Ashes: England 'must show guts' in third Test against Australia

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Pint-sized Ashes: Australia pile on the punishment on day three

England need to show "guts and determination" to keep the Ashes alive, says assistant coach Paul Farbrace.

The tourists, already 2-0 down in the five-match series, were dominated by Australia on day three of the third Test at the Waca in Perth.

Captain Steve Smith hit 229 not out as his side ended the day 146 runs ahead with six wickets in hand.

"We have to fight hard over the next two days and make sure there's still a contest to keep going," said Farbrace.

"We have got to get stuck in and play exceptionally well."

Bowlers wilt under Perth sun

It was a chastening day at the Waca for England, who must avoid defeat to stop the urn returning to Australia at the earliest opportunity.

They took just one wicket as Smith and Mitchell Marsh - who finished the day unbeaten on 181 - shared an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 301.

The tourists' bowlers were unthreatening on a flat pitch, with both James Anderson and Stuart Broad wicketless in a combined 57 overs.

"We've got to show some guts and determination. We've got to fight as hard as we possibly can," said Farbrace.

"We have tried various ideas and plans. The majority of ways we have of taking wickets with the attack we have is to be monotonous with line and length, and we have tried that.

"We thought the cracks might open up a bit more. There was a little bit of variable bounce yesterday, but it hasn't been the case today. It's bounced nicely off the middle of the bat.

"When it comes to flatter pitches, we don't have that express pace. I'm not being critical of our bowlers, I'm being honest.

"Unless we get the ball to reverse, then it's quite tough for our bowlers."

The Smith conundrum

Steve Smith's previous Test high score was 215 against England at Lord's in 2015
Steve Smith's previous Test high score was 215 against England at Lord's in 2015

Smith is now averaging more than 200 in the series, with his career-best score in this match following up the 141 not out he hit in Australia's first-Test win in Brisbane.

His Test average (62.89) is second only to the legendary Donald Bradman and Farbrace conceded that England are struggling to find a way of nullifying the right-hander.

"The tough thing is that you don't get drawn into bowling where he wants you to bowl to him," said the assistant coach.

"Every team will talk about where to bowl to him - that fifth stump line and try to drag him across his stumps.

"He may get into some awkward positions but he gets his head into the ball and keeps the bat face open.

"He hits the ball form strange positions but he seems to hit the middle of the bat on a consistent basis.

"We've tried all sorts. We've thought about the plans to him and we've been thinking about them for some time - but we've come up against a player who is in the form of his life and playing absolutely fantastically."

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