Joe Root believes he is the man to lead England to Ashes glory in Australia despite failing to regain the urn for the second time as captain.
England were thrashed 4-0 away from home in 2017-18 and then saw Australia retain the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001 despite being held to a 2-2 series draw this year.
Skipper Root was in fine form as the hosts secured that stalemate on Sunday, bowling and fielding superbly in a 135-run success at the Oval.
Despite criticism of his role as skipper following England’s defeats earlier in the series, Root is determined he can be at the forefront of the next Ashes in 2021-22.
“I’m very much driven towards that,” he said. “We’ve got two and a half years to prepare well for it.
“It’s going to be a real focus for English cricket to make sure we do everything we can to be in the best possible space for that.
“I want to be at the front of that, I want to be at the front of this team as, hopefully, the man to bring the Ashes back to England.”
Nothing to separate the sides after an incredible series
Congratulations to Australia on retaining the Ashes pic.twitter.com/XPml8EbIE8
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 15, 2019
Sunday’s victory over Australia was Trevor Bayliss’ last match as England coach and Root paid tribute to the man who led the ODI team to their first Cricket World Cup triumph.
“Trevor is brilliant. He’s added so much, he’s obviously added a huge amount to this Test team,” Root said. “He’s been involved in some fantastic series wins both home and away – and what he’s done for white-ball English cricket is phenomenal.
“He’s very much valued in the dressing room, he’s got a great sense of humour, he’ll never give you anything.
“We all played for him this week and we’re really pleased to send him off in great fashion.”
Root added of Bayliss’ relationship with Ben Stokes, England’s player of the series and World Cup hero: “Over a period of time, you get very strong relationships with players and coaches.
“I think those two have gelled very well. There’s a good element of banter between the two of them, they enjoy taking the mick out of one another, and there’s a huge amount of respect as well.
“That counts for a huge amount. Trevor’s done wonderful things and allowed guys like Ben to go and play in their way, to not be afraid to go and express themselves.
“Look where he is now and at his development over a four, five-year period. He’s now one of the world’s best all-rounders. It’s one of the small things Trevor has done for English cricket.”