Sydney: Joe Root claimed England’s dramatic draw in Sydney had restored pride in his team and represented ”a small step forward” after Ash’s disappointment.
Root’s side batted for the entire fifth day at the SCG, clinging on by the skin of their teeth as they finished on 270 for nine with the last man James Anderson arriving at the crease to see off the final over of the match.
While the urn was already lost after three hefty defeats over 12 depressing days of action, this was a much-needed show of resilience from a side that had been widely tipped to capitulate 5-0.
Three batters survived for 100 balls or more – Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes, and Jonny Bairstow all carrying a sizeable share of the load – while Anderson’s late act of defiance was preceded by gutsy innings by fellow tailenders Stuart Broad and Jack Leach.
Root, for once, was not central to his side’s efforts having fallen for 24 in the afternoon session but he has long shouldered too much of the burden and was delighted with what he saw.