England captain Joe Root said his team have no choice but to get it right in the third Ashes Test in Perth from Thursday and has urged them to play the ‘game of their lives’.
The visitors go into the clash two-nil down in the series with three games still to play and Root knows they have to improve of they are stand any chance of retaining the urn.
The batting in particular has let England down in the first two matches, with the tourists’ highest total in the series being 302 that was posted in the first innings of the first Test in Brisbane – which has meant a lot of English fans have been finding other ways to pass the time, taking advantage of various top no deposit bonus offers.
On the eve of the third Test, Root said: “We have to score more runs as a batting group. It’s easy to single out individuals but ultimately it’s about doing it as a collective.
“Nathan Lyon has been a big threat in the first two games where it has spun. It might be slightly different here. But if it is the same, we have to know how we are going to play it and how are we going to break him down.
“So it’s time to stand up and be counted. We’re going into one of the biggest games of our lives. If we can stand up in the face of adversity and put in a big performance, that’s what people want to see.
“It’s about winning. That’s what’s going to really get people back on side. We have to get it right on Thursday.
“That’s the opportunity that’s in front of this group: to go and win here at the WACA for the first time in a long time. And if we get that right then there is no reason we can’t be sat here 2-1 next week.”
Root also spoke about his frustration about having to talk about off-field issues at almost every press conference that he has been to on tour.
England Lions player Ben Duckett was suspended this week for pouring a beer over James Anderson in a Perth bar but Root said the side has stick together.
The England skipper said: “The majority of things have been done right for the majority of the time by the majority of the group. And the one thing I’m really proud of and one of this group’s big strengths is we do look after each other.
“That’s proof that we are good blokes and good human beings. We care about each other and, though the lads may have done some stupid stuff, we are all in this together and we are only going to win if we stick together.”