Strauss: batsmen at fault

2010-12-19 09:45

Perth - England captain Andrew Strauss has laid the blame for England's defeat in the third Ashes Test in Perth on Sunday squarely at the feet of his batsmen for squandering their wickets quickly and cheaply.

England's batsmen amassed 620 for five wickets in a single innings to win the second Test in Adelaide, but managed exactly half that in their two efforts at the WACA on the way to an emphatic 267-run defeat.

"You've got to give Australia a lot of credit for the way they bowled, Mitchell Johnson bowled a very incisive spell there," Strauss, who scored a half-century and 15 in Perth, told reporters.

"At the same time, as a batting lineup we've been very, very disappointed with our team performances. We've got to take them on the chin, learn the lessons and move on."

"I'd argue that our intensity in the field was pretty good actually, certainly the bowlers for the majority of the time did a very good job.

"Bowling Australia out for 260 and 300 on quite a reasonable wicket was a decent effort, but the batting on the other hand, you've got to address the way that we lost wickets in clusters."

England restricted Australia to 268 in their first innings and cruised to 78 without loss on day two before collapsing to 187 all out as pace bowler Johnson unleashed a searing spell of swing bowling to take a six-wicket haul.

Set a 391-run target to win the Ashes on day three, England's top order put defeat beyond doubt by crashing to 81-5 at stumps as their big scorers from the first and second tests failed to perform.

Alastair Cook, who bashed an unbeaten 235 in the first test in Brisbane, was dismissed for 32 and 13 on the green-top WACA wicket.

The second Test's man-of-the-match Kevin Pietersen backed up his 227 in Adelaide with a duck and three in Perth.

With Jonathan Trott and Paul Collingwood also struggling, Ian Bell's top-score of 53 in the first innings was a rare highlight.

Bell's solid form amid struggles further up the order has raised calls for him to be promoted higher for the fourth Test in Melbourne, but Strauss called for calm.

"We've got to keep perspective about things and realise that there's been a hell of a lot of good batting on this tour so far, so there's no reason to expect that things will be different going forward."

"I wouldn't think there will be wholesale changes because it's not a time to panic.

"We've said all along the side that's going to win the series is the one that grabs those crucial sessions by the scruff of the neck.

"We didn't do it in this Test match, we had an opportunity and we didn't do it.

"We did do it in Adelaide, we've got to make sure we do it in Melbourne."

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