On Day 4 of the Fifth Ashes Test, which just so happened to be a day where Sydney was the hottest place in the world, Root first spent 176 minutes standing out in the field, followed up by 175 minutes batting at the crease as he grimly tried to save the test for the visitors off his own bat.
Anderson, who toiled away for 223.3 overs for 17 wickets during the series, said the tour outcome was galling for the team. "We've been on top in some games, if not all the games at some stage", he said. "We've just been able to get back on top in those key moments and not let them back in the game, which is crucial".
Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was accused of "headbutting" Australia opener Cameron Bancroft and Lions batsman Ben Duckett poured a drink over bowler James Anderson.
"We've known for a few weeks they're going to lift the (Ashes) urn, but I guess, seeing them do it in person is tough to watch", Anderson told reporters.
"After Perth, we were all bitterly disappointed as we had come over here thinking we could challenge Australia and to be three down after three Tests was not where we wanted to be", he said.
However, both he and another Ashes batsman, Dawid Malan, have been included in a tri-series that is the first of its kind and potentially the start of a new departure for global T20 cricket.
The skipper reached the ground in time for the start of play but out-of-form Moeen went out to bat in his stead, making 13 before nearly inevitably falling lbw to Lyon.
Should Root not return to action, England's hopes of escaping the final Test of the summer would appear all but over.
If England are serious about coming back here and winning in four years' time, the planning needs to start in the next couple of days. And leg-spinner Mason Crane, who made his test debut on the expectedly spin-friendly SCG wicket, went for 1-193, the most expensive figures by an England bowler in his first test.
"They've bowled in partnerships, bowled for one another and helped us take the 80 wickets we've needed to win the four Test matches".
Root's inability to convert any of his five half-centuries into hundreds continued a worrying trend for the skipper. We've not played well enough and they've deserved to win. The temperatures, conditions and game can be against you but you have to get stuck in.