Bairstow: We owe Root and ourselves

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow told his team they owed both captain Joe Root and themselves to perform in the final two Ashes Tests.

The tourists are facing a whitewash against Australia after giving up the urn by falling 3-0 behind in the five-Test series.

Ahead of the fourth Test starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day, Bairstow - England's second highest run-scorer of the series - said his team needed to step up.

"We don't just owe him [Root], we owe ourselves as well," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"It's something that you don't come away and work as hard as we work to get nothing out of it at all.

"Without a doubt in these next two games, in our eyes it's a two-Test series now and that's exactly how we've got to look at it.

"We've got to go out there and try and win both of these Test matches."

England's veterans have faced plenty of criticism in the wake of the 3-0 series deficit, including opening bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Anderson (12 wickets at 25.83) and Broad (five wickets at 61.80) are yet to deliver as England would expect, but Bairstow backed the duo.

"You've also got to remember that those two guys that are opening bowlers for us are now the most successful ever seam bowling opening partnership that's ever played the game," he said.

"You can pick it to pieces and do whatever you wish, but the guys have some serious skills."

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