Dawid Malan says England has not given up on winning the Ashes even if he admits it will need a much improved performance in the third Test in Melbourne from Sunday to get itself back in the series.
The top order batter said morale in the England camp was “fine” after some honest discussions in the wake of humbling defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide.
“The boys are hurting after our performances in the last two games,” he told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.
“We realise we haven’t been good enough across all facets of the game. The boys want to win, we want to win the series too. I know it’s a long way for us to come but we have to do well and play our best cricket in this Test match to get ourselves back into the series.”
Malan’s batting has provided some of the rare highlights for England with an innings of 82 in Brisbane and 80 in Adelaide, but the 34-year-old conceded even he had to be better.
“Myself and (Joe Root) have been in the position to score hundreds in two innings and haven’t been able to kick on which has probably cost us about a hundred runs as a team at least, and that gets us back in the game,” he said.
“Scoring 80’s good, scoring 180’s brilliant, so that’s the goal.”
With England’s openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed struggling for runs, there has been talk of bringing fresh blood in at the top of the order, most notably Zak Crawley.
“Zak’s a very talented player,” said Malan. “He’s a tall bloke who plays the short ball really well so there’s every chance that he’ll be really good here.”
Malan said he would even consider moving up the order to open himself, if asked.
“I’ll bat wherever to play for England,” he said. “I don’t see myself as an opener but if they’d like me to, I’m happy to do what’s necessary.”
Malan said that England’s disrupted preparation had left many of the less experienced players in the invidious position of having to learn how to play in Australian conditions on the job.
“(But) everyone’s up for a challenge, everyone’s really keen to face up to the Australians,” he added.
“We do it in white ball cricket, we try and take them on, so hopefully we can get that mindset and not just go into our shells and try and survive.”