England captain Joe Root will be looking to become another English captain to win an Ashes series in Australia. (Photo: @WisdenCricket/Twitter)

In Joe Root's second Ashes series on Australian shores as captain, he will be looking to do something that other English captains have struggled to do in recent times and win an Ashes series in Australia.

In Joe Root’s second Ashes series on Australian shores as captain, he will be looking to do something that other English captains have struggled to do in recent times and win an Ashes series in Australia.

The last England captain to win an Ashes in Australia was Andrew Strauss in the 2010/11 Ashes series. Knowing how hard an Ashes series is to win, Root said he’s ‘very excited about it and I can’t wait for the series to get going’.

“Absolutely it is, you look at how hard it has been for English captains and the English teams [to win in Australia] over the years,” Root told media on Monday.

“It’s been something that doesn’t happen very often. Of course, it will define my captaincy, I’m not naïve enough to think it won’t, but again what a great opportunity.”

The last two times England has toured Australia, they have been comprehensively beaten, losing both series’ 5-0 and 4-0 respectively. Root said England has the squad to capture the important moments in the series and ‘that carrots there for everyone’.

“You look at some of the players and individuals, some of the performances individually guys have put in,” he said.

“The more senior guys have done it time and time again, some of the junior guys have shown glimpses of what they can do and their potential.

“What a better stage to grab a series and make an announcement on the international stage and say ‘I’m an Ashes player and I want to live in the history of this great rivalry.”

With the first day at the Gabba only days away, Joe Root and the England selectors still have several decisions to make on who takes the field for day one at the Gabba.

Root said he won’t be naming a team just yet as they continue to observe the weather conditions and the Gabba pitch.

“We’re not going to name a team just yet we’ll have to see what a closer forecast is and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days,” Root said.

One of Root’s decisions will be whether they pick spinner, Jack Leach, for the Gabba, a ground where overseas’ spinners don’t typically enjoy success.

“I do think it’s a good place to bowl spin, speak to some of the great spinners that have played for Australia and they’ve always enjoyed bowling here,” the 30-year-old said.

“It’s something we’ll weigh up, it’s something we’ll consider but we’re not in a position to make a call on that right now.”

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The lead-up to the first ball of an Ashes series is always filled with analysis and comments made by former players from both sides. Root said ‘we can spend hours and hours talking about Australia’ and he’s more focused on his side’s preparation.

“Ultimately we got to prepare ourselves as best as we can and look after our own thing and make sure with the preparation we’ve had we get the most out of the next couple of days and we feel as ready as we can do,” Root said.

“We’ve planned extremely well for this series, we’ve given ourselves the best chance in many ways and we’ve made the most of the little preparation we have had until now. It’s important we continue that over the next couple of days,”

Facing a similar Australian line-up to one they matched up against in the last Ashes series in England so Root and co are highly aware of the talent within the Australian squad and understand the challenge they will pose.

“It’s been quite a settled team in many respects, especially as a bowling group,” he said.

“[They’ve been together] for a long time now so we should know what to expect and how they’re going to try utilise the conditions that they have and hopefully we can manage those periods of play and those big moments within the series.”

England’s squad is made up of many players of whom this will be their first tour down under and might be unknown commodities to Australian players and fans having not come across them on previous campaigns.

Dan Lawerance, Dom Bess, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Jos Butler, Mark Wood, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Rory Burns, and Zak Crawley will all be hoping to make an impression in their first tour down under.

The English team has several bowlers putting their hands up to be selected and partner James Anderson and Stuart Board.

Likely candidate Ollie Robinson has caught the attention of the Australians, Root said that won’t sway his decision on whether Robinson plays but it is nice to hear guys talking him up.

Ollie Robinson could cause Australian batters headaches this summer. Photo: @ICC/Twitter.

“I know how skillful our whole bowling group is and in many respects we’ve got some difficult decisions to make in that regard and that’s a great headache to have, that’s what you want as captain,” Root said.

“You want many guys putting their hands up and saying ‘I’m the man for these conditions’,

“If you look at how Ollie’s taken to test cricket he’s been fantastic, his performances have been very good and [has] stood up.

“He’s had to deal with some incidents already in his career so for him to overcome that and still perform how he has is impressive in many ways.”

Root said if selected, Robinson would succeed bowling in Australian conditions.

“He’s a tall guy, he’s got a high release point and gets the ball to move laterally,” Root said.

“Look at the guys who’ve had success for Australia for many years, Glenn McGarth [and] some of the current players.[They’re all] tall guys [and] get it [the ball] to move laterally.”

The First Ashes test is set to get underway on Wednesday morning in Brisbane at the Gabba. Play is set to start at 11:00 am AEDT.

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