side. We’re very buoyant, we created pressure in the field.
“Over time stuff like that can make a real difference to a team. That attitude is really promising and it’s filled me with a huge amount of confidence.”
The dark cloud for England was an elbow injury to Mark Wood. He did not bowl from lunch on day three onwards, and is set for a scan when the team arrive in Barbados tomorrow.
“I think they’re going to wait there and do all the scans and stuff over there,” Root said. “So we’ll have some more information then.”