AT THE KIA OVAL
ENGLAND vice-captain Joe Root believes Ashes success can prove the springboard for assuming the status of the world’s best team despite defeat in the final Investec Ashes Test yesterday tainting his side’s series win.
Australia salvaged some pride from the wreckage of a disappointing Test campaign by dismissing England for 286 in their second innings at the Kia Oval to win by an innings and 46 runs. England won the series 3-2.
Victory saw England move to third in the ICC Test rankings, while the next instalment in their bid to reach the summit comes against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates this autumn, followed by a trip to current incumbents South Africa. A 2-0 series loss against South Africa in August 2012 ended England’s year-long reign as the top Test team in the world, although Root insists a return is within range.
“We are improving very quickly and we are very hard to beat when we are at our best,” said Root. “If we can continue that trend then we have a very good chance of being one of the best sides in the world, if not the best side.”
England coach Trevor Bayliss, meanwhile, hinted that struggling opener Adam Lyth is set to face the axe after averaging just 12.77 against Australia.
“Adam hasn’t scored the amount of runs he would have liked,” said Bayliss. “I’m sure he will play again at some stage.”