Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 4th day December 6, 2010

Warne arrives before Doherty gets his man


Super-sized Warney
It used to be that England's batsmen saw Shane Warne in their sleep, and he continues to stalk Kevin Pietersen in retirement. Pietersen was facing up to Doug Bollinger when he looked at the sightscreen and saw a huge sponsorship picture of Warne with a chicken burger. The backdrop hadn't been turned white in time and Pietersen pulled away just as Bollinger was in his delivery stride. Bollinger let the ball go slowly and Pietersen picked it up with his bat, patting the bowler on the back while pointing out one of the ground's old burghers.

Mine, yours ... oops
The final embarrassment of Australia's fielding came when Matt Prior top-edged a sweep off Xavier Doherty and it went towards Marcus North at deep square leg. Adelaide has small square boundaries so the ball was also close to Ricky Ponting at midwicket. Both men ran towards the catch but just as they were nearing the take they spotted each other and stopped. As they looked at each other the ball plopped in between them. It was North's catch but he deferred to his captain, and the two were still discussing the miss as they walked off the field after the declaration.

Doherty's pyrrhic victory
Though no-one has quite admitted it in as many words, Doherty's selection was almost entirely influenced by Pietersen's woeful recent record against left-arm spin. And what do you know, in the fourth over of the fourth day, X only went and got his man, as Pietersen aimed a wild swipe across the line and toe-ended a simple chance to slip. Unfortunately, by that stage, KP had already larruped him through midwicket to go to his highest Test score of 227, and having scored 10 fours and a six from the 60 balls he received from Doherty, there was only one winner in that particular battle of wits.

Bells on his toes
Ian Bell was England's most fluent batsman on the opening day of the series at Brisbane, where his unrecognisably confident 76 was like a dose of Xanax for a previously jittery dressing-room. He's had to wait for more than 1000 runs to get another chance in the middle, but when it arose, his fluency was once again something to behold. He went dancing out of his crease to spin and seam alike, and eased eight fours and a six in his unbeaten 68, including a sweetly timed loft down the ground that was as effortless as Pietersen's earlier assaults had been violent. On the evidence of the series so far, he's not going to get a whole lot of opportunities to bat. But neither is he in a mood to miss out when they come.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo and Peter English is Australasian editor

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on December 6, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    @prajwal elroy - "Now it comes down to the bowling, everything is fine except doherty". Really?!! What are we looking at now...over 1100 runs for the loss of 6 wickets...yep, everything is absolutely fine for australia's bowling!

  • Pankil on December 6, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    If Johnson was available then there might be a chance for aussies to salvage a draw but without him I think this game will be over just after tea I reckon. Only hope i see for australia is the weather.

  • Pankil on December 6, 2010, 21:26 GMT

    The truth is this is the one of the weakest Aussie side for a while. Not trying to take anything away from England but aussies has been so miserable. Aussies teams are known for owning responsibilities with bat and ball. If there is a batting failure some one always put up his hand and scored big when it matters the most. Being an Indian fan I know what happens when teams' fortunes are depending on one man show. Looking at the current series, Watson and Katich are one of the better opening pairs in the world but middle order comprising Ponting, Clark, Hussey, North looks prity ordinary. Its high time Ponting to think about retirement. What Aussie needed at this stage was their most experienced player to deliver when the chips are down and he failed miserably. I won't be surprised if Ponting retires if aussies fail to win Ashes. Hussey has been the backbone of this side and as always will try his best to save this test but much will depend on North (IMO extremely over rated cricketer).

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2010, 19:02 GMT

    Ian bell is a legend.

  • rajveer on December 6, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    its always good to see ian bell batting.. this guy is underrated ...very talented batsman. 2011 will b bell year..good luck ian

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Now slowly Australia are creeping back to the match. Watson and Katich playing well. Both not able to convert 50's to centuries. That is not a big problem. Hussey has played excellently in the match, back in form. Clarke proved he can get the runs. Ponting will come back soon...just like Hussey and Clarke. You can always except world-class players like to bounce back. Now the problem is North. I want him to be dropped and someone like Ferguson or Khawaja to replace him. Then the batting is done. Now it comes down to the bowling, everything is fine except Doherty. Replace him with S.O'Keefe if the team needs a spinner(according to the conditions) or bring a pacer in(maybe McKay or Starc). But according to S.O'Keefe. He gives you spin as well as a little bit of batting and the bowling attack is complete. The selectors have to be strict... if you are out of form, you are out. When you get back to form.. you are in.

  • Lalith on December 6, 2010, 9:02 GMT

    I do not think that any English baller will have any opportunity to bat again in this series. It looks like all 7 batters of Poms are doing very easily

  • S.shah on December 6, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    It was really funny to see how Kevin pulled out. Ofcourse the english batsmen are dreadful against good spinners.

  • Dummy4 on December 6, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Warnie is god. bring him back. the aussie team needs him. i am sure that even if he bowls only 10 overs a day he'll get more wickets than the current crop

  • Adrian on December 6, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    If the Australian fielding was up to scratch, Doherty would be the top wicket taker this series so far. I wonder if they will drop him based on his figures or keep him in based on how well he bowled.

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