Final Ashes Test is not a time to lick wounds – England must win for Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and the fans – Ben Stokes

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It is the final international match of the summer and while we are disappointed as a team we didn’t manage to get those Ashes back – this is not the time nor the place to lick our wounds.

The World Test Championship makes sure there are no dead-rubbers at the end of a ­series, but I don’t think there is such a thing in any case when England play against Australia.

Every Test is special in its own right and we’ve got the chance to actually draw this series.

We don’t want Australia to go back saying they’ve won the Ashes. They might have retained them because of the results they got at home, but to deny them a win in our backyard would take some of the gloss off and be something for us.

It is also Trevor Bayliss’ last game in charge and we’ve got the chance to finish his stint as an undefeated coach in Test ­series at home which would be a great feather in his floppy hat and well deserved. But above all that, there is something ­fundamental about this week that is driving us.

Stokes (centre) speaks highly of England captain Root (right)

The whole country has been enthralled by cricket this ­summer and we’ve got one more chance to deliver for them.

People will be looking at us and wondering, well, the Ashes have gone but what does it still mean to us?

There will be people looking at our attitude and wanting to see what we’re made of. So you can rest assured that we will be right up for this game.

You’re playing for your ­country. You’re representing yourself, your family, your team and all those people who pay good money to turn up and watch you, not to mention all those people who care about cricket who are following the game and are willing you on.

If that is not enough to get you up, what is? The second innings at Old Trafford showed the sort of character we have in the ­dressing room. We made life as tough as we possibly could for the Australians.

Bayliss is also overseeing his final England match

It is frustrating that we have found ourselves behind the game so many times in this ­series and sometimes you have to give credit to the opposition for how well they have played.

But there is a lot of resilience in our side and we’ve fought as hard as we possibly could all ­series and on occasions it was good enough to come out on top. Just not often enough.

There have been a few ­questions about Joe Root and his captaincy after Old Trafford, but as far as I’m concerned he is not only the best man for the job, but this summer will end up being an important part of what goes on to make him a great skipper.

You don’t learn a huge amount when things are going ­swimmingly, you learn in ­moments of adversity and when you are challenged.

How do you respond to ­getting knocked backwards? I know Joe very well and I know he is someone who rises to a challenge and finds solutions to problems. He will have learned a heck of a lot this summer and will look back on it as a period that helped shape him.

Stokes says Root and England will learn from the Ashes series

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He puts in a huge amount of work behind the scenes to make himself and the team better.

It is a team effort and we haven’t done enough as a group together to be successful, and yet he will take most of the flak because he is the captain.

He is a strong-minded ­individual with an incredible amount of passion for the job and will continue to get better.

As a batsman he puts in the same amount of work on that side of things that he always has and he focuses like a batsman when he is batting.

Like anyone, he can have a run of poor form, that is part of the game and he will come through it. They say form is ­temporary and class is ­permanent, and Joe is all class.



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