England Test captain Joe Root says watching the documentary series about the Australia team has helped motivate him for next winter’s Ashes.
‘The Test’ features footage from inside the dressing room and ends with Australia retaining the Ashes in England last summer.
Root, 29, said: “It’s been a good motivator to get back and train, use it as a way of incentivising myself.”
The Ashes in Australia are due to start in November 2021.
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England’s two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in March was called off after the first warm-up game and there will be no cricket in the UK until at least 28 May because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Root, whose side drew last summer’s Ashes 2-2, said of the documentary: “I resisted watching that for a good while. I’ve started watching the first few now.
“A lot of the things we do in Test cricket revolve around planning for the Ashes down under.
“It goes without saying the Test championship is very important and every game carries a huge amount of weight, with points collected trying to get into that final, but a lot of what we’re doing is about building for that one series in Australia.
“We have around 17 to 20 games until we go down there, if all our Tests between now and then are played.
“We have to use every single opportunity to build the team up to be absolutely ready for what those conditions throw at us, what Australia throws at us, on the field and off.
“We will really use this time to ready ourselves to do something special down there because we know how challenging it can be to play there.”
England are due to play home Test series against West Indies and Pakistan this summer before touring India in the winter.
Asked if England could reschedule their tour of Sri Lanka at the end of this year, Root said it would be “very difficult to work out” but England must be “very adaptable and open-minded”.
‘We’ve got to go day by day’
The prospect of not playing any cricket this summer has “definitely crossed my mind”, said Root, who has been Test captain since 2017.
“It is a possibility. But we have to try to stay optimistic. We’ve just got to be ready for whenever that opportunity to play again is.
“My wife hasn’t started giving me throwdowns yet. I’ve done a lot of fielding and given Alfie (Root’s son) a lot of throwdowns. He’s about 500-4 at the minute – it’s a bit of a flat track here.”
Root, who this weekend said he had become a patron of Sheffield Children’s Hospital, is trying to stay as isolated as possible during the pandemic – and enduring some of the everyday problems afflicting much of the nation.
“I’m taking this very seriously and trying to stay indoors as much as possible and avoiding contact at all costs,” he said.
“It’s pretty impossible to get online shops at the minute. We’ve had one booked for three or four weeks.
“We’re trying to be creative with our cooking and finding different ways of using what we’ve got in the fridge and not wasting anything.”
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