Joe Root says England still 'massively' in Ashes, rues first-innings display in Adelaide
"We showed a lot of character and that's what you want to see in series like this. We just need to find a way of doing it for longer and doing it over five days. We are still massively in this series."
Last Updated: 06/12/17 6:44pm
Joe Root says England are still “massively in the series” despite tumbling to defeat to Australia in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide.
Mitchell Starc finished with figures of 5-88 as England, who began day five on 176-4 chasing 354 for an unlikely victory, were shot out for 233 to lose by 120 runs and slip 2-0 down with three games to play.
Root's 67 had given his side hope after James Anderson (5-43) and Chris Woakes (4-36) had skittled Australia for 138 - but the England captain says shipping a first-innings lead of 215 proved critical and he was left frustrated by the tourists' early efforts with bat and ball in the day-night Test.
Ruthless Australia take 2-0 lead
Australia took six wickets in just under a session to blow England away and secure a 120-run victory in Adelaide.
"I definitely thought we could have batted better - that margin is far too great - and we could have bowled fuller on the first morning when it was definitely doing plenty," Root, who elected to bowl after winning the toss, said at the post-Test press conference.
"Those two areas are where the game went in Australia's favour.
"The way we went about things in the second innings proved we are still massively in this series - we have shown we can outperform Australia but we haven't done it for five days. That's going to be our challenge."
Root and Dawid Malan (29 from 80 deliveries) dug in to thwart Australia's attack under the lights on day four, before Malan was bowled by a beauty from Pat Cummins shortly before stumps.
Root says he is proud of the "character" England showed and has now urged his players to perform like that for longer in the third, must-not-lose, Ashes Test at the WACA from December 14.
"It's obviously very disappointing [to lose]," added the 26-year-old, who snicked Josh Hazlewood behind from the 17th ball on day five.
"I thought the way we responded with ball and bat in the second innings was outstanding, especially the way we played last night (Tuesday) in those conditions.
"That showed a lot of character and that's what you want to see in series like this. We just need to find a way of doing it for longer periods of time and doing it over five days as if we perform to our ability we will win games.
"The belief is still there - I don't think we are in a situation we were the last time we were here."