England captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes
England captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes Image Credit: AFP

England’s Joe Root has vowed to continue as Test captain despite suffering a 4-0 mauling at the hands of Australia in the Ashes series.

England lost 10 wickets for 56 runs on Sunday to lose the fifth Test by 146 runs and surrender the series.

There have been increasing calls for Root to stand down as captain and concentrate on his batting, allowing someone with fresh ideas to take the helm.

But the only standout candidate for the role, Ben Stokes, said earlier in the series he didn’t want the job and threw his support behind Root.

Speaking after the demoralising loss in Hobart, Root was in no doubt he wanted to add to his record tally of 61 Tests in charge of England.

“I’ll admit it, we’re going through a really tough stage as a group,” Root said. “Our performance and focus haven’t been good, but I want the opportunity to turn things around. I honestly believe that I’m the best person to take this team forward, but if that decision is taken out of my hands, so be it. But I do have the appetite to carry on.”

Root said that no matter who was captain going forward, there needed to be a change of thinking in English cricket if the Test team was to improve.

“We’ve got a real opportunity to prioritise Test cricket and off the back of this make a real significant change to the game,” he said. “Let’s hope that happens.”

Root wouldn’t be drawn on what he thinks needs to change, but he said he would talk to administrators before the three Tests against the West Indies in March.

“I will express my views on things and about how we can make significant changes to the red ball game in our country,” he said. “So let’s see how things progress in the next few weeks.”