Root seeks victory in milestone Test
Joe Root will become England’s record Test match captain when he leads the team for the 60th time at the SCG in the fourth Test.
But he has said he is more interested in seeing England finally perform to their expectations.
Root equalled predecessor Sir Alastair Cook on 59 games during the Boxing Day rout in Melbourne.
The achievement was overshadowed by England losing the Ashes. The spectre of COVID-19 has since added to anxiety and ruling head coach Chris Silverwood out of the Test.
Root is well aware that only a vast improvement by his side would allow him to truly enjoy the moment.
“I’m immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to do this. That’s not wavered from day one and it won’t until it finishes, whenever that is,” he said.
“I’m very passionate about playing for England, then to captain England as well is a huge honour. All I ever want to do is try to get the best out of the group, to see us perform and play at a level everyone back home is proud of.
“It’s hurt me deeply that we’ve not managed to do that on this trip and I’m desperate for us to put in those performances. I really care about the role and it would be nice to finish this tour off in a much better way.
“I’d love to be able to walk away here, more than anything, with a win. Personal goals make you proud and it means you are pulling your weight and giving your team a good chance of winning, but nothing compares to winning a Test match and I’m desperate to do that.”
The SCG has bad memories for Root.
As well as suffering from a bout of gastroenteritis here four years ago as a 4-0 series defeat was wrapped up, it was this ground where Root was dropped for the only time by England in 2014.
It is a moment that has never left him and one he has been passing on to his struggling team-mates.
“It’s important if guys haven’t been in that situation before and haven’t had to deal with that, you share your own experiences,” he said.
“I remember being left out, how upset I was…how angry I was. You learn lessons from that. They are some of the conversations you need to have. Sydney is obviously a special Test match.
“You look at some of the performances in previous tours…you look at 2010/11, winning here and how special that was. That will live long in the memory of fans and players.
“It was here Goughy (Darren Gough) got a hat-trick. It’s a venue where a number of special things have happened for England players and it’s an opportunity to do just that.”