England captain Joe Root has no doubt he is still the man to lead the negative at Old Trafford ending the hopes of regaining the Ashes regardless of defeat.
Australia’s 185-run triumph in Manchester made England to face up to the reality of surrendering the Ashes on property for the first time in 18 years and verified they will keep the urn but despite the disappointment, Root is eager to continue as skipper.
“Surely, yes,” he explained when asked whether he felt that he was the ideal person for the job.
“Whenever you drop a series it hurts and I need to accept that on the brow. It is still quite raw. You need to appear at places you wish to get better at on your own and as a staff.
“However, I have been given a fantastic chance to captain the Test side and will continue to work really hard doing my best at that. That is within my hands and I have to make sure I keep getting this group in the ideal form to acquire as many games as you can.”
The hosts began the afternoon 18-2 needing to bat out 98 overs to pull of an improbable draw at a sold-out Old Trafford and Joe Denly (53) and Jason Roy (31) battled for 80 seconds before the latter was bowled by Pat Cummins.
Even though Ben Stokes (1) was unable to replicate his Headingley heroics, Jos Buttler created a battling 34 off 111 ballsJack Leach laboured for 12 off 54 and final man out Craig Overton spent just under three hours at the crease for his 21 off 105 balls.
“I thought we showed great character, battle and perception in what we needed to attain today,” Root said. “I could not be more proud of this effort the men put in today.
“It turned out to be a resilient operation but unfortunately it was not enough. Like last week at Headingley we always thought and we try our hardest.
“You can always sit back and look at various areas of the sport where you might have done things differently but from the point of view I am very proud.
“When you are in the place we had been at the beginning of the afternoon, the way the men fought as hard as they did, you learn much about your group, it shows that the personality and everyone stood up and played bravely.”
Regardless of Australia having already obtained the Ashes, Root believes there’s a lot for England to play for with a draw in the series and Test Championship points on the line.
The England captain included this seam bowlers through the series’ dominance was revealing Test cricket at its peak.
“It is challenging to take losing the Ashes at the stage but we will need to be certain we pick ourselves up and turn up at The Oval,” he clarified.
“It had been yet another fantastic Test match and it’s quite disappointing and we need to be certain we pick ourselves up and develop for what is still rather a big game for all of us in The Oval.
“We have seen some fantastic Test cricket over the span of this show so far and I hope the same to be true at The Oval, it’s still a huge game for us. We ought to make sure the series levels and a Test championship is to play for as well.
“I think every seamer has put all batters under pressure throughout the series, bar Steve Smith. It’s been hard work but that is Test cricket at its very finest.
“You expect it to be both hard and you also expect guys to battle your defence and make life hard for you. It has been one of those summers where batting was hard and you have been required to work on the runs.”
See day among the fifth and final Ashes Test between England and Australia from The Oval live on Sky Sports The Ashes from 10am on Thursday, September 12.
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