Surrounded by under-performing specialist batters, Joe Root top-scored in both innings for England with 50 and 28, to finish the year on 1,708 runs in 15 test matches.

Only two players, Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 11 matches in 2006) and West Indies’ Viv Richards (1,710 in 11 matches in 1976) have scored more runs in a calendar year.

“I feel like I’m playing nicely at the minute,” Root said of his lone hand in England’s batting lineup. “I feel like my game is improving and I am evolving still as a player.”

Root said Australia’s bowling attack was outstanding on a helpful MCG pitch.

“You’ve just got to find a way to get through it sometimes,” Root said. “We need to put some pride back into the badge and we need to give people back home something to celebrate.”

Root said he was “really disappointed” for his bowlers, who had dismissed Australia for 267 in reply to England’s first innings of 185.

“They kept us in the game,” Root said.

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