Joe Root 'prepared to fight' for England despite low blow on day four

England suffered late on as Joe Root went out to the last delivery of the day, but their chances of catching Australia aren't the only thing bruised after Root's low blow.

England ended day four of the second Test on 82/4, with captain Joe Root being dismissed by the last delivery of the day.

It followed a darkly comic chain of events which saw Root struck in his groin twice - once in the pre-match warm up and then again by Mitchell Starc's 85mph delivery towards the end of the session.

He battled on and gingerly returned to guard, before he was eventually out for 24 from 67.

Root's dismissal followed Dawid Malan, Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, with the latter departing with zero from six.

Without Root, responsibility has now fallen on Ben Stokes to chase the remaining 386. Barring another Stokes rescue mission, it seems a second loss is looming.

After the match, England's bowling coach Jon Lewis commented on Root's bravery, hailing the skipper for continuing despite clearly struggling.

"There was no doubt in Joe's mind that he was batting, he's the captain of England," said Lewis.

"He wanted to go out there to bat, to show people what a great player he is and what a great leader. It's painful, he was hit there this morning, had to go off to hospital for a scan and wasn't in great shape.

"But Joe's a strong leader, he showed a hell of a lot of character to get out there and fight because I know he was pretty sore. When he was hit again he could easily have walked off and had a nightwatchman come in.

"But to stay out there? That's the character of the man and what it means to him to be England captain. He wants to show how hard he wants to fight, and how hard he's prepared to fight to get back into the game."

Lewis also took the time to reflect on losing Root in the last ball of the day, and emphasised just how much of a setback it is for England.

"Any time one of your best players gets out, the team takes a bit of a knock. It's a big, big ask but we will put the effort in and fight," said Lewis.

"What you have to understand and believe is that the rest of the guys will fight as hard as Joe would to to survive the game and get out with a draw.

"We've seen it before from Ben, who's done some really special things in an England shirt.

"I know he's just the same as Joe and he will be fighting as hard as he can. The boys are coming up a bit short at the moment but we have another chance to show what we can do."

READ MORE: The Ashes: England lose Joe Root on last delivery as second Test defeat looms

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