Root hospitalised, will not start day five at the crease

STEVE Smith has implored selectors to keep the faith for next year's shot at drought-breaking Ashes history in the United Kingdom, starting with the backing in of Cameron Bancroft for the tour of South Africa.

Sydney:Australia ruthlessly extinguished England's resistance to claim an innings victory in the fifth Ashes Test and complete a 4-0 series rout on the final day in Sydney on Monday.

Then Steve Smith's mid-afternoon declaration put the onus on England to reveal a resilience which has been lacking throughout the winter and they formed no new habits on the way to 93-4, still 210 adrift, despite their captain's unbeaten 42 from 124 balls.

The moving ball has destroyed Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke's United Kingdom teams, but Smith believes he has a side fast proving they're capable to adapting to all conditions.

At lunch, England were 144 for five and trailing Australia by 159 runs with Root on 58 and Jonny Bairstow not out 38.

Despite looking in control for most of the series Australian skipper Steve Smith believes the defining moment actually came during the first day at the Gabba. I'm sure everyone will be looking at themselves in the mirror over the next few weeks.

The top two ranked sides are presently involved in their three-Test series, which concludes in Johannesburg on January 28, following which the Test team rankings table will be updated. We've actually played some good cricket along the way.

Bayliss insisted the 4-0 Ashes defeat, which was confirmed with this week's crushing loss in Sydney, had no bearing on a decision that had always been made and it had never been his intention to stay longer.

Anderson will be 37 during the next Ashes series, and in all likelihood has played his last global cricket in Australia. And leg-spinner Mason Crane, who made his test debut on the expectedly spin-friendly SCG wicket, went for 1-193, the most expensive figures by an England bowler in his first test.

However, the greatest challenge of all for Australian cricket over the past two decades has been defeating the old enemy in the UK.

At the close of play on a draining third day for the tourists, brothers Shaun and Mitchell Marsh were making merry in an unbroken 104-run partnership as Australia cruised to 479 for four.

"I told Andrew Strauss (director of England cricket) probably 12 months ago that September 2019 is when I'm contracted to and that would see me out", he said.

"His play against the spin today was really great, he used his feet really well, I think I saw a reverse sweep there at one stage so he's always evolving but he always looks like he knows his game really well".

England, trailing by 303 runs, couldn't get it going.

By the time they return to Australia in 2021, England will have not won a Test here in more than a decade.

However, the siblings further silenced the doubters after Shaun and Mitchell made it two tons apiece in the series as Australia reached lunch at 578-5, a lead of 232 runs.

"That's not how I'd want my players to go about things", Root said at the time.

  • Joanne Flowers