Head coach Chris Silverwood has revealed captain Joe Root delivered a few home truths in the dressing room after England’s latest Ashes disappointment.
The tourists are 2-0 down after heavy defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, meaning they need an unlikely hat-trick of victories if they are to get their hands on the urn.
Root expressed his frustrations after the latest 275-run defeat, complaining that his bowlers were too short and bemoaning their batting for failing to make competitive totals.
The inquest continued after Root’s media commitments were complete too, with Silverwood lifting the lid on the stark conversations that the skipper led on Monday night.
“What you saw was what we got in the dressing room after,” he said.
“We had a really good talk, which was needed. There were a few things thrown out there.
“There were some honest chats, which was great. We will move forward.
“I think there are some lessons to be learned. We have to learn quickly.
“We have to be better, it’s a simple as that.”
The statistics make for grim reading in the England camp, beyond the broader concern of the series scoreline.
Australia have the top three run-scorers, the top five individual innings and the top three wicket-takers, leaving their opponents in the shade.
Silverwood acknowledged the uncomfortable truth that the best role models for his players were wearing baggy greens.
“Australia have showed us how to play in their conditions,” he said.
“We have to take those lessons into the next game and make sure we learn from them.”
England travelled from Adelaide to Melbourne on Tuesday, and will consider squad options once training resumes at the MCG.
Fast bowler Mark Wood is a virtual certainty to come into an attack that missed his searing speed, while any of Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow and Dan Lawrence could come into consideration to stiffen a batting order that has yet to get going.
Batters Haseeb Hameed and Ollie Pope would appear most vulnerable.