England still massively in Ashes series after defeat – Root

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Fightback gives England confidence – Root

Captain Joe Root says England can turn the Ashes series around despite going 2-0 down with defeat in the second Test in Adelaide.

England had an outside chance of a remarkable victory on the fifth day, but lost six wickets for 57 runs as Australia won by 120 runs.

“We have shown in the first two Tests that we can outperform Australia,” said Root.

“The belief is there. We’re still massively in this series.”

Australia will regain the Ashes if they win the third Test in Perth, which starts on 14 December.

England, who resumed on 176-4 in pursuit of 354 – what would have been their highest fourth-innings chase in Tests – were bowled out for 233 inside the first session.

Beaten by 10 wickets in the first Test, they have now lost seven consecutive matches in Australia, having been whitewashed 5-0 in 2013-14.

However, Root said he would “strongly disagree” with any suggestion that this tour is going the same way as four years ago.

“We’re playing better cricket this time,” said 26-year-old Root. “We’re more evenly matched than we were last time around.

“The two games have ebbed and flowed and we have been in control for periods of them. That wasn’t the case last time.”

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‘We didn’t do ourselves justice’

England’s defeat in Adelaide was a result of a poor showing in the first half of the match.

After sending Australia in to bat, disappointing England bowling allowed the hosts to amass 442-8 declared, with the tourists then slumping to 142-7 in reply.

England recovered to 227 and, after Australia opted against enforcing the follow-on, the tourists utilised the pink ball under the floodlights to bowl Australia out for 138.

Although Root’s unbeaten 67 on the fourth day gave England hope of an unlikely chase, he fell in the third over on the final day without adding to his score.

“I can understand why our supporters would be frustrated and disappointed, because that’s how I feel,” said Root.

“I don’t think we did ourselves justice today or in the first innings.

“We could have batted a lot better in the first innings and on the first morning we could have bowled fuller. Those two areas are where the game went in Australia’s favour.

“The way we responded with bat and ball in the second innings was outstanding and we showed character. Now we have to do it over five days.”

Josh Hazlewood removes Joe Root<!–

Josh Hazlewood removed Chris Woakes and Joe Root inside the first 17 deliveries on the final day

Batting more disappointing than bowling – Bayliss

In four innings across the two Tests, England’s highest total is 302, while James Vince’s 83 in Brisbane is the highest individual score.

“The batting is probably most disappointing,” said coach Trevor Bayliss. “It is something new for a lot of the guys to be at this level, with this amount of scrutiny and intensity.

“To put pressure on the opposition, you have got to score more than 220.

“All of our players have competed at different times and have showed they can bat. They have got to do it for longer and have to find a way to keep concentration.”

Australian Bayliss, who said he can see no reason to change the team for the third Test, said he had spotted “frailties” in the home side which England can “exploit”.

He added: “They have had a couple of guys score hundreds, their spinner, Nathan Lyon, has been outstanding, but they are certainly beatable.

“Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh have scored hundreds, but a lot of the other guys are in the same category as us – only making scores between 20 and 50.

“Our guys have confidence that they have a better idea of where to bowl to them.”

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England still massively in Ashes series after defeat – Root

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