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West Indies v England

Joe Root wants Ashes to serve as motivation for England ahead of St Lucia Test

Joe Root
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

England might have conceded the three-Test series against the West Indies within the first two matches, but captain Joe Root said they were determined to salvage pride by putting in a “really good performance” in the final Test in St Lucia.

England lost the first two Tests by massive margins of 381 runs and ten wickets respectively, but on the eve of the final Test, there were reminders in the dressing room about the team’s “special” achievements over the last few months, including the 4-1 victory over India at home and the 3-0 triumph in Sri Lanka.

“You have to accept that’s not good enough and look at ways to improve,” Root told Sky Sports. “One of the overriding messages is that we have done some special things in the last couple of months.

“We said we were going to do things differently this winter. We’ve gone to Sri Lanka and seen a huge amount of success. It has not quite worked for us here.”

England have just two Tests remaining before the Ashes begin on August 1. Root wants his players to use that as a “motivator” to step up in the final Test, and cement their spot in the squad.

“We have to pick ourselves off the canvas, come here and put in a really strong performance,” he insisted. “There is an Ashes around the corner – that should be a great motivator in itself for the guys to go out and really put in strong performances.

“As a side, we got to remember that development, that improvement since the start of summer: the big achievement being beating India at home and then going away and winning 3-0 [in Sri Lanka].

“It’s very easy to look at two performances and think we’re bottom of the pile again.”

Root himself is in the middle of a poor run of form – he has managed scores of 22, 4, 7 and 7 in the first two Tests – and he is desperate to put that right.

“It’s very easy to spend loads of time on individual aspects, but you have to be very honest with yourself and where you can get better,” Root told BBC.

“A lot of it comes down to a mental approach individually with the bat, and I think that clarity coming into this game is really important.”

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