English captain Joe Root says it would be “selfish” to focus on your own future after devastatingly lost the ashes, but accepts that far-reaching changes are required to fix the test page.
England self-destructed in Melbourne on the third morning to give Australia victory with an innings and 14 runs and a decisive 3-0 lead.
They were knocked down for a humiliating 68, the lowest sum on Australian soil since 1904 when debutant Scott Boland raced through their lineup, ending up with notable numbers of six to seven.
The result crowned a terrible series of results for the test team under Root, who became the first English team to lose nine games a year. After starting with three straight wins in Sri Lanka and India in 2021, they have now triumphed only once in their next 12 Tests.
68 everything out
England’s series-winning second inning collapses in Melbourne.
Root is now on par with predecessor Sir Alastair Cook with most games as the English captain, 59, and it would be no surprise if he concludes that he has come to the end of the road.
But with two more games in Sydney and Hobart, he’s focused on getting his side off the canvas.
“I can’t be selfish and start thinking about myself,” he said when asked about his future.
âI’m in the middle of a very important series. My energy has to be focused on winning the next game. The series is not over yet: we have two very big games and, most importantly, it would be wrong to overlook them. We have to concentrate on that and that also applies to me as the captain of this team.
Cameron Green seals the ashes urn by bowling by James Anderson (Jason O’Brien / PA)
âWe need to bring some pride back into the badge to give the folks back home something to celebrate from this tour. It is bitterly disappointing to have fallen 3-0, but with two friendlies we have to end this tour with a couple of wins. “
Root was England’s top scorer again, albeit at a meager 28, and was only the third player in history to break 1,700 test runs in a calendar year.
Sitting behind the great Sir Viv Richards and record holder Mohammad Yousuf is a proud feat for a player at his best, but the nooses and arrows that come with leading a team that can’t keep up with his level mean he has the Moment can not enjoy.
- 1st Test, Brisbane: Out-win after 9 weeks
- 2nd test, Adelaide: Aus wins with 275 runs
- 3rd test, Melbourne: Out-victory by inns and 14 runs
- 4th test: Sydney: 5th-9th January
- 5th test: Hobart: 14.-18. January
“I am absolutely disappointed and bitterly disappointed to find myself in this position,” he said.
âYou show up today, you go out with Ben Stokes and you feel like anything is possible. In order to find ourselves in this position again, everyone in this changing room is gutted, it’s that simple. I can’t really add more. “
Root has crept on tiptoe into the debate about the quality of the cricketer who is promoted from the circle game. The quality of hitting in particular was put to the test this year, with Roots next challenger in the run charts, Rory Burns, sitting 1,178 in a row.
He accepted that England-level players would arrive who were ill-equipped to face the challenge of test cricket.
“I think this is a long conversation that should probably be had at another time, but I would say I think the top 18 players from the circle game are definitely on this tour,” he said.
âSince that’s the way the game is in our country, you can only really learn in the toughest environment with a fairly young group of players. You have to learn out here in the toughest of environments.
“When you look back on 2015 and the reset that happened in white ball cricket, it may have to happen in our red ball game too.”
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