Ashes 2021-22: Root calls for England Test overhaul but warns 'that won't happen overnight'

By Sports Desk January 16, 2022

Joe Root declared England must make decisive changes to their Test cricket programme following their Ashes humbling – but warned that things will not "change overnight".

Australia clinched a 4-0 series victory on Sunday after another batting collapse from the visitors saw them slump to a 146-run defeat in the fifth Test in Hobart.

England had looked in a promising position to claim a first win of the series after Mark Wood's career-best 6-37 helped to dismiss the hosts for 155 in the second innings.

Rory Burns and Zak Crawley mounted a good start as they chased a target of 271, but Cameron Green (3-21) sparked another rout.

The tourists proceeded to lose all 10 wickets for 56 runs as they were bowled out for 124.

It was a pitiful end to a dreadful series from England's perspective and another indication of their problems in the longest format.

They have won only one of their past 14 Test matches since last February and, when they return to Australia in 2025, it will have been 14 years since they last won an Ashes Test away from home.

Speaking to BT Sport, captain Root said: "A number of things have to change. In the short term, guys have to learn quickly. If you want to survive at this level, you have to learn quickly. What they are lacking is the opportunities to do that at the level beforehand.

"We need to sit down and have a clear look at what direction English cricket needs to take, what direction English Test cricket needs to take to improve and improve quickly. That is not going to change overnight."

He added: "It has been a frustration throughout. We have played good cricket in parts but not managed to string a whole game together.

"We have to learn from these experiences and get better, not come away and make the same mistakes. That is the challenge moving forward."

Australia skipper Pat Cummins, meanwhile, declared his side want to make their mark on foreign soil after a resounding victory.

"It is pretty crazy," he said. "As a professional cricketer, these are the series you have in your diary a couple of years out, so to come out with so many positives and winning 4-0, I am pumped.

"It feels like we are really building to something big. Now we want to share our wares overseas."

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    England training squad

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    Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), George McGuigan (Newcastle Falcons), Tom Pearson (London Irish), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Willis (Wasps).

    Backs

    Henry Arundell (London Irish), Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Will Joseph (London Irish), Louis Lynagh (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Harry Randall (Bristol Bears), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby).

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