Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 1st day January 3, 2014

Smith and Haddin save Australia again

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Kimber: A cut and paste job

England 1 for 8 (Cook 7*, Anderson 1*) trail Australia 326 (Smith 115, Haddin 75, Stokes 6-99) by 318 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Why change a winning formula? That was the attitude Australia's selectors took in Sydney by naming an unchanged team for the fifth consecutive Test. It was also how the Australian players seemed to approach their task. In all four Tests of this campaign Australia's top order has had a go early, knowing that Brad Haddin was there to save them. In every first innings they have wobbled. In every first innings Haddin has saved them. And so it was again.

This time Haddin had support from Steven Smith, whose second century of the series confirmed him as a mature player who can score runs when the team is down. Smith has been one of Australia's revelations of the past year; Ben Stokes has been one of England's on this tour. Stokes proved himself a fighter in the defeat in Perth, where he became England's only centurion of the series so far; in Sydney he claimed six wickets to keep England in the match.

By stumps, England were 1 for 8 in reply to Australia's 326, trailing by 318 runs, and the early loss of Michael Carberry to Mitchell Johnson had hurt. Michael Clarke's knack of stationing fielders in the right positions continued when Carberry flicked off his hip and was caught low to the ground by Nathan Lyon, diving to his right from leg slip for a nine-ball duck. Alastair Cook was on 7 at stumps with nightwatchman James Anderson on 1, and much work remained to avoid a 5-0 defeat.

It could all have been so different for England after Cook won the toss and sent Australia in on a green, grassy pitch under cloudy skies. Anderson, Stokes and Stuart Broad reduced Australia to 4 for 94 at lunch and soon afterwards, when George Bailey finally edged one after a series of plays and misses, they were 5 for 97. And then, as it has whenever Haddin has been at the crease in this series, it all went wrong for England.

Australia survived some tight calls. Runs began to flow. England's bowlers strayed from their plans. Haddin and Smith moved along at a brisk rate, Haddin pulling or hooking anything short, driving through cover or down the ground with power and timing, Smith cover-driving punchily and going down the ground against the legspinner Scott Borthwick, who was on debut.

To add injury to insult, England's debutant fast bowler Boyd Rankin left the field with what appeared to be a hamstring injury but was later described as cramp - twice. Rankin had caused some awkward moments for the batsmen earlier with his extra bounce but after the first ball of his ninth, limped off. England's medical staff allowed Rankin back on the field and he bowled again 18 overs later, but again pulled up after one ball and again left the field. It was doleful to watch.

Meanwhile, Smith and Haddin had put on 128 for the sixth wicket, saving Australia in much the same way as they did at the WACA. Haddin's 75 meant that in every Test in the series he had scored at least a half-century in the first innings, an extraordinary feat given the holes the top order had left in most matches. He eventually edged behind when Stokes got one to swing away a fraction, but Smith had more runs in him.

Powerful through the off side and down the ground, Smith struck 17 fours and one six, a lovely loft over long-on off the bowling of Borthwick to take him to 99. If anyone is qualified to understand the plight of a nervous leggie it is Smith, and he had only to wait two balls for another loose one, this time a rank full toss, that he could baseball-slog over long-on for a boundary to bring up his century from his 142nd delivery.

It was Smith's third hundred in the back-to-back Ashes contests; only Smith, Ian Bell and Michael Clarke have scored that many. Alas, Smith started to run out of partners when Mitchell Johnson skied a catch into the deep to give Borthwick his maiden Test wicket and Ryan Harris drove Stokes to short cover. Stokes claimed three wickets in that over to finish the innings with 6 for 99 - including two from two balls - and Smith was the last to go, driving a catch to mid-on for 115.

Stokes, Anderson and Broad all bowled searching spells at times, Broad and Anderson especially so straight after lunch, when they made the ball talk on a seaming pitch. Too often after that the bowlers dropped short, but when they pitched it up they had a chance, as when Bailey edged to slip off Broad for 1 off 10 balls. Bailey might end up part of an Ashes clean sweep, but he'll need a big second innings to retain his place for the tour of South Africa.

After Bailey fell, Anderson nearly had Smith a couple of times, padding up to inswingers, but the ball was generally going over the top. Haddin survived a review on 9 when England thought they heard an edge behind, but it was the ball brushing both legs on the way through to Jonny Bairstow, and the wicket they needed to get into the lower order just didn't come. It was frustrating for England after their strong start.

Shane Watson fell from the final ball before lunch, lbw to Anderson for 43; remarkably it was the first lbw against an Australia batsman in the series. Earlier, Broad had pitched the ball up and, despite leaking three boundaries to David Warner in his second over, was rewarded when he straightened one that took Warner's off stump as he tried to punch down the ground on 16.

Stokes had Chris Rogers bowled for 11 when he bottom-edged a pull back on to his stumps and Michael Clarke caught at second slip for 10 off a lovely delivery that straightened off the seam. There was no wicket, though, for Rankin, one of three debutants picked by England, the first time since 2006 that they had played that many in a Test and the first time since the 1993 Trent Bridge Test that they had blooded so many debutants in an Ashes Test.

On that occasion it was Graham Thorpe, Mark Lathwell, Mark Ilott and Martin McCague; here it was Rankin, Borthwick and batsman Gary Ballance in for Joe Root, Monty Panesar and Tim Bresnan. It also brought to 18 the number of players England had used throughout this series, not only a record for England in an away Test series but an equal high for all teams in away Test campaigns. The only other squad ever to use 18 players in a Test series away from home was West Indies in South Africa in 1998-99; incidentally, they lost that series 5-0.

The situation could hardly have been more different for Australia, who for the first time named the same XI in every Test of a five-match series. Harris and Watson were both passed fit to play after emerging from the Melbourne victory with niggles. The selectors decided that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. So, it seems, did the batting order.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY SIMT-Champion-2010 on | January 3, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    England again failing to bowl to their plans by banging it in way too short at Haddin and Smith, who both love to pull. Australia are deserving of their now probable 5 - 0 series win, but without two stand out performers this could have been a different series. The main difference has been Haddins rearguard batting, which has allowed Johnson to attack England with the ball. He's done this superbly, but how Englalnd have allowed him to get inside their heads to the extent he has is mind boggling.Our batsmen have faced straight 95 mph before,it should not have been that much of a suprise.Cook, Bell, Pieterson, Root will all come good and Carberry has been a touch unlucky at times but I think it maybe time to rebuild without him. Prior will come back stronger too. With Broad, Anderson, another 3rd seamer and Stokes we still have a decent attack. Swann will be a big miss! Two avg sides at present,but Oz have had better individual performances at crucial times. Credit to Oz tho, deserved it

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 4, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    I think Compton should be named "Player of the Series" and Knighted. England won 5-0 while he played........They should never have dropped him.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 4, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    England team needs someone like misbah ul haq who can stop every ball

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 4, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    cricketcricket1987, perhaps you missed the last tour to SA, where it was a drawn series, and the last tour of Australia where South Africa won a three test series 1-0 and Australia played the better of the cricket for the most part.

  • POSTED BY krishna_IND on | January 4, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    what is happening, these england batsman are playing below par in this series and even worst in this match its 6 am in india, I am watching this match expecting some fightback from england after 8/1. There was no good swing but they are failing to bat, the one to which cook got out was disastrous it was almost between good and full length and straight to wicket, and why the hell was pietersen going hard at the ball knowing the situation and getting out for a straight ball, and bell was even bad he was finding outside edges right from the first ball.Now the score is 25/5, at least the remaining batsman put some contribution all they need to do is play the ball through the line. There is no swing at all for the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | January 4, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    I am so pleased England is not playing Bangladesh next

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 4, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    Ben Stokes looks an exiting prospect for England. Find of the summer. However England are heading for a record low score! 22/5

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 4, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Surely Pieterson's days of play test cricket must be numbered after this Ashes series down under?

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 4, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    geoffboyc you're right, aussies should worry about their top order frailties against the saffas. But surely you are even more worried about being 4-0 down. No amount of changing the subject to our tour of SA changes that. But hey, winners grin...etc

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | January 3, 2014, 23:44 GMT

    That drop from Twatto is why Watson's a true all-rounder, he can let you down with the bat, with the ball and in the field.

    Lol if you include Carberry 's 3 outs last night England are 5/9 - 6/9 if Twatto was less of an all round cricketer.

  • POSTED BY SIMT-Champion-2010 on | January 3, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    England again failing to bowl to their plans by banging it in way too short at Haddin and Smith, who both love to pull. Australia are deserving of their now probable 5 - 0 series win, but without two stand out performers this could have been a different series. The main difference has been Haddins rearguard batting, which has allowed Johnson to attack England with the ball. He's done this superbly, but how Englalnd have allowed him to get inside their heads to the extent he has is mind boggling.Our batsmen have faced straight 95 mph before,it should not have been that much of a suprise.Cook, Bell, Pieterson, Root will all come good and Carberry has been a touch unlucky at times but I think it maybe time to rebuild without him. Prior will come back stronger too. With Broad, Anderson, another 3rd seamer and Stokes we still have a decent attack. Swann will be a big miss! Two avg sides at present,but Oz have had better individual performances at crucial times. Credit to Oz tho, deserved it

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 4, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    I think Compton should be named "Player of the Series" and Knighted. England won 5-0 while he played........They should never have dropped him.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 4, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    England team needs someone like misbah ul haq who can stop every ball

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 4, 2014, 1:01 GMT

    cricketcricket1987, perhaps you missed the last tour to SA, where it was a drawn series, and the last tour of Australia where South Africa won a three test series 1-0 and Australia played the better of the cricket for the most part.

  • POSTED BY krishna_IND on | January 4, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    what is happening, these england batsman are playing below par in this series and even worst in this match its 6 am in india, I am watching this match expecting some fightback from england after 8/1. There was no good swing but they are failing to bat, the one to which cook got out was disastrous it was almost between good and full length and straight to wicket, and why the hell was pietersen going hard at the ball knowing the situation and getting out for a straight ball, and bell was even bad he was finding outside edges right from the first ball.Now the score is 25/5, at least the remaining batsman put some contribution all they need to do is play the ball through the line. There is no swing at all for the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY on | January 4, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    I am so pleased England is not playing Bangladesh next

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 4, 2014, 0:31 GMT

    Ben Stokes looks an exiting prospect for England. Find of the summer. However England are heading for a record low score! 22/5

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 4, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Surely Pieterson's days of play test cricket must be numbered after this Ashes series down under?

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 4, 2014, 0:00 GMT

    geoffboyc you're right, aussies should worry about their top order frailties against the saffas. But surely you are even more worried about being 4-0 down. No amount of changing the subject to our tour of SA changes that. But hey, winners grin...etc

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | January 3, 2014, 23:44 GMT

    That drop from Twatto is why Watson's a true all-rounder, he can let you down with the bat, with the ball and in the field.

    Lol if you include Carberry 's 3 outs last night England are 5/9 - 6/9 if Twatto was less of an all round cricketer.

  • POSTED BY SIMT-Champion-2010 on | January 3, 2014, 22:57 GMT

    @Blunty - Agree, obviously the Aussies have scored more runs man for man. My point was that Haddin and Johnson (and Smith in part) have been the real difference, in terms of important/match winning contributions at the right time. Haddin has scored lower order runs in tough pressure situations when the top order has failed (with Johnson notably in Brisbane for example) and Johnson has cleaned England up when they were in decent positions. When England have had the Aussies on the ropes we have not had a Johnson to blow the lower order away. I think if we had and Haddin had not been in the outstanding form he has, these teams would not have been as far apart as they have. Aussies well deserved the wins so far though. England have had too many big players not playing well, Aussies had theirs firing at the right time. This England team still has class players though and will be back with a bot of soul searching. I worry about our spin options moving forward though!

  • POSTED BY Cricket24 on | January 3, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    Maybe, just maybe, the board should consider bringing Simon Katich back for the tests at 3 n make everyone bat a little lower. Still a great player, he would provide stability in the top order and he still has at least two years of cricket. If anything, they should bring him in to mentor some of the younger players on how to bat long. He was a class act in his day and it was sad to see him leave in the fashion he did.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    @JG2704, I think for the English guys and Bailey too that they are being undone by a combination of their own hesitancy and good planning/execution from the opposition. Carberry probably more from a lack of self belief I think, he showed he has the game early in the series but has slowly gone into a shellshock, he could have left both the balls he nicked yesterday and was unlucky really to be caught on the glance by a legslip. I think Bailey and Root have been undone by good tactics, both are looking limited in their respective stroke ranges. I think for Root its a combo of Australia's improved bowling attack and the fact that he doesn't have too many answers for good length balls, in the last series he was getting the occasional loose ball from the likes of Starc, Patto and Agar, not so here, nor should he ever have been pushed up to 3. He really needs to go away and work on this aspect of his game. For Bailey he is just really battling with those full balls, should just have a go!

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 22:34 GMT

    Irrespective of the ENG loss in the series, the rest of the world can be optimistic that this is not a full proof turnaround by AUS. Depending on Haddin to bail them out for five matches in a row isn't a good situation to be. Not only he is a lower middle order batsman he is also not fat from retirement anymore!

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    It was nice to see Andersen bowling well. He has been too short for most of the summer and his pace had dropped off. When the ball is not swinging that just makes him pedestrian. Yesterday, he got movement, was bowling at or around 140kmh and pitched it up. Although he only got one wicket, he was menacing. Broad always has a go and it was good to see Stokes do well.

    However, we are in a similar position to most of the rest of the summer, Australia on top. Can England avoid a 5-0 whitewash? Doubtful.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 21:24 GMT

    It was right for Carberry to play over Root, apart from his one high score Root too has looked laborious in several of his innings.

    Carberry looked good until his last two innings, to dig in is completely detrimental to his style of play. He really needs to come out swinging in the 2nd innings . He deserves a big score and would make a nice story. With some solid coaching he could be there for 3-4 years if he was persevered with. England are in need of an attacking opener.

  • POSTED BY gujratwalla on | January 3, 2014, 21:09 GMT

    Australia have been very fortunate in this Series but it is clear that there is something clearly wrong with their middle order.Rogers is a batsman of limited skill and Watson and Bailey are one day sloggers,both at times seem all tangles with the quick bowlers.Smith has developed well but Haddin cannot be expected to keep this purple patch going.South Africa will surely expose their limitations as their bowlers are more quicker and more dangerous speciallæger when it comes to short pitched bowling.Johnson will do Well there but i am not sure about Siddle and Harris much less Watson .Australia will be better served with a fresh,younger and fitter fast bowler.And i am also sure the SA batsmen will not cave in to Johnson.I believe this Australian side is very ordinary apart from Johnson and Warner.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 3, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    CricketCricket1987, sorry but completely wrong. The place for younger players to prove themselves is called the Shield. Not Test cricket. Haddin and Harris should stay as long as they want and let the younger ones earn their place. The action that you suggest is what got us in trouble in theirs place. Haddin, Johnson and Harris are all class performers.

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | January 3, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    Well, just as i said, Carberry should have been the one dropped. Its unfortunate, but he scored his runs in this series BEFORE the right handed aussie bowlers decided to come around the wicket. Since then he's been struggling.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    it's really ironic. Haddin was dropped coz of his 'natural' way of playing which resulted in couple of defeats for Aussies. One such instance was the last SA tour. Even Clarke indirectly criticized 'senior players', one of them undoubtedly was Haddin and subsequently he was dropped for Wade. Now he has turned things around with a similar knock at Brisbane which was the most important innings as far as i see it, coz it was the first match and set the tone for the series. And same story for Johnson too.. once a burden to the team.. now the impact bowler. The same 'naturalness' bringing out two different outcomes.. simply amazing lesson.

  • POSTED BY cricketcricket1987 on | January 3, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    Haddin is 36 years old and should retire at the end of this series to allow Australia to build for the future. So should Harris - I mean 34 years old and always questions over his fitness - is this really the way forward for Australia. Well done to the Aussies though - its always a great achievement to win on home turf.....

    The challenge and a real gauge of how far they've come will be against SA. if they can hold their own and scrap a series draw or at least win a test - then they would have made strides forward.

    For England - the time has come for a rebuild towards the Ashes in 2015. A 3 man seam attack plus Stokes must be the way forward with Borthwick in the side will add variety and strength to the batting. At all costs, they must get Finn firing.

  • POSTED BY JoshFromJamRock on | January 3, 2014, 16:20 GMT

    Great going by Aussies. England, though they will be swept, shouldn't feel too disheartened. They are still better, overall, than all other teams in my opinion, except South Africa and India. They and Australia are about par in Tests cricket but in this case, as almost everyone has mentioned, the Aussies have had two consistent performers in Johnson and Haddin, with all batsmen (except Bailey) chipping in with a century or two while the Aussies lower order has been in keeping with its history of being very resilient when the going gets tough. Harris has spearheaded the bowling support with Lyon, Siddle and Watson having their moments. Clarke, we can't leave him out, has proven why he is indeed the best captain (at least in Tests) in the world. His bowler rotation, attacking instincts, creative thinking, field placings for certain batsmen, batting contribution AND man management have just been outstanding. Most of these features apparently weren't noticed while the team was losing.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | January 3, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    At least 5-0 prediction was true , whatever happened to the micromanagement , cook book , 'worst Australian team ever' etc... the signs were evident in the 3-0 result from England itself , but they were in denial , kept repeating it was the result that matters and chose to close their eyes.matt prior was saying something like 'we managed to beat them even playing well below our best' , never thought it was opponents bowling which MADE THEM PLAY WELL BELOW BEST..

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 16:00 GMT

    The SA/Aussie series will be fascinating indeed. The Aussies will come to SA with their tails up. I reckon that it will be the two fast bowling attacks that will decide the series with the team holding all their catches that will take the honours. I was very impressed by Haddin. Hopefully we can put more pressure on him and restrict his scoring opportunities.He looked super human, also keeping very well. SA selectors must decide who to include in Kallis' place. I hope that they will settle for a bowling allrounder and can think of nobody better than MacClarin.

  • POSTED BY Potatis on | January 3, 2014, 15:55 GMT

    I didn't get to see the game today, but I have read a few comments now saying Carberry was out 3 times. What happened that he wasn't given out the first two times? Were the Aussies not appealing or something?

  • POSTED BY kitten on | January 3, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    I wonder why Australia don't send Lyon higher up the order, ahead of even Johnson, considering the fact that England are unable to get him out. He could hold one end up, while the regular batsman can have a go. Maybe, Australia want to make the game more competitive, and keep the score more tantalizing, perhaps?

    Haddin, has certainly proved a thorn in England's side, and he is surely a prime candidate for Man of the Series. Smith, played a fantastic innings again, and what I like about this Australian side, led by Clarke, is that they keep attacking even when they are in danger, and there is nothing better than, 'Attack is the best form of defence'. So far they have come out on top, every single time. England, will certainly rue the fact, that in all five tests, they have had Australia on the mat in the first innings, and have let them off.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    @landl47-Neither are in good form but statistically Carberry (before today/yesterday) had averaged more than Root and scored more runs than Root and in the 8 inns they both played in together MC is ahead 5-3 re scores. Those are the facts. If the selectors selection for this match meant that they had to stick with that player infuture then I'd choose Root but the fact is they only have to choose for one test. Have you considered that the selectors may be thinking long term by dropping Root now and not prolonging the misery of this tour as they know that MC is a stop gap and it doesn't matter so much if his psyche is damaged? And Ive also said once they dropped Nick to make way for Root to open they should have stuck with that plan for longer. Maybe they just assumed that Root opening was affecting his form and didn't equate that it could just be he's been out of nick. Whatever I will always say the team's results should always be more important than the form of individuals.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | January 3, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    @JG2704: so your argument against playing Root and dropping Carberry is that Carberry is in better form? I just saw him get a 7-ball duck in which he was actually out 3 times! His last innings was 12 which took him almost an entire session.

    England in the past have screwed up a lot of players by not being consistent in the treatment of them. I thought they were over that, but Bairstow has been fiddled about with and now Root is getting the same treatment.

    I was actually against picking Root initially last year, but once he was chosen there should have been a plan put in place for his personal development. You can't just take a 21/22 year-old, throw him in and say he has to be good enough wherever and whenever he plays. If you did that with a young employee in any other field it would be bad management and so it is here. Youngsters have to be brought along and England simply isn't doing it.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | January 3, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Haddin's success with bat in this series is quite a revelation. I would say he along with Johnson are the heroes of the Ashes win. There are few others who may have scored 100s but Haddin to me is the real success story, especially after he was sidelined in preference of Wade in the year or so. Past 36, don't know how long he can play at this level, but he looks good to carry on another couple of years provided he stays fit.

  • POSTED BY smudgeon on | January 3, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    I like being wrong about players. Haddin and Smith ought to take a bow after this series. Haddin especially so.

  • POSTED BY Blunty on | January 3, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    SIMT-Champion-2010 - you are right in part however if you look at the Aussie top 5 (given Bailey has not contributed too much with the bat), between them to date in 9 innings they have scored 8 centuries me thinks it is vs Englands 1, which came from perhaps the batsman least expected to make a ton batting at number 6. The top 6 run scorers so far are Aussie, and Broad is the only English bowler in the top 5 wicket takers. So whilst Johnson and Haddin might be considered the stand out performers, man for man England have been demolished in all facets. England desperately need their senior players to stand up in the coming 6 months otherwise their demise will continue, an over reliance on the likes of Swann, Cook and Anderson is not healty. Australia are not world beaters at all but they are on the up and this series will give them confidence when they travel to South Africa, where they will find conditions to their liking I suspect, which could bode for a fascinating series.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    AB34 - whilst your point in regards to Bailey's plight is to a degree valid, I just want to remind everyone that he has done a couple of pretty cool things; 1. 28 runs smashed in a test over equalling Brian Lara's world record - respect. 2. Alongside Clarke, a seriously great ODI master, who just happens to be out of form right now, like any batsmen can be.. Aus are cruising, so why care too much? Everyone will want Bailey back for ODIs and depend on him..

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 14:09 GMT

    This England side has never been great, just that Aussies previously weren't very good. Now that Aussies have some stability they're just showing how average this Eng side is.

    Aussie side is not great either but they are better than England....obviously.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Cook Compton bell kp ballance/root stokes bairstow borthwick broad Anderson Finn Seems good xi, shame swann retired and they never picked this xi.

  • POSTED BY anton1234 on | January 3, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Shame Watson went just before lunch. It could have been a special innings from him. He is looking good now that he is playing his natural game.

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | January 3, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    My team for 1st in s.a 1.warner 2.rogers 3.hughes 4. Clarke 5.smith 6.watson 7.haddin 8.lyon 9. Jonhson 10.haris 11. Siddil I think this is a best team for Australia in all conditions .

  • POSTED BY pitch_curator on | January 3, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    How things change. Before the series, the English supporters were heckling Johnson and Haddin. According to them Haddin could not hold a candle to Prior. By the 5th test, Haddin had scored more than any other English batsman and Prior is warming up the benches. I have absolutely no doubt that within a year this English team will become like the late 90s English team where players will come in and go out on a regular basis and they will thrashed home and away. Can't wait !! hahaha..

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 3, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    The key to England's inability to polish off the weak auz batting line up is the demise of Swann. England were a bowler short in every test, and instead of the usual pressure, Swann became an easy outlet for the Audries. Very difficult chap to replace.

  • POSTED BY AB34 on | January 3, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    Again we (Australia) played with 10 men in the team for 5 Test matches. Too be honest, with all the England bad players, I think the worst player has to be Bailey. He isn't there to ball, not an exceptional fielder, and is having as bad a time with the bat as the worst England player, Prior but he was a wicket keeper.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | January 3, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Good to see changes, despite the ineffectiveness. Borthwick is a bits and pieces all rounder like Stokes. Prefer Finn to Rankin but prefer Rankin to Bresnan. Root deserves a rest.

    @madoldscamp Bairstow should be left to play county cricket for a year or two and should be untouchable by England until he gets a regular chance with bat and gloves for Yorkshire. The revolving door could end Bairstow's career before it started, even more than it has with Ravi Bopara.

    Long batting line-up tomorrow with Borthwick at 9, and even broad to come in slogging at 10.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    @jb633 on (January 3, 2014, 8:20 GMT) Steyn and co haven't consistently made mincemeat out of Aus before. Over the last 4 series SA are 2-1 up in series and 6-5 up in tests. Obviously Aus have it all to prove but even in the last series between the 2 sides , SA only won 1-0 and Aus were well on top of the 2 drawn tests

    @Meety on (January 3, 2014, 8:35 GMT) Guess we'll never know. Eng batsmen will not show the positive intent to get after Smith,Lyon or whoever. Cook has said they will not change the way they play and Flower could just about be seen in the background with a piece of wood with some threads coming out them which was moving in sync to Cook talking

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    @Paul_Somerset - Hello. I fully agree re Onions - absolutely criminal. Re Jos - I kind of disagree. His 1st class stats aren't that great anyway - not as good as the other JB's - and my feeling is that he would overcompensate on his game like Carberry has done. Surely part of the idea at least re Root and then Carberry opening the innings is to give the inns some momentum at the start and both have gone more into their shell. I (like many) was excited by Carberry opening with KP in the last OD series and they played like Bell and Cook. Go back to Morgan (who shouldn't have been selected for tests on the back of SF IMO) and he played a different game. Surely it would be better for the players if they at least tried what brought them success before trying to change their game. And KP looks a different animal now too. I wonder if it's the individual players choice or if the positive intent/flamboyancy is being coached/advised out of them for anything above T20?

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | January 3, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    @FFLNAH, exactly! There's an old saying: it doesn't matter how you find the pot of gold, all that matters is that you beat the leprechauns!

  • POSTED BY crockit on | January 3, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    Only Cook, Pieterson, Bell, Stokes, Broad and Anderson are definites going forward. 5 places up for grabs! Astonishing when you think this team was all settled but for the opener. Its a rebuild phase definitely as when you look at the candidates for those 5 slots nobody screams to be picked.

    Seamer wise I hope Rankin gets another chance - he could make it awkard for SL and Indian batters in the summer. Otherwise why not go to Onions? Bresnan ok as back up at least.

    Spinner - Swann's retirement may have suited him but has left England in a right mess. Monty can't bat or field and at the moment isnt even bowling well. Borthwick is more than a partnership breaker at this stage. May as well play Tredwell for 2-3 years until Borthwick or another properly emerges.

    Batting wise Root is technically flawed and Carberry has not done enough. Perhaps pick two of Ali, Robson and Ballance - all of whom have age and form on their side

  • POSTED BY madoldscamp on | January 3, 2014, 12:37 GMT

    It's interesting to contrast the way Aus have handled Smith with how England have handled Bairstow. Both are obviously talented strokemakers but had pretty awful technical flaws that made them look like "walking wickets" when they were first capped. But while Australia recognized they didn't have anything better and have supported Smith, helping him to develop, England have simply messed Bairstow about and he's getting worse. He kept getting starts in the summer(always reached double figures) but kept getting out hitting across the line. Rather than stick with him (he's also an excellent outfielder) they dropped him pointlessly at the Oval for the absurd Woakes/Kerrigan experiment. Then they exacerbated the problem by picking him as reserve wkt even though he's barely kept for 2 years! As a squad player, when he's not been in the Test side, he's tended not to play at all. Now we have the ridiculous situation of him playing ahead of Prior when he's neither a better batsman or keeper!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    @Thegimp on (January 3, 2014, 9:25 GMT) "England should never have dropped Compton"

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Dropping Joe Root is an awful thing. In my opinion, England found a scapegoat to fill No 3 position and sacked it.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (January 3, 2014, 4:35 GMT) Funny , a couple of us mentioned about this in the preview and I've thought it for a while. Some who excel at the shorter format bring that flair to the test arena and are successful with it. The names Sehawag and Gilchrist were mentioned. But I mentioned 2 players in this series who have excelled in the shorter formats and seemingly are overcompensating in the test arena. Bailey from Aus and Carberry from England. With Carberry it could be a case of being over cautious when playing for England as he was playing well within himself in the last ODI series between the 2 sides. For Eng I feel Root has also gone too much into his shell and has cost him fluency and form and I'd say KP too. He seems to just get bogged down and play aggressively only to relieve the pressure and forgotten the positive mindset which got him there. Where have all those improvised shots gone and walking down the pitch with intent gone?

  • POSTED BY 3ddy on | January 3, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    isnt Steven Finn the guy , who has best career figures in all formats among english bowling? and he didnt got a single test wow , no wonder why it will be a whitewash

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | January 3, 2014, 12:13 GMT

    Poor again from Cook, who is rapidly becoming captain clueless. He had only 2 slips to Haddin early doors, and what did Haddin do? Edged Anderson through 3rd slip. His field placings to Borthwick were also a joke. The sooner this guy is made free from leading the side we might play some positive, aggressive and effective cricket.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | January 3, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    Agree entirely @Hank Jellyfish. The way to go is Warner at #3 permanently with Watto dropping down the order. There is no natural #6, but since Doolan was in the squad he too should go to SA as back up: Rogers, Hughes, Warner, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Haddin, Johnson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon. The Bailey experiment must now be discarded: no passengers, no matter how good for team building. Surprised @Jono Makim on (January 3, 2014, 4:35) you consider him worth being given further chances. Good assessment 2xtrafalgarx on (January 3, 2014, 5:59) of who is likely to form the nucleus of the top 6 over the next 12 months. Well-founded praise of Smith @Mitty2 on (January 3, 2014, 7:30). No need now to include Bailey under false pretences. Not sure what you mean, @jb633 on (January 3, 2014, 8:20), with your phrase "as soon as you venture into Asia." The Future Tours schedule has Pak in Oct and Sri Lanka away before anothertour of India so at least plenty of practice before that particular one.

  • POSTED BY madoldscamp on | January 3, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Joe Root - England really specialize in ruining their most promising players don't they? In May they were looking a reasonably solid side with Root developing nicely at 6. So they do exactly what they did to Bell in 2005 and Bopara in 2009 - chuck him right into the firing line for an Ashes series, on the basis that "he opens for Yorkshire", as though this in any way prepares you to open at Test level. The whole thing could have been avoided with a bit of simple man-management of Nick Compton. Everyone knew Compton was an obsessive, but once he'd overcome his demons to score 2 hundreds in NZ he should have been told he was going to play up to at least the 3rd Test last summer. This would have given him the freedom to play normally in the home series vs NZ prior to the Ashes. Instead, we had to endure the agony of watching a man so desperate to play in an Ashes series become terrified into a shotless statue, and ultimately get dropped. Many of England's woes stem from this point.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | January 3, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Can we stop with this 'save' thing!!! All good innings are built around one or two batsman getting a score and contributions from the others. Bailey is the only top 7 Aussie batsman not to have a ton to his name this series, many have numerous big fifties as well as tons. Nobody saved anybody, it is a batsman's job to make runs so it is no surprise when they do!!! It's such a ridiculous way of looking at it.

  • POSTED BY TheChap on | January 3, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    Yep - apologies in advance everyone. I'm going to repeat myself... I said on here around the second test, that England were not right physically or mentally. Fact is England have been shafted by the schedule - back-to-back ashes series should NEVER be allowed to happen again. Aussies motivated + England flat and tired = 5-0

    Jimmy no zip, Swann retired mid-series (?!), Prior in tatters, Cook now introspective, skipper also appearing to overrule a lot of his pace bowlers fields settings, Pietersen with 100 caps inputting nothing from fine leg all day, (something he did in 2006-07 - I know, I was there).

    Having said that, England haven't bowled at the poles enough (check the stats), Broad and Jimmy lose it and bowl short to Haddin and Smith ALL tour, who both love it on the back foot (pitch it up lads!), one lbw ALL tour, one ton all series from a lad at 7 playing in his 2nd test, all England bowlers down on pace (why? - tiredness?). Panesar didn't come to the party at the SCG either.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Compton should have been playing proving the fact that when he was there with them in India they won and here they have a rookie opener whom they thought could score quick runs but who never scored a single substantial knock bad choice Andy put your personal equation before the team it seems

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | January 3, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    It was plain to see that Smith had what it took at test level during that 92 he made in India. I'm glad the Aussie selectors realised their mistake quickly when he wasn't included in the initial England tour squad and missed a central contract.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | January 3, 2014, 11:43 GMT

    Rowayton, Hullo again,I quite agree with you. I think 326 is a good score and England will find it difficult from here on. It seems a cracker of a Test in the making. With nothing to lose except a 0-5 scorecard,England have nothing to lose.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | January 3, 2014, 11:37 GMT

    I think this is a dodgy pitch with variable bounce and pace, a spell Anderson bowled after lunch had the batsman in all sorts. The problem is Anderson needed to get the ball up another foot and a half. This is a 150 run pitch and some of the English half track bowling was mindless today. So given what I just said I think Watson did very well and Haddin and SMith were outstanding. It just seems as soon as Haddin attacks the ENglish they just lose there bowling brains.

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 3, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    Fair 'nuff guys, if you see some of S.Waugh in S.Smith then all good and we'll all be happy if the comparison stands the test of time!

  • POSTED BY Sachin_Rahul_fan on | January 3, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    Australia again let off the hook by pathetic Poms..Australian batsmen need to get their act together before the SA series..There are'nt going to be any freebies from Steyn & Co..If Aussie batsman can compete on par with the Proteas,then its going to be one heck of a mouth watering series..As far as this match is concerned,Aussies - pls finish of the Poms asap and end their misery..

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | January 3, 2014, 11:25 GMT

    @jb633, It's become rather amusing that the English have become so downtrodden by Australia humiliating them that they've decided to take solace in the wings of what appears to be a foregone conclusion that South Africa will destroy Australia in their impending series. My, oh, my...I suppose it's the natural order of progression for the English to support the South African team with the amount of South Africans they've had in their own!

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | January 3, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    I would think this is the worst tour and England side has ever gone on. Not only have all our players let the fans down but they have looked weak in the eyes of the world. What makes it worse is we are making a bog average side look like world beaters. I honestly predict we will get an absolute thumping against India at home and i can honestly not see us beating anyone except maybe SL, BD and the WI. I would back New Zeland to batter us if we played them next as well as Pakistan. This side is an absolute rabble.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | January 3, 2014, 11:12 GMT

    Can someone expalin to me why Bailey contineus to play, this is 5 tests as a failed batsman, surely being a good guy doesn't mean yo ucan continue to fail at test level.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 11:09 GMT

    @Thegimp on (January 3, 2014, 9:25 GMT) They should never have dropped Compton

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    The runout today was Haddin was set to retire. He would do well to bow out on top in the form of his life. For all the gloating from Oz supporters please wait until you actually win a test match away from home before you judge exactly how good a team you currently have.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    The determining factor in the series has been the batting perfomance of the Aussie lower order...they have always been seemingly on the mat with 5 down for virtually nothing.. Haddin and the bowlers have taken them invariably to safety and then a position of strength....and it was not the first time.. Gilly always played the role before...

  • POSTED BY Eight8 on | January 3, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    The 5 wicket 1st inning score for Australia in each games has generally been woeful, but the repeated rescue effort is phenomenal (Haddin and <insert someone>). I think Haddin has made 50+ in each 1st innings.

    I reckon the run rate played a big role in today's position. 4+ runs an over helped Aus to over 300 and a competitive score. They go at 3 or less and they get bowled out for just over 200 with Eng way on top. The run rate considering they were 5-97 was unbelievable.

    Still scratching my head at Cook's captaincy. he just doesn't seem to have an answer and this continually letting Aus off after being in repeated good positions must be frustrating the Eng fans. He may well go down as Eng's greatest ever batter, but his captaincy needs some work. Not sure whether Flower's influence is the overriding factor, but he just doesn't seem to have a natural feel for the situation, unlike Clarke.

    As usual, will reserve judgement on Aus's score and the pitch until Eng have batted.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 10:46 GMT

    @Ken McCarron, it might have looked that way at the ground but Anderson just didn't challenge the bat enough most of the time, letting the batsmen leave a lot of deliveries. On the other hand Stokes challenged the batsmen to play their shots and got the rewards for it at the end of the day. The lad is a competitor. Broad too challenged the batsmen most of the day, Jimmy really only for a little while either side of lunch.

  • POSTED BY rmaganti on | January 3, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    So two out of three new selections have been a flop. What next England? Making changes for the sake of changing cricketing fortunes is laughable. Why was Joe Root dropped and Carberry in the team. Rankin was always a suspect and Borthwick for Panesar, not in a million years, unless you want someone to bat but bowl a bit.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Where are the quality leg spinners? It is a dying art for sure...

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    the answer to cccrider is george bailey lol

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 10:22 GMT

    The success of England in the last ashes and against India in 2013 was possible because of the exceptional bowling of Jimmy Anderson which I think is the major reason for England's current predicament. And apart from Anderson and Broad England doesn't have world class test fast bowler. If you look at the current bowling department of Australia and South Africa they have 3:1 (3 faster and 1 spinner). Both Aus and SA have world class bowler as third fast bowler (namely Morkel and Siddle) while England doesn't. They seriously need to look in this area.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | January 3, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    @Thegimp -re. your speculation on Compton -'What would've happened if Compton was selected?' Simple.He would've found self yet another bunny to Johnson -or Harris/Siddle- and with 150odd less balls faced/runs scored than a Carberry.Rest all -4-0- same.

  • POSTED BY anton1234 on | January 3, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    England will be bowled out for less than 175 and then Australia will score runs aplenty second up, and quickly (not that they would need to), setting England somewhere between 500 to 600 to win 4th innings.

  • POSTED BY Eight8 on | January 3, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    @jb633. I both agree and disagree with some of your comments. The Aussie side is indeed aging and has some tricky transitions to make over the next couple of years. The top over has been shown to be extremely brittle over a few year's now and has a long way to go before it could be considered world class. It has been their one weakness of the series really, but they have had a canny nack of finding a batsmen to play a saving innings in partnership with the brilliant Haddin (Johnson did it at the GABBA). Haddin has been super influential on this series along with Johnson (and Warner in the first 3).

    Don't quite agree that England's batting is their only weakness though. They are still yet to take 20 wickets this series and have gone for over 43 per wicket (pre this innings). Broad has been consistently good over the series (still ranks no. 5 behind all the Aussie bowlers though) with the others only having moments.

    Stokes has been OK (100 and a 5 for at no. 6,) something to work on.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    @Landl -Please stop going on about Root all the time. You can't/shouldn't have a batting line up performing so abysmally all the time and not make changes. Carberry was realistically the only other change they could have made and his stats have been better this series. No one's saying that this signifies the end or that he's not the future. He'll probably still start the next series. Also have you not considered that keeping a player in the side who is lacking in form/confidence could actually do the player (never mind the team) more harm than good and I'm talking long term here? Also we get to see what Ballance can do and I know you wanted to see him in the side and he goes into the side without the scars and baggage of Root and all the other batsmen.

  • POSTED BY nlpdave on | January 3, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    The wisdom of bowling first wobbles yet again. Apart from being two paced this pitch offered little that it won't do all through the match,probably offering something additional to Lyon if the match ever gets to day five and if Australia have to bat again. Yet again England have been conned by a prevailing opinion about the pitch that turned out to be as crappy as their bowling effort. One won't go far wrong, when competing in Australia, by ignoring any opinion offered about anything by anyone remotely Australian. My guess is the overwhelming opinion favoured bowling first and that influenced the English captain, management and pundits and they were all wrong. From this position and on this slightly awkward surface England will have to bat out of their skins to still be in this game at the end of day two. Something I do not think they can remotely do.

  • POSTED BY CodandChips on | January 3, 2014, 9:35 GMT

    Glad to see changes, even if Borthwick is more a bits and pieces all rounder, and I prefer Finn to Rankin. Suffering from poor selection for the original tour. Root will be back soon. Glad to see Carberry getting one last chance.

    Team to play Sri Lanka: 1.Cook 2.Root 3.Moeen Ali 4.Bell 5.Ballance/Taylor 6.Stokes/Borthwick (depending on pitch) 7.Davies (unless Bairstow scores a hundred and keeps well) 8.Broad 9.Anderson 10.Finn 11.Kerrigan

    Above team may need some tinkering following this test. I'd like another look at Kerrigan- he's the best spinner we have. We should show some faith in Finn. Keep Cook as captain, but wouldn't be upset if Bell took over.

    Stokes has done well. Still a bits and pieces, but I guess that's what you expect with an allrounder. Certainly better than Flintoff but no Botham/Kallis (yet).

  • POSTED BY RTPbetterthanSRT on | January 3, 2014, 9:32 GMT

    If Steve Smith keeps working on his leggies and batting, in a few years he could very well be Mr Cricket 2.0 - scoring runs to get his team out of tight situations (such as today and at the WACA), taking key wickets and sharp, athletic catches in the field. He really is a super talent and I, for one, am glad he has been given an 'extended run' as previous player management could have seen him dropped after Adelaide and we might not have seen his 2 magnificent tones this summer.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | January 3, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    @pommy80, is that all you got mate? Leave the straws alone and get ready to order the DVD of this series though I don't think you'll have trouble remembering it lol! Borthwick would have been an interesting experiment as night watchman? Probably not an ideal situation to debut in but if he's at 8 and usually bats 3 surely would have been worth a go because Anderson isn't likely to help see off the new ball is he. I imagine England will be 2-3 down for about 15 runs first thing tomorrow morning. I think we should enforce the follow on too this time. I'm missing the wisdom of @FFL and @neil99 lol!

  • POSTED BY geoffboyc on | January 3, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Most of us can't understand why England have played so badly but if Patrick Porter thinks England such a" lightweight side" he must be worried that in four of the five Tests Australia haven't got past 150 against them before losing their fifth wicket. They didn't even reach 100 in this one. Brad Haddin as much as Johnson has been the defining player in this series and has been outstanding with bat and gloves. His batting has made it much easier for the Australian bowlers to pressurise when their turn came. I somehow don't think the SA bowlers will be so accommodating.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Stokes is a player with a bit of luck. He has done nothing special and will struggle going forward. I do not see him on the international scale for too long

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | January 3, 2014, 9:25 GMT

    Please please please can we get off the "Crompton" thing, if I read "England should never have dropped Compton" one more time I will implode larger than the English cricket squad in Australia.

    Can we all agree that England should never have dropped Compton? OK, there, it's done. England should never have dropped Compton, I'm glad that we all agree that England should never have dropped Compton. If Compton is reading this, mate, England should never have dropped you. Every one out here agree mate, you should never have been dropped and England has done you wrong.

    I wonder what would have happened if Compton hadn't been dropped by England?

  • POSTED BY nlpdave on | January 3, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    Englands bowling was again pitiful, including Stokes, going at 5 runs an over. Just because they got out when he was bowling says little. Haddin and Smith benefitted from a woeful bowling attack yet again. Borthwick shouldn't have bowled at all bar, perhaps, a speculative over. One more leggie consigned to the bin? Rankin was rubbish. This match has been lost by the bowlers already. Had we bowled anywhere near as well as Australia this series would have been close. Neither side have shone with the bat but one side has prospered when the 2nd XI attack was on. Australia shouldn't have got more than 150. The wisdom of selecting Carberry already paying off? When the batting

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    @jim carter. I completely agree

  • POSTED BY Rowayton on | January 3, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    Paul Rone-Clarke is incorrect in saying that 326 is not a good score at all. Going back over my cricket watching career, which goes back to the early 60s, most winners of Sydney Ashes tests have scored about this in their first innings. Indeed the first test I ever saw, in 62/3, was won by Australia who scored 319 in their first innings. It's enough if you bowl properly.

  • POSTED BY cccrider on | January 3, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    Cricket trivia question 2030: Name the Australian test batsman. This batsman played 5 tests in their career. The 5 tests were consecutive matches during a test series which was won by Australia 5:0. The batsman was then dropped, never again to play tests for Australia.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    To think prior to Eng ashes many wanted Hughes over Smith . Think Smith's career follows Steve Waugh's ...ie top batter and skipper.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    I actually said yesterday smith was still a concern. He responded to critics in the best possible way. This wasn't just a century made when Australia were already ahead and English bowlers toiling, these were tough runs at a tough time and changed the course of the game. Well done to him, this test series may just be the making of him

  • POSTED BY Lermy on | January 3, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    England has turned woeful into an art form! Never before in the history of test cricket has the discomfort of the now underdog been savored by so many, as they fall apart with remarkable predictability. It continues to be a fascinatingly morbid spectacle. Oh how the mighty have fallen!!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 9:10 GMT

    The 1 positive from the tour has been Ben Stokes - who I had big reservations over.I still like Woakes but his namesake seems to have gone from strength to strength and is still fighting hard while the team as a whole is lacking so much. Sad for Boyd on his debut to pull up but I guess this can happen no matter how fit you are. Borthwick was a slight gamble and has obviously been targetted as Smith said in his interview after the day's play but they seem to be targetting any spinner and you cant have a bowler - who can do nothing else - bowling the number of overs Monty bowled in the last game.I think Bothwick's better facet these days is his batting so we'll see how he goes. I have always feared that Swann would be our hardest to replace. Re batting Carberry over Root would be controversial but Root had not done enough in the series to justify his place no matter what the long term plans are. MC has gone too far into his shell and seems to have forgotten how to be positive

  • POSTED BY Bonehead_maz on | January 3, 2014, 9:01 GMT

    @ Ken McCarron .... Same way I saw it.

  • POSTED BY cccrider on | January 3, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    To correct earlier post - can't compare S Smith to S Waugh. Smith got his first ton in his 12th test match - S Waugh in his 27th test match.

  • POSTED BY AidanFX on | January 3, 2014, 8:59 GMT

    I have never seen Haddin bat so well. I have seen him bat some very good innings on numerous occasions to be sure. But I have never seen him so consistent through an entire series like this; 1st (especially) and 2nd innings. I wonder who his replacement will be. Paine I believe is one of the best keepers, unfortunately he is aging a tad now. Wade on the other hand is average at best.

    I was defending the Bailey selection because he seemed to be adding a bit to the team overall. His presence in the field is noteworthy. I thought though he made some low scores he looked promising but he hasn't really gone anywhere. I don't know how anyone can justify keeping Hughes out the way he is playing.

  • POSTED BY Realistic_cri_fan on | January 3, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Don't worry England.India are playing 5 Test matches in England this year and you will win by 5-0.After that India are playing 4 test matches against Australia in Australia and the Aussies will win by 4-0. Despite winning the home matches,England and Aus will lose the away matches badly..And in 2015 India will win all the home test matches and the likes of dhawan,ashwin and jadeja will be hailed as "Heroes".. This is what happend in last 2 years and this is what going to happen in next 2 years.... Oh God,Please change this routine...I am really sick of this...

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | January 3, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    Impressive innings by smith , are we seeing another steve waugh in making ??

  • POSTED BY class9ryan on | January 3, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    So the finds of the series for Australia - 1) Warner's confidence 2) Johnson's pace 3) Lyon's growing standard 4) Smith's temperament 5) Haddin's Gilly avatar. While England's find - 1) Ben Stokes which makes them look a five man attack 2) Stuart Broad's fighting character .... This may not have been the best of Ashes series for England if they could fix in the spinner after Swann still not a bad side at all

  • POSTED BY AidanFX on | January 3, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    Fantastic viewing - was not one sided by any stretch but still woeful by England overall; given having Aus 5 for under 100. I think Johnson's wicket was a key moment. It was stupid batting given Cook's stupid captaincy - he had three men back in the deep on the leg side. If Johnson knocked to one of those fieldsmen on the ground and did that for each delivery against the spinner may have been the difference between a score under 350 and 400+. I like the brand Aus are playing overall. It is not all doom for England - Stokes looks like a real gem in that side given what he has shown with bat and ball.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | January 3, 2014, 8:52 GMT

    same old story I guess. England have the top order back in the pavillion for not too many runs but can't finish the job and then Haddin and an other change the momentum of the game. As it stands I'd have Haddin as man of the series above Johnson. I suppose it's how you see it but for me Haddin set the tone in rescuing the 1st inns in the 1st test and has rescued the Australian inns on several occasions in this series so it's not a case of him making runs against a bowling attack which has been ground down by the batsmen before him. He has come in against a bowling attack with their tails up and left them reeling. I also wonder if England shouldn't change their plans a bit more vs Haddin. They try and justify their defensive strategies and they can point at the fact that it has often worked vs the top order but it seems to be a recurring theme that from 5 down Australia are making big runs almost every time. However easier said than done vs Haddin and co

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Fair call. Stokes showed some ticker and got his reward. Carberry was always going to find test cricket difficult, a small fish swimming with the sharks!

  • POSTED BY foeofdevil on | January 3, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    Haddin had played already enough to have the player of the series award credit on his name.Some would argue it must be Mitch. Yeah, it is arguable.But the innings he played,the pressure he took,the total he generated from behind every single time an Australian collapse were at stare, he is well deserved for it.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 3, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    England are simply not good enough, nor are they thinking level -headedly. First,they make Boyd Rankin undergo a Fitness Test 30 minutes before start,and with their eyes wide shut,draft this inexperienced,no practice,unfit bowler,who pulled up twice during play - why not Finn, Tremlett or Bresnan? Then when Australlia wre on the ropes at 5 for 97,they did not know how to go for the kill - instead allow a mature partnership of 100+between Haddin and Smith! Out come the Aussies who made it very uncomfortable for England's batsmen!Credit to Michael Clarke that he had positioned Nathan Lyon at leg slip,for him to take the catch from Carberry off a brilliant ball from Mitchell Johnson,just outside Carberry's leg stump - he had to play at it, and a brilliant diving Nathan Lyon at leg slip takes the catch!Then came James Anderson as night watchman,though a single was on offer. Anderson did not take it! He wanted to protect his Captain from facing the last ball of the day!Can ya believe it?

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Aussie On the verge of greatest 5-0 win!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    I'm not sure why Stokes has been getting all the kudos for today's performance. I was at the ground and I can tell you that Anderson was by far the pick of the bowlers and Broad was next. They peppered Haddin and Smith who must have a number of bruises tonight. Stokes was smashed all over the place and got a bit lucky at the end. Some days you will bowl well and miss out; some days you will bowl rubbish and get wickets.The latter is what happened to Stokes today.....

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    jb633 Whatever happens in SA this side won't capitulate in the embarrassing way England have downunder, on course for their second ashed whitewash defeat in six years. You were out bowled, out batted, outfielded & out captained after your cheerleaders predicted an easy win. If I were you, when we struggle in SA I'd be very quiet indeed. You have no idea what a lightweight cricketing side you now are.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | January 3, 2014, 8:38 GMT

    I think considering it was his first match Scott Borthwick bowled decently had a few spin past the bat with the full tosses, he was always going to be targeted, credit to Haddin and Smith still. I think when he settles his nerves he will bowl better in his second stint. England needed something different I dont think they can criticised for that, plus we should wait to see how he bats to fully judge him

  • POSTED BY cccrider on | January 3, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    Can't compare S Smith and S Waugh. Smith has a couple of tons after less than ten matches whereas Waugh had played 20 or so tests before his first ton.

  • POSTED BY csr11 on | January 3, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    What a beauty again from Haddin, indeed He and Mitch should be jointly awarded as men of the series. Every time England came anyway near gaining the ascendancy with the ball, their contention was duly stamped out by Haddins attacking innings. Those first innings runs throughout the series are the main reason why Australia is looking to whitewash England.

  • POSTED BY magpie22 on | January 3, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    If Lyon is not ou nin the final innings, he won't have an average for this series, I believe. You only gain an average per dismissal!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | January 3, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    @C.Gull on (January 3, 2014, 8:11 GMT) - IMO there is plenty to compare between Smith S Waugh. More so if Smith tries a bit more with his bowling, I think Smith is a better leggie than Borthwick!

  • POSTED BY markatnotts on | January 3, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Well, I was stunned by Rankin playing given the bowling coach thinks he us not fit enough to play a Test match. Then guess what happens? A batsman who bowls part time leg spin gets smacked while his equivalent for Oz bats well. Going to be hard tonight! Still great to see the Durham raised Stokes bowling well!

  • POSTED BY sk12 on | January 3, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Well played Smith! Not so long ago was he considered the Ravindra Jadeja of Aus :) While Jadeja has greatly improved his bowling, Smith has gone places with his batting.. Good luck both of you..

  • POSTED BY Maroubra_Flyer on | January 3, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Well done Steve Smith, grace under pressure (have been a big fan for a while now). People are now starting to notice since his improved form in India. Has certainly tightened up his technique. Our next Captain and No.3. Bit harsh on Watto othello22. His innings under pressure to win the last test was all class & now you bag him one innings later, he was the third highest run scorer for the innings. Ben Stokes has been a real revelation for England & did well to capture 6. I think it was a shame the two series (in Eng & Aus) are after one another, I think it majorly disadvantaged England as the holder of the Ashes. England need Compton back to open with Cook & then Bell, KP (about whom judges have been particularly harsh, did very well in Melb with a vanishing tail) Ballance & then Root. Get the best keeper & sort out spinner - not far away.

  • POSTED BY pommy80 on | January 3, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    Regarding the comment's referring to England's depth, it's just ridiculous that the ECB picks the same players and never plays our future talent. Look what happened to Compton. Did they really think Carberry was the future. Our bowling has more talent then Australia, yet the talented ones are either back in England (Onions for example) and Finn who never gets a game. The problem is Flower, and the coaches, not giving our best players a chance to perform. Australia are laughing, and rightly so, knowing our selectors and coach are too far stuck up for believing in the same group.

  • POSTED BY Paul_Somerset on | January 3, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    Another Division 2 innings from Carberry and another Division 1 performance from Stokes.

    Note to selectors: Carberry, Hampshire, stuck for ever in Division 2; Stokes, Durham, Champions of Division 1. It really is that simple.

    Some other names: Graham Onions, Durham, Division1; Nick Compton, Somerset, Division1; Jos Buttler, Somerset/Lancashire Division 1.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | January 3, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    I heard a rumour that Haddin is going to retire as soon as this test is over !! Please say it ain't so.

    326 is a decent score on this pitch I'd say. It'll take some chasing.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    You'd only call this Australia's day if you take England's manual frailty on this tour into account. 326 all out is NOT a good score at all. But reaching 300 has largely been a task too far for England. Notwithstanding they let Haddin off the hook yet again and a defensive or beaten mindset seemed to play a part. Watching Bairstow drop so many balls wasn't giving me much confidence though luckily none of them turned out to be off edges.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 8:24 GMT

    The Ashes tour of shame for England, really, they have no firepower to finish a team off at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Bonehead_maz on | January 3, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    A good day's cricket. As a Queenslander, I hate to recognise yet still do, this NSW progression (in chronological) Haddin, Clarke, Smith....... they represent how to win. George Bailey must be replaced, I wonder who ? I also believe Mitchell Johnson just bowled one of the truly great 3 over spells (Ryan Harris of course very good). Getting someone out 3 times for zero is special, and the other two batsmen were also always in trouble.

  • POSTED BY pommy80 on | January 3, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    Good to see the Australian fans once again moan about 'NZ born' or 'South African born' players play for England. Fact is they have parents who are English and chose to represent a proud nation. Atleast our government isn't rushing visa's for overseas players. Talk about one eyed supporters.

  • POSTED BY Foxswoop on | January 3, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    Gotta agree with electric_loco, Smith reminds me a lot of a young Steve Waugh. Waugh was dropped early in his career and came back a much mentally tougher player and I think Smith has done likewise. Bailey unfortunately, has to go. Who comes in is debateable but with not much Shield cricket coming up before the South African tour I think they will go back to Hughes who hit a great ton on their last tour there.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | January 3, 2014, 8:20 GMT

    BradmanBestEver, have no fear mate you will be get smashed in February against a proper side and as soon as you venture into Asia so if I was you I would enjoy it whilst it lasts. This Aussie side is ageing too and with the feeble top order Steyn et al will make mincemeat of it. If we had any batting we should have been in control this series but we have been pathetic with the bat all series. Carberry is not good enough for this standard, neither is Baristow. What either of them are doing on the tour let alone the team is beyond me. Not to be too harsh on Borthwick either but he is simply not good enough to be a lead spinner in an Ashes test. The need to use him has really thrown Swann's decision into the spotlight if you ask me. Well done Aus 5-0 in this series. I do however think the happiness will be short lived though. Surely Haddin, Harris, Rogers even Clarke will not have too many series left in them.

  • POSTED BY Baxter_P on | January 3, 2014, 8:17 GMT

    I predict the selections in this test specifically will cost Flower his job. Why persist with Carberry, who plainly is not test quality and is really a 'free' wicket for Australia: he imposes no pressure on the bowlers and is not likely to score more than 30 even if he does stay in. At least Compton had the ability (or the concentration and tenacity) to push on and Root has demonstrated an ability to put a fielding team under pressure. Borthwick has not earned a call-up; Swann's poorly-timed retirement has put them in a awkward spot but they should have waited until the English summer before tossing Borthwick in when he hasn't played in three months. Rankin was unlucky with his injury, but his selection for this test does bring up again why he, Finn and Tremlett were all chosen for the tour and then played a total of two tests between them. Why stack your squad options with tall pacemen if it's not the game plan to play them (most especially in Perth)?

  • POSTED BY Aspraso on | January 3, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Haddin rescues Australia -- Johnson takes 1 before close of play -- so what's new?Same as 2013 -- why bother.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 8:13 GMT

    Hey there @Barry! Not sure the issue is how far back you go as it is 'has already played for another country'. For most of us that's the difference between a franchise and representing your country. But, I guess for others the sun never sets on the old empire, eh old bean! Perhaps India or the other colonies have a few middle order batsmen that could step in? Tally ho!

  • POSTED BY C.Gull on | January 3, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4: surely you're not serious comparing S.Waugh and S.Smith? I am an enormous Waugh fan, and Smith will have done fantastically if he comes anywhere close in terms of career achievements, but in terms of batting, Smith oozes a ton of flair. When he's in good touch like he was today, it almost looks like the ball and the sweet spot of his bat have some kind of magnetic connection.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 8:10 GMT

    england have not had a century opening stand since they dropped compton. dropping root was a mistake as was playing rankin - anderson, broad and stokes are enough. who is the 4th best bowler? carberry showed in melbourne he has been worked out and can't combat the tactics. lineup should have been cook, root, bell, kp, ballance, stokes, mr.a keeper, 4 bowlers (preferably fit, road tested and in form). why blame cook if he is not given the right lineup?

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    Lyon: is that 54 runs without getting out? Would be funny if he managed 21 out in AUS 2nd dig (series average with the bat 75, from No. 11)

  • POSTED BY milepost on | January 3, 2014, 8:06 GMT

    Even the sympathy for England has dried up. They are by no means out of the match but the 50-1 pre series odds on an Australian whitewash are looking pretty good now. Very glad they dropped Root finally and not Carberry that would have been a massive injustice. Business as usual.

  • POSTED BY Hanumall on | January 3, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    There goes another gift on a platter to the Aussies with love from the poms, so short at the moment on both skill and spirit. Australia may not deserve a 5-0 win. But England have once again staked their claim for a fully deserved 0-5 drubbing.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    A good day for England but could have been outstanding. An England lead of 150 and this game is won.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 7:58 GMT

    Maybe everyone can get off Steve Smith's back now. The stats show he has Australia's third best average in this series and as many centuries as Clarke and Bell over the two series. Well done Brad Haddin too, giving MJ a run for Man of the Series.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | January 3, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Well there's not likely to be another S Waugh.They dont come that good v often if at all.Steve-Smith-could be the 1.Aus/world might've found its next 'Steve' Waug!Young Smith with lot of similarties with Aus legend.Both 'unattractive','scratchy' so on.

  • POSTED BY othello22 on | January 3, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Well done to Steve Smith, that was a clever, well constructed innings on a tricky pitch. Haddin again plays the rearguard, his rebirth has been almost as spectacular as Mitchell Johnsons - Who I might add produced yet another searing, almost unplayable spell at the end of the day to get Carberry out three times for a duck. He should be thankful those two other dismissals aren't counted against his average. Great to see also that Watson chose his favourite form of dismissal yet again after his customary start - Lbw, again, right on the stroke of lunch, again. Right when the team needed him to dig in and play an innings of substance. Again. I say, again, he is not a number 3 bat.

  • POSTED BY mondotv on | January 3, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    I was working - was there rain or something? Only 82 overs bowled plus a change of innings leaves them 5 overs short doesn't it? If weather didn't intervene that's woeful...

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    it is surely the last test match of carberry and george bailey

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | January 3, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    England have their problems. One shinning light is STOKES, he is a hardworking cricketer both batting and bowling.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | January 3, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Just when you think it couldn't get worse for England they finally pick Rankin and he breaks down pretty well straight away AND they let us off the ropes again after 5 for 90ish, AND lose a wicket before stumps. What to say? Well done Stokes I guess, that's about it. England must be counting down the days till they board the plane, and I'm even starting to feel a little sorry for them, such is the state of this tour.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | January 3, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Two more worthy mentions - Stokes and Haddin. The argument for Haddin being man of the series has serious merit, and it's an extremely difficult decision as without Haddin's first innings average of over 80 and numerous escape acts (aided of course by the defensiveness of the worst captain in test cricket) to cover for our our flailing top 6, it's likely that MJ wouldn't have been able to bowl as attackingly as he has and he might have lost his potency. Haddin's form is simply magnificent, and the amount of records he's broken in these back-to-back ashes is simply mind boggling. Literally his form puts him into the realm of Gilchrist, if not better.

    Stokes has got some very good stats for a young player - average of 33 with bat and ball and has a 6 for and a 100, He's England's only positive and the NZ born has a tremendous amount of potential considering he bowls at pace and scores quickly. A huge career beckons. A great moment was when after he got Smith he also congratulated him.

  • POSTED BY AlSmug on | January 3, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Well, well, well, Australia hand an opportunity of a lifetime to England and England as per usual crumble... Johnson had yrs of mental weakness he past that bug onto England, even if they soehow get a lead in the first innings , England have more internal problems than a cancer patient with terminal cancer spread to the lymphatic system, the glory days have returned for Oz and they are now ahead on head to head ashes victories , happy days. One issue Oz test has is a no6 Bailey looks out of touch but he looks ten time better than Hughes maybe blood Doolan at 6 , Ferguson has the G. Blewitt syndrome, struggles with the straight one so that rules him out , maybe Burns? Khawaja maybe

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | January 3, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Have to give so much credit to Smith. His average batting at 5 is now around 54, and ever since coming back into the team in India he has played many, brilliant under pressure, counterattacking innings. Think his Perth century, this century, his 90 odd in India - in all innings he virtually carried his bat. And he's also shown the ability to bat well when the team's scoring well (OT, The Oval), so he's got more than one speed to his batting (Carberry should learn off him). More compliments to Smith, he's scored his three centuries at a younger age than what Clarke did, ironically, as 99% Smith will take over Clarke as captain.

    The best part was how he scored almost all of his boundaries through the off side, which is the complete opposite of his Perth century where everything was leg side. England did not bowl short so he couldn't pull, and they tried to continue to bowl wide of off stump, but Smith, showing his all round batting, scored just as heavily. Very good signs.

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | January 3, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    So the same old story is played out - Australia on top and England without a clue. Yawn.

    Borthwick is a WIP. Stokes is a trier. But the rest are just average Joes going about their business to get the next pay check. Time for major change in the English camp for us all to get an interesting contest.

  • POSTED BY jagannathanV on | January 3, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    The day would have been pathetic for aus if braddy s not there.. wat a turnover !! He s using his rich form nicely here in punishing the bowlers and crushing the Cook's hope to cut short Aus first innings score. The day belonged to Aus and this test match mite as well.

  • POSTED BY Mitty2 on | January 3, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    That's two careers ended today - Bailey's and Carberry's. Bailey came in on ODI form - so logically, considering he didn't do well in his Shield innings, he should have played the same way he did in India. His counterattacking ability is shown in his Adelaide and Perth innings, but you don't think he has the ability or technique to be a test player. It's unfortunate, I was all for his selection and really like him, but the experiment has failed. Bring on Hughes. Carberry was out three times in three overs and just doesn't know what he's doing. Like Bailey, not test class.

    England's brilliant depth on show for all - Borthwick much like Kerrigan was dreadful and Rankin got dispatched before his unfortunate injury (why did he come back on?? Ridiculous.) I'd say that the duo of Kerrigan/Woakes tops Borthwick/Rankin. Oh, and more credit to the Eng management, Borthwick plays three for his county, is more a batter than bowler, and they make Anderson night-watchman instead???

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | January 3, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Aus end up on v handy 325 and Smith showing why is argubly best of -new gen.- young bats in world with another fine 100 v his fave.Eng -many to come- on the spiciest pitch of series.Stokes ending up with cheapest of 5fer with tail sloging some quik runs.

  • POSTED BY Henry_Crun on | January 3, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    I suppose after that innings from Smith we will have the usual bleats from the usual suspects re his supposed "lack of technique". Funny thing, this technique: probably the most technically correct and elegant Australian batsman I ever saw was Paul Sheahan, who played 30 odd Tests for Oz in the late 60's early 70's. Paul's only problem was that with all the technique in the world he had trouble hitting the ball off the square, and finished with a miserable average of 33. Doug Walters had what some posters would call poor technique, but averaged 48. A bloke named Bradman wasn't all that technically perfect either. All batsmen are not, and should not be, the same. The only truism we should be using for players like Smith is "If it works for you, keep doing it".

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | January 3, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    Carberry was actually out 3 times to Johnson without scoring a run today before he actually had to walk back to the Pavilion!

    I was impressed by Watson's patience today, though he got out lbw again, he was working hard and had intent and was scoring alot freer than others. Then Steve Smith and Haddin, take a bow.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    Last year when it was in England I was feeling for Australia and hoped that they will do the same with England but now I am feeling the same for England. :p . can't stay one sided

  • POSTED BY lillee4PM on | January 3, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Carberry out three times for a duck. I'm glad the first two weren't referred so Lyon could take a screamer and the wkt was beyond doubt! 32 for Mitch now.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Daisy1 Presumably you are an Aussie and you are questioning nationality qualification? How far would you like to go back?:)

  • POSTED BY lillee4PM on | January 3, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Pass the butter and jam, coz England will toast by lunch time tomorrow.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | January 3, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Rogers,Warner,Doolan/Hughes, Pup, Smith, Watson and Haddin for SA. Bailey must go. Think Watto played okay on seaming conditions. The bowling group picks themselves.

  • POSTED BY VKohlitheGreat on | January 3, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    @ neil99 : Smith and Haddin are very average?!? Lol. Looks like average is what england need at the moment..

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    Selectors have had a great series- Borthwick would not many wickets in decent club cricket - Rankin can't bowl ten overs without breaking down. Borthwick wasn't getting wickets in grade cricket. So know England are left with four bowlers in the second innings but really only three because you can't count Botthwick as a bowler and no Root to bowl a few.

  • POSTED BY rachit3041 on | January 3, 2014, 6:28 GMT

    wow what an innings by haddin and smith at such a crucial stage.... the main reason for the success of aussies in this ashes is the contribution from lower middle order particularly haddin...he is been amazing throughout the series..., england gave it away again after getting initial breakthroughs...they are lacking that killing instinct to finish things off ,which they had during last ashes....

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | January 3, 2014, 6:23 GMT

    @ landl47, Agree with you re: Root. he has been moved around the order & given the boot when he is clearly going to be around the team for then few years. Not sure about Borthwick, the bowler though. Agree @JonoMakin re: Bailey. Is anyone really surprised he has scored 137 runs to date with his only memorable contributions being one day cameos? That is why you don't select players based purely on one day form.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    The real Men of the series in the Ashes are 5-11 for the Aussies (except George Bailey). They have chipped in with runs when needed (bravo Haddin) and of course taken 20 wickets in each test.

  • POSTED BY Chris_P on | January 3, 2014, 6:18 GMT

    Good to see you back FFL, I mean neil99. Still enjoying those sour grapes? Your mate rednwhitearmy has got a little contrite lately, as well, but still is happily chewing the same grapes. Enjoy it fellas, we are.

  • POSTED BY Diaz54 on | January 3, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    Wonderful support for Bothwick....apparently we have to be very patient with him because Shane warned said so said one of the commentators. We have to stick with him in the long run said another commentator and the support goes on and on! That is good. But have others got the same level of support.....I won't name players...but the usual suspects get no support P, R, B, and P.....none of these guys get the required support...guess their names from the initials!!

  • POSTED BY VivGilchrist on | January 3, 2014, 6:09 GMT

    @Stephen Field, you forgot to mention Kiwis too. And the occasional Aussie. And the occasional West Indian. And Papua New Guinean and so on and so forth.......

  • POSTED BY whensdrinks on | January 3, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    What is wrong with the English bowlers? They get 5 wickets for a hundred by bowling full and getting some movement and then decide that bowling short will cause the Aussie tail to get out. Hasn't worked in the 4 previous tests so why would they think it will work in the fifth? Mid wicket middle paced dross.

    Borthwick, a batter who bowls part time leg spin will go for heaps and Australia will make 350+.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    was pretty critical of smiths inclusion in the test team. He's been pretty good since his selection on the indian tour. scored runs when australia have really needed them. still has some growth to fulfill his huge potential but maybe he can be australias new steve waugh.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | January 3, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    Smith, what a legend. Future captain of Australia, tough as nails and learns from his mistakes, that's what i like about Smith. He isn't scared to play his shots no matter the situation, i believe he is going to make it as a test cricketer! That's Clarke, Warner-ish, Watson-ish,Roger-ish, and Smith locked in the order.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    Daisy it is technicLy the England and Wales team so Welsh players are eligible. Irish and Scots have to qualify by residency or parentage As do South Africans and Zimbabweans.

  • POSTED BY daisy1 on | January 3, 2014, 4:57 GMT

    Why are Irish, Welsh and Scottish players allowed to play for England? It's not Great Britain, it's the English cricket team.

  • POSTED BY VivGilchrist on | January 3, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    Once again Watto is copping criticism even though he has out scored the no 1,2,4, and 6 combined. Unfortunately playing Bailey has wasted an opportunity to get Hughes in before the Saffer series or even Faulkner or OKeefe a go as there bowling would be handy and either would have out scored Baileys 1 run.

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | January 3, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    'Three slops and a gully in place' - inadvertent comment by the Cricinfo commentary team .... pretty accurate considering the amount of spills. At least Cook held on to Haddin's edge.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 4:35 GMT

    @Shaggy, well summed up. I agree on Bailey... I just get the feeling that if he played with the freedom he now has in odi's he'd go okay but he is way too tentative. Hopefully he can rectify that if given further chances.

    For England, well it's all looking a bit grim now isn't it, with the runs flowing and they are down to 3 bowlers with Rankin off the park and Borthwick not looking anymore than a part-timer. Smith brings up his fifty, Aus may be well on top by the end of the day.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 4:30 GMT

    I'm glad somebody in that dressing room had the stomach to drop Joe Root. He's overrated, overhyped, and undercooked as a batsman.

    His average of 27.42 on this tour is the worst among the England batsmen, even lower than that of the struggling Carberry! Even his run aggregate is the *lowest* among all the England batsmen - 192. Matt Prior in comparison scored 107 runs.

    Root's one innings of 87 on a featherbed wicket is what kept him afloat all this time, much like his 180 at Lord's kept him afloat during the England series.

    I think it's time for the England selectors to bring back Nick Compton. He needs to be rewarded for his back to back centuries last year in New Zealand. He will fit very nicely back into this team.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | January 3, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    The writing now on the wall for England resembles a Tolstoy novel along the Great Wall of China. It's not clear whether Rankin's departure was a good or even better event for England but does mean leaving them light of a bowler. Or two if you look at Borthwick's contribution. Certainly England having already come apart at the seams have to look to the stitching to fall apart. It was great till 'that man' Haddin walked in. Predictable really. The white flag was hoisted long ago.Whatever's left too is hoisted too. I wonder if Australia just ell each other jokes about the England side at the start of each session.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    Do whatever you want England.... The Aussies are on fire this ashes. 5-0 on cards.... All the best.

  • POSTED BY on | January 3, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    It's no wonder Haddin is having such a great series because by the time he gets in, normally after about 30 overs the English bowling loses the plot. Rarely have I seen so much dross served up to a player who is very uncomfortable with balls on a good length on that fourth stump line. Instead he, for some bizarre cosmological reason, is served up rubbish every over without fail. Anderson has bowled well but the irritating Broad has been expensive. He can bowl well but then for some inexplicable reason gets bored with going for no runs and serves up a juicy half volley or long hop. Now, Haddin can certainly whack easy full balls and long hops and his innings has been peppered with them. Stokes and Ranking just do not have that control and consequently a four ball an over is the norm, often two. Borthwick, on a hiding to nothing on this pitch today, doesn't have anything special but, then again, he probably needs the opposition to be under pressure and some help from the pitch.

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | January 3, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Haddin on the job again. It's Haddin's Ashes as much as Johnson's Ashes. Australia are on course for 280 and plus. That will take some catching up on this pitch.

  • POSTED BY lillee4PM on | January 3, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    Haddin on fire (again) and Barmy Army silent (again); gotta love this series. So now that England's South African core has either quit, melted or hit a wall (Strauss, JT, Prior, KP) they bring in a Kiwi, a Zimmer and a Spud to do the job?

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | January 3, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    So the same old storyline develops. England get 5 for around 100, the Cook's field placing and poor follow up bowling hand the initiative back on a platter. I mean, come on we all know Smith and Haddin are very average, LOI bludgeoner with no finesse. And Borthwick brought on when Haddin is smash unit around the park.

    The worrying thing is Stokes seems to be blighted by Finnacitus. What is Saker doing to these young talents.

    It doesn't need a crystal ball or reading of the tea leaves to predict an a England first innings just over 200 and second innings of around 180.

  • POSTED BY cccrider on | January 3, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    Bailey the test batsman is a mere annoyance to the other side.

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | January 3, 2014, 3:22 GMT

    This has been a Haddin Ashes as much as Johnson's Ashes. Almost everytime, Haddin provided Johnson enough runs to steam in and don't forget the wicket keeping of Haddin. Great going for a guy who almost lost it due to his age. Great stuff from him to bail the team almost every single time.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 3, 2014, 3:13 GMT

    I think Haddin realises that this is his chance to secure man of the series award. 220 looks like a par score on this wicket. I'd back the Australian bowlers to get a first innings lead.

  • POSTED BY lillee4PM on | January 3, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    Aus selectors could have made some changes for the MCG and SCG, especially in relation to Bailey. With the Ashes in hand at 3-0 they were too politically correct with their "don't change a winning side" policy. I think John Inverarity and Tony Abbott should swap jobs. We'd get a more pro-active selection process and Tubby Taylor would get to fish from the shores of Kirribilli House! PS England fans, your mob still have to bat on this deck so don't get your hopes up coz Johnson is gonna get ya and he will be man of the series!

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | January 3, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    The spell from Anderson after lunch is showing there are plenty of gremlins in this pitch, variable speed and bounce, as well as seam so don't think its as bad as the score suggests. Johnson and Harris will be very difficult to face on this. Anderson would have us all out if he bowled a foot and a half fuller. Chris Howard Haddon hasn't saved us yet, his series has been outstanding but Johnson has added runs in one game and absolutely destroyedthe English batsman and clearly man of the series. I think Bailey has one last chance in the second innings time for him to just bat positively d move at the bowling. Stop getting caught on the crease or your test career is over.

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | January 3, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    Again a top order collapse from Australia, a feature of this series. Haddin to the fore again?

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 3, 2014, 2:53 GMT

    Under normal circumstances, this would be game over for Australia, but MJ will be backing himself on this pitch.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    I think that is the last time we'll see bailley in test cricket. really shiukd have been replaced after the perth test with a view of finding someone for the sa tour. australian batting still pretty brittle at the top. hard to see sa allowing australia to get away with the top order collapse and the lower order and tail getting sufficient runs for the bowlers to set up a win. bring back hughes to open. rogers or warner can drop to 3.

  • POSTED BY cccrider on | January 3, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    Bailey - an embarrassment at this level. As most forecast. Move on.

  • POSTED BY cricketsubh on | January 3, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    This is the chance for berly to score and book a place for s.a tour ig he fails in this test I don't think he make the tour of s.a gud luk berly

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | January 3, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    I have to say that I am stunned that England has been so short-sighted as to drop Root (unless he is carrying an injury that hasn't been reported). He's one of those players who is the future of English cricket and he needs to be playing at test level. He has been moved up and down the order and now dropped- this is back to the old England, who didn't give young players with the ability to play test cricket the time to develop that they needed.

    At lunchtime Broad, Anderson and Stokes have done a good job in nipping 4 Aussies out. Rankin has been ordinary and Borthwick hasn't bowled, so the debutants haven't added much as yet. It looks like being another fascinating game.

  • POSTED BY liz1558 on | January 3, 2014, 2:02 GMT

    Tragic to see Australia's ascent - like watching the triumph of the dark side of the force. However in the words of Obi Wan, if you strike England down, they will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine... The chosen one is set to bring Ballance to the force.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | January 3, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    "As has been the case throughout the series, Australia may yet need to rely on Brad Haddin for a first-innings recovery project."

    And this is why Haddin, not Johnson should be man of the series.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    Truly madly deeply oz are in trouble

    Jag

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | January 3, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    Could some journalists do a bit of investigating and tell us more about the story behind Panesar being dropped? Can't help feeling that we are not being given the full story here...

  • POSTED BY lillee4PM on | January 3, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    Cook made his first decision of the series (doubt he made it by himself), bowl first on a green top...no brainer really. England bowling well, and Watson showing his mental weakness and technical deficiencies again. Another Haddin and Johnson salvage job needed for us at Sydney. Probably still win this one.

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | January 3, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Watson out AGAIN last over before a break. How easy can it possibly be to get this guy out before a break!? Ground hog day. Never seen a player who gets himself out so often. He probably groaned the regulation "Oh no!" before the ball even left the bowler's hand.

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | January 3, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    Got him, Yes, he's gone.....

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | January 3, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    Clarke coming in before lunch is always a sitting duck. Rogers/Warner disappointing again first innings. Good to see Watson improving his patience though. At least this gives Watson/Smith/Bailey a chance to prove themselves.

  • POSTED BY quogequox on | January 3, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    'Brave' move by England, dumping the spinner and bringing in the fast bowlers, for Sydney. Off to a good start though.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Hope England wins this test and deflate the bloated egos of the Aussies

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    The question is why did England wait till the 5th test to bring in all these debutants? This has been the trouble with England all along never prepared to take a chance. Once the ashes were lost they should have had the courage to make wholesales changes. In my mind Andy Flowers tenure has come to an end. Get ride of all the coaching staff the management team and start a fresh!

  • POSTED BY Pete_AU on | January 2, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    Good thing they didn't drop Carberry. I can't believe that could have ever been under consideration.

    Would like to see Australia win but also have Cook, Carberry and Bell in the runs as well.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 2, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    Good to see Eng decided to stick with Carberry , maybe he will be given license to play natural game . Also thought Anderson would have been given a rest as he seems off the boil.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 2, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    Excellent that England has won the toss and chosen to bowl, as this allows for every possible situation to occur in which to be beaten, as no doubt they will be. Providing that Australia do not have a bowler break down which is what I fear may happen.

    Hopefully Australia can finish this day with close to 300 and no more than 4 down to set up the right mentality for South Africa.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | January 2, 2014, 23:36 GMT

    Excellent that England has won the toss and chosen to bowl, as this allows for every possible situation to occur in which to be beaten, as no doubt they will be. Providing that Australia do not have a bowler break down which is what I fear may happen.

    Hopefully Australia can finish this day with close to 300 and no more than 4 down to set up the right mentality for South Africa.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 2, 2014, 23:54 GMT

    Good to see Eng decided to stick with Carberry , maybe he will be given license to play natural game . Also thought Anderson would have been given a rest as he seems off the boil.

  • POSTED BY Pete_AU on | January 2, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    Good thing they didn't drop Carberry. I can't believe that could have ever been under consideration.

    Would like to see Australia win but also have Cook, Carberry and Bell in the runs as well.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | January 3, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    The question is why did England wait till the 5th test to bring in all these debutants? This has been the trouble with England all along never prepared to take a chance. Once the ashes were lost they should have had the courage to make wholesales changes. In my mind Andy Flowers tenure has come to an end. Get ride of all the coaching staff the management team and start a fresh!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | January 3, 2014, 0:26 GMT

    Hope England wins this test and deflate the bloated egos of the Aussies

  • POSTED BY quogequox on | January 3, 2014, 0:46 GMT

    'Brave' move by England, dumping the spinner and bringing in the fast bowlers, for Sydney. Off to a good start though.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | January 3, 2014, 1:22 GMT

    Clarke coming in before lunch is always a sitting duck. Rogers/Warner disappointing again first innings. Good to see Watson improving his patience though. At least this gives Watson/Smith/Bailey a chance to prove themselves.

  • POSTED BY RednWhiteArmy on | January 3, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    Got him, Yes, he's gone.....

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | January 3, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Watson out AGAIN last over before a break. How easy can it possibly be to get this guy out before a break!? Ground hog day. Never seen a player who gets himself out so often. He probably groaned the regulation "Oh no!" before the ball even left the bowler's hand.

  • POSTED BY lillee4PM on | January 3, 2014, 1:56 GMT

    Cook made his first decision of the series (doubt he made it by himself), bowl first on a green top...no brainer really. England bowling well, and Watson showing his mental weakness and technical deficiencies again. Another Haddin and Johnson salvage job needed for us at Sydney. Probably still win this one.