The urn returns: England ‘outplayed’ by Australia as Root loses grip on the urn
Joe Root acknowledged that England have been totally outplayed by Australia after they surrendered the Ashes urn in Perth on Monday.
Australia won the third Test at the WACA by an innings and 41 runs, Steve Smith’s double-century as part of a 301-run partnership with Mitchell Marsh propelling them to an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.
That union outstripped Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow’s 237-run stand in England’s first innings as the top order continued to struggle, Josh Hazlewood claiming eight wickets across the match as the hosts’ pace attack once again proved too much for the tourists to deal with.
Skipper Root acknowledged the tourists were unable to match their hosts and called for rapid improvement as they look to avoid succumbing to a whitewash with a result in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
“It is very difficult to take. Fair play to Australia, they’ve outplayed us in all three games and we’ve got to be better,” said Root at the post-match presentation.
Australia take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the #Ashes.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 18, 2017
“That partnership [between Malan and Bairstow] and the way those two played to get us into that position was outstanding. Those two lads should be really proud of that effort.
“We’ve got to learn from it, we’ve got to make sure we’re better. But there are some good things that have come from this week.
“I think those guys putting in big performances under pressure like that was outstanding. I think the way Vincey [James Vince, who scored 55] played in that second innings as well was proper batting. He played exceptionally well and I’m sure he’ll take a lot of confidence from it.
“We’ve got to make sure we go to Melbourne, prepare well, and put in a really good performance.”
Rain initially threatened the final day of play and Root was believed to be unhappy with a push to commence the action, though he stated after the match he was content with conditions.
He added: “When we got here this morning it definitely wasn’t fit to play. It obviously dried up as the sun got to it and the wind got to it … and I think by the end there it was probably fit to play.”