England managed to hold on for a thrilling draw at the SCG, with skipper Joe Root praising the team effort the England players put in on the final day of the Fourth Ashes Test in Sydney.
Heading into Day five 0/30, it went right down to the wire. But the staunch defences of Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson in the final overs were enough for England to hold on.
It was a poor start to 2022 for Root. After a duck in the first innings, he was resolute in defence, but fell for only 24 yet again at the hands of Scott Boland and once again caught behind the wicket.
Root said post-match that he was glad others stood up today, especially since some of their top order failed yet again.
“We never make it easy for ourselves, but we found a way to get it done today albeit the guys at the end had to deal with a tricky period,” Root said.
“It was very much a team effort today.”
There were some notable injuries for them, including Jos Buttler, who was replaced by Ollie Pope as keeper in the second innings after breaking his finger. Root confirmed that he would miss out on the final test in Hobart.
“It’s quite a serious injury and for him to be front up and put in as he did from that moment he took that knock shows how much he cares, shows how much it means for him to play in this test team and how much it means for him to play for England.”
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He also confirmed that both Johnny Bairstow and Ben Stokes would be further assessed heading into the second pink ball test of this Ashes series.
Root was also proud of the way his players pushed through the pain to give England the best chance of getting a result in this series.
“A lot of the guys could see a number of players hurting physically and still putting in a huge amount and in many ways it lifted the rest of the group,” he said.
“I’m really proud of the way that they stood up at times, clearly in a lot of pain, to produce for England.”
He was also proud of the way they stood up in the crunch time moments today.
“The psychological of knowing that you’re going into a pressure situation not 100 percent to then still be able to perform at the level that some of the guys did was phenomenal,” he said.
“It shows a huge amount of character, very proud of that and it’s a step forward for the team and again some quite difficult circumstances.”
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