Joe Root admits 'England have something to build on' heading into the final Ashes Test

The England captain was encouraged by the fight and desire his side showed in the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. He now wants his men to show that same spirit as they look to win in Hobart.

The tourists, who have already lost the Ashes after losing the opening three Tests, put on a much-improved display against Australia during last week's match in Sydney.

While they may not stand a chance at claiming the series, England will be looking to at least end on a high when they take on the Aussies in the fifth and final Test.

Looking ahead to day/nigh clash, Joe Root has called on his men to replicate the desire they showed in Sydney.

He said: "On the back of three very difficult games where we underperformed, to come back and get something from the last game showed a great amount of character.

England's Ben Stokes ( Left ) and Joe Root walk off at lunch during day five of the fourth Ashes test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney. Picture date: Sunday January 9, 2022.

"There was an element of relief managing to get through those last few overs but the desire, the fight and the pride that everyone showed on that last day is something we have to harness.

"We have to play like that more frequently through the five days, not just on the last day when everything is on the line, but from ball one. We've proved to ourselves that we can do it, now can we take it a step further?

"Can we make sure we do it in a winning cause rather than just trying to save a Test match? We have something to build on, that's what we have to take from the last game and into this one."

In order to stand a chance of victory, England will not only have to overcome Australia but also find a way around their recent injury problems.

England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler heading home from Ashes with finger injury

Jos Buttler has flown home with a broken finger, with Sam Billings likely to earn a debut in his place, while Ben Stokes (side strain) and Jonny Bairstow (thumb) will need to prove their fitness over the next 48 hours.

The nature of their respective injuries mean the pair may need to function exclusively as specialist batters - leaving Stokes unable to bowl and Bairstow shelving his hopes of regaining the gloves - but Root has yet to commit to a final decision.

He added: "We have to assess how they pull up over the next couple of days. Certainly you can pick Ben as a bat, Jonny too. We have to see where they are at, what their bodies can handle.

"You have to trust the medical advice. Those guys work tirelessly to make sure we are in the best possible position to go and win games and sometimes that is making some difficult calls.

"We need to make sure they are physically in a place where they can get through five days of hard cricket. It's alright being fit to play but you've got to be fit to perform and that's what we've got to work out."

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