Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd day November 22, 2013

Familiar tale from shell-shocked England

England's first Test collapse has has become a recurring failure and one that should be keeping Andy Flower and company awake at night
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When does a string of aberrations become a pattern? When does a blip become the norm and when does continuity of selection become rigidity of selection?

These are the questions England need to answer after a painfully weak display of batting left them requiring something approaching a miracle to avoid defeat in the first Test of the Ashes series.

On a pitch that remains sound and true, England collapsed from 82 for 2 to 91 for 8 in a session that brought back memories of the dark days of England cricket in the late 1980s and 1990s.

There are, as ever, some excuses. First and foremost, they came up against a fast and unpredictable left-arm bowler who rattled them in a hostile spell of sustained fast bowling. Mitchell Johnson deserves great credit for this.

England might also point out that rain has robbed them of time in the warm-up games and training sessions and that both Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior's preparations were somewhat disrupted by injury. It is true, too, that this pitch was some way quicker than anything they experienced in the recent series in England.

But most of those excuses are pretty thin. It's not as if they could not have been predicted. It's not as if England have not faced Johnson before or as if they have no experience of these conditions. They knew what was coming and, by the evidence to date, had either not prepared adequately or failed to execute those plans.

Nor is it the first time they have started series with a poor batting display. They have failed to reach 400 in the first innings of their last nine Test series - a run that stretches back to the start of 2012 - and on five of those occasions have failed to reach even 200. If an event keeps occurring it cannot be described as a one-off. It has become a recurring failure and one that should be keeping Andy Flower and company awake at night. This has been, for several reasons, an accident waiting to happen.

On paper, this is England's strongest batting line-up for many years. Pietersen and Alastair Cook have scored more Test centuries than any men who have previously represented England and may both be remembered as greats of the game; Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott have averages in excess of 45; Prior averages in excess of 40. Each one of them have played top-class innings under pressure in the not too distant past. If there are better batsmen in England they have not made themselves obvious.

Yet England have failed to reach 400 for 17 Test innings - a run that extends back to Wellington in March - and several of their leading players - Cook, Trott and Prior in particular - are enduring runs of poor form too long for comfort and too long to be easily excused. It is no good living off past glories; Hobbs and Hammond have fine records, too. No-one would pick them now.

No expense has been spared in preparing this side. They have three batting coaches - Andy Flower, Mark Ramprakash and Graham Gooch - to work with here, they have brought in a couple of left-arm fast bowlers to face in the nets - Harry Gurney and Tymal Mills, who may well be the fastest bowler in England - to replicate Johnson's line of attack and they arrived in Australia four weeks before the Test series began. Some sides complete whole tours in that time.

The most galling aspect of this collapse was how easily England succumbed to Australia's plans. It took only two balls well angled across Joe Root to lure him into a horribly loose drive; it took only one spell of short bowling to have Trott, jumping around and playing almost exclusively to the on-side, caught behind. Pietersen flicked to the man placed for the stroke at midwicket and Cook, reaching outside off stump, soon nicked one angled across him. Wickets came far too easily for Australia.

But it would be simplistic to state that England were simply blown away by pace and bounce. Another nemesis also came back to haunt them: their weakness against spin bowling. On a day two pitch that remains utterly blameless, they made Nathan Lyon appear like Muralitharan on a dustbowl, with Bell and Prior departing to successive deliveries playing across balls that bounced and turned a little as if they had never seen an offspinner before.

Indeed, it might provoke England to reflect on the homogenised strips of lifeless sludge on which too much cricket is played in England. Rarely do developing players experience pitches that aid spin or pace in England, with far too much emphasis given to nagging seam and swing. It is a systemic failure that continues to hold back the international side. The pitch in Perth may be even quicker.

Equally, the ECB may reflect on the work permit regulations that they fought for and the central contract situation which has robbed the county game of many of the fastest bowlers. Even the absence of relatively obscure seamers - the likes of Johan van der Vath and Garnett Kruger - has limited the exposure of England players to the pace and aggression they can expect in international cricket. The gap between county and international cricket has grown considerably over the last couple of years.

Pace and bounce did not actually account for many of the top-order wickets. But it had left England rattled and it may well have resulted in their footwork being slower and their bats being less straight than they should have been. They looked, just as they had at Perth in 2010-11, more than a little shell-shocked.

History tells us that England can rescue themselves from this position. You only have to look at the Brisbane Test of 2010-11 or the Auckland Test of this year to see that. They are unbeaten for a year. But they have given themselves a mountain to climb here and, even if they do somehow salvage a draw - and with so much time left in the game, they may well need some help from the weather to do so - they will know that they have squandered a wonderful chance to take control of this series.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • xtrafalgarx on November 23, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    The English are so arrogant and cocky that they are shocked this is happening yet it was plain to see that there have been chinks in their all along. The past 4 test matches Australia and England have played against each other, it's clear to see that Australia has looked the FAR better side bar a couple of days i.e the collapse at Durham.

    Something has gone amiss from this English side since Strauss retired. India was still filled with old players who were past it when you toured and they were much harder to beat when they got their new players and Australia went there.

    You still haven't recovered from Collingwood's retirement. That goes to show just how hard you will find it to replace the players you have now. Your new players are not as good as you think they are either. Root started well, but that was before other teams figured him out and made plans, not it's up to him to go to the drawing board. Past Anderson and Swann, you have Finn and Kerrigan, Ballance hasn't looked good.

  • Gazza77 on November 23, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I think it's the whole negative approach they take to batting. Ever since they got beat by South Africa at home they have changed there approach to batting. They are trying to grind out batting like Amla did to them. It must be obviously there game plan and it's killing they team. Have the batting line up are not playing there natural game. Tbh they were lucky to escape with a drawn series in nz last winter. And were really unimpressive at home. And they will lose this series if they continue to play like this. It's obvious they have gone backwards since playing like this.

  • on November 23, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Yes, England were shocking in their first innings, and yes, MJ was amazing and he deserves to stick two fingers up to those that doubted him before this test. As we know England never start well overseas, and I think Australia will win this game. BUT... there are only 2 bouncy wickets in Australia, Perth being the second. That gives England 3 flatter tracks to nullify MJ's bounce, and also it goves Swann a chance to show why he's the best spinner in this series. Having said all that, well played Australia so far, you have certainly shut up most of the one sided English cricket fans on this website.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 23, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    Well said xtrafalgarx, Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor and Shane Warne have been saying exactly the same thing on the Channel 9 commentary. England tried to play their game of attrition, but to win in Aus you need to be aggressive. With the bounce/grass on the pitch you will eventually lose a wicket (unlike the wickets prepared in England). Also agree with Aparajitha Sataluri, Johnson was very dangerous in India on lifeless wickets, he spent a couple of months working with Dennis Lillee and his pace is back - his main weapon. Johnson is also married and has a child which makes a big difference - everything pales into insignificance when that happens (which Johnson has noted). He lit up the Gabba & there is no greater sight in Test Cricket than a genuine quick - which are why Tests are still the most exciting form of the game (best for bowlers)

  • on November 22, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    @everyone - the point of commentary is to comment on what is happening right now not reflect on records, look a the bigger picture etc etc. Everyone on here who says "look calm down - just one days play - bla bla" is missing the point. When a batsman gets out you jump up and cheer and send him on his way, or when he hits a six you stand and clap. You dont say oh well, doesn;t hit many sixes so that did't happen.

    This article is perfectly sound for today - tomorrow it may smell. Who knows? Certainly not any of us or we would have better things to do than comment to each other

  • on November 22, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    England complacent and under-prepared? The real issue is that they have not yet discovered the location of the magic cave despite Andy Flower's best efforts. If they don't find it, they will sure lose!

  • FieryFerg on November 22, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    The averages may look good on paper but ALL batsmen nowadays have inflated averages (~10 runs in many cases) compared to the 80s and early 90s due to the lack of true pace bowlers and neutered pitches. Johnson is quick but nothing exceptional - however many batsmen now seem incapable of dealing with this.

  • chicko1983 on November 22, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Front foot lunch - enjoy those series wins, it will be the last for a while. the urn will be coming home and the era of Aussie dominance will begin again. We will get a couple more years from these bowlers before cummins, pattinson, and starc reign their terror on batsmen for ten years.

  • on November 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Its hard to understand the lack of critical self-analysis displayed by the English batsmen. Cook KNEW they would bowl full outside off, Trott KNEW they would bowl at his body, Bell KNEW they would bring the spinner on, etc. The failure to work on their weaknesses that were displayed in the last Ashes series displays either a spectacular arrogance or a real lack of self-awareness.

    What is even more hard to understand is that the English fans seem to think that an easy 5-0 victory is coming their way. Australia didn't bowl particularly well today with the new ball but were still able to knock over the opposition for a sub-par score. Time to face facts, this series is evenly poised between the two sides and will be a tight contest on the field!

  • inthebag on November 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Apparently the plan is to wear down England's bowlers. If they can manage this the Ashes are back. Even more than the batting collapse, these things happen sometimes, the response of the bowlers was the big deal. They looked like they'd given up already, like a team of prima-donnas, especially Anderson, who do well when things are going there way but can't fight there way out of a paper bag. They'll win a few more games here and there with their talent but there are clear signs that this lot is on the way out.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 23, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    The English are so arrogant and cocky that they are shocked this is happening yet it was plain to see that there have been chinks in their all along. The past 4 test matches Australia and England have played against each other, it's clear to see that Australia has looked the FAR better side bar a couple of days i.e the collapse at Durham.

    Something has gone amiss from this English side since Strauss retired. India was still filled with old players who were past it when you toured and they were much harder to beat when they got their new players and Australia went there.

    You still haven't recovered from Collingwood's retirement. That goes to show just how hard you will find it to replace the players you have now. Your new players are not as good as you think they are either. Root started well, but that was before other teams figured him out and made plans, not it's up to him to go to the drawing board. Past Anderson and Swann, you have Finn and Kerrigan, Ballance hasn't looked good.

  • Gazza77 on November 23, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I think it's the whole negative approach they take to batting. Ever since they got beat by South Africa at home they have changed there approach to batting. They are trying to grind out batting like Amla did to them. It must be obviously there game plan and it's killing they team. Have the batting line up are not playing there natural game. Tbh they were lucky to escape with a drawn series in nz last winter. And were really unimpressive at home. And they will lose this series if they continue to play like this. It's obvious they have gone backwards since playing like this.

  • on November 23, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Yes, England were shocking in their first innings, and yes, MJ was amazing and he deserves to stick two fingers up to those that doubted him before this test. As we know England never start well overseas, and I think Australia will win this game. BUT... there are only 2 bouncy wickets in Australia, Perth being the second. That gives England 3 flatter tracks to nullify MJ's bounce, and also it goves Swann a chance to show why he's the best spinner in this series. Having said all that, well played Australia so far, you have certainly shut up most of the one sided English cricket fans on this website.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 23, 2013, 0:05 GMT

    Well said xtrafalgarx, Ian Chappell, Mark Taylor and Shane Warne have been saying exactly the same thing on the Channel 9 commentary. England tried to play their game of attrition, but to win in Aus you need to be aggressive. With the bounce/grass on the pitch you will eventually lose a wicket (unlike the wickets prepared in England). Also agree with Aparajitha Sataluri, Johnson was very dangerous in India on lifeless wickets, he spent a couple of months working with Dennis Lillee and his pace is back - his main weapon. Johnson is also married and has a child which makes a big difference - everything pales into insignificance when that happens (which Johnson has noted). He lit up the Gabba & there is no greater sight in Test Cricket than a genuine quick - which are why Tests are still the most exciting form of the game (best for bowlers)

  • on November 22, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    @everyone - the point of commentary is to comment on what is happening right now not reflect on records, look a the bigger picture etc etc. Everyone on here who says "look calm down - just one days play - bla bla" is missing the point. When a batsman gets out you jump up and cheer and send him on his way, or when he hits a six you stand and clap. You dont say oh well, doesn;t hit many sixes so that did't happen.

    This article is perfectly sound for today - tomorrow it may smell. Who knows? Certainly not any of us or we would have better things to do than comment to each other

  • on November 22, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    England complacent and under-prepared? The real issue is that they have not yet discovered the location of the magic cave despite Andy Flower's best efforts. If they don't find it, they will sure lose!

  • FieryFerg on November 22, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    The averages may look good on paper but ALL batsmen nowadays have inflated averages (~10 runs in many cases) compared to the 80s and early 90s due to the lack of true pace bowlers and neutered pitches. Johnson is quick but nothing exceptional - however many batsmen now seem incapable of dealing with this.

  • chicko1983 on November 22, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Front foot lunch - enjoy those series wins, it will be the last for a while. the urn will be coming home and the era of Aussie dominance will begin again. We will get a couple more years from these bowlers before cummins, pattinson, and starc reign their terror on batsmen for ten years.

  • on November 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Its hard to understand the lack of critical self-analysis displayed by the English batsmen. Cook KNEW they would bowl full outside off, Trott KNEW they would bowl at his body, Bell KNEW they would bring the spinner on, etc. The failure to work on their weaknesses that were displayed in the last Ashes series displays either a spectacular arrogance or a real lack of self-awareness.

    What is even more hard to understand is that the English fans seem to think that an easy 5-0 victory is coming their way. Australia didn't bowl particularly well today with the new ball but were still able to knock over the opposition for a sub-par score. Time to face facts, this series is evenly poised between the two sides and will be a tight contest on the field!

  • inthebag on November 22, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Apparently the plan is to wear down England's bowlers. If they can manage this the Ashes are back. Even more than the batting collapse, these things happen sometimes, the response of the bowlers was the big deal. They looked like they'd given up already, like a team of prima-donnas, especially Anderson, who do well when things are going there way but can't fight there way out of a paper bag. They'll win a few more games here and there with their talent but there are clear signs that this lot is on the way out.

  • crockit on November 22, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    The batting raises questions but a stellar performance from Broad and solid one from Anderson disguised a problem with the bowling.

    Swann is not going to be a threat all the time meaning that the potency of the third seamer is v.important. Tremlett bowler steadily for 2.68 an over but watching live I can say he just did not look like taking a wicket other than by batter error.

    Fact is Siddle and Harris are more or less a match for Broad and Anderson. If the relatively well directed version of Mitch Johnson keeps turning up and bowling around 90 England will look weaker than Aus in the seam department. On top of probably losing this Eng could very well lose at least in Perth as well.

    Much is made of Finn's expensiveness but both he and to some extent Rankin would probably have bowled high eigthies to 90 and produced some lethal deliveries on this wicket.

  • on November 22, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    I feel it is too early to jump to conclusions about the series. just 2 days into the 5 match series, and we are talking about how Australia have advantage in this series. England just cannot lose the series becausethey are the better side. They are slightly superior in bowling but there is a difference of light years in batting strength of the sides. England are going to win 2-1 this time!!!!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 22, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    @jackiethepen: Had Bell top-scored, or better still made any sort of score of note, I don't think anybody here would have trouble predicting who'd be the first person to over-hype him [Bell] up. Media tries to convey the atmosphere and feelings of the fans/audience based on the days play, and the guys on Cricinfo do that well which is why fans like me visit this site. I've never met a poster that nitpicks articles as much as you, and brings across so much "hysteria" over ONE player in a series with two full teams.

  • Venkat_Gowrishankar on November 22, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    It is not the end of the series for England. This was how they started their tour of India where they were thrashed in the 1st test and came back brilliantly in the 2nd and 3rd. I hope to expect the same. Fact is , England have more quality batsmen than Australia. Cook, KP, Trott, Bell and Prior -> There is no match for these in the Australian camp be it in terms of test match experience or the number of runs scored . It is just a matter of time before the England batsmen come to form. The real worry is for Australia whose batting barring Clarke looks bare thin.I stil hold England as favorites for these reasons.

  • Nutcutlet on November 22, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    I suppose the re-emergence of the magnificent Mitch at the Gabba is the product of the perfect storm in cricketing terms. England's vulnerability first up in any series; the lack of meaningful competitive practice prior to the Test; an Ozzie side wounded by the earlier 3-0 series' trouncing (when that score line was something of an exaggeration); a pitch with carry and, it seems, increasing pace & most of all a bowler, once endlessly ridiculed by the Barmy Army, with an emphatic point to prove. Add to all of these, MJ's confidence put on a stratospheric plateau by the previous day's pugnacious batting & CRASH! England is laid waste. Whether England's bats were overconfident is almost irrelevant. This match & the way it's unravelling, is beginning to look like the dealing of fate.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 22, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    Given how regular an occurance the predictable event of Australia being thrashed by England in an Ashes test match is, it's logical to assume that England were very complacent in their approach to batting today. The last series was 4-0 to England. The series before that it was 3-1 to England. Last year Australia were whitewashed in an ODI series too. England's batsmen threw their wickets away due to complancency and a total lack of any form of preparation ofr the series. As we've seen before, even the best teams in the world start their batting slowly in a series, South Africa are famous for it. The trouble for England fans is that England do this a lot too, and are often winning series' after getting themselves behind at the start of one. They'll be getting themselves out of this one too.

  • jackiethepen on November 22, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    Stats that have no meaning without context are surely 400 in the first innings? As applied to Durham Riverside for example they are meaningless as the par score for the ground is 250. We won in four days in Durham because we amassed enough runs in the second innings for the bowlers to attack. Each ground will have its own pitch and weather conditions which will influence the number of runs. Having 400 runs is not enough if the conditions are very flat and good for batting. How many Test Series have England lost since Trott and Bell (returning after being dropped) joined KP and Cook in the side? Won 10, Drawn 3, Lost 2. Is that a bad record? Surely not. This includes 3 Ashes victories!! Yet after ONE innings in the first Ashes Test down under Dobell hints that England are finished. This is hysteria, not sound judgement. Compare the difference with 2006 when Australia got 602 in the first innings to England's 157. Now that felt a mortal blow.

  • Craptastic on November 22, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    I agree with some of the comments here but there is too much sensationalism in the print media these days. Yesterday was all about how poor Australia's top 6 were (and are!) and today is the other way around, about how the county system in which none of these internationals play in regularly is falling apart. I think we all need to calm down.

    Will be interesting to see what England do tomorrow - their modus operandi is to play for the draw in this situation but I think there is too long in the test to consider this.

  • on November 22, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Dear friends, Let us give credit where it is due. This time around Johnson seems to be very dangerous, Observed that in India during the ODI series. He is fast consistent in line and length and seems to have worked on few batsmen on their techniques. At his pace if he maintains this consistent line and length and bowls those short balls targeting the ribcage of batsmen and the natural angle he generates to right handed batsmen, friends he is too dangerous a bowler to deal with. Only thing is we have to wait and see how consistent he remains for rest of his cricketing career. If he remains like that we see deadly pace bowlers in the form of he, Dale and couple of Pakistani and Wesindies bowlers. Is it not great for Cricket. Seldom we like to see batsmen making a mockery of bowling attacks. I strongly think Cricket now needs fear-sum bowlers than batsmen.

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on November 22, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    @dunger.bob, I agree totally. They need to win and win well from this position. We played some good cricket in England, notching up session and whole days wins and look where that got us. They need to really bring it home here. We fans want a compelling victory. Thankfully our attack is amazing and England couldn't play us. One days cricket is not good enough for tests matches (as both teams have showed us) so we need to back it up tomorrow with the bat. I can't see England chasing down a big total on a pitch that is cracking up already but cricket is a funny game.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 22, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    @Derek Rosen, @Anupam Ajmani: England have let Australia get on top by giving up a huge first innings lead. When a side is down, keep them down! If Australia win here, i tell you they will be hard to stop. England expect to win, not from their skill necessarily but due to the frailty of Australia's batting. Australia has been in good positions to beat England many times but were not good enough to take it.

    England wait for other teams to make mistakes and never take control of the game till the other team stumbles. Sooner or later, the other team WILL get away, what are their answers now? NONE! That's why they lost to SA. Because they won't fall for those tricks, you can't sit back all the time and expect to win. England are just the best of a modest bunch, they are not a great test side.

  • TheBigBoodha on November 22, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    All I can say is: how would you go facing MJ on song on a bouncy Australian wicket? Ed Cowan wrote a great piece describing facing him in state game - described him as half leopard, half ox I think. Brilliant piece. Also mentioned that getting bat on ball was half guesswork!

    Johnson is a bit like Jeff Thomson. Extra fast, with a really whippy action and the ball really flies off the pitch. It can't be no fun facing him when he's on fire!

  • on November 22, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    One day there is huge praise for the england team, Satire write ups in the media, tons of articles about how tough Stuart Broad is and the next day, talking about dark days, bad pitches in England etc. To me the series just got interesting. I would bet on Aussies routing england back to their original form!!!

  • on November 22, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Completely agree with other posts - who cares what your first dig is if you go on to win the series? This England team knows how to dig themselves out of a hole while this Aussie batting lineup has proven its fragility time and again in recent years. As much as i want us to win I won't be betting on it after one poor session for England. Lets wait and see if the Aussies can actually lead by 400. When Cook, Pieterson and Bell are back in the shed in the second innings then I will dare to dream.

  • Samdanh on November 22, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    England are a quality batting side. They will show improved performance in the innings that will unfold in this series. However it will be interesting to see how Aus go on to capitalise and if they win this Test and how they maintain consistency of this intensity in bowling and improve their batting in the remaining part of the series. Tough for the players in the middle, but treat to watch for cricket lovers

  • Beertjie on November 22, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Although one can't grant Oz the victory yet, it's how they perform at Adelaide that may determine the outcome of the Ashes.

  • on November 22, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    @Chris_Howard - Really like your comment, its becoming a fashion passing on judgements on teams based on a day or two of cricket. Let the entire series finish, i am convinced England will come out winners. If they keep of winning all series they play but fail to perform in the first innings of the first test match, who cares!!

  • dunger.bob on November 22, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    As a lot of others have pointed out there's a long way to go, even in this match. We haven't won a Test in a while so I think it's gob smackingly important that we put this one in the bag. How would it feel if England managed to draw or , god forbid, win this game from here. .. I'm not saying it would definitely stuff us, but we've got to start winning games to re-learn how to win. .. It's like our cricket team has had a stroke and has to relearn everything, including how to win.

  • izzidole on November 22, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Though there's plenty of cricket left to be played in this test match England's weaknesses have been already exposed which will have serious consequences for the rest of the series. Their weakness against genuine speed and short pitched bowling was very obvious. Losing 6 wickets for 9 runs indicates the vulnerability of the England batsmen against sheer pace bowling. Having a lead of 225 runs already and another three days to go Australia will try to grind the poms on the field as long as possible tomorrow and try to extend their lead to over 400 runs before they declare and put them in to bat in the second innings. Englands response and performance will be very crucial to the outcome of this ashes series. A victory for Australia will no doubt give them plenty of confidence for the rest of the series and will go out as favourites to win the ashes.

  • Chris_Howard on November 22, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Yesterday we wrote off Australia, today we write off England. A Test series is played over 25 days, not 2. England are notoriously slow starters. LEt's wait a bit before passing judgement. On either team.

  • on November 22, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I think Lyon bowled brilliantly unravelled Carbury completely which happened at the same time when KP went.I think the pitch is drier and by tommorow's tea session ,if its hot day would start going off the cracks and turning square.Ideally England had a chance to bat just once and even if they had a lead of 75-80 it would have been decisive since pitch by tommorow would be full of cracks .Lyon with the round the wicket line is proving to be head ache and would be menace even more in Adelaide. England have to counter him.And add Panesar for Adelaide and hope to win the to.This test Im afraid is over.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 22, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    @Lbn: Oh really? How about the Khawaja decision in England? How about the Aleem Dar howler of Stuart Broad? How about the full toss missing the stumps of Rogers from Swann?

    What goes around comes around, welcome to the jungle.

  • subnys on November 22, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    After a total lead of 225 with 10 wickets remaining, I don't see England getting their nose ahead. At least in Brisbane. But yes, this English team is daring and positively arrogant about the things they do. So even if then are bundled out for 136 I feel its very early to write them out.

    If Aussies are too feel proud about anything then its their bowlers, esp MJ. Even if they win this match (which they should from here), their batsmen have a lot of work cut out for themselves.

  • SamRoy on November 22, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    England are poor starters and traditionally are very poor at Brisbane and Perth so lets not read too much into this. I said before the series that I had hunch that Australia will win if they sort their team out. They still have a problem with Watson in the team and no Faulkner. Probably a young batsman in place of Bailey would have been better. England have their own problems. Biggest, they lack a quality third seamer. Quality batting lineups like SA and India are going to take full adventage of that. And Swann and Prior with their injuries and poor form might not lost last too long in international cricket. Still too early to predict and England still might win the series comfortably.

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    There is a long way to go and the Australians have not been able to keep the foot on the Englishmen's throats in recent years.

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    What about the swann dismissal ... of the Johnson , No ball...... Nobody saying anything?

  • Reg_Dyer on November 22, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    England's batting is currently infuriating. Up till now we have been rescued by at least one of the batters getting a score. The identity of that player has rotated which indicates to me that there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with the established batters' technique (excluding newcomers Root and Bairstow). But it is as a collective unit that they have consistently failed compared to the strong, cohesive run scoring they racked up before 2012. There is a maddening complacency and incipience in England's batting which if not fixed was sooner or later going to land them in real trouble as it has now. The one event that coincides with this drop in form is the appointment of Gooch as full-time batting coach (Feb 2012). I don't know why there should be such a difference between his role when part-time and full-time but I think the problem clearly starts off the field. These batsmen should be in their prime!

  • samp1988 on November 22, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    this is typical from england. ENG may lose this match. but they have the capability to bounce back. history tells many examples for that. Anyway expects a hard fought series this time.. could be a drawn series i guess.

  • Buggsy on November 22, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Funny thing is, it's not like it's entirely unexpected. England's batting during the last Ashes was mediocre, and even then not all of Australia's bowlers were firing; only through much worse batting and some really poor team selections by Australia did they manage to win. If Johnson can keep up his pace and Australia's top order finds even a small amount of form, England is going to find it very difficult to succeed. Either way this is going to be a cracker of a series.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 22, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Not a great start to the series for the England batsmen by any stretch of the imagination, and such a shame after Broad's bowling performance yesterday. I did warn people not to get too carried away yesterday, as if Broad can do it, there's nothing to stop the Australian bowlers doing it back...

    Must give credit to the Australian bowlers here. It's clear they've gone away and devised well-laid plans for EVERY England player and executed them well. England bowlers, on the other hand, never seem to have a clue how to bowl to certain players - especially the lower (tail) orders.

    Can't see England saving this one from here I'm afraid.

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Ha ha ha...englishmen got exactly what they deserved. I may be south African but i am supporting team CA. mitch brought his A+ game today.

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Now Australia is Ready for Revenge

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Too harsh the writer is.. England have done exceptionally well.. Better than any other test team barring south Africa.. If they get 1st innings jitters in the 1st test of the series it really hasn't thrown them off track. They have bounced back everytime. And please don't talk about weakness against spin when they have won a series in india not so long back. Lyon is a quality bowler. I think he should get credit for the dismissals

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    England have done exceptionally well.. Better than any other test team barring south Africa.. If they get 1st innings jitters in the 1st test of the series it really hasn't thrown them off track. They have bounced back everytime. And please don't talk about weakness against spin when they have won a series in india not so long back. Lyon is a quality bowler. I think he should get credit for the dismissals

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  • on November 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    England have done exceptionally well.. Better than any other test team barring south Africa.. If they get 1st innings jitters in the 1st test of the series it really hasn't thrown them off track. They have bounced back everytime. And please don't talk about weakness against spin when they have won a series in india not so long back. Lyon is a quality bowler. I think he should get credit for the dismissals

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Too harsh the writer is.. England have done exceptionally well.. Better than any other test team barring south Africa.. If they get 1st innings jitters in the 1st test of the series it really hasn't thrown them off track. They have bounced back everytime. And please don't talk about weakness against spin when they have won a series in india not so long back. Lyon is a quality bowler. I think he should get credit for the dismissals

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    Now Australia is Ready for Revenge

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Ha ha ha...englishmen got exactly what they deserved. I may be south African but i am supporting team CA. mitch brought his A+ game today.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 22, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Not a great start to the series for the England batsmen by any stretch of the imagination, and such a shame after Broad's bowling performance yesterday. I did warn people not to get too carried away yesterday, as if Broad can do it, there's nothing to stop the Australian bowlers doing it back...

    Must give credit to the Australian bowlers here. It's clear they've gone away and devised well-laid plans for EVERY England player and executed them well. England bowlers, on the other hand, never seem to have a clue how to bowl to certain players - especially the lower (tail) orders.

    Can't see England saving this one from here I'm afraid.

  • Buggsy on November 22, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Funny thing is, it's not like it's entirely unexpected. England's batting during the last Ashes was mediocre, and even then not all of Australia's bowlers were firing; only through much worse batting and some really poor team selections by Australia did they manage to win. If Johnson can keep up his pace and Australia's top order finds even a small amount of form, England is going to find it very difficult to succeed. Either way this is going to be a cracker of a series.

  • samp1988 on November 22, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    this is typical from england. ENG may lose this match. but they have the capability to bounce back. history tells many examples for that. Anyway expects a hard fought series this time.. could be a drawn series i guess.

  • Reg_Dyer on November 22, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    England's batting is currently infuriating. Up till now we have been rescued by at least one of the batters getting a score. The identity of that player has rotated which indicates to me that there isn't anything fundamentally wrong with the established batters' technique (excluding newcomers Root and Bairstow). But it is as a collective unit that they have consistently failed compared to the strong, cohesive run scoring they racked up before 2012. There is a maddening complacency and incipience in England's batting which if not fixed was sooner or later going to land them in real trouble as it has now. The one event that coincides with this drop in form is the appointment of Gooch as full-time batting coach (Feb 2012). I don't know why there should be such a difference between his role when part-time and full-time but I think the problem clearly starts off the field. These batsmen should be in their prime!

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    What about the swann dismissal ... of the Johnson , No ball...... Nobody saying anything?

  • on November 22, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    There is a long way to go and the Australians have not been able to keep the foot on the Englishmen's throats in recent years.