England captain Joe Root called upon his team to harness the "fight and pride" they showed in Sydney when the team fought to earn a draw in the fourth Test of the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 series and apply it from day one of the upcoming fifth Test in Hobart from January 14 onwards.
Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson battled it out to save the fourth Test in SCG as England finished the final day of the match with just one wicket to spare, despite all efforts from Australia’s Pat Cummins to dislodge the tailenders proving to be futile.
Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad batted out two tense final overs to deny Australia a fourth straight Test win in the lopsided series.
"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 and something definitely for us to build on moving forward," Root said.
"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, trying to get something from the game, but from ball one,” Root added.
Joe Root overtook Sir Alastair Cook as the most capped England Test skipper when he led the team out for the 60th time in SCG.
"We've proven to ourselves that we can do it, now can we take it a step further? That's what we have to build on, that's what we have to take from the last game and into this one,” he added.
England has been battling injuries ahead of this series concluding match with Jos Buttler already being ruled out with a broken finger. Jonny Bairstow was pinged on his thumb and Ben Stokes is battling a side strain. Ollie Pope, Dan Lawrence, and Sam Billings are being seen as replacements, with Billings being touted to make his Test debut in Hobart.
"We have to see where they are at, what their bodies can handle. We need to make sure they are physically in a place where they can get through five days of hard cricket. It's all right being fit to play but you've got to be fit to perform and that's what we've got to work out,” Root said about the injuries in England camp.