Joe Root says ‘same mistakes’ cost England in their 275-run second Test defeat to Australia as captain says seamers should have bowled fuller and his fellow batsmen simply must do better to avert Ashes thrashing
Joe Root slammed England for repeatedly making the same mistakes as they crashed to a second Test defeat that leaves them on the brink of yet another failed Ashes campaign.
Only a defiant 26 off 207 balls from Jos Buttler before he somehow stepped on his own stumps delayed the inevitable as England were bowled out for 192 at Adelaide to seal a crushing 275-run defeat and a 2-0 deficit with three Tests to play.
And their captain, now under pressure for his position in the middle of what would be his third Ashes series in charge without lifting the urn, has called for a rapid improvement in the third Test in Melbourne to stave off the prospect of another 5-0 whitewash.
Joe Root said familiar failings again cost England as Australia won the second Test by 275 runs
Australia celebrate the winning moment as they beat England to take a 2-0 lead in the series
Australia can’t believe their luck as Jos Buttler stepped back and hit the stumps
‘We need to learn and we need to learn fast,’ said Root. ‘We can’t make the same mistakes we have done so far. We can’t keep missing opportunities and we need to find ways of building partnerships and making big contributions.’
The England captain refused to concede defeat in the Ashes even though his side will need a miracle if they are to win the three remaining Tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart, starting at the MCG on Boxing Day.
‘I’m very proud with how the guys fought today, the attitude and desire,’ said Root. That’s how we need to go about a whole Test match. We can’t just leave it until the last day and expect to pull off an enormous feat which is what it would have been.
‘We have to believe we can still win here. Jos was outstanding, supported by others, and if we take the attitude we had today I’m convinced we have what it takes to win Test matches here.
Root was struck below the belt by a Mitchell Starc ball, for the second time in hours
‘But we’re not going to do it if we keep missing chances and don’t give ourselves the chance to get into the Test with the bat.’
The key moment in England’s demise was when Root was dismissed by what became the last ball of the fourth day after twice being hit in the groin, once in practice before play and then by Mitchell Starc. And the captain blamed himself.
‘I was absolutely gutted last night,’ said Root. ‘I should have been able to turn up today, put the pads on and lead by example. I’m bitterly disappointed in myself.’
The clamour for changes will grow in the build-up to the nest Test, with England picking the wrong team for both the first Test in Brisbane and then this one.
The England captain was back at the Adelaide Oval for day five and signed autographs
The decision was taken to omit spinner Jack Leach despite favourable conditions at Adelaide
But Root refused to be drawn into the chances of a re-jigged batting line-up when he said: ‘We will think about it in the next few days. It’s probably not the right time to go into it all.’
Sir Alastair Cook, the man who preceded Root as England captain, criticised England’s selection which is now in the sole hands of coach Chris Silverwood and Root after the sacking of Ed Smith as national selector.
‘Ultimately England are ruing the fact they’ve made too many mistakes in these two games,’ said Cook on BT.
‘The fielding isn’t as good as Australia and the decision making off the field up to this point hasn’t been god enough. You can’t afford on a tough tour like this to make mistakes because it’s hard enough anyway. The players have as tough couple of weeks ahead now.’
Seamer Ollie Robinson stunned England fans on social media by bowling off spin in Adelaide
Robinson chose to start spinning around 20 overs into the fourth day of the second Ashes Test