• The Ashes

England players admit to 'truly embarrassing' losses

ESPN staff
December 10, 2013 « Sprinter Sacre likely to return at Kempton | Chartbeat test »
The fast bowling of Mitchell Johnson has proved a real concern for England in the first two Tests © Getty Images
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Matt Prior and Graeme Swann have admitted England were "truly embarrassing" and "appalling" in the first two Ashes Tests against Australia, which sees the visitors 2-0 down in the five match series.

Alastair Cook's side suffered a 381-run loss in Brisbane, before collapsing to a 218-run defeat in Adelaide. Speaking in his column in the Telegraph, Prior stated 'clear-the-air' talks had taken place in the Adelaide Oval dressing room and that the players deserved criticism.

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"The first-innings collapse in Adelaide was as embarrassing a performance as I have been involved in with England," Prior said. "The disappointing thing was how people got out. You are representing your country and that is not a performance anybody expects from this team.

"We have taken flak for it and rightly so. There are times as a sportsman you have to be honest. You cannot turn away from it and make excuses or look for positives. We were horrendous and there have been honest chats and words spoken."

The pace bowling of Mitchell Johnson has proved a particular problem for Cook's side, something which Swann was keen to point out in his column with the Sun.

With Johnson's adopted home of Perth - which contains arguably the fastest pitch of the tour - hosting the crucial third Test, Swann is calling on players to summon the mentality of the last Ashes Tour down under, when England prevailed with a 3-1 victory in 2010-11.

"Let's be honest - England have been appalling in the two Tests so far," Swann said.

"Momentum is a huge thing in sport and once it has been wrested off you the most difficult thing is to get it back. But we have to find a way. [Mitchell] Johnson is consistently putting Australia in a position where they can play confident, proactive cricket because they are so far ahead of the game. If you score 136 or 172 in the first innings of a Test you are going to lose almost every time.

"We need to play like we did on the last tour. In 2010-11, we kept posting big totals, holding catches and bowling out the Aussies. If we start making big scores again, we will win Test matches here."

The third Ashes Test begins in Perth on Friday.

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