Hard work starts for our Ashes hero Root after indifferent form

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The job has been done, the Ashes have been retained - and the hard work begins now for England opener Joe Root.

The 22-year-old remains the fifth highest run scorer in the series, from both teams, with 260, as England go into the final Test at the Brit Oval holding an unassailable 3-0 series lead.

But Root has struggled to replicate the form that saw him score a magical 180 at Lord’s, and the England hierarchy will be keen to avoid any flaws in the young Yorkshireman’s technique being ‘found out’ and exploited by Australia’s pace bowlers.

Root’s place in the team is not under threat, and he is likely to partner Alastair Cook in both the final Test of the summer, and Down Under later this year.

But having promoted Root to opener, at the expense of Nick Compton, England’s backroom staff are confident that scores of 8, 13, 16 and 2 in the last two Test matches will not damage the confidence of one of cricket’s brightest young stars.

“England should persevere with Root as an opener,” former England captain Nasser Hussain insists.

“But he needs to start transferring his weight on to his front foot.”

The fifth Test begins next Wednesday, August 21.