England, in pursuit of the daunting target of 398, needed to bat the whole day to salvage a draw but their batting deficiencies were exploited quite effectively by Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon on a worn-out pitch.
The hosts were bundled out for a paltry total of 146 inside 53 overs in the post-lunch session with a rampant Lyon registering six wickets to help his side storm England's Edgbaston 'fortress' where they were undefeated over the past 12 games.
Lyon's stunning spell of spin bowling was in stark contrast to his England counterpart Moeen Ali, who was often guilty of leaking runs at an expansive rate.
Moeen's struggles with the bat have also done little to help his case for retention in the playing XI for England's next game against Australia at Lord's as Jack Leach, fresh from his batting heroics versus Ireland, is in line to replace him.
"With Mo, you've got to remember how threatening he can be and what an asset he has been to this team in the past," said Root.
"Whenever he's been written off before he generally comes back stronger, especially in English conditions.
"We've got to make sure we're very clear about we approach the next game and not make too many emotional decisions," he added.
Root hoped England could seek inspiration from their World Cup-winning campaign earlier this summer where they feared an early exit from the tournament before winning the last four games on the trot.
"Seeing emotionally how things changed throughout the World Cup is probably a good example to the group," Root said.
"Look at where things seemed to be after that Sri Lanka game, and where we finished up."
James Anderson was forced off the field on day one after bowling just four overs, burdening England's remaining four-man attack.
His selection in the team despite sustaining a calf strain raised questions over the selection gamble though Root was adamant that the veteran paceman had passed fitness tests ahead of the Edgbaston Test.
Asked if he was repentant for Anderson's inclusion, Root insisted: "No, not at all."
"He passed every medical test. He was fit to play.
"It's one of those freak scenarios where he pulled up -- because it's the same calf, we're not sure whether it's a slightly different injury.
"Jimmy in those conditions, if he bowls 15 overs, things could have been very different in the first innings in general."
However, with reports emerging of Anderson being ruled out of the second Test match, England's plan of fielding the country's highest wicket-taker in Birmingham backfired.