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Ashes 2019: Joe Root says England’s summer is a ‘huge success’ after levelling series

Media playback is not supported on this device Highlights: England wrap up 135-run victory to draw AshesEngland captain Joe Root said levelling the Ashes at 2-2 rounded off a summer that has been a “huge success” for English cricket. Victory in an amazing final saw England win a first World Cup in July. Though they…

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Highlights: England wrap up 135-run victory to draw Ashes

England captain Joe Root said levelling the Ashes at 2-2 rounded off a summer that has been a “huge success” for English cricket.

Victory in an amazing final saw England win a first World Cup in July.

Though they did not regain the Ashes, Ben Stokes inspired them to an astonishing win in the third Test and victory at The Oval ensured the series ended in a draw.

“What a summer of cricket it has been,” said Root.

England’s World Cup final victory over New Zealand came after a super over was tied, while, at Headingley, Stokes played one of the all-time great innings to lead the hosts to their highest ever Test run-chase, the final 76 runs coming in a last-wicket stand with Jack Leach.

“It’s been phenomenal,” added the Yorkshire batsman. “That World Cup was incredible, for it to finish how it did, made for fantastic viewing – not just the England games, but across the board.

“It was backed up by such an evenly matched Ashes series. We were blessed by brilliant support throughout and the cricket was pretty gripping. It was quite hard to be involved in at times, especially when we were on the wrong end of it.

“It has been a huge success for English cricket and a great opportunity to spring the game forward in this country.”

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Root takes sensational catch as England draw the Ashes

England’s defeat in the fourth Test at Old Trafford ensured Australia could not lose the series and would retain the Ashes.

However, defending a record that has seen them not lose a home series to Australia since 2001, England levelled the series with a 135-run victory at The Oval.

“A 2-2 score looks a hell of a lot better than 3-1,” said Root, who has failed to win either of his Ashes series as captain. “It’s probably a fair result.

“There have been times when we have been out skilled and we have been sloppy for the odd hour here and there, which has cost us, but we have always fought very hard.

“Hopefully that will be a massive stepping stone and starting point from where we can kick on as a team.”

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And Root repeated his desire to still be in charge when England try to win back the urn on the tour of Australia in 2021-22, saying he wants to be captain for the “long haul”.

“I’m desperate to take this team forward,” he said. “I’m in a very privileged position to be captain of the Test team and I’ll do everything I to can to get us very well prepared for going down there and hopefully doing something very special.”

‘Root is the man to take us forward’ – what they said

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England all-rounder Ben Stokes: “It was a weird feeling at the end. We are very happy with what we managed to do in this game but we still couldn’t win the Ashes.

“At the start of summer everyone was so excited with what we had ahead, now the summer has come to an end it has been incredible to be part of as a player.

“I don’t think you can ever look back and ask what if we’d done this or done that different. It has been a great series that has ebbed and flowed and that’s showed in the end result. I think it’s a fair result between two evenly matched and competitive teams as Ashes cricket always is and everyone has been treated to a great series.

“I’ll look back on Headingley in a few years’ time with fond memories probably, but I’d swap it for winning for the Ashes still.”

Asked if Joe Root is the right man to take England forward, Stokes said: “100%”

England bowler Jofra Archer, who was named man of the match after taking 6-62 in the first innings: “From the moment I have put an England shirt on it has been exciting cricket. I am glad we were able to draw the series. Jeez… bowling at Steve Smith was a task. I am glad to see the back of him. “

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “Steve Smith has been joy to watch. From where he was at Edgbaston, that first innings was special. His team were gone at 122-8 and the way he shepherded Peter Siddle and played with so much control. That was one of the great Test innings. He has been a joy to watch.

“With England, I think we might see a change in approach the Test team takes. Maybe the players will miss the one-day games if they are playing all three formats. The Test team needs a little bit of TLC and Joe Root is the skipper to take them forward.”

‘Best Ashes since 2005’ – what you thought

Jon Room on Twitter: World Cup. Super over. A quick check of the rules. The nut. Death and taxes. The day Tuffers was in. Headingley chase. Sir Benjamin Stokes. Broad to Warner. Series drawn. Jim and THE SHIPPING FORECAST. Thank you for the summer of cricket TMS.

Joe in Greece: Best Ashes since 2005.

Arthur Branch: What a summer of cricket – Stokes’ catch at The Oval versus South Africa, England’s semi-final win over Australia, Stokes’ heroics in the World Cup final, winning the World Cup after a super over, Headingley and a brilliant Ashes series ends 2-2.

Antony Butler: Goodbye cricket. I miss it already.

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