Ashes 2019: Joe Root says England must build towards Ashes in Australia

Megan Schutt

The home side go into Thursday's fifth and final match 2-1 down, meaning they can not place the urn in their trophy cabinet alongside the one-day World Cup, which they won for the first time in July.

Now he must somehow lift himself for what is still a crucially important Test against an Australian side who should really be exhausted themselves after bowling for most of Sunday to win the fourth match and then partying slightly classlessly at Old Trafford afterwards.

Craig Overton also misses out with Sam Curran and Chris Woakes coming in to beef up the all-round options.

Jason Roy became the first casualty of Root's new broom when ditched to accommodate Ben Stokes who can play here as a batsman only (at four) on account of a shoulder injury.

Roy's omission is no great surprise as he has struggled throughout the series having started it as an opening batsman.

England were beaten in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, meaning Australia have an unassailable lead and will leave the United Kingdom with the urn for the first time since 2001.

The standout batsman of the series has been Steve Smith, who has scored 671 runs in just five innings at an astonishing average of more than 134.

"I'm sure he will want to find different ways of getting himself into the game, even if it's not with the ball".


Australia will be looking to cap off the Ashes tour with a win after a successfully retaining the Ashes in Manchester.

All indications are Root will be granted his wish to stay on and spearhead a third attempt to win the precious urn under his captaincy in two years' time, but the seriousness of England's Test plight was reflected in both his demeanour and body language. He averages under 20 after three Test innings. But Trevor has transformed how we look at the white-ball game and been part of some very special Test wins. Of course, I've not performed as I would have liked but that's part and parcel of Test cricket.

Paine has now revealed Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a message for the team ahead of the fifth Test. Paine joked that he might give him a call to the PM if they win the final Test and also revealed that Morrison praised the team especially Steve Smith.

In response, Alyssa Healy was devastating in her boundaries-laden essay off 61 which came off just 32 deliveries (11 fours and 1 six).

The other key factor for Australia has been the strength of their pace attack, with Josh Hazlewood and world number one Pat Cummins catching the eye with 42 wickets between them.

"In terms of personnel, things might change, as they have done for a while", he said. "I've never seen batting like that".

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

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