sport

Gooch: England not good enough

Graham Gooch offered a brutal assessment of England's Ashes series after another collapse in Sydney left them staring at a 5-0 whitewash.

A horror start to the day saw the tourists slump to 23 for five, before recovering enough to avoid the follow-on for a still disappointing 155 all out.

Australia reached the close on 140 for four - led by Chris Rogers' unbeaten 73 - to give them a lead of 311 on an SCG pitch showing plenty of tricks.

Batting coach Gooch admits the hopes of avoiding a whitewash appear forlorn, and that his batsmen were again primarily at fault.

"Every man has to look at himself. We've made too many basic errors," he told Sky Sports 2.

"Ian Bell got a decent ball today and Alistair Cook made a poor decision. Generally in this series we've not been making the right decisions.

"In the earlier matches we've made mistakes - caught in the ring, caught at mid-on and on the hook.

"We've not been able to implement plans. Crucially we've not been able to exert pressure on Australia's bowling attack.

"If you just let them dominate it's very difficult. We've got to take it to them. We've not been able to do that at all.

"We've not been able to cope well with Mitchell Johnson. The brutal truth is we've not been good enough."

Gooch, whose job is set to come under the spotlight after the series, conceded England were left with a mountain to climb once their top-order folded, but believes the bowlers had to shoulder some of the burden after conceding a first-innings score of 326 on a tricky surface.

"I think 326 was way above a par score," he said.

"I think it is very generous to say it is just a difficult position.

"It is going to be very tough from here on in because it is not the flattest of pitches.

"We can't just give up, we have to keep fighting. This is not the flattest of pitches though.

"I thought 250 was a good score on this - 326 is a lot, and then we're 25 for five it is very difficult to come back from there."

England could take at least one positive from the day with all-rounder Ben Stokes - their only centurion in the series so far - hitting 47 in another brave innings.

"He's a positive cricketer," Gooch said.

"What impressed me with him here is the way he's worked on his game and applied himself.

"He's left the ball well and played his shots. He's looked like a Test match player.".