Ashes: Joe Root proud of England response to losing Ashes

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We tried absolutely everything to win - Root
Fourth Ashes Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground (day five of five)
Australia 327 (Warner 103) & 263-4 dec (Smith 102*, Warner 86)
England 491 (Cook 244*)
Match drawn
Scorecard

Captain Joe Root said he was proud of the way England responded to losing the Ashes by drawing the fourth Test in Melbourne.

England, who lost the first three Tests, had a strong chance of winning on the final day before Australia captain Steve Smith made 102 not out.

"To come off three difficult games and put in a performance like that is very pleasing," said Root.

"That is a fair reflection of what we are capable of as a team."

England bowled Australia out for 327 in their first innings, then posted 491, which featured an unbeaten 244 from Alastair Cook, the highest score by a visiting batsman at the MCG.

Australia were only 14 ahead on 178-4 at lunch on Saturday, but Smith combined with Mitchell Marsh, who made an unbeaten 29 off 166 balls, to bat for the remainder of the day on a flat, unresponsive pitch.

Australia had reached 263-4 - a lead of 99 - when the captains shook hands on a draw.

"We played very good cricket throughout the five days," Root told BBC Sport.

"It is frustrating that we have not managed to force a win. We did everything we could to do so on a very flat wicket that was not offering the bowlers very much at all."

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Pint-sized Ashes: Smith stars as Test is drawn

'We have to go one better in Sydney'

Australia regained the Ashes at the earliest possible opportunity with victory in the third Test in Perth.

The draw in Melbourne halted England's losing streak in Australia at eight matches. Never before had they lost nine in a row down under.

It also ensured that they will not lose 5-0, as they did in 2013-14 and 2006-07.

"Of course we didn't want it to be a whitewash," said Root, on his 27th birthday. "We came into this game fully excited about winning and making sure that was the main focus.

"It wasn't hard to get the guys in the right frame of mind for that. They had a lot of disappointment coming away in Perth.

"You could see the way they went about training that they wanted to prove a lot of people wrong and make sure that we got something good out of this tour."

Root has maintained throughout the series that England have been able to compete with Australia, but not for long enough.

They go into the final Test in Sydney starting on 4 January (23:30 GMT on 3 January) having failed to take 20 Australia wickets in a match.

"You can see that the desire is there," said Root. "We managed to take more wickets than them and score more runs in the first innings, so I am proud of the fact we have been able to do that.

"This will give the guys a lot of confidence, knowing we can get big scores and bowl Australia out on a very unresponsive wicket.

"We are a better team than we have shown on this trip, and this is a benchmark for us to move forward.

"We have to try and go one better in Sydney and get that win that we want."

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