England skipper Joe Root has admitted that his side were outplayed in all the three Tests against Australia as the visitors slumped to a crushing defeat by an innings and 41 runs on the final day of the third match at the WACA in Perth on Monday. Steve Smith's Australian side followed up its convincing victories in the first two tests in Brisbane (by 10 wickets) and Adelaide (120 runs) by winning the third by an even more emphatic margin of an innings and 41 runs to clinch the best-of-five series 3-0. Josh Hazlewood ran through England's batting line-up as he clinched five wickets to bundle out the visitors for 218 and ensure his side regain the coveted urn.
England struggled against Australia's bowling attack as they failed to build up any strong partnership throughout the second innings, with James Vince (55) and Dawid Malan (54) being the only batsman to score a hard-fought half-century to provide their side with some resistance.
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Admitting that Australia played really well so far in the series, Root said that his side have to work on their performance if they want to avoid further defeat and end the Ashes on a positive note.
"It is very difficult to take.Fair play to Australia, they've outplayed us in all three games and we've got to be better. We've got to go to Melbourne [for the fourth Test], prepare well and put in good performances there," ESPNcricinfo quoted Root, as saying.
The England captain, however, singled out the performances of Malan and Jonny Bairstow in the first innings as the duo shared a huge 237-run stand to push the visitors closed to a sizeable total before losing six wickets for 35 runs to eventually bundled out for 403.
"If I am being brutally honest, that partnership and the way those two played to get us into that position was outstanding. Those two lads should be very proud of that effort, and from the position, we were in to start with, from 100 for 4, that's not good enough," Root said.
Earlier, skipper Steve Smith (239) produced a superlative performance as he struck a double century besides sharing a massive partnership of 301 runs with Mitchell Marsh (181) to guide Australia to a huge first innings total of 662 for nine declared. It was the ninth-highest total in Australia's Test history.
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja was also a notable contributor for the hosts as he scored a calm and composed 50 runs, including eight boundaries.
Wicket-keeper Tim Paine (49 not out) and pacer Pat Cummins (41) also frustrated the English bowlers further and shared a vital 93-run partnership.
For England, Anderson was the pick of the bowlers, as he grabbed four for 112. The remaining bowlers struggled to pick up wickets.
England, who have now lost the Ashes series by 0-3 against Australia, will now play the inconsequential fourth Test, beginning December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
(With Agency Inputs)