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Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Saturday, 18 December 2010

Ashes: England must regroup, says Graham Gooch

Third Ashes Test, Perth (day three, close):
Australia 268 & 309 v England 187 & 81-5
Venue: Waca Date: 16-20 December. Play resumes 0230 GMT on 19 Dec Coverage: Live on Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 live sports extra and online; live highlights and day's review on the TMS podcast ; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4
Match scorecard

Mitchell Johnson (left) celebrates the wicket of Jonathan Trott (right)
It was another tough day for England's batsmen in Perth

England batting coach Graham Gooch says the tourists must regroup after another disappointing day in Perth left them facing defeat in the third Ashes Test.

With two days to go and England needing another 310, Australia require five wickets to claim a victory that will level the series at 1-1.

"Credit to Australia, they have come back strongly and we have not been at our best here," said Gooch.

"We've had a couple of bad days but we need to regroup and keep fighting on."

Starting the day on 119-3 - with a lead of 200 over the tourists - Australia increased their advantage, thanks largely to 95 from opener Shane Watson and Mike Hussey's 116.

Australia back in Ashes - Siddle

After finally breaking this partnership, England were able to clean up the tail relatively quickly - with Chris Tremlett claiming five wickets in the innings - but they still faced a daunting 391 for victory.

However, with a quick, bouncey Waca wicket continuing to reward good bowling and punish poor batting, Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris both struck twice to leave England 81-5 at the close of play.

"Australia have come to the fore with their bowling today and losing the wickets in the final session has put us on the back foot," admitted Gooch.

"Chasing 390 is a tall order but manageable if you get a couple of people in. This pitch offers something for everybody but you have to be disciplined in the way you play.

"You have to have the right mindset to score runs here. You must be disciplined in what shots you play and how you are going to leave the ball.

"If you watch Hussey, who is on his home ground here, he played an excellent innings, leaving the ball and making the bowlers come to him and anything loose he was climbing into.

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"You know there will be scoring balls, be they short and wide or full on the stumps. But anything in the business area, on and around off stop and on a length, you've got to be prepared to leave it and use good judgement."

Despite the difficult task presented to them, England's performances with the bat so far this series meant they began their second innings with hope of pulling off a famous victory.

However, Johnson and Harris, ably assisted by Ben Hilfenhaus, tore into the England top order, with only Jonathan Trott (31) providing an real resistance.

"When any batsman comes in, he is vulnerable at the beginning," said Gooch. "Paul Collingwood looked good for a while and Jonathan Trott was set, but you can create chances on this wicket and Australia took the ones they had and credit to them."

Johnson was again a menace to England, bowling with pace and swing to add two wickets to the superb haul of six from the first innings.

Tremlett searches for positives

"Johnson got a wicket after about 45 minutes in the first innings, he got the ball to swing and it opened the floodgates," said Gooch.

"He's a class act. He didn't have the best first Test but has gone away and worked at it, come back and credit to him. He's a wicket-taker."

Australian opener Watson was understandably delighted with his side's display on day three, particularly after they had been outplayed for the vast majority of the series prior to this Test.

"The last two days have been pretty awesome, especially after halfway through Brisbane and through the Adelaide Test," he said. "This is something we knew we had in us and to produce it here is very satisfying."

Watson played a key role in his side's second innings score, amassing 95 before being trapped lbw by Tremlett. It is the fourth time Watson has been dismissed in the 90s in Test matches.

"It's frustrating, because you get so close," admitted Watson. "But the important thing is to be part of setting a total up.

"For me, getting out in the 90s is better than getting nothing. I'll take that and the position we're in."

Watson also praised Hussey, who partnered him at the crease for much of Australia's second innings and continued his superb series so far with another century.

"He's batted brilliantly throughout the whole series," said Watson. "To be able to see him at his absolute best, as he is now, is great for us."

The decision to pick four quick bowlers, at the expense of a specialist spinner, has paid dividends for the home side and Watson praised the selection.

"It is a masterstroke by the selectors to pick four quicks," he said. "The wicket has had a fair bit in it and we've made the most of it."

The only potential downside for Australia was Ricky Ponting having to leave the field early with a finger injury incurred when he parried the slip catch that dismissed Trott to keeper Brad Haddin.

Ponting returned to applaud his team off at the end with his little finger strapped.

"He is a bit sore at the moment," said Watson. "The catch didn't go in quite as he would like and it caught his little finger.

"It's a bit bruised at the moment and I'm not sure what the diagnosis is but hopefully it's a good one for us."


Listen to commentary highlights from day three (UK users only)

TMS podcast: Agnew and Boycott's review (available worldwide)



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see also
Australia poised to square series
19 Dec 10 |  England
Justin Langer's key moments
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Third Ashes Test in photos
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Broad and Finn in World Cup squad
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Johnson burst ignites Australia
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Tremlett puts England in command
16 Dec 10 |  England
Waugh joins Ponting future debate
16 Dec 10 |  Australia
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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