Captain Root was blunt about his team’s failures during the second Test defeat
Australia batted first and racked up 473 runs, liderado por Marnus Labuschagne’s century, before declaring and then toppling England for 236. The hosts eventually won by 275 runs to take a commanding two-match lead in the five-game series.
Speaking after England’s second-innings resistance finally broke on day five, captain Root was blunt about his team’s failures, saying they failed to find the right length and bowled too short on the first two days, lacking enough threat to the stumps.
“You’re trying to find what’s going to exploit the conditions,” Root said, reflecting on the day-night Test which concluded under floodlights. “It’s not just the wicket, it’s the ball, the lights, and it probably didn’t behave as we thought it would. I saw a stat that this was the least amount of movement at this ground for years, that’s something we didn’t anticipate.
“But we didn’t get the right length, we weren’t brave enough to bowl it up there. You look at the second innings, once we pitched it up we caused a lot of problems and created chances.”
Giving his reaction, former England captain Alastair Cook told BT Sport: “Ultimately England are ruing the fact they’ve made too many mistakes in these two games. The fielding isn’t as good as the Australians. The decision-making, I’d say, off the field, hasn’t been good enough. And you can’t afford, on a tour like this, to make mistakes.”
Former England wicketkeeper Matt Prior added: “Your immediate reaction is disappointment, because England have just lost a Test match, a very important Test match. This is the one they were targeting to win. This was their chance to get on the board and it’s not to be.”
Assessing what positives the team could take, Prior added: “[Jos] Buttler, his resilience today. It’s been such a tough game for him as an individual. He wasn’t batting for his place or himself, he was trying to do a job for the team. He’ll take a huge amount from that.”
England go to Melbourne next for the traditional Boxing Day Test match trying to keep the Ashes alive.
Root said: “You look at the second innings, that’s the attitude and the desire – that sort of mentality is how we’re going to have to go and play for the rest of this series, which we’re more than capable of doing. It’s frustrating because I know we’re good enough to do it and we’ve just not managed to do it so far.”