Root refuses to give up on Ashes chances despite 2-0 deficit

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Joe Root

Adelaide, December 6: England captain Joe Root remains sure his side can retain the Ashes, despite trailing Australia 2-0 after losing the second Test by 120 runs.

Hopes of a remarkable Test win on the fifth and final day at Adelaide Oval were quickly extinguished by a rampant Australia side, who ripped through England to bowl out the tourists for 233 before tea.

Fans in Adelaide took their seats in sunny conditions expecting a thrilling finale to the day-night match as England resumed at 176-4, but Josh Hazlewood (2-49), Mitchell Starc (5-88) and Nathan Lyon (2-45) starred with the pink ball to silence the Barmy Army, taking less than two hours to dismantle Root's men.

Asked if he had high hopes at the start of day five, Root – who departed for 67 – told Channel 9: "Absolutely. I thought the way we went about everything yesterday was excellent and that's got to be the benchmark in how we approach the rest of this series.

"I thought we showed a lot of character and the way the senior players stood up, in the field especially, to bowl them out for what we did and then go about it with the bat in the manner we did was excellent.

"It's disappointing. I don't think we did ourselves justice today but I think we're still massively in this series and we showed that from the way we played yesterday."

As Australia celebrated, England were left to pick up the pieces as questions over Root's decision to bowl first at the toss immediately resurfaced.

No captain had ever inserted the opposition in a day-night Test before and the decision soon backfired as Australia posted 442-8 declared in their first innings.

Reflecting on the result, Root was asked if he would change his decision and the 26-year-old replied: "It's easy to say that now.

"If you look at the conditions and the way the ball moved around, we were massively in the game, we just couldn't quite take the wickets early which would've put them under a lot of pressure, but fair play to Shaun Marsh , I thought he played exceptionally well and we have to make sure we're better next time around."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 12:00 [IST]
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