The Ashes: Joe Root not drawn on long-term future as England captain after ‘gut-wrenching’ defeat | Cricket News

“My energy has to be all in trying to win the next game. I can’t be selfish and start thinking for myself,” says Joe Root after England fell to defeat in the Ashes series; the skipper says his team must be “mentally very strong” for the last two tests in Sydney and Hobart

Last updated: 28/12/21 4:10


Joe Root’s England are down 3-0 in the Ashes series after an inning loss at the MCG

Joe Root was not going to be drawn on his long-term future as England captain following his team’s “heartbreaking” defeat to Australia in the Ashes series.

England are 3-0 down with only two games to play after moving to 68 all out and one defeat per innings and 14 points to Pat Cummins’ side on day three of the third test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Root, named test skipper in February 2017, saw his team collapse in the Down Under, mauling in Melbourne after a nine wicket defeat in Brisbane and a 275 point defeat in Adelaide.

The 30-year-old, who was also in charge when England lost 4-0 in Australia in 2017-18, is focused on leading the team in their last two games in Sydney and Hobart.

Root ended 2021 with 1,708 tests performed at an average of 61

Root ended 2021 with 1,708 tests performed at an average of 61

“My energy has to be all in trying to win the next game. I can’t be selfish and start thinking for myself,” said Root, who ended 2021 with 1,708 tests performed with an average of 61.

“More than anything else, we must continue to try to do everything possible to get the players to the best possible place to go and win the test matches.

“You have to bring the players together. This is an important part of the captain’s armband. You have to try to instill that confidence in every single member of your squad and team. More than ever now.”

talking with BT Sport, Root said: “It’s bitterly disappointing, heartbreaking, everything you don’t want at this stage of the tour.

“The reality is that we have been largely outperformed. We have underperformed. We know that and we know the areas we need to continue developing.

Root says England have played poorly for quite long periods in the Ashes series

Root says England have played poorly for quite long periods in the Ashes series

“There are two games left in this series and we need to make sure we come out of this tour with something to shout about.

“We have to be resilient, mentally very strong and bring some pride back into the badge, giving everyone who watches us at home something to have fun and celebrate.

“We all care a lot about playing for England, we are proud to do it and we have to put it into performance now.”

England’s feeble hopes of keeping the series alive practically died out at the end of day two when they plunged to 31-4 during the Australian seamstresses’ ferocious 12 overs, having already conceded an 82-point deficit in the first inning.

Tourists only added 37 rides to their total on the third day as they were torpedoed for their lowest score in Australia since 1904.

Root was sacked by six-wicket Scott Boland at the MCG on Tuesday morning

Root was sacked by six-wicket Scott Boland at the MCG on Tuesday morning

England’s batting was lousy throughout the trip, with the hosts plummeting to 147 and 297 in Brisbane, sinking with scores of 236 and 192 in Adelaide and then making just 185 in their first innings at the MCG before crashing to a low streak the second time around.

Root said: “We have to do things longer.

“There were small pockets, but not long enough for you to be in a position to win a test match.

“We know the areas where we need to improve. We need to keep improving, stay strong and make sure we look to the next two games as an opportunity to take something away from this tour.

Pat Cummins (left) led Australia to Ashes glory in his first series as test captain

Pat Cummins (left) led Australia to Ashes glory in his first series as test captain

“I thought bowling was as good as it has been throughout the trip. We put pressure on Australia and put ourselves in a position where we were a lot in this test match. We have to be that more frequently.”

Asked about the impact of Covid-19 – which saw three family members from the UK tour plus three coaches go into solitary confinement after testing positive – Root said: “It is what it is.

“We’ve been playing these days for a while and we got used to dealing with this environment.

“All you can do is focus on what’s in front of you and what’s in front of you.”

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