Joe Root: 'Fight and desire' from fourth Test helped restore team pride

The tourists held on to secure a nail-biting draw in the fourth Test in Sydney.

After England claimed a dramatic draw in the fourth Test, Joe Root hopes the fight shown by the side helped to soften the blow from losing the series and restore some pride in the team.

Root's side stubbornly batted for the entire fifth day at the SCG, and ended up clinging on by the skin of their teeth, finishing on 270 for nine after James Anderson saw off the final over of the match.

Of course, no performance could hide the disappointment from the 12 depressing days of action that preceded the fourth Test, but it was certainly a much-needed show of grit from the tourists.

Zak Crawley, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow were all standout performers, with the trio all surviving for 100 balls or more. England's tailenders Stuart Broad and Jack Leach also deserve credit for their resistance, but it's Anderson who will take the plaudits.

Root - for once - didn't have to shoulder too much responsibility with a bat, and in fact fell for just 24 in the afternoon session. But, regardless of his performance, the team captain was delighted with his side.

"It's a small step forward. Coming into the game I spoke a lot about putting pride back into English cricket and into our Test performances," he said.

"I think the fight and the desire and the character shown here in these five days has done that in a small way. We never make it easy for ourselves do we?

"It would have been nice if all the work had been done by the top order, as you always want, but it doesn't seem to fall like that. We found a way to get it done today and it was very much a team effort."

After slumping to 3-0 down in the series, avoiding a 5-0 whitewash became top priority for England. They have at least now avoided repeating the disaster of 2006/07 and 2013/14.

When England were bowled out for a dismal 68 on the third morning of the Boxing Day Test, no such salvation seemed possible.

"It's hugely important, especially on the back of the previous Test which was a really dark day for English Test cricket," he said.

"It would have been easy to roll over and feel sorry for ourselves. The guys were trying to put some pride back in the badge and show how much they care about playing for England.

"We didn't win the Test match and were a very long way behind the game but we found a way to get a draw and that shows the character, the pride and the desire the guys feel when they put on an England shirt."

READ MORE: More Ashes woes for England as Stokes, Bairstow and Buttler sustain injuries

Latest news