Ashes 2013-14: 'Australia have been better in every department,' concedes Ian Bell

Australia need five more wickets to secure the Ashes series

Perth

Ian Bell admitted England have had no answer to Australia’s bowlers as the home side prepared to reclaim the Ashes tomorrow.

Australia need five more wickets to take a 3-0 lead in the series and win back the urn, with England 251 for five chasing a world-record 504 for what would be one of the most remarkable Test wins in the history of cricket.

Only once have England passed 300 in their five completed innings on this tour and not one player has made a century, compared with seven hundreds on the Australian side, and Bell acknowledged the batsmen could not cope with pace trio Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle.

“Australia have bowled, batted and caught better than we have and that’s what it is about,” said Bell. “When we came here, we were really excited about the massive challenge ahead, but we haven’t shown anyone the cricket we can play.

“We’ve got it in us to do good stuff but we haven’t been able to get it out. Johnson, Harris and Siddle give you no scoring options and it becomes tough.  They’ve done it well for long period and pressure like that will create wickets.

“We’ve trained as hard as we always do and done all the right things but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. That’s not a lack of desire, hunger or fight; we’re just not playing the kind of cricket we need to.

“We’ve spoken honestly about not making big scores in the first innings, which has been happening for a while. We’re aware of it and we’re doing everything we can to get back to good habits.

“You can’t have more than two players not playing well in any side, and we’re not playing how we need to. That’s letting us down. If we don’t score big runs, we won’t win Test matches and it’s something we need to improve.”

Ben Stokes will seek a maiden Test century when he resumes 72 not out tomorrow but, barring a sporting miracle, England will lose the match and the Ashes will return to Australia.

Kevin Pietersen’s dismissal, caught at long-on trying to hit the off-spinner Nathan Lyon for six, will draw strong criticism but Bell sought to defend his team-mate’s style of play.

“He will be as frustrated as anyone,” said Bell. “In my experience, I would rather have him than play against him. He might do that from time to time but he will also win you a game. He does things a lot of players can’t and I’d rather have him in my team.”

Shane Watson bludgeoned a century during a morning session when Australia added 134 in 17 overs before captain Michael Clarke declared. The all-rounder has been on the losing side in three successive Ashes campaigns and he said: “It’s a special moment to be in this position. Hopefully we can achieve a few dreams tomorrow.”

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
Arts & Entertainment
Don (John Hamm) and Megan (Jessica Paré) Draper are going their separate ways in the final series of ‘Mad Men’
tvReview: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
News
Ethical matters: pupils during a philosophy lesson
educationTaunton School's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal