‘The majority of the game is mental’

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England assistant coach Paul Farbrace feels that England’s mental approach to the game has let them down in the Ashes.

He watched the team wilt again in sweltering Sydney heat on day four of the final Test with Australia establishing a massive first innings lead before nipping out four of the England top order before stumps.

The coach insisted that England need to start preparing for the next Ashes series straight away.

Farbrace told BT Sport: “If you don’t score big first-innings scores, you end up chasing games. That’s what we have to look at. As much as you talk about conditions, we haven’t been good enough.

“The majority of the game is mental. International players have the technique. It’s about adapting and coping under pressure. The best players learn quickly and have a game plan to deal with all forms of bowling in any conditions.

“Some of our batsmen have found it tough – 20s and 30s aren’t enough in Test cricket. They have worked hard but runs are the currency you deal in. You find yourself under pressure if you don’t score runs.

“The planning for the next time England come here has to begin now.”

The Sydney Test has summed up the series well with England able to compete for some time but unable to stay on top.

Farbrace added: “Test cricket is tough, hard work. The temperatures, conditions and game can be against you but you have to get stuck in.

“The last couple of days have summed up this series – we’ve not been quite good enough when we’ve needed to be.”