(Reuters) - England captain Joe Root has backed his side to achieve “something special” at this year’s Ashes in Australia after they registered a second consecutive test series win at home with a three-day victory over West Indies.
A nine-wicket win in the third and final test against West Indies sealed England’s 2-1 victory under Root’s leadership following a 3-1 triumph over South Africa.
“I’m happy with the way the whole group is shaping up. Guys have stepped up and taken their games forward,” Root told the British media.
“There’s plenty of challenges ahead but, with those, is a great opportunity. We shouldn’t be afraid of going over there and, if we perform at our best, doing something really special.”
Root was particularly impressed by the team’s ability to dig deep following two second-test defeats during both South Africa and West Indies series.
“There were two difficult weeks, but what is most pleasing is the resilience and character to come back from both of those with two extra strong performances.”
While England are yet to announce the final squad for their Ashes defence starting Nov. 23 in Brisbane, coach Trevor Bayliss indicated they were unlikely to gamble on new faces.
“We are not 100 percent (sure) on who we want,” Australian Bayliss said. “But I am sure when we sit down in a week or two to discuss that squad from a batting point of view... batters that have played for us in the last 12-18 months.
“We are going there to win. We are not going to make up the numbers.”
England will next meet West Indies in a Twenty20 and five one-day internationals starting on Saturday.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty