But just days after sickness cruelly knocked him out of the last Test in Sydney, England’s skipper delivered a defiant message to his tormentors.
Root told them: “Enjoy it for two years because we’ll be ready for you when you come to England.”
And he vowed to be “in a completely different place talking about a completely different story” when England return Down Under for another Ashes battle in four years time.
Root, still not looking 100 per cent chipper, relived the nightmare that saw him rushed to hospital and so ill he couldn’t come out to bat again after lunch in England’s second innings.
“I fully intended to go back out, but I crashed on the bed and struggled to get off it,” he revealed.
“It was very tough. I was counting down the minutes to when I could come off and have a break. I was so exhausted. I had not slept for a day and spent all night throwing up.
“It was a sad way to finish the series because it felt like I could not really go out on my own terms. But you just have to take these things on the chin.”
Root will be Eoin Morgan’s No 2 for the next five one-day internationals with fire replacing sickness in his belly, especially as far some England players are concerned.
“I’ve got time going into the New Zealand series to get myself clear on how I want to move forward, and if the lads aren’t prepared to get onboard with that then we’ve got to go with something different,” he warned.
Root didn’t name names, but his Nice Guy image slipped when the off field shenanigans of some players during the Ashes series came up.
“I think I have been battle-hardened and a bit stronger within myself on this trip,” he said. “Hopefully that’ll show in the coming months.
“It has been made very clear what is acceptable and what is not, and it’s also been made very clear what will happen if that’s not followed. It will not be tolerated anymore.
“You know how to conduct yourself as an England player, and it has been made very clear what happens if you get that wrong. There will be no excuses.
“Because of what happened the external perception was of a team getting lashed up on a jolly boys tour, but that was not the case.
“Our job moving forward is to gain that trust back, and to show people that that is not what this team is about.”
That fightback started earlier today when England’s white ball squad went into battle with an Australian side still crowing after their Ashes triumph.
Captain Morgan stressed Root’s importance to England’s ODI chances, saying: “He’s a key part. He’s a very versatile player and can score at any strike rate that’s required. He’s very important to us.”
And leading from the front Morgan added: “We’re here to win, playing the way we play. That’s probably the most important part of our game: taking our game to the opposition and adapting.”