England captain Joe Root has no doubt he is still the man to lead the side despite defeat at Old Trafford ending their hopes of regaining the Ashes.
Australia’s 185-run win in Manchester confirmed that they will keep the urn and left England to face up to the reality of surrendering the Ashes on home soil for the first time in 18 years but despite the disappointment, Root is keen to continue as skipper.
“Definitely, yes,” he said when asked if he felt he was the right man for the job.
2:36 England captain Joe Root praised his side's resilience but conceded that Steve Smith was the difference in their fourth Test defeat
“Whenever you lose a series it hurts and I have to take that on the chin. It’s still very raw. You have to look at areas you want to get better at, both in yourself and as a team.
“But I have been given a fantastic opportunity to captain the Test side and will continue to work very hard doing my best at that. That is in my control and I have to make sure I keep getting this team in the best shape to win as many games as possible.”
2:53 Catch up with the action from the fifth day of the fourth Test as Australia retained the urn
The hosts began the day 18-2 needing to bat out 98 overs to pull of an unlikely draw at a sold-out Old Trafford and Joe Denly (53) and Jason Roy (31) battled for 80 minutes before the latter was bowled by Pat Cummins.
Although Ben Stokes (1) was unable to repeat his Headingley heroics, Jos Buttler made a battling 34 off 111 balls, Jack Leach laboured for 12 off 54 and last man out Craig Overton spent just under three hours at the crease for his 21 off 105 balls.
England vs Australia
September 12, 2019, 10:00am
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“I thought we showed great character, fight and belief in what we wanted to achieve today,” Root said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the effort that the guys put in today.
“It was a resilient performance but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Like last week at Headingley we always believed and we try our hardest until the end.
“You always can sit back and look at different areas of the game where you could have done things differently but from today’s point of view I am really proud.
“When you’re in the position we were at the start of the day, the way the guys fought as hard as they did, you learn a lot about your team, it shows the character and everybody stood up and played bravely.”
4:38 England threatened to take the Ashes to a decider at The Oval, but Australia triumphed in Manchester to retain the urn
Despite the Ashes having already been won by Australia, Root believes there is plenty for England to play for with a draw in the series still possible and Test Championship points on the line.
The England captain added the dominance of the seam bowlers during the series was showing Test cricket at its peak.
“It is tough to take losing the Ashes at this stage but we need to make sure we pick ourselves up and turn up at The Oval,” he explained.
“It was another great Test match and it is bitterly disappointing and we have to make sure we pick ourselves up and turn up for what is still quite a big game for us at The Oval.
1:21 Steve Smith says he always wanted to bring the urn back to Australia and he was proud to have 'ticked it off his bucket list' following his side's Ashes win at Old Trafford
“We have seen some wonderful Test cricket over the course of this series so far and I expect the same to be the case at The Oval, it is still a big game for us. We want to make sure we level the series and there is a Test championship to play for as well.
“I think every seamer has put all batters under pressure throughout the series, bar Steve Smith. It has been hard work but that is Test cricket at its best.