England's Joe Root Laments "Bitterly Disappointing" Ashes Defeat

Updated: 05 August 2019 22:39 IST

World Cup winners England, set an imposing target of 398 to win, collapsed to 97/7 in the post-lunch session on the fifth and final day before being bowled out for 146.

England
Joe Root described England's 251-run defeat in the 1st Ashes Test as "bitterly disappointing". © AFP

Joe Root described England's comprehensive 251-run defeat by Australia in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Monday as "bitterly disappointing". World Cup winners England, set an imposing target of 398 to win, collapsed to 97/7 in the post-lunch session on the fifth and final day before being bowled out for 146. The match was a personal triumph for Australia's Steve Smith, who in his first Test since a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal, scored 144 and 142.

"It does hurt. It is bitterly disappointing," said captain Root. "We played really good cricket in the majority of the Test match. Credit to Australia. They fought hard to get back in it.

"(Steve Smith played) two brilliant innings. We have to keep working hard to get him out. Obviously it was hard that we lost Jimmy (Anderson) early on. These things happen. We have to take it on the chin and come back hard at Lords."

Australia capitalised on the absence through injury of Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, who only sent down four first-innings overs before breaking down with a calf problem that meant he did not bowl again in the match.

Speaking about Anderson's fitness, Root said: "It was a group decision to select him. He passed all of the fitness tests. It is one of those freak things that happen in cricket. It is disappointing. We have got to respond to that and get things right."

England will return to Lord's for the first time after lifting the World Cup trophy last month when the second Test starts on August 14.

Highlights
  • Chasing 398 runs to win, England were bowled out for 146
  • Australia's Steve Smith scored 144 and 142 in two innings
  • The second Test match starts on August 14 at Lord's
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