‘Yes, we can win. We have lots of mo­men­tum for the Ashes’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Cricket -

How did your team-mates mark your 500? Are you still wait­ing for them to buy you a drink?

We had a beer in the dress­ing room af­ter the fi­nal day at Lord’s. It was a spe­cial night for a num­ber of rea­sons. We have never had a se­ries fin­ish at Lord’s be­fore. We had all the fam­i­lies in the dress­ing room af­ter the game, which was very spe­cial. My dad was ab­so­lutely thrilled. He had never seen the honours board be­fore so his eyes lit up, he was like a kid in a sweet shop. We had a leav­ing present for Ot­tis Gib­son and Blow­ers came up and said a few words. It was a re­ally nice mo­ment and capped off a spe­cial sum­mer.

Joe, how do you re­flect on your first sum­mer in charge and that dec­la­ra­tion at Head­in­g­ley?

There was a bit of re­lief when we hit the win­ning runs in the last Test. Ul­ti­mately I tried to win the game at Head­in­g­ley. We pride our­selves on tak­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to win when we have them. The thing that stands out was, OK the pitch might not have per­formed as it might but we did not take our chances or bowl as well as we did in the last and first Tests. As cap­tain you are held re­spon­si­ble for good times and bad but I have a fan­tas­tic dress­ing room of guys des­per­ate to take the team for­ward. What was he like as cap­tain?

He is a very dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter to any other cap­tain I have had. He is very laid back. He took that into his cap­taincy. On the field he is quite happy to chat through ideas and he will also lis­ten. That stood out. He lis­tened a lot and tried to take as much in from every­one. He will still ad­mit he has a lot of learn­ing and im­prov­ing to do but that is the same with any cap­tain af­ter seven games.

What has he got to learn?

More about back­ing your gut feel­ing. Af­ter the Head­in­g­ley Test he doubted him­self af­ter mak­ing that dec­la­ra­tion. You could see how dis­ap­pointed he was af­ter the game. He was won­der­ing if it was the right de­ci­sion. But the way he wants to play is to be pos­i­tive and if there is a sniff of win­ning he wants to take that op­por­tu­nity. I think with ex­pe­ri­ence he will un­der­stand that it was the right de­ci­sion. It is ir­rel­e­vant what any­one else thinks. We thought we could win the game and if we get in that sit­u­a­tion again I hope that ex­pe­ri­ence will help him in a pos­i­tive way not a neg­a­tive one.

‘He is very dif­fer­ent to any other cap­tain I have had. He is very laid back’

As cap­tain Joe, you must know what awaits in Aus­tralia. They al­ways look to take down the top dog.

Yes. Quite pos­si­bly. That is part of tak­ing on a more se­nior role. Be­ing cap­tain that is one of the things you have to han­dle. I feel I am a dif­fer­ent player to when I last toured there. We can win the re­spect of the Aus­tralian public and you only do that by prov­ing them wrong and putting in strong per­for­mances.

There is so much cricket on tele­vi­sion so they will have a very good idea where to bowl at Joe and sim­i­larly Joe will know where he is go­ing to be tar­geted. It is down to Joe and all the play­ers to have plans in place to cope.

Do you buy into this new im­age for David Warner? They call him the Rev­erend now be­cause he is such a changed char­ac­ter.

We will have to wait and see. Ashes cricket does funny things to you so we will see how he goes about things. It is not a con­cern of mine. We have to make sure we look af­ter our­selves and are ready for what­ever is thrown at us.

Do you ex­pect him to be saintly on the field?

He is a very com­pet­i­tive guy, very pas­sion­ate when he plays for Aus­tralia. I ex­pect him to play com­pet­i­tively. I can’t read his mind and say how he is go­ing to be­have on the field.

Can Eng­land win?

Yes we can win. We have come a long way. We showed a lot of char­ac­ter in the sum­mer to come back from two dif­fi­cult de­feats and man­aged to gain a lot of mo­men­tum go­ing into this win­ter. We have a good mix of ex­cit­ing young play­ers and good ex­pe­ri­ence. We have guys who have been there and won. We have an Aus­tralian coach who knows the cul­ture and dif­fer­ent con­di­tions.

What has Trevor Bayliss said so far?

He has tried to make sure we get our heads around what it is go­ing to take to win there. It was re­ally ex­cit­ing to lis­ten to him talk­ing about it like that and you could see he is re­ally pas­sion­ate to go there and win.

When do you start fo­cus­ing on the Ashes?

Ev­ery time you are in­volved in an Ashes se­ries as soon as it fin­ishes at the back of your mind you start think­ing about the next one. Of course you think about walk­ing out at Bris­bane for the toss or play­ing in front of 90,000 at the MCG, singing the na­tional an­them. Things like that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. I have ex­pe­ri­enced Ashes cricket be­fore in Aus­tralia and hope­fully I will be able to say we have done some­thing spe­cial and got suc­cess in Aus­tralia.

Do you see any par­al­lels with when Eng­land won the Ashes in 2010-11?

We have got good depth, cer­tainly in the bowl­ing. We have got match win­ners in our team and that is what we had in 2010-11. Then we had Cook get­ting runs, Kevin Pi­etersen, Paul Colling­wood and Graeme Swann. We now have Root, Stokes, Broad; peo­ple who can win games for Eng­land.

Jimmy An­der­son and Joe Root were speak­ing on be­half of BRUT, the men’s groom­ing brand. Find out more @Brut­for­men

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