Ashes 2021-22: Time for talking is over, England must prove themselves - Malan

By Sports Desk December 23, 2021

Dawid Malan insisted the time for talking is over and England must now prove themselves in Melbourne after a dismal start to the Ashes.

England have been outclassed in the opening two Tests, suffering a 275-run defeat in Adelaide after a nine-wicket beating in Brisbane.

The tourists are without a win in 12 Tests in Australia – their joint-longest such run Down Under (also 12 between January 1937 to February 1951).

The third Test starts on Boxing Day at the MCG, with bowler Mark Wood revealing England have held "brutally honest" meetings before Saturday after disappointment last week.

Captain Joe Root also provided a scathing post-match summary of his bowlers repeating mistakes from four years ago and needing to be braver with their lengths, and batsman Malan knows it is now time for England to right their wrongs as they look to keep their hopes of regaining the urn alive.

"We've done a lot of talking," Malan told reporters. "When you lose there'll always be reports that people are at each other. There definitely isn't. 

"One of the things we've been doing this series is a lot of chat amongst the players and encouraging players to challenge each other on a lot of things. 

"We've had good discussions with the coaching staff and without the coaching staff. It's vitally important that we as players take responsibility.

"Ultimately we are the ones who walk onto the field. We get all the preparation and all the knowledge we need, it's up to us to put it in place. We haven't done that well enough. 

"When we have those honest chats as players we feel we learn a lot more. Now it's about not talking any more, it's about putting it into play."

 

Malan has been one of England's standout performers so far, scoring 188 runs at an average of 47, with Root (175 at an average of 43.75) in close company.

However, England's next-best batter is all-rounder Chris Woakes (105), with the trio the only players to accumulate more than 100 runs from the first two Tests.

"Everyone is up for the challenge, everyone is really keen to face up to Australia," Malan added.

"We do it in white-ball cricket, we take them on, so hopefully we can get that mindset and not go into our shells and just try to survive, take the game to them.

"We are almost learning in Test matches because we haven't had that preparation. A lot of the guys haven't played in Australia so are trying to find ways of facing bowlers they haven't faced before but also to get used to bounce here. 

"I know there's a lead-up to dismissals and how bowlers set you up, but a lot of our dismissals were probably soft in the sense that we could have left them. You still have to score, but it's about making the right choices under pressure, myself included. 

"If you look at the way they have batted, the ones who have done really well, they've left really well so it's a good learning curve for us. Hopefully it's not too late."

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