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‘Going there and winning’: Root focused on regaining Ashes in 2022

“I thought the performance this week was a lot closer to the template of where we want to be in Test cricket. Hopefully that will be a massive stepping stone and starting point for us to kick on as a team,” he said.

“We’ve got an opportunity now to really push and do everything we can to prepare extremely well for that next tour of Australia. That’s going to be a huge focus for me and I’d like to hope for English cricket.

Jack Leach, Joe Root, Rory Burns and Jos Buttler celebrate England's win in the fifth Test.

Jack Leach, Joe Root, Rory Burns and Jos Buttler celebrate England’s win in the fifth Test.Credit:Getty Images

“That’s got to be our main focus – going down there and winning. Every Test match between now and then is an opportunity to push your case. I’m desperate to take this team forward and I will do everything I can to prepare us for that series.

“I was desperate to win this series but 2-2 looks a hell of a lot better than 3-1, that’s for sure,” he said.


Ben Stokes, who has at times represented an all-action super-hero for England, carried England over the line when they looked like falling in the World Cup final and his innings in the third Test left typically sober onlookers declaring the best of all time.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony he said he would trade his fairy tale knock in for a chance to lift the urn this week.

“It was disappointing to know we couldn’t get the Ashes back but we came here with a lot of pride and looking to draw the series,” said Stokes.

“I’ll look back on winning at Headingley in a few years’ time with fond memories probably, but I’d swap it for winning the Ashes.”


England might have done just that had Steve Smith not produced a classic series of his own, churning out an incredible 774 runs in seven visits.

Broad got him for just 23 on the final day of the series, leaving Root to offer a wry reflection on the man of the series.

“He’s been a pain, really,” said the skipper. “He’s done something very special and been the difference. It was nice to see a plan come together finally, even though it was what we started with in the first Test at Edgbaston.”


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