silverwood:-i-believe-england-players-back-me

Silverwood: I believe England players back me

Chris Silverwood thinks England players are still responding to him as head coach, says young batters have ability and is confident they can show that in final two games of the Ashes series in Sydney and Hobart; England lost to Australia by an innings and 14 runs on day three in Melbourne

Last Updated: 28/12/21 3:33am

    Chris Silverwood believes England players are still responding to him as head coach

    Chris Silverwood believes England players are still responding to him as head coach

    England head coach Chris Silverwood believes he retains the support of his players despite the side tumbling to a harrowing Ashes defeat in Australia.

    England’s fate was sealed as they were razed for just 68 on day three of the third Test at the MCG, losing the game by an innings and 14 runs and falling 3-0 down in the five-match series.

    The tourists’ latest abject display with the bat means they have passed 200 just twice in six innings in the series, while they have now lost nine and won just one of their previous 12 Test matches.

    Asked whether England’s players were still responding to his methods, Silverwood told BT Sport: “I think they are.

    “We had a good honest chat after the last game [a 275-run defeat in Adelaide]. We just have to put performances together and start pushing back [against Australia].

    Silverwood took over as England head coach in 2019

    Silverwood took over as England head coach in 2019

    “It is disappointing for us all and the lads will be feeling that in the dressing room.”

    Silverwood also stressed that England do know their best team but that the four changes made for the Boxing Day Test – Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Jack Leach and Mark Wood coming in for Rory Burns, Ollie Pope, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes – were needed after crushing defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide.

    “We do know who are our best 11 players are, but we had to make changes after the first two games. We knew we had good people to come in.”

    Captain Joe Root has carried England’s batting in 2021, with his tally of 1,708 dwarfing the return of the team’s second-highest run-scorer this year, Rory Burns (530) runs.

    Root is the only England batter averaging over 40 in this Ashes series, with Dawid Malan the only other player averaging over 30.

    The likes of Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Pope and Crawley have floundered against Australia’s high-quality attack en route to England suffering a series defeat after just 12 days of cricket.

    The positions of coach Silverwood and captain Joe Root will come under scrutiny after England's Ashes defeat

    The positions of coach Silverwood and captain Joe Root will come under scrutiny after England’s Ashes defeat

    Silverwood added: “We have some world-class players and some youngsters who are learning on the job constantly.

    “We have to try and give them some confidence. We know they have the ability and we do back them. We have to give them the opportunity to show what they can do in the last two Tests.

    “I have to give credit to the Australia attack [especially] Scott Boland for bowling as well as he did in that second innings.

    “Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are also world class. That said, we have to find a way of competing, find a way of pushing back and scoring runs against them.

    “That is certainly something we will be reflecting on in the dressing room as we want to take something away from this series and compete in the last two Test matches.”

    James Anderson took four wickets in Melbourne before England's batters were blown away again

    James Anderson took four wickets in Melbourne before England’s batters were blown away again

    England had dragged themselves back into the Test on day two by reducing Australia to 180-6 – at which point the hosts trailed by five runs.

    Australia went on to post 267 before reducing England to 31-4 in Monday’s pulsating final hour and then sinking them the following morning.

    Still, Silverwood took some comfort from the way England bowled, with James Anderson snaring 4-33, the tourists’ only four-wicket haul of the series so far.

    The head coach added: “I think the way the guys applied themselves, the way the bowling attack rallied and got us in a position to get back in the game was a credit to them.

    “The way we caught in the last innings was good as well. There are positives coming out of this.”