Ashes 2021-22: Root challenges England bowlers to be 'braver' after Adelaide defeat

By Sports Desk December 20, 2021

Joe Root says the England bowlers must be "braver" after Australia won the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval by 275 runs to take a 2-0 series lead.

Jos Buttler made 26 from 207 balls before he stepped back onto his own wickets and Chris Woakes top-scored with 44 as the tourists put up an admirable fight on the final day.

However, it was always likely to prove fruitless and they were eventually bowled out for 192 in the final session.

Jhye Richardson (5-42) claimed a maiden five-wicket Test haul on his Ashes debut, showing Australia's strength in depth in their bowling ranks in the absence of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Cummins is set to return to captain Australia for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne after missing out in Adelaide due to being a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.

England's' shortcomings with the bat have been plain to see, but skipper Root wants to see the bowlers change their approach to give them a chance of getting back into the series.

Asked about England's plans, he said: "I think when you look at ball in hand in particular, I don't think we've bowled the right lengths if we're being brutally honest, we needed to bowl fuller.

"As soon as we did in that second innings, we created so many chances and we made it hard work. We need to do that more, we need to get the ball up there, be a bit braver because when we do we make life difficult.

"That's one of the frustrating things, we did that four years ago and we didn't learn from it – we've made mistakes throughout the game that we made last week, whether it be no-balls, missed chances, we just have to be better. We have to learn those lessons quickly ahead of next week."

England will ponder making changes in Melbourne, with fast bowler Mark Wood expected to return.

Root said during the post-match presentation: "Of course someone like Woody, he's always going to offer something, that extra bit of pace he has and hopefully he'll be raring to go for the rest of the series."

Despite England having a mountain to climb, Root believes they can pull off a remarkable fightback and challenged his fellow batters to step up.

Asked if he believes they are capable of winning the series, he said: "Absolutely, you have to be. I think, I'm convinced we have got what we need to win over here, we just need to be better and we can't keep making the same mistakes.

"Guys need to get themselves in, get past that first 20-ball period and then get greedy.

"We need to leave better on occasions as well and manage certain passages of play better, but we're more than capable of doing that and we've shown it in small pockets that we can we've just got to do it for longer, and as I said, do better."

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