England opening batsman Mark Stoneman said he is disappointed that he has failed to capitalise after getting to a good start on numerous occasions in the series.
The ongoing Ashes Test series between England and Australia have become particularly humbling one for the Three Lions. The side has already registered three consecutive defeats in the first three Tests and have lost the urn to their rivals. But one of the very few promising things for the Joe Root-led side in the tour has been the inexperienced opening batsman Mark Stoneman who has shown his talent with the bat. The left-hander has already scored two Test fifties in 6 innings and has performed better than his partner Alastair Cook who has had a terrible series so far.
Speaking on the experience of playing his first Ashes series, Stoneman said that it has given him a new perspective on Australian people. “The general experience has – despite the results – been amazing. The atmosphere is brilliant, albeit very one-sided. They’re not the nicest people when you’re playing against them. It gives you a different take on the population when they’ve got a few ales down their neck. It’s been great to be a part of, it’s just very disappointing about the results,” he said.
Speaking on his own batting performance, Stoneman said he is disappointed that he has failed to capitalise on a good start. “There have been times when I feel I’ve belonged, but I haven’t made the scores that are required in Test cricket… Personally, it’s been pretty disappointing because I’ve made starts in a lot of innings,” he said.
The 30-year-old added that England have also failed to complete the task at hand on multiple occasions. “In the first two games, we made 50s and they made 100s. And in Perth we made hundreds and they made double-hundreds. I think that’s been the difference and that’s the frustrating thing as we’ve done a lot of good things in patches but just as it felt we were close to getting on top they’ve managed to get a breakthrough,” he said.
On being asked what has particularly troubled him in the series, Stoneman admitted he has struggled against the bounce and pace on Australian pitches. “I find that, against the new ball, with the extra pace and bounce in the wicket, that staying on top of the ball is hard work. And there are big fields, too. When they are men out in the deep, you’re not going to clear them. If they’re coming into their fourth and fifth spells, that might be the time to take them on [with the hook], but I’ll probably just try and get my head out of the way better next time,” the batsman said.
With England set to take on Australia for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, the England player hoped his side can avoid a complete whitewash in the series. “The Aussies are going to be coming at us looking for 5-0.So there’s the first thing we’ve got to stop. I don’t think any Ashes cricket is going to be meaningless cricket. They’re not going to be serving up half-volleys for fun because they’re won the series, that’s for sure, so we’ve got to go out and play our best,” he said.