England talks up comeback after Second Test drubbing

Joe Root is convinced a humiliated England can conjure a Bradmanesque miracle and win the Ashes after going two-nil down.

Australia celebrates the dismissal of England's  James Anderson during its Second Test win at Adelaide Oval. Photo: AAP/Dave Hunt

Australia celebrates the dismissal of England's James Anderson during its Second Test win at Adelaide Oval. Photo: AAP/Dave Hunt

But Root says that can only happen if England learn in six days what they’ve had four years to study.

After being crushed by Australia in a 275-run defeat in the second Test in Adelaide, Root’s side must win the three remaining Tests to reclaim the Ashes.

Only one team has ever come from two-nil down to win an Ashes series: Don Bradman’s Australians in 1936-37.

“I don’t think that Australia are that much better than us in these conditions as the scorelines might suggest,” Root said.

Root said he was “fine” after being struck twice in the testicles on Sunday.

But he admitted frustrated this England team, which lost the first Test by nine wickets, hadn’t learnt the lessons from four years ago when Australia at home won 4-0.

“Four years ago we got it wrong and we didn’t learn from it,” Root said.

“We have got to learn those lessons very quickly over the next week.

“I am convinced that we have got what we need to win over here, it’s just we need to be better.

“We can’t keep making the same mistakes.”

On Monday, Australia were made to toil for a triumph which extends their perfect record in day-night Tests: nine games, nine wins.

Set 468 runs to win, the tourists were bowled out for 192 with some 21 overs remaining on the final day at Adelaide Oval.

Comeback quick Jhye Richardson took his first Test five-wicket haul but the locals had to overcome a stubborn knock from England’s Jos Buttler to prevail after the tea break.

Buttler (26) soaked up 207 balls before being out hit wicket in the final session.

Playing a short Richardson ball to cover, he took off for a run only for his right heel to nudge into the stumps and gently dislodge the bails.

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“I wasn’t getting nervous,” Australia’s stand-in skipper Steve Smith said.

“I was still pretty confident but it was bizarre the way that wicket happened.

“He gave them a bit of a sniff there for a while.”

Australia celebrates the dismissal of England’s James Anderson at Adelaide Oval. Photo: AAP/Dave HuntSmith hailed the performance of his bowlers, with Richardson’s 5-42 complemented by Starc taking six wickets for the match and Nathan Lyon taking five.

And victory was achieved without captain Pat Cummins and fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood (side strain), first and fourth in world bowling rankings respectively.

Cummins, who was ruled out of the Adelaide Test when deemed a close contact of a COVID case, is certain to play in the third Test in Melbourne starting on Boxing Day.

Hazlewood will also return to Australia’s camp in days with the hosts naming an unchanged 15-man squad for the three remaining Tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart.

And while England’s Root believes in miracles, Australia’s Smith was already being asked asked about the prospects of a 5-0 clean sweep.

“We would love to,” Smith said.

“But we will take it one game at a a time at the moment, that’s all we can do.”


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