Cricket: Joe Root accepts England need widespread changes after Ashes defeat
England cricket captain Joe Root accepts widespread changes are required after England was defeated by Australia on the third day of the Ashes Test series.
England self-destructed on the third morning in Melbourne to hand Australia victory by an innings and 14 runs as well as a decisive 3-0 series lead.
The Test team under Root has become the first England side to lose nine games in a year.
Despite starting 2021 with three successive wins in Sri Lanka and India, they triumphed just once in their next 12 Tests.
Root was England's top scorer once again, albeit with a meagre 28, and became the third player in history to break 1,700 Test runs in a calendar year.
Root now sits level with predecessor Sir Alastair Cook with the most matches as England captain, 59. So it would be no surprise if he comes to the conclusion that he has come to the end of the road.
But with two more games to go, in Sydney and Hobart, he said: "I can't be selfish and start thinking about myself.
"I'm in the middle of a very important series. My energy has to be all about trying to win the next game. The series isn't over yet: we've got two very big games and, more than anything, it would be wrong to look past that. That's all we have to focus on and that applies to me as well, as captain of this team.
"We need to put some pride back into the badge, to give people back home something to to celebrate from this tour. It's bitterly disappointing to be a 3-0 down but with two Test matches to go we have to come away from this tour with a couple of wins."
"I'm absolutely gutted, bitterly disappointed to find ourselves in this position," he said.
"You turn up today, you walk out with Ben Stokes and you feel like anything's possible. To find ourself in this position, everyone in this dressing room is gutted, it's as simple as that. I can't really add any more."
Root accepted that players were arriving at England level ill-equipped for the challenge of Test cricket.
He said: "I think that that is a long conversation that should probably be had at another time, but I would say I think that the best 18 players from the county game are definitely on this tour.
"With where the game is at in our country right now, the only place you can really learn is in the hardest environment, with what is quite a young batting group. They're having to learn out here in the harshest environments.
"You look back at 2015 and the reset that happened in white-ball cricket and maybe that's something that needs to be happening in our red-ball game as well."