England captain Joe Root does not have any doubt he is the guy to lead the negative at Old Trafford ending the hopes of regaining the Ashes regardless of defeat.
Despite the disappointment, Root is keen to last as skipper although australia win in Manchester left England to face up to the fact of surrendering the Ashes and confirmed that they will continue to keep the urn.
“Definitely, yes,” he explained when asked if he felt he was the perfect man for the task.
“Whenever you drop a string it hurts and I have to take that on the brow. It’s still quite raw. You have to look at areas that you need to improve at, both in yourself and as a team.
“But I have been given a fantastic chance to captain the Test side and certainly will continue to work really hard doing my best at that. That is in my hands and I have to ensure I keep getting this team in the best shape to acquire as many games as you can.”
The hosts began the day 18-2 having to bat out 98 overs to pull off an improbable draw in a sold-out Old Trafford and Joe Denly (53) and Jason Roy (31) fought for 80 seconds before the latter was bowled by Pat Cummins.
Even though Ben Stokes (1) had been unable to replicate his Headingley heroics, Jos Buttler made a fighting 34 off 111 ballsJack Leach laboured for 12 away 54 and final man out Craig Overton spent just under three hours at the crease because of his 21 off 105 balls.
“I thought we showed great character, fight and belief in what we wanted to achieve today,” Root said. “I could not be more proud of the effort the guys put in today.
“It was a resilient operation but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Like last week in Headingley we always believed and we try our hardest until the conclusion.
“You always can settle back and look at several areas of the sport where you might have done things differently but from today’s point of view I am very proud.
“When you’re in the position we had been at the onset of the afternoon, how the men fought as hard as they did, you learn much about your group, it reveals the personality and everyone stood up and played with .”
Despite Australia having already won the Ashes, Root believes there’s a lot for England to play for with a draw on the series and Evaluation Championship points on the line.
The England captain included this seam bowlers through the series’ dominance was revealing Test cricket at its summit.
“It is hard to take losing the Ashes at this stage but we will need to be certain we pick ourselves up and turn up at The Oval,” he explained.
“It had been yet another great Test match and it’s bitterly disappointing and we have to be sure we pick ourselves up and turn up for what is still a huge game for us in The Oval.
“We’ve seen some wonderful Test cricket on the course of this series so much and I expect the same to be true in The Oval, it is still a huge game for us. We need to be sure the string levels and there’s a Exam championship .
“I think every seamer has set all batters under pressure throughout the series, bar Steve Smith. It has been hard work but that’s Test cricket at its best.
“You expect it to be both hard and you also expect men to challenge your defence and make life hard for you. It’s been one of those summers where batting has been challenging and you have been required to work on your runs.”
Watch day among the final and fifth Ashes Test between Australia and England live from 10am on Thursday on Sky Sports The Ashes, September 12.