England skipper is hoping for big things from his team this winter after showing some toughness in the two summer series
JOE ROOT ended his first summer as Test captain with a victory and the words: “We can do something special in the Ashes.”
Root won five of his seven Tests in charge and England’s nine-wicket triumph in the Investec Third Test at Lord’s gave them a 2-1 series win over West Indies.
Their next Test will be against the Aussies in Brisbane on November 23.
Root said: “Plenty of challenges lie ahead but we have a great opportunity.
“We have done some good stuff this summer and we should not be afraid of going to Australia and doing something special.
“We have all the attributes to go there, put in a strong performance and get good results. But it is important we use the next period of time wisely.
“We must start preparing well now so that, when we get to Australia, we’re already one step ahead of where we might have been.”
England were embarrassingly whitewashed 5-0 on their last Ashes tour in 2013-14 but regained the little urn at home in 2015.
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Root added: “We’ve played some really good stuff this summer and most pleasing was the resilience and character we showed to come back from a couple of poor performances.
“If we have the same approach this winter, we’ll be in a good place.
“I’m very happy with the way the group is shaping up – a number of guys have stepped up and taken their games forward.”
The day after taking his 500th Test wicket, James Anderson went on to return figures of 7-42 – the best of his England career.
Root said: “Jimmy has shown that he is still desperate to kick on and do more great things in this game.
“He’s one of most skillful bowlers I’ve ever played with – he has such control and makes the ball hoop around.
“This summer has been unreal for him but I wouldn’t say I am surprised.”
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