Brisbane - Captain Joe Root has urged his players to keep
backing themselves as Ashes holders England head into a crucial second Test
after their demoralising loss to Australia at the Gabba.
The Australians romped to an emphatic 10-wicket victory
early on the fifth day in Brisbane after breaking free of an attritional
opening three days, leaving questions for the tourists over the remaining four
England's inability to capitalise on a strong start in the
first innings - where they crashed from 246 for four to 302 all out - and a
below-par 195 in the second innings cost them any winning chance in Brisbane.
"We've got to keep believing and trusting the work
we've been doing, and backing ourselves and backing each other as a
group," said Root, on whom much depends with the bat and team strategy.
"For three days we played some excellent cricket.
Unfortunately, when we got into good positions, we didn't quite capitalise on
The series now heads to the Adelaide Oval for the first-ever
day-night Ashes Test, starting on Saturday, where England cannot afford to lose
Root defended his elaborate fielding placements at the Gabba
for Australia's master batsman Steve Smith, who turned the Test with a
painstaking unbeaten 141 over eight-and-a-half hours to give his side a narrow
but crucial innings lead.
His field strategy for Smith was likened to Bodyline, a
notorious leg theory bowling tactic devised by England on their 1932-33 tour of
Australia to counter the great Don Bradman.
The England skipper placed six fielders on the leg-side with
three in the deep and no one in front of the bat on the off-side as his pacemen
ripped in short-pitched deliveries to Smith for a time.
"We made him (Smith) work extremely hard for his runs.
Credit to him, he played extremely well," Root said.
"Sometimes you've got to say well played to the
Root, ranked the world's second-best Test batsman, was out
leg before wicket in both innings at the Gabba for 15 and 51, but is confident
of making big scores in the rest of the series.
"I feel like I've got a good understanding of how I
play and I'll make sure that I prepare very well in terms of getting
ready," Root said.
England coach Trevor Bayliss said he was confident the
tourists will bounce back.
"Adelaide? I don't think there will be any problem at
all," Bayliss said.
"Unfortunately, we've been in this situation before
over the last few years where we've put in a bad performance but we were able
to come back from it."