Joe Root admitted England’s series so far has been a disaster, but vowed to end the tour on a positive note even though their Ashes defeat has already been confirmed

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Root accepts England need wholesale changes after Ashes defeat

England captain Joe Root has laid the gauntlet down to his players after asking them publicly to end their Ashes series on a high note despite the tour so far being nothing short of a disaster.

The skipper said he was “hurt deeply” by how his team has performed so far Down Under, with three humbling Test defeats to show for their poor performances so far.

England’s batting performances have been the main factor behind their dismal showings, with only Root coming away with any pride for his performances at the crease in this series.

And while some have criticised Root’s captaincy amid this dismal run of results, he still has the backing of the dressing room with deputy skipper Ben Stokes the latest to show his support.

“Obviously that’s nice to hear. To captain England is a huge honour for me,” the skipper said ahead of the fourth Test, which gets under way late on Tuesday night.







Joe Root said he was ‘hurt deeply’ be England’s performances in the Ashes
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Getty Images)

“All I ever want to do is try to get the best out of the group, to see us play at a level everyone back home is proud of.

“It’s hurt me deeply that we’ve not managed to do that on this trip and I’m desperate for us to put in those performances.

“I really care about the role and it would be nice to finish this tour off in a much better way.

“I will throw everything I can at making sure we give ourselves a better account of what we have so far.”

Root’s comments come after Stokes became the latest high-profile member of the dressing room to publicly back the skipper, while declining to express his own interest in the role.

“I’ve never really had an ambition to be a captain,” said Stokes ahead of the fourth Test in Sydney. “To say ‘should people step down’ – that’s the media’s job.

“It’s totally Joe’s decision, he shouldn’t be forced into doing it. I’m sure Cooky felt the same way. He did it for so long. When he knew his time was up, his time was up.







Ben Stokes backed Joe Root to continue as England Test captain
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PA)

“I don’t sense that at all with Joe. The most important people’s opinions are those guys in the dressing room and [Root and head coach Chris Silverwood ] have got our thorough support.

“Captaincy is more than about setting fields, picking the team, making decisions out there in the middle.

“A captain is someone you want to go out and play for. Joe Root is someone I always want to play for. Chris Silverwood is exactly the same.”

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