Root showed some real courage


Australia captain Steve Smith lauded the fighting spirit of his opposite number Joe Root who attempted to bat having come down with gastroenteritis overnight.

Root stopped his innings twice and when he departed for the second time and Jonny Bairstow was dismissed soon after it was pretty much all over for England in the Ashes.

The Sydney Test would end with Australia triumphing by an innings and 123 and taking the series 4-0.

Smith said at the post-match press conference: “I heard pretty early this morning when I got to the ground that he was unwell. I think he was in hospital at that point.

“We didn’t know what was happening. For us, you never want to hear someone to be ill like that. I was in that sort of spot last week, maybe not to the same extent, but it’s not a nice place to be.

“He showed some real courage to come out and bat for the period he did. You could see he was struggling a fair bit, particularly after he ran between the wickets. He’s a tough character and he must have been in a pretty bad way to not come out after the break.”

Pat Cummins was awarded the man of the match award for his eight wickets while Smith himself took home man of the series.

Smith praised his quicks as well as the support staff who kept them all firing.

Smith said: “So much went in to ensure those guys were right for this series. A lot of credit has to be given to the support and medical staff forgetting it all right and it coming together the way it did.

“It’s nice to have those options available. All those guys bowl a little bit different to each other but they all bowl with pace. It’s been great.”

Smith feels that his team were full value for their 4-0 win over the old enemy.

He told ABC: “It’s incredibly satisfying. It’s been a great couple of months. So much work goes in behind the scenes to ensure we’ve got the right side and we’re doing everything we can to win games of cricket. I think 4-0 is a pretty fair reflection of how the games have gone.”