The Ashes 2013-14 December 10, 2013

England demoralised by demons

ESPNcricinfo staff
Battered in the two Tests so far, England seem incapable of occupying the crease for lengthy periods, like South Africa did last year and ironically, the last English side to tour in 2010-11

Battered in the two Tests so far, England seem incapable of occupying the crease for lengthy periods, like South Africa did last year and ironically, the last English side to tour in 2010-11. Even on the day Australia wrapped up the Adelaide Test, they barely bowled a ball that the English batsmen needed to play, but they played at them all anyway. Their approach betrayed addled minds, writes Greg Baum in the Sydney Morning Herald.

In the last part of Australia's tour of England, and throughout the prelude here, Australia talked constantly and darkly of how different it would be in Australia, "in our conditions". So it has proved. Siddle's field when bowling to Anderson on Monday consisted of four slips, short cover, short leg, leg slip, leg gully and forward square leg. It may not have been seen at the Adelaide Oval since Bodyline.

In the same paper, Malcolm Knox writes that Mitchell Johnson's exploits aside, the contributions by Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris have been just as reassuring.

And yet, for all that a team is working as a unit and talks up the "bowling in partnerships" line, there comes a point where the supporting cast begin to feel like second stringers. Michael Clarke repeatedly went out of his way at his post-match press conference to praise Siddle, Harris and Lyon for helping the man of the match sitting next to him, Johnson, take his wickets. Those other three would be lying if they didn't hope that Johnson might help them take a few of theirs.

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