England seamer James Anderson insisted frustration was the overriding emotion as his side suffered a top-order batting collapse during day three of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Adelaide.
The tourists, who are 1-0 down in the series following defeat at the Gabba, slumped from 29-1 to 142-7 before a stand of 66 between debutant Craig Overton and Chris Woakes added some respectability.
Their total of 227 still handed Australia a commanding 215-run lead and that was extended to 268 by the close, although England did hit back in the latter stages to reduce the hosts, who opted against enforcing the follow-on, to 53-4.
“We should have got more runs,” said Anderson. “We’ve got some very frustrated players in the dressing room. All we can do as bowlers is try our best, and that’s what we did. We gave it absolutely everything.”
Woakes, who scored 36 before dismissing David Warner and skipper Steve Smith, was not prepared to point the finger in the direction of England’s batsmen for a substandard showing.
“It’s obviously frustrating as a team, but not as bowlers versus batters by any means,” he said. “We’re here to stick together as a team. We didn’t play as well as we’d have liked and we need to continue to apply ourselves for long periods at a time.”
Smith, meanwhile, was accused of a lack of ruthlessness after deciding not to send England into bat again in what were favourable bowling conditions under the floodlights.
Australia greats Shane Warne and Mark Taylor both voiced their opposition to the decision, while seamer Mitchell Starc made it clear that the move was down to Smith and was made without consulting the bowling unit.
“He’s the captain and he makes the decisions,” said Starc. “We had a tough session with the bat but there’s a lot of cricket to go. But in terms of the follow-on, it’s all up to Smithy.”
Batsman Alex Hales, meanwhile, could be selected in England’s squad for the one-day series against Australia in January after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed he will be considered for international duty again.
Hales was suspended along with Ben Stokes following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September which led to the latter’s arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm. Hales, who could still be punished by the ECB, will face no criminal charges.