Joe Root: Fourth Test draw a fair reflection of England’s capabilities
Captain Joe Root says England's response to losing the Ashes filled him with pride after they drew the fourth Test in Melbourne.
The tourists were denied a first win of the series after the impervious Steve Smith earned a draw for Australia by batting throughout the final day at the MCG to 102 not out.
Although victory appeared to be on the cards when England dismissed the Baggy Green's top order to put them on 178-4 at lunch, a draw means England will avoid a second consecutive 5-0 loss in Australia and a record ninth consecutive Test defeat Down Under.
England had compelled another typically resolute performance from Smith at the crease after notching a first innings lead of 164, thanks to Alastair Cook's unbeaten 244.
"I'm very proud of the way we went about it," said Root.
"To come off three very difficult games and put in a performance like that is very pleasing – that's what we are about as a side.
"It's a fair reflection of what we are capable of as a team. I'm disappointed that we couldn't quite crack it open today – and we tried absolutely everything. We have to try and go one better in Sydney and get that win we want."
England now travel to Sydney for their final chance to taste victory in the series. In order to do so, they will almost certainly have to prevent another large haul from Smith, who has only been out four times from 1,250 balls so far this series.
Root insists his team can still dismiss him.
"Especially when it moves, we are more than capable of doing it," he said.
"We’ve got to make sure we keep trying every option – and if it is a good surface to bat on, keep trusting what we do.”
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