Root urges England to stand up and put things right
Captain Joe Root said England must "stand up" amid their off-field woes heading into Thursday's crucial third Ashes Test in Perth.
England's tour of Australia has been largely forgettable on the eve of their must-win clash at the WACA, Root's men trailing 2-0 and dealing with incidents involving wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Ben Duckett.
After Bairstow made headlines for his 'headbutt' greeting to Australia opener Cameron Bancroft which took place prior to the Ashes in Perth, England Lions batsman Duckett was suspended for pouring a beer over the head of veteran paceman James Anderson in a bar before a warm-up match against a Cricket Australia XI.
England have also been dealing with uncertainty over the participation of star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who is awaiting the outcome of police and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) investigations after he was suspended on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in a disorder that took place in Bristol in September.
And Root, 26, urged the Ashes holders to put things right in their bid to retain the urn on Aussie soil.
"It's been frustrating ... very frustrating," Root said. "In the obvious circumstances and position we're in, guys have made silly mistakes that of course are going to get blown out of proportion.
"[But] we've probably got one of the biggest games of our lives coming up on Thursday ... [and] we have to get it right.
"It's time to stand up. These are the games that, when you get them right, really hit home with people.
"That's what people want to see - in the face of adversity, people stand up and really put in those big performances and prove why they have been selected to play for England.
"I understand that a few people feel let down. We still believe we can win the series, but we now need to prove that to everyone else."
Root added: "It's not a fair reflection on this group of players. They are good blokes, good people, but incidents like that let us down and lead people to believe otherwise."
"I'm fed up of talking about stuff that's not cricket," he continued. "I can completely see how captaincy can take its toll.
"I feel like I've learned a large amount. From that you gain knowledge and hopefully that will stand me in good stead moving forward."