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Ashes success can set players up for life – Root

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Joe Root shares a joke with Harry Brook
Joe Root, left, has scored more than 2,000 Test runs against Australia at an average of 38.76

England’s cricketers can set themselves up for life if they have a successful Ashes series, says batter Joe Root.

The first men’s Test against Australia begins on 16 June at Edgbaston, with England set to field a number of players with little or no Ashes experience.

“If you’re successful, it can set you up for life, not just the rest of your career but beyond it,” said Root.

“It’s an opportunity to make history and have an incredible two months.”

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While Australia have won two of the past three Ashes series, they have not won a series in England since 2001.

The most recent contest down under was won 4-0 by Australia, who will begin this year’s Ashes as World Test Championship winners if they beat India in this week’s final.

England are on a run of 11 wins in their past 13 Tests.

Players such as Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Matthew Potts and Josh Tongue will be experiencing Ashes cricket for the first time, while Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Ollie Robinson have only played in one Ashes series away from home.

“There will be a lot more attention, noise and hype around it,” said 32-year-old Root, who has played in 29 Ashes Tests.

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“There will be people that might not normally be interested in cricket very interested in cricket for five or six weeks.

“It’s the same game. As soon as the bowler lets go of it, it’s you against the ball.

“Just go and play as you’ve been playing for the last 12 months. And when it goes well, enjoy everything that comes with it.”

‘IPL stint gives me best chance to succeed’

Joe Root in action in the IPL
Joe Root only played three IPL matches for Rajasthan Royals

Root, who passed 11,000 Test runs in this week’s victory over Ireland, prepared for the summer by playing in the Indian Premier League instead of for Yorkshire in the County Championship.

He only played three matches for Rajasthan Royals and batted just once, making 10 off 15 balls.

Root, though, believes he made the right decision to spend April and May in India.

“Championship cricket is the bedrock of our domestic game and I am not trying to bag it with what I say here,” said Root. “I am not saying it’s not important or a good standard.

“For where I am in my career, am I going to learn more about myself in that environment?

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“Am I really going to be prepared better for an Ashes series facing lower pace bowling on some nibbly wickets, when hopefully we will play on good pitches against high pace and a high-quality spinner? I don’t think so.

“I learned and experienced something new, talking and discussing the game with some of the greats, like Kumar Sangakkara and Brian Lara.

“I thought that not just for the Ashes, but the rest of the year, that would set me up best to perform well and get the best out of myself.”

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