Adelaide, Australia – Captain Alastair Cook says it will take a monumental effort to hold on to the Ashes as England bid to defy history and fight back from 2-0 down against Australia.
The rampant Australians cruised to an emphatic 218-run victory in the second Adelaide Test, less than an hour into Monday's final day, to follow up their crushing 381-run win in Brisbane.
Cook, with his own form under scrutiny after scores of three and one in Adelaide, said the tourists would have to turn things around quickly in the third Test in Perth, where they have not beaten Australia since 1978, to keep the series alive.
No England side has come back from 2-0 down to win an Ashes series, but Cook's team only have to draw the series to hold the urn.
“It's certainly not impossible. A lot of people who'll be sitting in this room and outside will probably give us no chance,” Cook told reporters.
“But if we believe in our dressing room that the urn's gone, then it might as well have gone. Two-nil is obviously not a great situation to be.
“It's going to take a monumental effort from us to do it, but we're the only guys who can turn it around.”
Cook said although there was only a three-day turnaround to Friday's third Test there was enough time to work on their problems.
“What's gone on in the past is of no relevance whatsoever. You can say that we haven't won there for however many years, it's of total irrelevance to this team,” he said.
“We have to go there as this side in 2013 and deliver something very special or we're not going to do what we've come to do.”
Responding to claims that the England team were past their peak, Cook said: “When you lose games people always criticise you.
“People start looking at the side and they start saying, this is what happened. We can only concentrate on what's happening in the dressing room and what we believe.
“We've got some very good players in there, their record suggests there are some very good players. Good players turn it around and that's what we need to do.”
Cook, who has had only one good score in the series with his 65 in the Brisbane second innings, is under pressure as captain to lead England out of their predicament, with former skipper Michael Vaughan fearing a 5-0 series whitewash to Australia.
“There are some very tough moments as a captain and we're in the middle of it,” Cook said.
“We're 2-0 down and I'm responsible as a captain for that in the sense that I'm leading the troops out there.
“It does hit you quite hard. But it's how you bounce back from it. When you lose it's not so good and it hurts.”
Cook admitted that he, as captain, had to score runs and lead from the front.
“I need to score more runs, simple deal. We all do, but there's only so many times you can keep telling the lads to do it and if you're not delivering it makes it harder,” he said.
“I'm there at the top of the order as a batter. These last two games I haven't been scoring enough runs. I need to go and change that.” – Sapa-AFP