Ashes begin to slip out of the holder’s hands after another big loss.
For the second game in a row, England cricket captain Alastair Cook has been forced to answer questions about his team’s desire and hunger to hold onto the Ashes.
After being belted by 381 runs in Brisbane the news did not get any better at the Adelaide Oval as they were soundly beaten by 218 runs but Michael Clarke and the Australians.
“Sometimes, when you haven’t been playing well, that’s one thing you start looking at – whether we do have that [hunger]. I can only say, from speaking to the guys, and watching them, how much this is hurting. Only the guys will know that inside themselves. But I honestly believe we’ve got that,” Cook said.
“We’ve been outplayed, and haven’t played very well. You can’t get away from that. But the only way we can drag it out is by getting that hunger, that desperation back into our game.”
When asked about Kevin Pietersen’s form and attitude in his performance, Cook admitted it was not where it needed to be for a senior member of the side, and said he will be talking to him in the next three days before the next game.
“I thought he played very responsibly in that second innings. Again, he’s a senior player and he will be first to hold his hands up and say some of his shots – execution and selection – haven’t been good enough. That’s pretty much [the same] for the whole of our batting line-up, and that’s the kind of honesty we need to go forward,” he said.
Cook did not miss himself in terms of criticism for a lack of runs in the top-order, saying he needs to do more.
“I need to score more runs. We all do. But there are only so many times you can tell the lads to do it, and if you’re not doing it, it makes it harder. I’m there at the top of the order as a batter, and in the last two games I haven’t been scoring enough runs. I need to go and change that.
“There are some very tough moments for the captain, and we’re in the middle of it. We’re 2-0 down, and I’m responsible as the captain for that – in the sense I’m leading the troops out there.
“Yes, it does hit you hard. It’s how you bounce back. Sport shows what character you can be.
“It’s certainly not impossible,” he said of England’s prospects of coming from 2-0 down to retain the Ashes. “A lot of people who will be sitting in this room, and outside, will probably give us no chance. But if we don’t believe that in our dressing room, if we believe the urn has gone, then it might as well have gone.
“Obviously 2-0 is not a great situation to be in. But if you look at a football game, the next goal can change it very quickly. It’s going to take a monumental effort from us to do it.”