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