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Joe Root says England must follow Jos Buttler’s lead as they look to fight back in The Ashes; tourists 2-0 down with three to play after 275-run defeat in Adelaide; Sir Alastair Cook queries England’s decisions as they lose 11th Test out of 12 in Australia

Last Updated: 20/12/21 11:07am

Captain Joe Root lamented England 'making the same mistakes' as they crashed to a 275-run defeat to Australia in Adelaide

Captain Joe Root lamented England ‘making the same mistakes’ as they crashed to a 275-run defeat to Australia in Adelaide

Captain Joe Root lamented England “making the same mistakes” as they crashed to a 275-run defeat to Australia in Adelaide to leave themselves facing a herculean task to regain the Ashes.

Jos Buttler dropped anchor for 26 from 207 balls and Chris Woakes contributed 44 from 97 as England dug in on the final day in Adelaide before slipping to defeat in the final session.

England must now do what only one side has done previously – come back from 2-0 down to win an Ashes series 3-2 – and Root says Buttler’s resolve offers a “great example” moving forward.

The tourists have been dismissed for 147, 297, 236 and 192 in their four innings in this series and made a plethora of errors in the field, while Root also felt his side failed to bowl the right length as they followed a nine-wicket drubbing in Brisbane with another heavy loss in the pink-ball Test.

Speaking to BT Sport, Root said: “The reason it is disappointing is that we made the same mistakes.

“We could have bowled a lot fuller on the first day as in the second innings as soon as we got the ball up there we created all sorts of problems and chances.

“We needed to make Australia play more and we weren’t brave enough at times to get the ball up there and create those chances.

“With the bat, we need to be better, need to make bigger scores. Guys need to apply themselves better. Look at the second innings. That’s the desire, the attitude, the way we need to go.

“We are going to need to play with that mentality for the first of the series, which we are more than capable of doing. It’s frustrating as I know we are good enough to do it. We have just not managed to do it so far.”

Chris Woakes showed fight for England on day dive in Adelaide with a score of 94

Chris Woakes showed fight for England on day dive in Adelaide with a score of 94

England’s selection came into question for the second Test running as after omitting senior seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad on a green pitch at the Gabba, they left out their fastest bowler Mark Wood and frontline spinner Jack Leach on a dry Adelaide surface.

Root said: “It’s easy at the end of a match to sit back and look at how you could rejig things, whether it be selection, whether it be tactically within the game.

“Whenever you lose you always look at those things and it’s something we’ll address in the next couple of days ahead of the next game [the Boxing Day Test at the MCG].

“You are always trying to find ways of exploiting conditions and in these sort of environments it’s not just the wicket, it’s the ball under lights.

“It probably didn’t behave exactly how we thought it would. We probably thought there was going to be more movement but I don’t think we bowled the right length.”

Dawid Malan (pictured) and Joe Root are the only England batters to average over 30 in this Ashes series

Dawid Malan (pictured) and Joe Root are the only England batters to average over 30 in this Ashes series

Speaking to BT Sport, Root’s predecessor as England Test captain, Sir Alastair Cook, said: “Ultimately England are ruing the fact they’ve made too many mistakes in these two games.

“The fielding isn’t as good as Australia’s. The decision-making off the field hasn’t been good enough. You can’t afford, on a tour like this, to make mistakes.

“Hindsight is the easiest place to come from but we’ve gone into this tour saying they are going to be the best prepared England team.

“Yes, there have been some circumstances that they can’t have avoided, like the Covid situation, the weather they had.

“But they turned up to play the biggest Ashes game, which is the first one where you set the tone for the series, and played a bowling attack that had never played before.

“Where’s the planning? That’s the bit I found frustrating. It’s simple mistakes, avoidable mistakes.”

Buttler gave England an outside chance of salvaging a draw by playing his longest Ashes innings and the second-longest of his Test career, only to then tread on his stumps while facing Jhye Richardson.

Buttler’s exit left England nine down and Richardson then removed Anderson to condemn England to an 11th loss in 12 away Ashes Tests, with it now 4,000 days since they last won a Test in Australia.

Root said: “It was heart-breaking to see Jos get out like that because it was a wonderful performance from him.

“It’s a great example to the rest of the guys. That’s the determination, the desire that you need to go and win out here.

“For our whole batting group, I hope they look at that and we get a good positive response off the back of it because the way Jos has gone about things – his mentality, in particular – was outstanding.”

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