The Ashes: Joe Root says England took ‘small step forward’ by fighting to salvage a draw in Sydney | Cricket News

“It would have been easy to overturn and feel sorry for ourselves. The boys were trying to put some pride in the crest and show how much they cared about playing for England”; Joe Root encouraged by England’s fight as they battled to secure a draw in the fourth Ashes Test at the SCG

Last updated: 01/09/22 10:48


Joe Root believes England have taken a “small step” in their draw at the SCG

Joe Root praised England’s fight after his team clung to the draw in the fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 388 goal needed to win was never really part of the equation as England tried to beat the final matchday to secure a draw and avoid the prospect of a 5-0 third defeat to Australia in this one. century, and have passed with only one wicket remaining.

Zak Crawley’s first goal with 77, Ben Stokes recorded his second half-century of play while there were also efforts by Jonny Bairstow and Jack Leach before Stuart Broad and James Anderson beat the last two tense overs in the ‘ darkness.

This was the 37th test partnership between Stuart Broad and James Anderson and only the second time they have not been separated. The other was England’s first inning against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi in October 2015.

“It’s a small step forward,” Root told reporters, who himself scored 24 in the second inning. “Coming into the game, I talked a lot about bringing pride back to English cricket and our test performances.

“I think the struggle and desire, and the character shown here in these five days, have done it in a small way. We never make it easy, do we?

“It would have been nice if all the work had been done to the max, as you always want, but it doesn’t seem to fall that way. We found a way to do it today and it was really a team effort.”

After a tense draw on the final day of the fourth test, Nasser Hussain says England can take a lot of credit for their performance

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After a tense draw on the final day of the fourth test, Nasser Hussain says England can take a lot of credit for their performance

After a tense draw on the final day of the fourth test, Nasser Hussain says England can take a lot of credit for their performance

Rearguard action in Sydney stood in stark contrast to the third test as England plummeted to 68 points to hand over the series to Melbourne and Root was encouraged by the way his team responded to that humiliation.

“It is extremely important, especially after the previous test, that it was a really dark day for British test cricket,” he said.

“It would have been easy to overturn and feel sorry for ourselves. The boys were trying to put some pride in the crest and show how much they cared about playing for England.

“We didn’t win the Test match and we were far behind the game, but we found a way to get a draw and that shows the character, pride and desire the boys feel when they wear the England shirt.”

Zak Crawley's fluent 77 was England's highest-scoring opening in the series so far

Zak Crawley’s fluent 77 was England’s highest-scoring opening in the series so far

While satisfied with the fighting qualities England showed to avoid defeat, Root acknowledged that they still have a lot of work to do if they want to secure their first Australian test win since 2011 in Hobart next week.

“There is still a long way to go as a team and we need to make some big improvements, we know that,” he said at the post-match presentation.

“But Gianni [Bairstow] he played one of the best crickets, I think I saw him play in the England shirt.

“Zak Crawley played very smoothly today, he looked comfortable out there and a number of the guys had some pretty tough injuries to deal with and showed a lot of heart and character to fight in this Test match and bring us a draw.

“It would be great to be able to face again next week and hopefully do better.”

Buttler’s Ashes series is over due to a finger injury

Root also confirmed that Jos Buttler will not play in the fifth test due to a finger injury.

Jos Buttler will fly home from Australia and miss the Hobart Test due to a finger injury

Jos Buttler will fly home from Australia and miss the Hobart Test due to a finger injury

Buttler took the hit while retaining the wicket in the Australian first inning at the SCG. The 31-year-old will now fly home, with Sam Billings in line to make his test debut behind the Hobart stumps on Friday.

“Jos Buttler will be going home,” Root said at the post-match presentation.

“It’s a bad injury, so it’s really a disappointing shame for him and the team, but it’s part of the game of Test cricket, sometimes you have to take these things.

“And the way he stood up for the rest of the game, after taking him and putting him in place of the boys, is a testament to his character and how much he cares about playing for this team.”

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