The Ashes: Dawid Malan says England must take game to Australia as they look to fight back | Cricket News


Dawid Malan says England must not “go into their shells” after tumbling 2-0 down in the Ashes, wants team to seek inspiration from white-ball side but also show the discipline Australia’s batters have displayed in the series; third Test starts at MCG on Boxing Day

Last Updated: 23/12/21 7:04am

Dawid Malan (pictured) and captain Joe Root are the only England batters averaging over 30 in this Ashes series

Dawid Malan (pictured) and captain Joe Root are the only England batters averaging over 30 in this Ashes series

Dawid Malan says “hurting” England must not “go into their shells” as they look to reignite their flagging Ashes campaign.

The tourists are 2-0 down with three games to play after two heavy defeats to kick off the series – a nine-wicket thrashing in Brisbane and then a 275-run loss in the pink-ball Test at Adelaide.

Malan believes England must now follow the lead of their white-ball team – who trounced Australia in the group stages of the recent T20 World Cup – by “taking the game” to their opponents but also show the discipline the home side’s batters have displayed.

Malan, who has scored two half-centuries in the series so far, said: “The boys are hurting after our performances in the last two games. They realise we haven’t been good enough across all facets of the game.

Rob Key says he would drop Rory Burns and Ollie Pope for the third Ashes Test in Melbourne

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Rob Key says he would drop Rory Burns and Ollie Pope for the third Ashes Test in Melbourne

Rob Key says he would drop Rory Burns and Ollie Pope for the third Ashes Test in Melbourne

“Speaking to all the guys, everyone is up for the challenge, everyone is really keen to face up to the Australians. We do it in white-ball cricket, we take them on and there’s a lot of the white-ball players in this group as well.

“Hopefully we can get that mindset and not just go into our shells trying to survive but actually try and take the game to them.

“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 Australia 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.

“The boys want to win the series still. I know it’s a long way to come but we have to do well and play our best cricket to get ourselves back in the series.”

Joe Root says he was 'really annoyed' at his dismissal in the first innings of England's defeat in Adelaide

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Joe Root says he was ‘really annoyed’ at his dismissal in the first innings of England’s defeat in Adelaide

Joe Root says he was ‘really annoyed’ at his dismissal in the first innings of England’s defeat in Adelaide

Malan, captain Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow – who is yet to play in this series but is in contention to feature in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – are the only England batters on this trip to have played Ashes cricket in Australia before.

Malan added: “We are almost learning on the job in Test matches because a lot of the guys haven’t played in Australia – they are facing bowlers they’ve never faced before and getting used to the bounce out here.

“We’ve done a lot of talking but if we’re realistic there are only three of us, and Jonny, who’s not been playing, that have actually played Ashes cricket out here.

“With the preparation we’ve had the guys haven’t got used to conditions, you could say that’s an excuse but it’s just a fact.

When you lose they’ll always be reports that people are at each other. There definitely isn’t. One of 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 players take responsibility.

Dawid Malan

“The beauty of playing cricket in Australia is that it’s tough, it’s hard, it’s brutal and you have to be at your best to win out here. We haven’t been that so far.

“Ultimately we are the ones who walk onto the field. We get all the preparation and all the knowledge we need and 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 anymore, it’s about putting it into play.”

Bairstow is among the options under consideration for a recall, with Ollie Pope under serious pressure at number six after scoring just 48 runs at an average of 12 across the first two Tests.

Zak Crawley also appears highly likely to open the batting in place of either Rory Burns or Haseeb Hameed.

Sky Sports' Michael Atherton explains the problem with bringing in new players for the game at the MCG

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Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton explains the problem with bringing in new players for the game at the MCG

Sky Sports’ Michael Atherton explains the problem with bringing in new players for the game at the MCG

Watson: England have to be braver

Writing in The Times, former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson said England’s batters must be “braver” for the rest of the series.

Watson also says he has been “gobsmacked” by Stokes’ batting, feeling the 30-year-old – back in cricket after time away from the game rehabbing a finger injury prioritising his mental health – has been too timid.

“If England are to turn things around in this Ashes series, their batsmen are going to have to be braver. So far, especially in the second Test in Adelaide, the intent has just not been there,” Watson wrote.

“What has really blown me away is to see the defensive way in which Ben Stokes has batted.

“I’m gobsmacked. It is obviously a tactic because of his big back-and-across movements to the quick bowlers, he’s just not trying to score.

“I think it is perhaps because he has come into the series underdone in terms of preparation.”





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