Man of the match Cummins cleaned up England’s tail clinically after lunch on day five of the fifth Test, finishing with figures of 4-39 in the final innings of the series.
Root is seen as England’s last major hope of staving off a 4-0 series rout and was unbeaten on 42 at the close Sunday with Bairstow not out 17.
Alastair Cook became only the sixth player in history to pass 12,000 Test runs, but then succumbed to a perfectly-pitched Nathan Lyon off-break which pinned him on the back foot and turned past the outside edge to hit off stump.
‘I think that has been answered by Steve Smith, with the Australia captain having raced to 6,000 Test runs. “If you bring three or four young blokes into the team it will be a slower process as they learn what the global game is about”, he said.
“His play against the spin today was really great, he used his feet really well, I think I saw a reverse sweep there at one stage so he’s always evolving but he always looks like he knows his game really well”.
The hosts bowled England out for 180 to seal an innings-and-123-run win.
“I pretty much went for the high five and Shaun went for the hug”, said Mitchell.
With that in mind, the presentation podium in Sydney yesterday could not have been more appropriately conceived, for it showed an Australian hand with four fingers pointing skywards next to a clenched English fist, denoting the 4-0 scoreline.
James Vince survived a caught behind off Lyon on review on 15, but three runs later edged Pat Cummins to Steve Smith at slip. Only Starc and Hazlewood picked up five wicket hauls.
“In many ways the last few days have summed up our trip”, said England assistant coach Paul Farbrace. “We’ve just not capitalised on the key moments where if we kick on with the bat and get a big score in the first innings then we’ve put them under more pressure”, Anderson said after the Sydney defeat.
Mitch Marsh was bowled by the next ball he faced, delivered by childhood friend Tom Curran.
All-rounder Mitchell’s first test hundred came after he was called into the team for the third Ashes clash in Perth and was a reward for the hard work he did on his batting after his recuperation from surgery. – Shaun Marsh, speaking to ABC.
“The only thing that can prepare you for that is being in it and we’ve not dealt with those pressure situations well with bat or ball and that’s been the difference in this series”.
Starc slogged Moeen Ali for six and was out the next ball finding Vince at long on for 11.
England paceman James Anderson (1-56) toiled tirelessly and without luck after two decent lbw shouts were turned down by the umpire.
Apparently unmoveable at times, the cricket world’s most famous fidgeter was the inevitable choice as Player of the Series after a Bradmanesque 687 runs at an average of 137.4.There were six other centuries from Australians – two apiece from the controversially selected Marsh brothers – which was a reward, Smith said, for their patience.