Root defends Cook and Broad

Root defends Cook and Broad

England captain Joe Root defended his underperforming senior players after his team meekly handed back the Ashes to Australia in Perth on Monday.

Victory by an innings and 41 runs gave Australia an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series, but Root said the English had to be careful not to make hasty decisions based on this series.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen said one of the opening bowlers needed to be dropped, in an apparent reference to Stuart Broad who returned career-worst figures in Perth.

Pietersen's former English team-mate Ian Bell also suggested it was time for former skipper Alastair Cook to retire, having scored just 83 runs at 13.83 in this series.

However Root backed the pair, along with Moeen Ali and James Anderson, to continue to be important players for England.

"I'd like to think so," Root said when asked if Cook, Broad and Anderson would still be in the team in 12 months.

"They've got huge amounts of experience and they do offer a lot to the group and their performances over a long period of time speak for themselves.

England coach Trevor Bayliss had hinted that pressure may have got to some of the senior players in the Ashes, but Root dismissed the suggestion.

"They've been in situations where things haven't gone for them before and that's why they've played so many games.

"No reason they can't do that again.

"It's important we don't panic and make hasty decisions after three games."

Root leapt to the defence of his predecessor as national captain, saying he didn't think Cook was ready to retire.

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