England still in positive mood – Malan

England still in positive mood – Malan


Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground Date: 26-30 December Time: 23:30 GMT (25-29 December)
Coverage: Test Match Special and live text commentary, plus clips, features and analysis on the BBC Sport website and app. Daily highlights show on BBC iPlayer from 17:00 GMT

England are still “positive” but accept they have a “big hill to climb” if they are to turn around a 2-0 deficit and win the Ashes, says batter Dawid Malan.

A heavy 275-run loss in the day-night second Test in Adelaide on Monday followed a nine-wicket defeat in Brisbane leaving England needing to win all three games left to regain the urn.

“It’s up to us to put in a lot better performance,” Malan told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Everyone’s up for it, everyone wants to win, which is still a good place to be.”

Bowler Mark Wood said on Wednesday that England had engaged in a “brutally honest conversation” and were given a “kick up the bum” after the second Test. Malan added that discussion was needed before the famous Boxing Day Test at the MCG in Melbourne.

“The mood is still good, the mood is still positive,” Malan said. “We haven’t lost the series yet.

“We’ve got a big hill to climb to get back into series, but that starts in this [third] Test match.”

England’s highest score in the series is 297, but Australia have passed 400 in both their first innings. However, Malan believes his side’s rear-guard action on the final day in Adelaide – an effort that gave hope of an unlikely draw – will prove to be a useful learning curve.

“I know we only scored 180 but a lot of the boys came out learning a lot that you can actually survive a lot longer than you think without having to play shots and without having to try and take the attack to the bowlers.

“Jos [Buttler], came out and said the wickets are so true. Once you get yourself in it’s about keeping the same tempo, making sure you’re still doing the same things that you did in your first couple of balls as you are when you face 60, 70 or 100 balls.

“Last week was actually a good learning curve for us about how we can actually go about applying ourselves but obviously it’s about scoring runs not just surviving.”

Malan, who came back into the Test side in August after a three-year hiatus, is England’s leading run-scorer in the series so far with 188 runs, but the 34-year-old said it was “disappointing” that he had twice been dismissed in the 80s.

“It’s tough to get there [to 80],” said Malan. “To get there and then get out has been disappointing.

“It just shows that if you don’t score hundreds here you probably don’t score that 400 that you should – that’s unless you get three or four guys scoring 80s, which very rarely happens.

“That’s not just for me, that’s for all our batters when we do get in it’s about making sure that we do get 100 on the board and get a good score.”

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