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Ashes: Joe Root suggests England need ‘reset’ in attitude towards Test cricket after drubbing by Australia

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In the wake of another Ashes drubbing, skipper Joe Root has suggested English cricket needs a “reset” in its attitude towards Test cricket akin to the white-ball revolution of 2015, because players are having to learn on the job at the highest level.

It took Australia just 12 days to secure the Ashes, with the victory confirmed by a thumping win at the MCG. Root has propped up England’s failing batting order in a year that has seen them losing a record nine Tests this year.

Root was a major part of Eoin Morgan’s one-day team that emerged from another dismal World Cup performance in 2015 to win the next edition in 2019, committing to a clear style of play, backing players, and adjusting the domestic calendar.

He has suggested a similar overhaul might be required in Test cricket, because players are arriving at the highest level without the tools to survive. Root, who debuted in 2012 and is arguably the national side’s greatest ever Test batter, was the last specialist batter to succeed at Test level for England.

Asked whether the English system was equipping players to succeed at the highest level, Root said: “I think that that is a long conversation that should probably be had at another time.

“I would say I think that the best 18 players from the county game are definitely on this tour. There are some very talented players within this squad and we have to just keep looking to find ways of of upskilling ourselves and each other and managing pressure points within the game better.

“That’s a big part of this game. It’s a big part of that unfortunately, with where the game is at in our country right now the only place you can really learn that is in the hardest environment for what is quite a young a young batting group.

“They’re having to learn out here in the harshest environments. Maybe you look back at 2015 and the reset that happened in white-ball cricket and maybe that’s something that needs to be happening in our red-ball game as well. I think that is a long conversation that I should probably have at another time.

“The environment that they’re coming from is not readying them well enough for Test cricket and it’s a very difficult place, with everything that surrounds Test matches. It’s very difficult to improve in that environment.”

Root made no excuses for an England performance he described as “bitterly disappointing”, but called on his team to pick themselves up from the floor to to “come away from this tour with a couple of wins”.

“Everyone in that dressing room is gutted,” he said. “That’s not a good enough performance and we know that.

“We need to put some pride back into the badge and and make sure we come away from this tour with something. It’s as simple as that.”

Root also said now was not the time to be drawn on his future as captain.

“I’m in the middle of a very important series,” he said. “My energy has to be all about trying to win the next game. I can’t be selfish and start thinking about myself. I think more than anything you’ve got to keep looking to do everything we can to get the players in the best possible place to go and win Test matches. That’s a big part of captaincy is you’ve got to ready the players, try and instil that belief in every single one of your team and your squad.”

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