I'm 100 percent wanting to carry on as captain: Alastair Cook
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In a country whose economy is built on mining, it was difficult to see how England could plumb new depths on this tour of Australia but in defeat at Melbourne they did, leaving question marks over Alastair Cook's captaincy.
At the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, England suffered their most dispiriting Test defeat so far in this Ashes series - surrendering a first innings lead of 51, enduring two big second innings batting collapses and eventually losing the match by eight wickets with more than a day to spare.
"The bottom line is we haven't been good enough," Cook told reporters. "The part of this game that makes it even more frustrating is that we got ourselves into a good place to put some pressure on Australia."
Australia were chasing a record 231-run victory target at the venue since drop-in pitches were first used at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1996 and yet they won by a distance.
Given England were in control of the match at the end of day two with nine Australian wickets down and the home side 91 runs behind England's first innings total, this must count as the tourists' lowest point on the tour.
"It's very disappointing. We worked very hard for two-and-a-half days to get ourselves in that situation. When you don't follow it through, it hurts even more," Cook said.
Unfortunately for England, Cook's captaincy was uninspiring to say the least.
At the start of day three in Melbourne when England required one wicket and Australia were under pressure, Cook took his all-too-common cautious approach.
With Brad Haddin the only recognised batsman at the crease batting with the number 11 Nathan Lyon, Cook inexplicably decided to protect the boundaries and get his bowlers to bowl short, despite their lead.
Cook's aberrations continued on Sunday when he dropped two chances at first slip.
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