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‘Disappointing, frustrating’ – Malan on England’s batting collapses

'Disappointing, frustrating' - Malan on England's batting collapses

THE ASHES, 2ND TEST, DAY 3

England lost eight wickets for 86 runs after a solid partnership between Root and Malan ©AFP

Dawid Malan admits England’s continued batting collapses are “frustrating” and “disappointing” and said the time for excuses was over. He also took responsibility for getting out “softly” on the third day in Adelaide.

Malan and Joe Root added 138 runs for the third wicket, batting throughout the first session of day three, but the pair were then both dismissed in the space of seven overs after the dinner interval. That precipitated an England collapse which saw the tourists lose eight wickets for 86 runs. It was a similar story in the first Test too, when England lost eight for 74 in the second innings at the Gabba.

Today’s collapse has left Root’s side with a mountain to climb to save this Test match and avoid going 2-0 down in the series. With two days to go, Australia have a lead of 282 and nine second innings wickets in hand. England’s batters face the prospect of having to bat out of their skins in the fourth innings to get something out of this Test match.

“It’s very easy to keep saying ‘oh, we’re unlucky; we nicked a few; we played some bad shots; this and that’ but we actually need to find a way of putting some runs on the board as a collective,” Malan said. “If we knew why the collapses happened, we would stop them, but hopefully we can put in some performances as a team.

“It’s been pretty frustrating. To get ourselves back into a position where we could get within touching distance of them and then lose eight wickets is very disappointing. We can talk about the guys who failed but ultimately one of Rooty or myself should have gone on and got a big hundred and taken the pressure off those guys.”

England’s batting issues have not suddenly materialised on this tour. Collapses have been a recurrent problem for a number of years but today’s effort was particularly disappointing given how good the Adelaide Oval pitch remains for batting and given Australia were missing Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Malan said England’s batters need to be better able to create partnerships when losing wickets, as he and Root were able to after both England openers were dismissed early. “It is a little bit of a trend,” he said of the batting collapses.

“It is something we did on the last [Ashes] tour as well [in 2017/18] and we did this in the last Test here as well. We get a little bit of momentum and a partnership going and when the Aussies get one wicket they take two or three in clusters and we can go from 150 for two to 180 for six and we are chasing it again.

“We need to get better when we lose that one wicket to make sure we get another partnership going as quickly as possible. After we lost those two wickets last night we needed to get a partnership going which myself and Rooty got, we got ourselves into a half-decent position and once again when the Aussies got that door open they just jumped straight through it.”

Malan also admitted that his dismissal – edging to first slip attempting a cut shot to a ball that was too close against Mitchell Starc – was a poor one. Having made it to 80 for the second successive innings – he made 82 in the second innings in Brisbane – Malan said he was frustrated at not going on to post a really significant score which would have taken the pressure off the rest of England’s order.

“It is disappointing, frustrating that we have got ourselves back into the fight but we lost too many wickets in clusters there,” Malan said. “I didn’t play a great shot, when you get to 80 you want to be making them count, especially out here, so to get out how I got out was disappointed. A few of us played shots we will look back and wish we didn’t but that’s cricket.

“Test hundreds aren’t easy to come by so to get to 80 two innings in a row and get out – and pretty softly this time – is frustrating. When someone gets in, whether you are in form, out of form, whatever, we need to go on and ensure we get a big one. Marnus Labuschagne did it for them this time and Travis Head did it last time. We haven’t done well enough with making it count.”

© Cricbuzz




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