Joe Root explains how watching Australian TV series has reignited Ashes desire

Joe Root's hunger to regain the Ashes has motivated him to get back into training after watching his Aussie rivals in their new TV documentary.

Root has not picked up a bat since his return from Sri Lanka as cricket and the UK moved towards a total lockdown.

But he has been keeping fit using a stationary bike at home as he continues to plot Australia’s downfall.

“I resisted watching it for a good while,” said England ­captain Root of the fly-on-the-wall series The Test.

“But it’s been a good motivator to get back and train, get back on the bike, use it as a way of incentivising myself.”

Conversations between Root, vice-captain Ben Stokes and head coach Chris ­Silverwood have long since started over the likely make up of what they hope will be an Ashes-winning side.

Stokes said recently: “The Ashes overseas is a really big time for us as a team and we’ve already started our planning into what the best team will look like. It definitely isn’t too dangerous to look far ahead – the World Cup took four years.”

Root is determined to use this time off the field to make sure that when they finally get back on, the building towards 2021-22 can get back on track.

“A lot of the things we do in Test cricket revolve around planning for the Ashes series Down Under,” said Root via video link.

“A lot of what we’re doing is about ­building for that ­series. We have around 17 to 20 games until we go down there and play, if all are played.

“We really need to use this time to ready ourselves to do ­something special down there because we know how ­challenging it can be.”

Root’s trips Down Under have been categorised by failure, unlike at home where he reeled off three of his hundreds in 2013 and 2015.

As a batsman it is the only place where he has played more than four matches and is yet to score a century. As a player it is the only place where he has been dropped from the team on the basis of performance, back on the 2013-14 tour.

And in nine Test matches in Australia, Root has lost eight, while as captain on the ­previous tour his final act was to spend the end of the Sydney Test asleep ­between bouts of illness brought on by a virus.

This is why Root is determined to take an arsenal of fast-bowling talent Down Under to hit the Aussies with the same sort of firepower they usually have and make it third time lucky as skipper, having drawn the home series here last year. “We’ve been trying to add different elements that will work in those ­conditions,” said Root.

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