Under fire Root insists he’s going nowhere
Defiant England captain Joe Root insists he's the man to lead England out of their Ashes funk, and plans to start by denying Australia a rare Test series win away from home.
Australia retained the Ashes with a tense 185-run victory at Old Trafford on Sunday, taking an insurmountable 2-1 lead with one match to play at The Oval starting on Thursday.
But in the wake of the victory, Australian skipper Tim Paine made it clear their task was not yet complete - with a first overseas series win since 2016 firmly on the agenda.
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Root, who bristled at questioning about his captaincy future, made sure there would be no complacency in the England camp despite the Ashes being lost.
"It matters to me. It matters to everyone involved," he said.
"Whenever you lose a series it hurts. I have to take that on the chin.
"You have to look at areas you want to get better at both in yourself and as a team. Importantly I have to look at next week.
"We have an important Test match against Australia. We've have to make sure we finish this summer strong and do not lose this Ashes series."
Root's captaincy has been under the microscope since before the Ashes, but the drums have been beating louder as they slipped away from England.
But the 28-year-old, who at Old Trafford became the first England skipper to register three ducks in a series, insists he will not walk away from his post.
"Definitely, yes," he said when asked if he planned to stay on as captain.
"I have been given a fantastic opportunity to captain the Test side and I will continue to work very hard at doing my best at that.
"That is in my control and I have to make sure I keep getting this team in the best shape to win as many games as possible.
"Whenever you lose a series it hurts. It is still very raw. I'm bitterly disappointed.
"But I have to take that on the chin. You have to look at areas you want to get better at both from yourself and as a team."
As time wound down on a gripping day of Test cricket, with Jack Leach and Craig Overton coming for a 146 ball ninth wicket stand, Root - like the rest of the England fans - dared to believe that another Headingley-style miracle was possible.
But despite it being snuffed out by late wickets to Marnus Labuschagne and Josh Hazlewood, Root remained immensely proud of his troops.
"When you find yourself in a situation like today you learn a lot about your team and the guys," he said.
"I thought everyone showed a lot of courage, resilience, a lot of character and everyone should be really proud about how they approached the day."