Cricket-Ashes debacle an opportunity to prioritise test cricket: Root


  • Cricket
  • Monday, 17 Jan 2022

FILE PHOTO: Joe Root of England leaves the pitch after being dismissed by Mitchell Starc of Australia in the third Ashes test at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia, December 26, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

(Reuters) - England skipper Joe Root said their disastrous Ashes campaign should serve as an opportunity to prioritise test cricket again after their collapse in Hobart on Sunday saw Australia claim the series 4-0.

England have reinvented themselves as a white-ball powerhouse since their early exit from the 2015 World Cup, winning the next edition of one-day cricket's biggest title on home soil.

But their record in the longest format of the game has been less impressive in recent years, and Sunday's loss in Hobart was their 15th consecutive test in Australia without a win.

"There are certain things that definitely need to change," Root told reporters after England lost 10 wickets for 78 runs in little more than an hour and a half to crumble in the fifth and final Ashes test.

"We've got an opportunity to really prioritise test cricket off the back of this and make a real significant change to the game and prioritise this team.

"Let's hope that happens in due course."

Root has said he would like to continue as captain though former skipper Mike Atherton has called for a complete overhaul of the England management.

"I think there's a lot of things to consider, going from some long-term things to some short-term things," Root said.

"I'm sure I'll get an opportunity to express my views on things, and how I think we can make significant changes to the red-ball game in our country."

Root's team could not reach the 300-mark in 10 innings, and Jonny Bairstow's 113 in Sydney was the only hundred posted by an English batsman.

England's batting average of 19.18 was their worst in an Ashes series since 1890.

"Far too many times we've been bowled out for under 200, and we are never going to win test matches when we don't get runs on the board," Root said.

"A lot of guys will look at themselves in the mirror and say, 'I've not given a very good account of myself,'" he said.

England will play three tests in West Indies in March and Root expected an improved performance from his beleaguered team.

"Thankfully we've got four or five weeks at home, before the opportunity to go to the West Indies and start to make significant improvement as a group of players."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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