The year of England was a success despite losing the ashes, says Root

LONDON: Captain Joe Root He said that the year of England could still be considered a success, even if they fail to level the Ashes series against Australia by winning the final Oval Test.

The home team will enter the fifth and final game on Thursday 2-1 down, which means they cannot place the urn in their trophy cabinet next to the one-day World Cup, which they won for the first time in July.

But the boss said his players were still focused on denying Australia their first series victory in England since 2001 in the game that starts Thursday.

It is bitterly disappointing not to have recovered the ashes, but we haven't lost anything yet, he said.

We have to make sure to square the series and there are also Test Championship points to play, which in the future could make a big difference.

Root insisted that, despite the disappointment of not having won the series, England could still be proud of its achievements during the summer.

Winning the first World Cup over 50 years is a great achievement for English cricket, so it should absolutely be seen as a successful year, but we have the opportunity to level this series and make it a little better than it seems now. Same, so that's the whole focus of the group.

England's failure has led to questions about Root's position as captain, particularly given his inconsistent batting throughout the series.

But he said he knew the direction in which he wanted to take the team and was already eager to win the ashes in Australia in 2021/22.

In terms of personnel, things can change, as they have done for a while, he said.

But, ultimately, we must focus on the core group of players who are going to lead this team both at home and away and build on that and win in Australia.

The Yorkshireman was phlegmatic about the effect of the captaincy on his form after a poor series by his standards, saying that the batting had been hard for both sides.

The best hitter in the series has been Steve Smith, who has scored 671 runs in just five innings with a surprising average of over 134.

Root said England was trying to find a crack in the armor of former Australian captain, who is the best hitter in the world.

We keep looking for different forms of insurance, trying different things, he said.

He has played extremely well. He has not really given him many opportunities and we feel that on several occasions in the first 20 balls we have defeated the bat a lot and it could have been very different, but he managed to get it right and when he entered, he really did count.

And Root paid tribute to the outgoing coach Trevor Bayliss , who returns to Australia after four years at the helm.

He has been part of some very special victories in the Cricket Test of matches, series at home and away from which he should be extremely proud as a coach and the way he has transformed white ball cricket and has been part of that trip is amazing, said Root.