England batting coach Graham Gooch has revealed that Ian Bell and Joe Root are without any doubt, the candidates for the number three position.
Bell and Root batted at number five and six respectively in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba, but because they have had experience of batting at top of the order in recent times, they have been named as the contenders to leapfrog Kevin Pietersen for the position vacated by Jonathan Trott.
In a recent conference, Gooch said: “Whoever moves up to number three, and it’s probably fair to say Joe Root and Ian Bell are the two candidates, I’m sure they’ll stand up for England; that’s what they’ve got to do.
“I’m not a believer in you’ve got to be very careful looking after people, what number they bat. If you’re asked to bat at three, you’re asked to bat at four, five, six whatever; you have to do that job.”
When talked about how Johnson disturbed the English batting line-up, he commented: “Since we’ve been here we’ve prepared for left-arm as we did three years ago by bringing left-arm bowlers in for our practice and generally focussing on that line of attack.
“He inconvenienced a few of our players. It would be a mistake, if you ask me, to just focus on one bowler. They have four other very good Test bowlers in (Nathan) Lyon, (Peter) Siddle, (Ryan) Harris, (Shane) Watson if he bowls.
“So we have to be aware of all of them. Mitchell Johnson will be part of that and obviously short bowling will be part of that, but it’s a mistake just to focus on one person.”
Afterwards, he told that how confident he was of Alistair Cook and his men coming back after a shambolic show first time around, just like they did when they turned a 1-0 deficit round to beat India a year ago.
“I think it’s the first time Australia beat England for quite a few Test matches,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of success over the last few years. We lost the first Test in Ahmedabad a year ago.
"So there is character in the team; there is skill in the team; obviously we’ve got to show better will than we did in the last game.
“To get dismissed twice for under 200 is very disappointing; you’re not going to win any games of cricket if you’re going to do that. We know that we didn’t perform anywhere near the standard that is required and this team is capable of. We’ve got to work hard to put that right.”
The second Test starts at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday night, with the tourists looking to bounce back from Australia's 381-run opening win in Brisbane last time out.
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