Joe Root pleads with his team to show they have at least learnt something on their brutal Ashes tour

At 3-0 down, England have two more chances to produce a performance before they go home and Root wants to see it happen in Sydney

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Root accepts England need wholesale changes after Ashes defeat

Joe Root has asked his weary players to show that they have at least learnt something from their Ashes humbling so far.

At 3-0 down with two games left to play Root has challenged his team to try and get something out of the tour, even if it is just the chance to play for England again by putting in a performance.

The batting remains the primary concern ahead of the fourth Test in Sydney and after three painful matches, the hope is that the lessons dished out by Australia have been taken on board by his players.

“We have not performed near the level we expect,” said Root, ahead of the Pink Test in aid of the McGrath Foundation

Root remains England’s stand out batsman and wants others to follow

“But we need to take opportunities as they present themselves now and prove we’re learning from the experiences we have faced on this trip.

“That is the biggest challenge for us. Can we make sure we are showing improvement and able to stand up to that pressure and put performances in?

“We have been shown by Australia how to do that and this is a chance to do it ourselves.

“We have to do it our own way and not be something we are not but we have to take the chance in these two games.”

Zak Crawley is a batsman who can show what he has learnt on this trip


Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Root once again refused to be drawn on his own future as Test captain despite receiving plenty of support from each player who has fronted up to the media since the debacle of Melbourne.

No doubt Root will receive the same support from those above him full of guilt over the way they have sent him into battle against Australian warships with effectively a couple of popguns.

But even with the odds stacked against him, Root continues to try and push things forward, with all the energy and love for the squad he can muster.

“I will look at my future beyond this tour at the end of it,” he said. “Questions on that are not something I need to waste energy on.

Root would not be drawn on his captaincy future


HAMISH BLAIR/AFP via Getty Images)

“I need to throw everything I can into these last two games. I owe that to this team and the players and that will give us the best chance of getting the results we need.”

And he has literally been doing just that, throwing balls at batsmen to try and help them through training while coaches recover from Covid.

It has been all hands on deck to get ready for this game in Sydney, and while training at times has resembled a Tuesday evening session at a local club, there is merit in working things out with your mates.

England players have been helping each other out in training


Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

“Sometimes when you look around the dressing room and see someone who has helped you out it can galvanise you as a team,” said Root.

“That is what we need now, stick tight, stay together. It would be easy to get fractious and point fingers at who could be better but we are in this together.

“We need to work together and help each other and we’ve tried to prepare as well as we can to stand up in a bit of adversity.”

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