Root battles illness to try and save England in 5th test
SYDNEY (AP) — Joe Root’s final day of the Ashes series was a miserable one in many ways after the England captain was admitted to hospital suffering from a stomach bug then saw his team soundly beaten in the last test against Australia to lose the series 4-0.
Root, unbeaten on 42 at stumps on Sunday, was unable to resume his innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground at the start of play on Monday after being taken to hospital that morning with vomiting and diarrhea, which team officials originally said was caused by severe dehydration, but later explained was gastroenteritis.
He did eventually come out to bat, taking his score to 58, but was too sick to continue so retired hurt then missed the post-match news conference.
“He’s not had any sleep, he’s not eaten,” England vice-captain Jimmy Anderson said. “I think the heat over the last couple of days has taken its toll.
“So to get to the ground in itself is a great effort and then to strap his pads on and bat for as long as he did was a brilliant effort from him and just shows what sort of character he is.”
Root arrived at the ground as play started Monday, still with a hospital identification band on his left wrist, but Moeen Ali took his place at the crease in partnership with Jonny Bairstow.
The England skipper resumed his innings when Ali was dismissed for 13 and batted through to lunch with Bairstow to guide England to 144 for five, raising hopes the tourists could bat through the last two sessions and force a draw.
However, a reoccurrence of symptoms prevented the skipper, who posted his fifth half-century of the series, from returning after the interval and England’s resistance quickly evaporated as Australia mopped up the tail to seal a lopsided victory by an innings and 123 runs.
“For us, you never want to hear that someone’s ill, it’s not a nice place to be,” said Australia captain Steve Smith, who was also named man of the Ashes series after stockpiling 687 runs at an average of 137.40.
“It took a lot of courage to come out and bat, you could see he was struggling a fair bit, particularly when he was running between wickets.
“He’s a tough character so he must have been in a pretty bad way not to come out after the break.”