Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 5th day December 9, 2013

Shocked Cook searches for answers

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The lips said one thing; the eyes quite another.

Alastair Cook, as is his way, led from the front after England's harrowing defeat in Adelaide. He faced the media with the same undemonstrative determination with which he faces the new ball. He didn't shirk or make excuses. He never does.

He spoke well, too. He spoke of fight and belief. He admitted faults and accepted responsibility. He was deeply impressive.

But the eyes told another story. They told a tale of shock and disappointment and pain and exhaustion. They suggested that even he didn't quite believe what he was saying. Amid the call to arms was the unmistakable hint of doubt. Cook has an innate honesty that would render him a hopeless politician.

"We've been outplayed," Cook said. "We haven't played very well. You can't get away from that. It's hurting us like hell. It's certainly not impossible [that we can retain the Ashes]. A lot of people will probably give us no chance. But if we don't believe that in our dressing room, if we believe the urn has gone, then it might as well have gone.

"Do we have the will? It's a good question. Sometimes, when you haven't been playing well, that's one thing you start looking at: whether we do have that. I can only say, from speaking to the guys, and watching them - how much this is hurting - that we do. Only the guys will know that inside themselves. But I honestly believe we've got that.

"Self-belief is certainly an issue you need to make sure you look after when you've lost heavily in two games. If we don't believe it, then no one else is going to believe it. That's the simple deal. We've got to look deep into our souls, deep into our hearts, and turn it round. We can't mope about giving it the 'poor me'. It's whether we can drag a performance out of ourselves. We've got players who have scored a lot of runs, players who have taken a lot of wickets. We need to stand up and do that."

It does not help that Cook's own form is poor. His record suggests - it all but insists - that he will find a way through the mire, but England - feeling the loss of Jonathan Trott as a building misses a supporting beam - can afford no delay. And he knows it more than anyone.

"I need to score more runs," he said. "We all do. But there are only so many times you can tell the lads to do it. And if you're not doing it yourself, it makes it harder.

"I'm there at the top of the order as a batter and in the last two games I haven't been scoring enough runs. I need to go and change that. You can get good balls sometimes as an opener, and you can play poor shots. In this game I've got a good ball and played a poor shot.

"There are some very tough moments for the captain and we're in the middle of one. We're 2-0 down and I'm responsible as the captain for that. I'm leading the troops out there. It hits you hard."

England veered off course in this game long before they batted, though. By squandering several chances in the field - it is hard to recall a worse fielding display by an England side in the last decade - they wasted the opportunity of bowling Australia out for around 350. From then on, they were tired, dispirited and frustrated. Punch drunk, perhaps.

"On a good first-innings wicket, we created some chances and we didn't take those chances. Australia have been very clinical in taking every chance that has come to them. We haven't done that. We let them off the hook and they punished us very heavily.

"Quite clearly getting bowled out for 170 wasn't good enough. And there were some poor shots in there as well. We have to be honest with ourselves."

It is hard to be optimistic for England. The next Test is in Perth, where their record is so grim that the squeamish should look away now: in 12 Tests at the ground, England have lost eight and won once. That was in 1978, when Australia were forced to field a virtual second XI due to World Series Cricket. Since 1991, England have lost all six Tests at the venue.

"Our record there is of total irrelevance to this team," Cook said. "We have to go there as this side in 2013 and deliver something very special, otherwise we're not going to do what we've come to do."

Following their media responsibilities, the team had a long meeting in the changing room at the ground. It must have smarted that, even while they were picking through the bones of the most wretched England performance for several years - in other defeats, the batting has been at fault; here all three facets of the game began to crumble - they could hear the team song echoing from their Australian conquerors.

The atmosphere in the England dressing room was later described as "honest." Suffice to say, there is more than a little anger and frustration that, even in the second innings with a Test to save, four batsmen fell to hooks or pulls, one more hit a full toss to mid-on and not one was dismissed by a delivery that would have hit the stumps. England's batsmen are making life much too easy for Australia's bowlers and not giving their own a chance.

England were woeful on the final day. They could have tried to keep Australia in the field in an attempt to tire their bowlers ahead of Perth. They could have tried to occupy the crease with a view to the rain saving them later in the day.

Instead they thrashed around in a display of macho posturing that proved nothing about their ability to withstand the short bowling they will continue to be tested by this series. Some cheap runs were scored. Some cheap wickets fell. It was no consolation.

But there are, if you look hard, a couple of areas of encouragement for England. Most of their top-order have shown that they are capable of withstanding the barrage - Michael Carberry, Ian Bell, Joe Root and Kevin Pietersen and even Cook have made half-centuries - and the bowling has remained respectable if impotent. If they can hold their catches and string some individual scores together, there is plenty of room for improvement.

But his tour may well be remembered as a bridge too far for this England team. Flogged to exhaustion by a cricket board whose obsession with the bottom line has obscured the damage they are doing to the long-term future, several of this team have arrived with too many miles on the clock. Graeme Swann and James Anderson, The Age revealed, have bowled more deliveries in Test cricket than anyone in the world since the start of the 2010-11 series. Sometimes it shows.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY opto_pus on | December 11, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    England look like loosing this Ashes series 5-0 I cant see anything different in my opinion though this will not be shown. Flower to resign and, Cook to fall hard on the ground head first.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | December 11, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    @ScottStevo, agree completely. Just like the Ashes series in England and still now I would say there is not much between the sides if both play to their potential. Australia are playing the good cricket and deserve to be ahead. Taking their catches and making us pay when we drop ours. They deserve to be ahead. Simple

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | December 11, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Perhaps Cook should buy a magic 8 ball for some answers.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | December 11, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    @jb633, well said. there's no point looking for outs by means of hectic scheduling - both Aus and Eng always have hectic schedules. It's not even an excuse as that's part and parcel of international cricket nowadays. It's pretty obvious that one side has played a far superior brand of cricket in this test and the other has been completely taken aback. For me, the easiest way to look at the performance differential between the sides so far has been the fielding. on Day1 Eng spilt 3 chances, 1 a very difficult chance, 1 sitter and 1 complete sitter. Their Day 2 fielding didn't improve much either missing another catch or 2. In contrast, Australia's fielding has been top shelf with some spectacular catches by Warner, Clarke and a few out in the deep from Lyon and Harris. To me, you can't blame that on schedules or anything else, it's just poor, sloppy cricket. That, my friends, is exactly how Eng are playing and exactly why they're losing so miserably.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 11, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    I cannit beleive the position Eng find themselves in and not in my wildest dream did I see this comming. I feel Eng somehow fell for the old Australian trick of mind games. The thing that facinates me is Aus were in no position to play mind games - they were in fact not even sure of the batting order or bowling lineup after the clueless English summer. Eng came in holding all the cards with battling line up that still includes 3 guys with 100 tests each and tall fast bowlers for Aus conditions and somehow tripped on a banana skin and havent got up yet. Amazingly Aus' s batting in reality has huge issues with Rogers, Watto, Smith & Baily barely doing enough in two tests. What has happened to the Jimmy and Swan by the way? The bad news for Eng now is dealing with the WACCA deamons.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | December 11, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Please no excuses from our journalists. It's not as if you hear the players saying they are tired and the Aussies play a lot of cricket too. We are being beaten by pace. It's plain and simple for the world to see. Our batsmen can't handle Mitch. It has nothing to do with the fact that we are jaded but the guy is too quick for them and we have been burnt. Apologies to Aussie fans for these pathetic excuses, you are playing the better cricket and deserve to be winning 2-0. In test cricket if you win the game you always deserve it in my opinion.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | December 11, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    There are few superlatives left to describe how amazingly well Australia are playing right now and how comprehensively we are out playing, out performing and out thinking England.

  • POSTED BY AussiePhoenix on | December 11, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    @ jackiethepen "Back to Back Ashes Tour is too much. The second leg was always going to be harder." You are right, it is tough, effectively a 10 Test series. How many players in world cricket now have the stamina for that, especially after losing in England 3-0? Well, I guess one set of 11 players do. What are the other 11 players who won their home leg and had time off inbetween doing?

  • POSTED BY whensdrinks on | December 11, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    @ Selassie - You forget that Australia played Sri Lanka And South Africa last summer so if you are going to include England playing India last December then you also have to add Australia's 6 tests. On that basis we have played both more tests and more away tests then England in the last 12 months.

  • POSTED BY brisCricFan on | December 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    @Selassie-I; I am getting old and maybe my years are running into each other a bit... but when Australia finish polishing off the English, they head to SAf where they play the return series of the test matches from 12 months ago... I know it will be just outside the calendar year but that is the 5th series in just over 12 months - SAf, SL, Eng, Eng, SAf... and one would think a tougher assignment than playing PAK and NZ...

    This is the norm for Australia and has been for some time...

  • POSTED BY opto_pus on | December 11, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    England look like loosing this Ashes series 5-0 I cant see anything different in my opinion though this will not be shown. Flower to resign and, Cook to fall hard on the ground head first.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | December 11, 2013, 14:36 GMT

    @ScottStevo, agree completely. Just like the Ashes series in England and still now I would say there is not much between the sides if both play to their potential. Australia are playing the good cricket and deserve to be ahead. Taking their catches and making us pay when we drop ours. They deserve to be ahead. Simple

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | December 11, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    Perhaps Cook should buy a magic 8 ball for some answers.

  • POSTED BY ScottStevo on | December 11, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    @jb633, well said. there's no point looking for outs by means of hectic scheduling - both Aus and Eng always have hectic schedules. It's not even an excuse as that's part and parcel of international cricket nowadays. It's pretty obvious that one side has played a far superior brand of cricket in this test and the other has been completely taken aback. For me, the easiest way to look at the performance differential between the sides so far has been the fielding. on Day1 Eng spilt 3 chances, 1 a very difficult chance, 1 sitter and 1 complete sitter. Their Day 2 fielding didn't improve much either missing another catch or 2. In contrast, Australia's fielding has been top shelf with some spectacular catches by Warner, Clarke and a few out in the deep from Lyon and Harris. To me, you can't blame that on schedules or anything else, it's just poor, sloppy cricket. That, my friends, is exactly how Eng are playing and exactly why they're losing so miserably.

  • POSTED BY stormy16 on | December 11, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    I cannit beleive the position Eng find themselves in and not in my wildest dream did I see this comming. I feel Eng somehow fell for the old Australian trick of mind games. The thing that facinates me is Aus were in no position to play mind games - they were in fact not even sure of the batting order or bowling lineup after the clueless English summer. Eng came in holding all the cards with battling line up that still includes 3 guys with 100 tests each and tall fast bowlers for Aus conditions and somehow tripped on a banana skin and havent got up yet. Amazingly Aus' s batting in reality has huge issues with Rogers, Watto, Smith & Baily barely doing enough in two tests. What has happened to the Jimmy and Swan by the way? The bad news for Eng now is dealing with the WACCA deamons.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | December 11, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Please no excuses from our journalists. It's not as if you hear the players saying they are tired and the Aussies play a lot of cricket too. We are being beaten by pace. It's plain and simple for the world to see. Our batsmen can't handle Mitch. It has nothing to do with the fact that we are jaded but the guy is too quick for them and we have been burnt. Apologies to Aussie fans for these pathetic excuses, you are playing the better cricket and deserve to be winning 2-0. In test cricket if you win the game you always deserve it in my opinion.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | December 11, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    There are few superlatives left to describe how amazingly well Australia are playing right now and how comprehensively we are out playing, out performing and out thinking England.

  • POSTED BY AussiePhoenix on | December 11, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    @ jackiethepen "Back to Back Ashes Tour is too much. The second leg was always going to be harder." You are right, it is tough, effectively a 10 Test series. How many players in world cricket now have the stamina for that, especially after losing in England 3-0? Well, I guess one set of 11 players do. What are the other 11 players who won their home leg and had time off inbetween doing?

  • POSTED BY whensdrinks on | December 11, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    @ Selassie - You forget that Australia played Sri Lanka And South Africa last summer so if you are going to include England playing India last December then you also have to add Australia's 6 tests. On that basis we have played both more tests and more away tests then England in the last 12 months.

  • POSTED BY brisCricFan on | December 10, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    @Selassie-I; I am getting old and maybe my years are running into each other a bit... but when Australia finish polishing off the English, they head to SAf where they play the return series of the test matches from 12 months ago... I know it will be just outside the calendar year but that is the 5th series in just over 12 months - SAf, SL, Eng, Eng, SAf... and one would think a tougher assignment than playing PAK and NZ...

    This is the norm for Australia and has been for some time...

  • POSTED BY MAK123 on | December 10, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    England, bring in some X factor into play: Get in Finn and the Irish bloke and of course Ballance. Forget about the losses. Think Lord's and you will ride the wave

  • POSTED BY Selassie-I on | December 10, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Posted by valvolux on (December 10, 2013, 4:33 GMT) - Sorry but England have played more test cricket. We had a home and away series with NZ, on top of our India series which both teams had. This is Australia's 3rd test series of the year and England's 5th, also we did markedly better in the Champions trophy so played more games there.

    I'm not saying that this is an excuse, but something has to be done about England's schedule, people have been saying it for years, it's nothing new. We always have 4 series per year - 2 home and 2 away. Rarely do Australia have 4 series per year. Worth noting that South Africa who are undoubtedly the top test team play some of the least amount of tests out of the top teams.

  • POSTED BY Hareendra on | December 10, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    One shock after another. Loss, Trot, Huge Loss. I think the best plan at times like this is not to loose your cool. Yes the batsmen and bowlers are performing below par, and yes they are a mess, but you cannot afford to loose your head. These ara the very same guys who won so many matches for England. So making drastic changes will only make things worse. Be level headed and try to build confidence in the team. That is the way to go. If that doesn't work well then make the changes after the Ashes.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 10, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    So if England want to win the ashes they have 3 tests left..... what conditions do they want to win two of those and draw or win the other. I know one thing they want to win the toss at Perth and be 0 for 100 at lunch, Australia can be 3 for 80 at lunch and still win the ashes.... England cannot.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Cook has an innate honesty that would render him a hopeless politician. :rotfl: I think that might be the nicest thing anyone could say to a man.

  • POSTED BY millsy24 on | December 10, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    likeintcricket Really? Their bowling is best? They haven't taken 20 wickets in either test match. Fact is that they prepared crap pitches in England to totally blunt our pace attack. They were prepared for Swann and Anderson. It worked, but they knew our pace attack was better and had to stop them. Now, on grounds that aren't prepared for them, Swann and Anderson are toothless.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    Looking forward to normal Perth match - they might have to a put a warning on prior to airing it in the UK..."Warning, the following cricket match contains images that may be disturbing to some viewers"

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 10, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    england are living on reputation not form!!

  • POSTED BY nickythetoon on | December 10, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    What else could Cook say? He is as honest as the day is long,England have been appalling,shambolic,shameful even with their performances in the last two matches. The captain is out of form,none of the batsmen are really in form in fact,the fielding wasn't worthy of an Under 10's match at Adelaide,most of the shots people got out to were staggeringly naive and Anderson 4-244 and Swann 4-397 in the series so far.The final irony is Australia are just an ordinary side but with England so abject it's like Erasmus said,in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king. England have currently played at about 30% of what they are capable of,if they can make that 80% then we will get a contest.That is an enormous improvement on what I have seen so far but not impossible. Two very good sessions or win a full day's play should get them going but they need to show real character. Fair play to Australia they have done everything right but I can't believe the next 3 matches will be so easy.

  • POSTED BY Stevros3 on | December 10, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Personally I don't see the point in England playing a spinner in Perth given they need to gamble for a result. Rankin is potentially the key more so than Finn in my opinion so he has to play (especially as he is not prone to being too expensive). 4th Seamer is between Finn & Bresnan as Tremlett hasn't got his full venom back since his last surgery (let's face it his. Ballance is much superior with the bat than Stokes and given Bairstow has historically had issues with the short ball I don't think he should be coming in (unless it's to replace Prior).

    Team I think should be:

    Cook, Carberry, Root, Pietersen, Bell, Ballance, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson & Rankin.

    England's best chance is to bat first. The last thing they can afford to do is let the Aussies put a score on the board and have more pressure added to their batting line up. Let's face it there'll be enough pressure there anyway whenever they bat.

  • POSTED BY ThirteenthMan on | December 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    I suspect it is the heavy introspection that is the problem; it occupies the mind. Better to look back at the good performances and see how well they can play. The they might go out to play with a feeling of confidence.

    Gutsy determination might work for marathon runners and boxers who can run or fight through pain. Batsmen facing real pace need clear heads and the confidence to make decisions in split seconds. I wonder if the team managers have the people skills to do it?

    What they MUST do is keep idiots like Geoff Boycott away from them.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | December 10, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge, might have taken you by surprise but no one else was and thanks for the congratulations. Kudos to you for turning up too, despite you deepening the hole you will have to crawl out of after Perth. Your team can not play cricket and ours can, normal service has indeed resumed.

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | December 10, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Suddenly the same Aussie team who were loosing to England and India like a #10 have suddenly started playing like champion. Indian ODI series has surely helped them coming back to batting form and creating enough pressure on England to bundle out. I still think England is far superior and mature than what they performed. Their bowling is still the best and they need to work out on each Aussie batsman separate and get them out cheaply to get back into batting form. James Anderson and Swann are the key. I think Trott decision to left the team in the middle was a bad one. These things happened to all batsman and he should have sorted out his technique while fighting it out.

  • POSTED BY DickCam on | December 10, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    @MAK123, in order for England to come back, they have to stop trying to bat from square-leg!

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    Chin up Captain Cook, this is not the attitude you want to lead your team. Australia is using all that it has in its arsenal, including the CA gaffe of Monty Panesar, so ignore all and focus on the game.

  • POSTED BY Jube on | December 10, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    I could not agree more with Ms Cricket... Nick Compton after an excellent tour of India where he showed application which I daresay is not easy in India, was just dropped in favour of Root.... Nothing against Root - who I also think is also a good player but you need someone 'nose to the ground - ready to fight it out in the middle' and with Trott gone and Cook woefully out of form, Compton could have been that man - I also fail to understand how Carberry scores over Compton

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | December 10, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    Great to see the the Aussie cricket team is back to its regular and frequent winning ways over the English cricket team.

    We permitted the English a few years of hope, such is the good and generous nature of the typical Aussie, but now the natural order of things has resumed.

  • POSTED BY dreamliner on | December 10, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Selectors have got no one but themselves to blame as this was the second test and they persisted with the majority of out of form batsmen, rather than following the lead of countries like SA who omitted Smith for their youngster( Quinton DeKock) and PAK who have kept Shoab Malik and Razzaq out for their new allrounders, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar.

    It worked for SA and PAK but wont work for England becuase they will continue to persist with the namesakes. Breathe some new life and in to the team by playing in-form players who will make a fight of it, and even if they fail there is no shame, only valuable experience to be gained.

    Pick R Robson whose been performing with bat, and its a total mystery why they don't call the 2013 English player of the Year Moeen Ali who scored 83 and took 5 wickets in the first Test against Queensland XI. What's he done not to have a go now while he's in-form? So without logical choices such as these there will unfortunately only ever be one result.

  • POSTED BY Int.Curator on | December 10, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Cook is no captain!

    England continue to play negative cricket.

    They are mentally beaten.

    Very disappointing for both teams.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | December 10, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    @ rickyvoncanterbury on (December 10, 2013, 6:20 GMT): Absolutely. I'm not going waltzing with Matilda until we've completely nailed their hides to the wall and have 3 Tests notched up. .. I hope we don't just roll into Perth expecting to win because that could be fatal. .. England has some class players and the last thing we need is to ease the pressure off even in the slightest. .. I might them to go in like hungry mongrel dogs chasing a rabbit. Wear it down as a pack and then feast on the carcass. .. I'm not talking about sledging or dirty play, I'm just talking about working together as though it's life or death. .. In fact, I'd like to see them go through the entire Test and not saying a bloody word. None of them. .. give them the old silent killer routine. .. Anyway, let's hope we can really celebrate after Perth. .. Oh , and good luck to England as well. Just not too much though.

  • POSTED BY Waheed_Vadi on | December 10, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    I always find that England do funny things when under a bit of pressure. Bringing Stokes in didn't make sense and it was a sign of panic in the England dressing room. Very similar to England taking a punt on Darren Pattinson in the 2008 series against South Africa.

    When faced with a bit of pressure, England make silly decisions that tend to bite them!

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | December 10, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @whoster on (December 9, 2013, 21:58 GMT): re Clarke. If England can keep Clarke quiet it'll be a hell of a lot easier for them. He really is a hard bloke to dislodge once he's in and he scores so quickly the other batsman tends to get caught up in his wake and start cantering as well. Just about every time Clarke fires Australia are competitive at the least. In fact if you can dry his runs up you've taken care of 45% of our batting I reckon. .. One of the reasons we've been going OK this time is that finally, at long bloody last, Clarke isn't the only batsman getting runs. Tons from Warner and Haddin and some useful runs from the rest of the top order have been the real bread and butter, Clarkes runs the icing. .. btw I predicted a big series for Steve Smith who I rate despite his unorthodox technique. So far he's the only player in the top six not to post a fifty. I should say they should drop him and see what happens.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | December 10, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    It is good to hear all the OMG the worlds falling in from the English support, but I for one.... want one more 5 day performance before I fall for all this RIP English cricket.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | December 10, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    Robert Roemer on (December 9, 2013, 20:26 GMT): "I love Cook's frank honesty as opposed to Clarke's complete and utter tripe" .. So everything Cook say's is the gospel according to Horatio Nelson and everything Clarke says is garbage. .. there's only one complete and utter tripe here and it's coming from you. Clarke's assessment was every bit as down to earth and honest as Cooks but of course you would never in a million years be able to see that because you're too busy cringing from the truth.

  • POSTED BY MAK123 on | December 10, 2013, 6:02 GMT

    In order for England to come back, they must focus on this: 20% talent, 20% ability, 60% belief and willingness

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Luckily England have good bench strength, but I doubt whether Flower will use it. Replacing the sacred cows of Swann and Anderson for Perth (albeit perhaps just for a while) while also making the easier decision of resting Panesar in favour of Finn, Rankin and Bresnan. Batting wise Prior and Pietersen should go. Pietersen for good for Buttler and Ali. Flower will likely stick to 10 of the 11 that played at Adelaide..and then watch them fail again. Bowling wise their is no excuse given the players England have in reserve not to pick the big lads, why else take them on tour? But I just can't see Flower doing it, and if they don't play at Perth you might wonder why they were taken at all, Especially given how ineffective Anderson and Swann have been so far..

  • POSTED BY humdrum on | December 10, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    Its when under the hammer that your character is brought out.Either you have the steel inside you or you do not.People with less ability but more steel in them have achieved and punched much above their weight.As far as England is concerned,they could do worse than take a leaf out of the innings of David Steel,against Michael Holding and co in 1976 ( remember Boycott beaten and bowled for sheer pace ).They had the platform in Adelaide ( a nice belter ) but misswd out badly.Perth will be their toughest challenge,especially as they look totally shot---so why not go out and enjoy their cricket,just for a change ?

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | December 10, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Talking as if the loss came as a surprise is meaningless. I dont think England had it in them to sustain the level of performance for more than two years with the current players. Each of their players maximized their potential at the same time and that gave them the results for two years. To expect all of them to sustain at the peak of their potential is not very wise, is it? They dont have much of a bench strength either. To be fair, the last Ashes in England at least a couple of matches England escaped narrowly (at home conditions). So when the tables turned on the conditions Australia was expected to win big. And then Johnson came along to haunt - literally - England. (I would have thought without Johnson it might have been a tighter fight still weighing more on Australia side. But Johnson gave tonnes of weight to Australia side)

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | December 10, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    The Cook/Flower strategy of playing defensive cricket and waiting for Australia to self-destruct succeeded very well in England. I think everyone can agree it has failed dismally so far in this series. This is why England will find it extremely challenging to get back into this series - to do so they will have to completely change the way they play the game.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    The writing was so on the wall. 3-0 in England was a result that flattered England, and they conveniently chose not to see how often JA and GS were carrying the bowling attack, while the lower order compensated for poor batting. Meanwhile, Aus were hurting and knowing they had to get it together. Johnson, always a threat if he could get his form together, was showing his teeth in Shield matches. And yes, the schedule is insane. The administrators who scheduled two Ashes series almost back to back deserve their own special circle of hell. But that is no excuse for England's poor performance.

  • POSTED BY Rufus_Fuddleduck on | December 10, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Welcome back from your travels Front_Foot_Lunge. Wish I had your high standards. The way things are in this universe, its happiness if England can compete for five days. Us base creatures would be satisfied with just that.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 10, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    England just haven't got started in this series so far. The batting has been dismal, the bowling less so but still fairly lame and the fielding not up to test standard. The Aussies, on the other hand, have performed well in all three disciplines and have attacked all the time.

    England, to use the currently fashionable phrase, need to show a bit of ticker. They are playing like a side which feels it has nothing left to prove. That's the way to lose matches and series and that's exactly what's happening.

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | December 10, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    It is even shocking to the world to analyse who is the best.

  • POSTED BY sak00n on | December 10, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    The only way to come out is to play with aggregation. In 50 overs thy can easily score 250 with 6 or 7 down then why are they not trying to play some positive and aggressive cricket. let just forget what happened and play your own game.

  • POSTED BY valvolux on | December 10, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    God what a weak excuse blaming the schedule. Australia have played the same number of tests, probably more ODIs and T20is. In 2010 Australia played 12 tests....did you hear the excuses then about schedule? Its as if the poms forget that Australia have the same issues...only worse. They are missing pattinson (who would've been first picked a year ago), starc, bird etc. They also went to India this year, but got thumped 4-0. They have fiddled with their batting order every test, changed personnel every test, they had a horrible break up with their coach, they are still learning to live without pointing and hussey....they just lost the ashes 3-0 and were predicted to get belted here. There's no excuse for england. The pressure of a team and crowd up for the challenge has been too much for them. They expected turning up would be enough. Australia just needed to find some runs - their bowling plans and execution have been too good for england for 7 tests.

  • POSTED BY Sugath on | December 10, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    I do not believe that Cook needs to get shocked. It is they who are responsible not some third party. You get shocked at something that others have done. But when it is you yourself the responsible people then you should be ashamed of what you did. Now thing is not to sit in the past, but in present and workout your strategies for the next match. You can never live in the past or future but only in present. Plan yourself now for next match, but do not keep contemplating about it day in and day out till the day because then that creates concern and reduce your capacity to perform. Remember the seventeen mind moments and the Five Door Adverting process. Let the last two matches do not bother yourself or the team. Instead workout your SPIN and the SWOT for the third test. The problem with the current team is not so much about ability but the desire to live most times in the past with no thoughts for present. For that you need one pointed concentration of the mind set of all team members.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | December 10, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    Many will laugh and cough at the suggestion but Perth gives best chance for England to get a result. There is no turning back for them now. They have to confront their demons and best way to do it is to tackle it head on. Perth is a results oriented pitch. The test might not last into 5th day. England have tall and hit the deck bowlers in reserve who are fresh. They need to go for the broke and drop Swann who looks totally out of his depth. They still have Cook, Root, KP and Bell who look like scoring big runs. If any one of them bat well and others bat around them even 350 score could be match winning one at the Perth pitch. If there are decent runs on the board England still have bowling that can take 20 wickets. I dont see Clarke and co scoring 500 runs on the track that is renowned for its pace and bounce. A team that has won back to back Ashes do not become rubbish overnight. They just need to relax and try and play the so called boring cricket which has worked for them.

  • POSTED BY Anil_Koshy on | December 10, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Finn and Bresnan will make a lot of difference to the side, the main problem the batting is letting them down, they should include a technically sound batsman who is willing to spend more time in the middle rather than throwing his wicket away.

  • POSTED BY James_Murphy on | December 10, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    From the fallout of Adelaide and Brisbane one thing stood out to me that really summed it up for me. Botham saying 'On paper England are the better side'... that shows the total lack of respect England have for Australia in their backyard. He said 5-0 in England was possible as well, and even though the scoreline was 3-0 it could have been 2-2 or Aus could have won it was that tight. Clearly in Aus conditions Aus should have been respected with Clarke and Warner both having outstanding records in Australia, and the bowling combination of Harris ave 22 Siddle ave 28 and Johnson ave 29 are all better than Anderson ave 30 and Broad ave 30 and 3rd Seamer. Botham is downright disrespectful and it will be great when this ends up 5-0. After Perth Sir Ian will never forget how good the Australia and Harris are.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 10, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    The most important factor in this series is that Australia have learnt how to win again.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | December 10, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    So Jimmers. Based on your post. You are saying the ECB are to blame for England currently being down 2-0 in the Ashes. Don't forget. Australia have played just as many Tests this year as England. You don't hear any of the Australian players or supporters whinging about their test schedule. Do you?

  • POSTED BY whensdrinks on | December 10, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    Apart from not getting wickets or runs, the other things the POMS are not getting are all the close umpiring decisions and doctored pitches. In the first three tests in England the close decisions went about 10 to 3 in England favour. With a lack of flat "good for Swann" pitches, bounce is taking away a lot of close LBW decisions, the close decisions are evened up and it is coming back to talent and determination not luck. I wonder if the Aussies will do a sprinkler dance for the POMS if we win in Perth?

  • POSTED BY Thegimp on | December 10, 2013, 1:15 GMT

    Whilst back to back series may have had an influence I believe the blame firmly lies with doctoring home pitches to suit Swann and disatvantage the Aussie's pace. These guys are professional athletes. They had three months to prepare for this series!! If they continue to deliberately prepare featherbeds at home how can they wonder why they can't perform on propper test wickets? India have been doing it for years, featherbeds at home and abysmal away. This so called good England team played poorly in NZ, beat India on friendly featherbeds only just got over Aust on same (Weather permitting we can all agree it would/could have been 3-2) and got done by SA. A good team yes, however a long distance from being a team worthy of the 5-0 hype that preceeded them into this series. If they were that good they wouldn't need to doctor home pitches.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2013, 1:10 GMT

    I'm Australian, I'm an Australian fan, so maybe I don't understand the English way of doing things. But I would like someone to explain why Stokes and Tremlett have been getting games while Graham Onions is cooling his heels heaven alone knows where, having been deemed not even good enough to tour with the Development XI. You leave arguably the best bowler in the county championship out of your top 30 players and then you wonder why your attack is struggling when Swann and Anderson are off-song. Anderson has by no means been bad, just not as devastating as he often is. Broad is striving manfully, as is his wont, but the fourth bowler has let the unit down. What did Onions do wrong? What more does he have to do right? I don't understand why he was dropped in the first place, I certainly don't understand why he isn't in the country.

  • POSTED BY brisCricFan on | December 10, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    There are a lot of knee-jerk reactions here from the Eng supporters and fans. Yes, they have played poorly, yes they are probably a little tired (but remember the Aus side was effectively on tour from June this year right up till the first Test - in fact had to call MJ home early as it was too close) and yes several key players are out of touch, but these are all CLASS players. Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Andersen, Swann & Broad are walk up picks - their records tell you they have it in them to come back... the only one of those I have doubts on is Andersen, he doesn't look like his heart is in it at the moment.

    Root is holding his own, Carberry I'm not sure on... Prior sadly has to go he is an anchor and has been from First Test. At WACA bring back Tremlett he played well in Brisbane and this will suit him more. Bairstow for Prior. Bresnan is reliable and should come back in... That leaves a batting position, probably Ballance. That side could shock at Perth. And I'm and Aus fan.

  • POSTED BY mshyder on | December 10, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    The real problems are 2. A) During the summer series in England it was Bell who constantly piled on the runs. So far in this series his performance has also been ordinary like other English batsmen. B). The main difference between the two sides is the express pace of Johnson. The English swing bowling attack which looked so venomous in helpful English conditions looks pretty toothless in Australia. And with the backups ( Finn, Bresnon, Tremlett and Rankin ) all being fast medium I see no major turn around for England in this series, unless they cover their bowling deficiencies through their batting heroics. May be it is asking too much.

  • POSTED BY cccrider on | December 9, 2013, 23:50 GMT

    Michael Flynn: England have also burned out from so much intense cricket. The home Ashes, playing Pakistan in the UAE, World Cup and 20/20, tough tour of India. And now back in Australia.

    -------------------------

    I agree. Exactly like Australia in 2005. Came from winning in India, a huge achievement and after years of success. They were ripe for the plucking, as is England now. You can't maintain the run with the modern demands of cricket boards.

  • POSTED BY iceaxe on | December 9, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    Like I've always said,... to be the best, you have to beat people on their pitch, not just your own. Also reinforced with India recently.

    Will the real no. 1 please stand up? So far, only South Africa come to mind...

  • POSTED BY IAS2009 on | December 9, 2013, 23:30 GMT

    playing home is huge advantage, no matter what ICC do the trend of winning at home will be huge, The same outfit of Aussies team were so poor in India earlier this year against very new India team, same was true when a much better Indian team played in Australia two years ago. England batsmen are throwing wicket away, 170 on flat pitch is not going to win any test match, England should have tied to practice or least tire the Aussies bowler, but they threw their wicket away. very poor, Aussies lost in England but they really worked hard, the results were close but England here is poor in every department.

  • POSTED BY Ms.Cricket on | December 9, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    The English selectors started this rot at the beginning of the last Ashes series when they dropped Nick Compton. He who had done so well on debut in India and had saved Tests in NZ batting for long periods. Then they are stubborn not to pick him again. England's batting has never been the same since Compton was dropped. Root and Carberry are talented but are not the same as Compton at no 2.

  • POSTED BY heathrf1974 on | December 9, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    I am Aussie and don't blame the selectors, players like Cook, Anderson and Swann aren't performing and Mitch Johnson is having a blinder. Maybe one factor that could be a valid excuse for the poor performance is they are playing Australia again after a few months without little time is soak up an Ashes win. This could make the motivation a little lax in the sub-conscience. However, due to the ODI World Cup in Australia in 2015/16, back-to-back Ashes was required. Australia lost last series 3-0, but the result flattered England somewhat and are definitely more motivated and their confidence and unity is up due to the presence of Boof. Test cricket is such a mental game and Australia are killing it at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Surprise to me why Carberry is even making the tour. He is nothing special.Root to open, Ballance in for Carberry; Bresnan for Monty in the next match and there is some balance in the team. Carberry reminds me of the 90s era England players- selected on the basis of form in county cricket, failing at the international level. He is incredibly frustrating to watch a big liability on the field as well.

  • POSTED BY Nishat_India on | December 9, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    My England team for the next test will be: 1. Cook, 2. Carberry, 3. Bell, 4. KP 5. Root 6. Ballance/Bairstow, 7. Prior,8.Stokes, 9. Broad, 10. Anderson, 11.Finn.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 22:51 GMT

    Ozzies are lucky [VERY] that the Good Mitch showed up. For two Test Matches!! When did that happen last??. And, Clarke also got into form as he alwasy is in Australia. On the other side Anderson doesn't know where to bowl, pace is down, and Cook is out of form and so is Swann. This is what makes Test Match cricket so thrilling. The shoe can get on the other foot before you can say WTFH happened. Wish England would find some kind of form. Three more tests of beating unless England somehow find form to fight at the WACA. I am not counting on it. The Ozzies will show no mercy, the wounds of recent past are still fresh in memory.

  • POSTED BY dizza on | December 9, 2013, 22:44 GMT

    Until this ashes andy flower was the best coach england ever had and just after two losses all talking about sacking him?

  • POSTED BY ShutTheGate on | December 9, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    From the outside it seems like the English dressing room is a pressure cooker at the moment.

    That kind of enormous pressure might bring them undone when they go out to bat in Perth. If England bat first at Perth and we roll them for less than 250 then I think they can say good bye to the urn.

    Then during the dead rubbers Watson will score runs at number 3 and it will justify him being picked there for the SA tour. And around we go again until our older players retire and we have to re-build again!

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge on | December 9, 2013, 22:10 GMT

    The Aussies must be over the moon to have won their second test match in four years so congratulations must firstly go to them. Johnson's comeback has been a good story, and England's inability to cope with the pitches and not repeat the 4-0 of the last series has taken us all, including the Aussies of course, completely by surprise. England need to bring in Bresnan for Perth and take the game to these overrated aussie players, then normal Ashes service can be resumed for us all :)

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | December 9, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    I don't think it's just the exhausting schedule, I think it's the fact that England's success came from no stone unturned, attritional, mentally exhausting cricket. Frankly, they were massive over-achievers. They are moderately talented, but previously were highly motivated, perfectly prepared, had great team spirit and were completely ruthless. You can only sustain those high levels for a while, and when reality starts to catch up with you, the belief can fail and things can break apart from the inside. I'd contrast this with the South Africans, who can sustain high levels because of much greater intrinsic talent. E.g. de Villiers and Steyn did nothing in Australia in the first two Tests last summer, then killed us in Perth almost effortlessly. Similarly Australia 1995-2007 and WI 1976-1993 didn't need to perform at 100% all the time to win. England need fresh blood to regain that team spirit and high performance, but the depth may make that a long and painful process.

  • POSTED BY whoster on | December 9, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    Fair play to Australia. The main reason they've had two big victories is down to them presently having the best batsman and bowler in the world, but on top of that, their catching and fielding has been excellent.

    It doesn't excuse just how poor England have been though, and actually making 300 for the first time in Christ knows how long is little consolation. England's team is full of quality and experience, but they're just not showing the stomach for the fight. If England can put the brakes on Clarke, and (big if in Perth) Johnson, they'll have a chance of winning. With the fragile confidence of the batsmen, and with the venue being a place of unremitting horror for England, it'll be a small chance.

    If England end-up getting walloped in this series, the selectors will need to show ruthlessness.

  • POSTED BY zzby on | December 9, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Show some courage bring Moeen Ali the next Hashim Amla and may be you can win.....

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Four simple reasons why this current England side are performing this badly:

    1. They have never been as great a side as had been made out by many in the cricketing media. Yes, they have out-gunned Australia in the last 3 Ashes series. But that has been a very poor Aussie side they have beaten, nothing compared to the great side of the 1990's. Plus their record away from home, especially on the sub-continent is nothing special. 2. The only batsman in any form at the moment is Bell. Cook's head looks scrambled by being captain, Pietersen is not interested or can't play conservatively after so many years of being a cavalier, Carberry is out of his depth and Root is too young to be relied on for big runs consistently. 3. Cook doesn't have the mental aptitude and strength to be captain. 4. The harsh atmosphere created by Flower is beginning to wear on the players. 5. England are not a happy or united team, they look scared and fractured, and are cracking under pressure as a result.

  • POSTED BY izzidole on | December 9, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    When England left home for the ashes they never expected that they would be in this position and the team in tatters with another three test matches left to be played. They were only expecting to win another ashes series for the fourth time . No doubt the severe thrashing meted out in the first two test matches has come as a rude shock not only to the team but also to English cricket for years to come. No doubt this has severely dented their confidence for the rest of the series and could have serious consequnces to the current England team.

  • POSTED BY StatisticsRocks on | December 9, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    @nafees-Quershi: Not sure why you are bringing India into this discussion. You can comment about India in the IND vs SA forum. This is a match between Aus and ENG and all it has proved is that every team is king on their home ground, not just IND and losers away, except maybe SA. Just like AUS have the right to prepare fast bouncy tracks, IND has the right to prepare pitches to suit their strengths. Stop whining about the dead pitches in IND as the oval pitch almost provided nothing for the bowlers. English batsmen got out playing wrong strokes including their captain. Note that the Indian team is young and inexperienced and by no means the best batting like the ones we had with the fab 4. I am sure you can do better than just bashing IND. ENG players have shown even they cannot handle short pitched hostile bowling. I can only imagine what PERTH is going to offer them

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 21:06 GMT

    it's time to show your character in such situations. England has clearly lost their show-offs. Even captain has lost his patient how it would be reflecting on mates. That's not showing fighting thought. just pretending to be .

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | December 9, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    It's like this, the crowd literally laughed out loud when Clarke said after they went 2-0 down last series they could still win the Ashes. Cook now says the same thing though I think we all know this time it is genuinely laughable. Australia competed in their 3-0 loss, England haven't shown a glimpse of doing so here.

  • POSTED BY KARNAWAT33 on | December 9, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    Broad and Anderson have bowled 36 n 37 overs respectively in the Adelaide Test and have an extra day's rest cushion compared to their counter parts Johnson and Harris who have bowled 41 n 33 overs respectively.

    There is no doubt that James Faulkner will be playing at Perth, a looking at Harris' fitness (reputation), Lyon might play and mind you he did really well for a spinner, and a spinner of his class, last time the two teams played @ Perth.

    England have a lot of options but aren't really a side who believe in chop n change and after all they don't really have a SILVER BULLET in the squad who deserves an opportunity to play and is not getting a go. Maybe, Bresnan in for Monty and Rankin in for Swann if not Finn! A Bairstow for Prior or maybe not, but definitely a Ballance in their somewhere. A lot of thought has to go into this, but ultimately it will be Australia who will be wrapping things up @ Perth and BeefyBotham has already suggested that it maybe a 5- 0 to AUSTRALIA!

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | December 9, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Disgraceful effort by England, once again. Their team of United Veterans is falling apart at the seams, and unlike Australia they have nothing in the cupboard except Root, who admittedly played very well. Hopefully Perth will produce some serious bounce and we can wrap this up!

  • POSTED BY nickduck on | December 9, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Everyone, including all the Sky commentators, say the English batsmen are out of form and out of nick. What a load of rubbish. The Aussie team worked them out during the Summer and together with Mitch Johnson are continuing to bowl superbly executed plans to each and every one of them. Hardly anyone is giving the Aussie bowlers and Clarke's excellent captaincy the credit it deserves. English batsmen have thrived on slow flat pitches against mediocre bowling for too long, giving them all inflated averages. Now they are facing an excellent bowling unit who have not given any easy runs on two totally different pitches, they don't have any answers. BOWLERS win test matches, not batsmen as Geoffrey Boycott might have you believe, although I do agree with most of his other observations on this current England team. Also can the England academies try and produce some home grown young players instead of more and more foreign born imports.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    I love Cook's frank honesty as opposed to Clarke's complete and utter tripe, but I think Cook needs to not be SO open sometimes because you can tell the chips are *really* down for them. He doesn't need to tell his life story, as it is, I'm not saying he should be more like Clarke because I cringe every time I hear the guy speak but Cook should present a slightly more steely character, so it could rub off on his teammates who may hear his speeches, and also not give any more encouragement to the Australians, who are on a high as it is.

  • POSTED BY Insightful2013 on | December 9, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    England haven't been outplayed! This is all about stupid shot selections. Nothing else. The manager is to blame. No one gets to this position without being a really good player. You have to be prepared to graft and only play the relevant balls. Gavaskar stood up to the Windies. Miandad as well and these are not West Indian bowlers. The manager simply for hour,s need to sit everyone down and reiterate that they are capable and excellent. They are representing England, because no one is more patriotic than an Englishman. Show them the disappointment they are causing to their family and countrymen because of their rashness and unwillingness to concentrate. Except for K.P. and Swann, everyone else are listeners. K.P. is a genius, so he's excused. Getting hit doesn't compare to the glory and adulation of coming good for England. Do it for the Queen, for Tommy Cooper. Do it to prove that wally Boycott wrong!Do it so all Yorkshiremen will have to shut up! Any better reason than that!

  • POSTED BY Fan1969 on | December 9, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    England just need to show some fighting attitude. Johnson is good but remember WI greats; Steyn &co; Donald & co; Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib; Lillee and Thomson; then maybe too much being made of Johnson by the English batting.

    Man for man I think England have a better batting unit than Aus but just seem to give away the wickets to hook shots/great catches (Warner)/KP to mid-wicket.

    As an Indian I think the 3-0 scoreline in England was too flattering for the English as Aussies were not a bit behind but not so bad. I think the present 0-2 offsets some of that bad luck.

    Look forward to a better English show and a match deep into 5th day at Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

    BTW heard some suggestions that Ashes is blocking cricket schedules too often and more Aus-Bang, Eng-SL/Zim series needed. Hope all of you prefer seeing Ashes rather than one-sided boring contests. Would love Ind-Pak as well but politics spoils the fun.

    Ashes is great. Great that Aussies are back in the fight.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 9, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    England really are not all that bad.what they are currently lacking is another south African or two and they should be back to where they were before, the second best team after south Africa,a proper b team if you like!

  • POSTED BY Dave_75 on | December 9, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    To all those blaming England's "performance" on their schedule, I'd like to point out... Australia also played at the Twenty20 this year. This was weeks after a disastrous tour of India. After the T20, they went straight to England. Incase you've forgotten, Australia was the other team that competed in that Ashes series. There was then a pointless limited overs tour of India (again) before coming back to Australia where all players had State team commitments before reassembling as a Test side the week before Brisbane. All that aside, this is the Ashes! The most revered and intense rivalry in the history of cricket. Any "professional" that can't get up for that, truly is lost! England, PLEASE show up ready to compete in Perth... and Melbourne, and Sydney for that matter. Maybe your best will be good enough, maybe it won't. And if Australia takes back the Urn, perhaps then your fans on these pages will give a little old fashioned credit where credit's due.

  • POSTED BY Jimmers on | December 9, 2013, 19:40 GMT

    The players are out of form and their brains are frazzled - this has to be partly if not wholly the responsibility of the ECB. It's completely unreasonable to keep these back-to-back, all-year-round shows on the road - I think they've been lucky to get away with it as long as they have. Look at South Africa and the breaks their players have from winter Test tours, it's not rocket surgery. This is what happens when your board is run by suits and not cricket people - too short sighted to see that if they burn their best assets (Anderson, Cook, KP, Prior, Swann etc - not forgetting Flower) they'll have no product to oversell.

  • POSTED BY mzm149 on | December 9, 2013, 19:35 GMT

    Darren Lehman has completely revitalized this Aussie team. After a bad patch of a year and two, they are coming back to winning ways. They were a bit unlucky in Nottingham test where they lost by 14 runs and Manchester test where rain saved England. Otherwise score line would have been better in previous Ashes. They have a huge variety of experienced pacers and can play every game of a series with new set of bowlers. They have found the right combination of test and ODI batting as well. Given that the upcoming World Cup is at their home, they have every chance of winning the title fifth time. I always admire their spirit of never giving up, of making bold decisions and of never compromising a win for a draw.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Get Tymal Mills in for the Waca - fastest England bowler in Oz right now.

  • POSTED BY dreamliner on | December 9, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    Selectors have got no one but themselves to blame as this was the second test and they persisted with the majority of out of form batsmen, rather than following the lead of countries like SA who omitted Smith for their youngster( Quinton DeKock) and PAK who have kept Shoab Malik and Razzaq out for their new allrounders, Bilawal Bhatti and Anwar.

    It worked for SA and PAK but wont work for England becuase they will continue to persist with the namesakes. Breathe some new life and in to the team by playing in-form players who will make a fight of it, and even if they fail there is no shame, only valuable experience to be gained.

    Pick R Robson whose been performing with bat, and its a total mystery why they don't call the 2013 English player of the Year Moeen Ali who scored 83 and took 5 wickets in the first Test against Queensland XI. What's he done not to have a go now while he's in-form? So without logical choices such as these there will unfortunately only ever be one result.

  • POSTED BY jockoz on | December 9, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    "The Chap", sorry but you contradict yourself with your last sentence- "The Ashes are so special and this quirk of the fixture list devalues them in my opinion - it should never be allowed to happen again!" The Ashes are special and if that isn't motivation to beat Australia in Australia for the second tour in a row then what motivation do you require? If the English players are so jaded that they cant get up for this tour then maybe they should pack it in. Sorry these guys are proffesional sportmen who are paid a lot of money to do what they "love". No sympathy at all and it stinks very much of making excuses. The Ozzies have had the same amount of cricket and they are primed and up for the challenge as they were in England. If you gave them the opportunity to fly to England three months after beating the Poms in Australia they would jump at the chance to try and rub it in and beat them at home. I guess that's the difference! They want it more.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | December 9, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    England are a batter down. Stokes is not a test no.6 yet. Drop Monty and play Moeen Ali who is a spinning all rounder. Ali and Root can both bowl if required. Remember, Trott could bowl medium pace for a change up. We are lacking all round depth.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    Sensationalist stuff this. We've had 2 poor games, we might even have a poor series, it happens. Not long ago India were whitewashed 4-0 in England and they are still considered a strong team. And the sides haven't changed that much since the tour to Oz 3 years ago when it was all reversed - it can reverse again. Hey at least England haven't lost by an innings (yet)!

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 19:10 GMT

    Has anyone else noticed a trend in international cricket at the moment? Play at home, win the series. Play away, loose the series. SA is about the only team that avoids this. The solution is simple. International cricket needs to split into two tiers of six teams each with each team playing five series every two years, being two home and two away. This would make for more competitive cricket and each series would be more equal with each team getting half of the matches in each series being home matches.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Still 2 tests to go. England should make a leather hunt for an express bowler to counter attack the Aussies. He may not make a dent like Johnson does but still it will have some effect. Some morale booster.And probably face saving for England

  • POSTED BY Street_Hawk on | December 9, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    My preferred England teamfor the next test will be: 1. Cook, 2. Root, 3. Bell, 4. KP, 5. Ballance/Bairstow, 6. Prior, 7. Bresnan, 8. Anderson, 9. Broad, 10. Tremlett/Finn, 11. Swann

  • POSTED BY Street_Hawk on | December 9, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    The main problem on this tour from the batting perspective for England is two: 1. Openers - Cook has not score big and Carberry even when he has spent some time in the middle has not gone on to make big scores like Cook do. They are missing Jonathan Trott because root is playing at #3 but his replacement Ben Stokes is not nearly as good as Bresnan could have been. 2. Failure of lower order - England's middle order has failed a few times in the past but there never ended up in a horrible situation because of contributions from the likes of Prior, Broad and Swann. This time Johnson and harris has done extremely well in cleaning up the tail without too much damage. This two factors have made the most difference in batting. Bowling has been not bad, but they need to take their chances.

  • POSTED BY cricket-india on | December 9, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    i'll repeat what i wrote to england at the end of day 2 of this test; send an SOS for graham onions and add variety to your attack. jettison anderson, prior and swann, these guys are going the trott way if you don't give them a break. kp/cook have to do a dravid/laxman jailbreak in perth to restore the faith. kp has no business strutting around like a prima donna if he can't engineer a turnaround; after all he has bell, cook, root, carberry and perhaps bairstow all supporting him. so broad, bresnan, onions and panesar will be the bowlers and cook, carberry, root, kp, bell, bairstow, stokes will be the batters. the batters need to recall they thrashed the living daylights out of mitch and nearly ended his career with 517/1. the bowlers need to recall this is the same oz batting lineup they routinely dismissed for under 350 just 3 months ago. show some spine, all...fariweather performers are a dime a dozen; what counts is what you come up with when the chips are down.

  • POSTED BY jb633 on | December 9, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    @SurlyCynic, you have been saying that for 4 years and we have won more than we have lost. Eventually your comment was going to be seen as relevant. The issue we are having at the moment is deeper than just this game. I have been doing some coaching for the last 5 years and am worried about the lack of numbers at grass roots level. When I have asked various decent cricketers why they have not come back to the game unanimously the answer has been that football is now being played throughout the summer months too. Obviously this has no bearing on the current series and wont for 10 years but it is a worrying trend that the young guys find this England side very boring and even when we won 3-0 it certainly didn't capture the imagination of young cricketers in the country. England have got to change their brand of cricket in the short future. Playing like we are in the 1930's is getting the batting nowhere and it is putting lots of young lads off the game.

  • POSTED BY Beertjie on | December 9, 2013, 18:28 GMT

    The last time there was a back-to back Ashes was in Oz (74-75) followed by in England (75). After two tests Thommo had 16 wickets and had sown terror among the opposition batsmen. Now Johnno has 17 wickets with a similar effect. But Thommo's feat included the WACA as the second test. Wonder if his total of 33 sticks can be bettered by MJ. Great story, Mitch - go you good thing!

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    England have also burned out from so much intense cricket. The home Ashes, playing Pakistan in the UAE, World Cup and 20/20, tough tour of India. And now back in Australia. All of this must have caught up with the players. A lack of focus and fresh intensity in direct contrast to what Darren Lehmann has inspired among his players. England will be blown away in Perth.

  • POSTED BY TheChap on | December 9, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    I'm astonished that no pundit or poster so far has mentioned the effect of having this Ashes series `back-to-back` with this English summers just gone.

    The effect this has had on the England camp is considerable, you can physically see it! They are demotivated and flat, and must be asking themselves `why do we have to face this lot again so soon, when we've just beaten them!?`

    It goes a long way in explaining why the Aussies are so much more motivated and aggressive than England...and I can guarantee you that was their gameplan before Brisbane, it was no accident. In my experience, professional sportsman at the highest level need motivation and goals - where are they for this England team?

    The Ashes are so special and this quirk of the fixture list devalues them in my opinion - it should never be allowed to happen again!

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 9, 2013, 16:46 GMT

    Cook most go back to what worked in the summer and get the team boring the pants of the opposition so bad that Warne is tearing his hair out after an hour's play. The worst thing is hearing Warne say that he thinks Cook has led with imagination. Hahah Mr Warne. Let us be dull, unimaginative and above all attritional. Mostly I would play the normal side of the summer, with Bairstow in for Stokes. I have toyed with 4 giant attack but that is far too interesting. No Stokes? It is hard, but that is Test cricket.

  • POSTED BY SurlyCynic on | December 9, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    England are poor, let's face it. And the Broad-Swann-Anderson clique have no stomach for the fight, deliberately getting out rather than face Johnson.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    As an England supporter I'm pleased for Clarke in particular as he hasn't been well supported until recently. I think England lost focus and - yet again - didn't prepare properly. History has taught how different conditions are in Oz and whilst our bowlers skills guarantee wickets on our pitches it's not the same down under! Our batsmen needed far more time at the crease. Mitch has been terrific - great to watch and I'm very pleased for him that he's made such a marvellous comeback. The England series was far closer than the 3-0 result. I don't think there's much to choose between the sides but Oz are showing the desire and the application. England have thought they only needed to turn up! Finally, I do hope Cook can stop churning out a load of banal cliches about 'learning lessons' 'showing our true character' and 'fighting back' .

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Sponge on | December 9, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Let's win the series by 1500 runs overall, we are right on track already.

  • POSTED BY stumpedlloyd on | December 9, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Part of England's problem is that there's no imagination. Andy Flower and Co. have players "next in line" and, no matter what, those are the players who get picked. Let's see, for Perth, they will drop Panesar - never mind that he bowled and, some could argue, batted better than Swann (he certainly showed more guts than Swann) - and bring in Bresnan, whose pace has diminished considerably. They'll keep Prior on because he scored a 60 of little significance, really, and then threw his wicket away to a leg trap that could be seen on the International Space Station. Prior and Swann should be dropped for the WACA but that;s about as likely to happen as England retaining The Ashes. Give Boyd Rankin a chance in Perth. He can surely do no worse than the current crop of losers playing for England.

  • POSTED BY J.G.1 on | December 9, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Cook, Carbs, Root, KP, Bell, Stokes, Prior, Swann, Broad, Tremlett, Ramkin

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | December 9, 2013, 14:11 GMT

    @dinosaurus:-Perth's still a good place to bowl spin IHMO. With the old pitch orientation an offie bowling from the old members end had the Fremantle Doctor coming from about cover so that it aided drop and helped drift it away from right handers. Now it usually comes from more square of the wicket, so you have to throw more overspin on it to get it to drop. You have to beat the batsman in the air in Perth or there's not much point in turning up. Every offie in Perth knows how it goes. You bowl from the northern end, throw it up with heaps of overspin and let the breeze do the work. Don't get spooked easily and be prepared to wear a couple of boundaries. Bowling spin defensively in Perth is futile.

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | December 9, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    Here's wishing you a 5-0 whitewash, Poms. Time to relive the fond memories of 2007.

  • POSTED BY milepost on | December 9, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    @jackiethepen, only Carberry's was a real drop? Did you see the screamers Australia took? I like Cook, he seems a down to earth guy in a team of celebrities but he can't save this Ashes, it's over already and could get worse.

  • POSTED BY venkatesh018 on | December 9, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Provided they put the right XI on the park at Perth, England still have a chance. Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Anderson, Rankin. The last name could be either Ballance or Panesar(It depends whether England needs an extra batsman or the fifth bowler after looking at the surface).

  • POSTED BY izzidole on | December 9, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    I reckon Australia's plans to give the knock out punch to England straightaway has had tremendous success the way England has performed in the two tests so far and as a result are finding it very difficuilt to recover from the onslaught. As a result they seem to have lost all the confidence in their batting, bowling and fielding. Once you start losing your momentum it is very difficuilt to win back your confidence and your ability to dictate terms to the opposition. Australia was in the same position for the last few years and seem to to be gaining confidence since the last ashes series in England and their recent performance in the limited overs series in India. The signs of improvement were quite evident under coach Darren Lehman and their domination in the current ashes series is a true indication. The lack of confidence coupled with Michelle Johnsons thunderbolts has largely contributed to Englands downfall in this ashes series and only a miracle can save them from a 5 nil defeat

  • POSTED BY Bernoulli on | December 9, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Its all in their minds, isn't it? This same Cook was virtually un-dismissable (OK there is no such word) during their last tour down under and during the back-to-back India series (may be due to India's bowling strength in part). I used to think whether this guy will ever get out. In one of the tests, he and Trott racked up to something like 585-1 and I guess Hussey mentioned it later how painful it was each day taking the field. Its a mind game and somehow the Aussies have gotten the upper hand this time making England do what the Aussies want. When an overseas tour reaches this state, things can get very agonizing away from home (that too during Christmas season) and the Poms have an uphill task coming back and doing something to make a difference. It is hard to figure out who is in form, who is not, whether Bell should be #3, should Swann be persisted and so on. Lakshman said once that if you let the Aussies get even a foot through the door down under, they will be all over you.

  • POSTED BY Blackholesun on | December 9, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    The game of Cricket is truly a great leveler. One series a team can be a Hero deserving praises from all over the world and in the next series they are down, out and humiliated. Look what is happening to India !

  • POSTED BY Big_Chikka on | December 9, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    two tests in and suddenly all the "things" hidden in the home series come to light..fatigue, morale............etc etc. BUT this is still wide open and England can fight back, backing Cook, Carbs, Bell, Root to score big next game.....its a funny game and aussies are just as fallible.

  • POSTED BY Dr.Qwert on | December 9, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    With Cook struggling for form Bell has to move to 3, it's a big ask to have Carberry and Root in so early together in their Test infancy, while they have both showed a lot. Swann has looked average, while Panesar bowled relatively well... and showed guts (if not talent) in the first innings with the bat, which was otherwise lacking in the XI. Prior showed a bit, and it's now just Stokes lacking a 50 for the series in the top 7. For Aus, steady as she goes. Should rap the series up in Perth, although the Ashes seldom fails to produce a surprise.

  • POSTED BY Micky.Panda on | December 9, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    @sifter132. It may be valid to say that more test match play is BETTER for the batsmen, but I think you want to ask the bowlers, just how many overs they like to bowl per year? Certainly a case for the English bowling attack being a bit tired and jaded, whether they played many other format games or not. Little doubt its far tougher on the bowlers than the batsmen. Australia is always very concerned about the workload, particularly for Ryan Harris and Watson. 6 bowlers were used and some could have taken a lot more overs if needed. Watson and Smith may not be guaranteed a spot in the side if not needed to bowl as well as bat.

    Australia caught a lot of easy ones and a couple of difficult ones. England fumbled a few difficult ones, and unfortunately were made to pay very heavily. Not the worst catching display but the cost was high. Clarkey usually gets extra lives in his big scores.

  • POSTED BY dinosaurus on | December 9, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    Life is hard for off-spinners in Australia. But one place that called out for an off-spinner was Perth. The reason was the afternoon sea breeze (the famous Fremantle Doctor). The old orientation of the pitch was well suited to an off-spinner bowling into the teeth of the wind. It's not talked about any more. Maybe the new orientation of the pitch is to blame or it could be the modern bats. Bowler operating into the breeze results in batsman hitting with the breeze, making it easier to clear the boundary!

  • POSTED BY Lenniesahayi on | December 9, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Reading all these comments make me see how true the theory of "survivor bias" is so plausible.That being said,all credit is due to the Aussies,quality display of the hunger to succeed,the way they were fielding being a prime hint.English batsmen have an elephantine job now of having to contain Johnson in a pitch whose demons are just an aid to their further demise.5-0 is on the cards!

  • POSTED BY jackiethepen on | December 9, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    I think it gets a bit silly when a ball just tips the fingertips or goes to ground at short leg to call them half chances. Really? Only Carberry's was a real drop. Australia's fielding and catching was good but the catches were all catchable. I think what was lacking was some alacrity in the field. Get Bell out of short leg and put him fielding in the in field to cut of runs and take those fast chances. Strauss had the wit to do that. If its turning square Bell can go back at short leg or close to the bat. Bell should bat up the order. No more 72*. Unless Flower makes the change we won't get the runs on the board. The team is close to burn out. Trott was the first victim. Back to Back Ashes Tour is too much. The second leg was always going to be harder. And Australia have home advantage.

  • POSTED BY HonestyMatters on | December 9, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    @nafees.qureshi: Well said !! What I am also surprised is, Anderson and Broad are in the same league as Siddle and Harris and yet couldn't create as much impact. The difference lies in Johnson, who was probably trained and hypnotised to take up the role of a robotic machine and therefore has no equivalent in English team, leave alone any other team in the world. Which makes me believe that Johnson was a one-off blitzkrieg weapon adopted by Lehmann and Australia. Demoralizing the opponents was the side-effect. This is different in the case of Indians in SA, where its about bowling in-competencies and adaptability to foreign conditions.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    As Clarkey said, Early days yet - only 2 Test wins in 12 months is a bit ordinary. Perth will be interesting. If the Poms struggled on a flat track in Adelaide, their batsmen must be quacking re the bounce of Perth. Sure, Root Carberry and Bell made some runs in Adelaide, but only Carberry looked reasonably comfortable in both Brisbane and Adelaide. He may work out as a long term opener. KP showed a little bit of discipline in the second innings, but it is unlikely to last. It's not just Johnston they need to worry about, Siddle and Harris can both exceed 140 kmh, even Watson can be sharp. On a quick Perth wicket, bowling at that speed providing the length is right, can be awfully nasty. Of the Pom bowlers only Broad seems to have much life. Andersen seems tired and has regularly struggles to get much above 130kmh. Swann is on a hiding to nothing. He is not bowling well and off spinners always struggle down under.

  • POSTED BY valvolux on | December 9, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    If a team loses the appetite for winning, thats a leadership and management issue. The great australian team sought to break records, as individuals and as a team, to create a dynasty. The schedule wasnt all that much worse - bowlers were taking 80 wickets a year and batsmen were pumping out 1000 runs. England need a bit of fortune. To win a toss. But is cook game enough to bat first in perth? The pace will be unrelenting, the bounce steeper than brisbane - and in recent seasons the new ball has swung visciously, particulalry for Johnson. Englands fortunes have been laregely up to stability, with each player having a defined role and confidence they wont be dropped. The depth of english cricket has always been questionable. Now they are picking new players, fiddling with the batting order, losing every toss. Their depth has been exposed. It happens sometimes, but truly good teams are prepared. They may still win, if they do it will be their finest hour.

  • POSTED BY MYJHAN on | December 9, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Cricket God was not happy when this Cook-Men pissed on the pitch during previosus Ashes in England. Now they are smelling their own in Australia. No regrets. I want 5-0 so that they dont react overboard during victories and so underwhelmed when thrashed! Let Victory for the game prevail.

  • POSTED BY Sugath on | December 9, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    There are few factors that has led to this downfall. Firstly England did not realize the Aussies are re-emerging, judging by the way they played in India, a Waterloo for any visiting team. Despite a young side, they performed well and lost to India in the final match, when they were without Johnston. Underrating the opposition was the mistake English made. But what is most unbelievable is the way Peterson is under performing, a player who can play fast stuff with ease. Yes, Swann seems not able to do much with the ball and time to find replacement. Above all that it is evident that English has not done the match SWOT correctly and slowly but surely fading away. THis could well be another white wash for Aussies. As Tal_Botvinnik said off spinners are useless down under. Even Murali could not do much.

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | December 9, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    People are talking about it's good KP and Prior got some runs but KP smacking Steve Smith with field up and getting a cheap half century in a second Innings and Prior having a slashy risk a ball innings again with field up in 2nd innings is hardly convincing for me. I said before if England go 2-0 down they should throw Tymal Mills in for Perth who cares now they have got to do something drasticly different and at the very least it will be some consolation for English fans to see him rush a few Aussies.

  • POSTED BY Nickle-arse on | December 9, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Hey Tal_Botvinnik I reckon Nathan Lyon might have something to say about that!!

  • POSTED BY nafees.qureshi on | December 9, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    I always thought that batsmen from the subcontinent start quaking in their boots when they are up against quality fast bowling. However, looking at what the English batters have accomplished against the hostilities shown by the likes of Mitch & friends, I guess this phenomenon in universal. Against the South Africans, the fearsome Indian run machine is being blown into pieces and less we talk about the spineless English batting, the better. Unlike the ECB, BCCI is lot clever. Immediately after the drubbing in SA, we will shred the FTP calendar and invite teams like New Zealand, W Indies, Bangladesh et. all in our backyard and make them toil for 600 runs in 50 overs. With Kohlis, Rainas & Sharmas amassing 250+ scores in ODIs against these teams, pretty soon we will forget the drubbing in SA and Australia and England and will start singing paeans for our flat track bullies. I wonder what will ECB do???

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    England were absolutely abysmal in the first two Tests. There is no way back for them now. At least show you have character. Joe Root has.

  • POSTED BY sifter132 on | December 9, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    A couple of nitpicks..."Flogged to exhaustion by a cricket board whose obsession with the bottom line has obscured the damage they are doing to the long-term future" Really? England had a month off, while Australia when to India for 7 ODIs. Yes England's played a lot of Tests in 3 years, but the 'experts' would argue that should be BETTER for them, rather than the white ball stuff. And on the general point, Cricket Australia is just as money grubbing as ECB, probably more so. Big Bash being exhibit A.

    "it is hard to recall a worse fielding display by an England side in the last decade " Surely not. 3 half chances, and one bad drop is the worst for 10 years? Root's was a half chance only, Panesar's was hit very hard, Bell's difficult. Only Carberry's definitely SHOULD have been taken. Where were the overthrows, fumbles etc. of a poor fielding display? It was only because Australia caught almost everything that this is being lamented.

  • POSTED BY Edgar_Friendly on | December 9, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Losing the toss paled to insignificance when England gave Haddin numerous lives, missed a half chance from Clarke, then turned in the worst batting performance seen in years. The Aussies outplayed England in every department and deserve their result.

  • POSTED BY Jesinthan on | December 9, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    It didn't matter that Australia won the toss. England had several chances to get early wickets and had they held onto the catches, they would've placed immense pressure on Australia and it is possible that the result would be different. England didn't help themselves by dropping half-chances. They only have themselves to blame.

  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 9, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    LOL, Cook better get into some form and lead his men from the front. Problem with this side is the overconfidence and no. of new people being debuted. I think Eng, need to drop swann next match for a batsmen because off break bowlers are useless in australia

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  • POSTED BY Tal_Botvinnik on | December 9, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    LOL, Cook better get into some form and lead his men from the front. Problem with this side is the overconfidence and no. of new people being debuted. I think Eng, need to drop swann next match for a batsmen because off break bowlers are useless in australia

  • POSTED BY Jesinthan on | December 9, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    It didn't matter that Australia won the toss. England had several chances to get early wickets and had they held onto the catches, they would've placed immense pressure on Australia and it is possible that the result would be different. England didn't help themselves by dropping half-chances. They only have themselves to blame.

  • POSTED BY Edgar_Friendly on | December 9, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Losing the toss paled to insignificance when England gave Haddin numerous lives, missed a half chance from Clarke, then turned in the worst batting performance seen in years. The Aussies outplayed England in every department and deserve their result.

  • POSTED BY sifter132 on | December 9, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    A couple of nitpicks..."Flogged to exhaustion by a cricket board whose obsession with the bottom line has obscured the damage they are doing to the long-term future" Really? England had a month off, while Australia when to India for 7 ODIs. Yes England's played a lot of Tests in 3 years, but the 'experts' would argue that should be BETTER for them, rather than the white ball stuff. And on the general point, Cricket Australia is just as money grubbing as ECB, probably more so. Big Bash being exhibit A.

    "it is hard to recall a worse fielding display by an England side in the last decade " Surely not. 3 half chances, and one bad drop is the worst for 10 years? Root's was a half chance only, Panesar's was hit very hard, Bell's difficult. Only Carberry's definitely SHOULD have been taken. Where were the overthrows, fumbles etc. of a poor fielding display? It was only because Australia caught almost everything that this is being lamented.

  • POSTED BY on | December 9, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    England were absolutely abysmal in the first two Tests. There is no way back for them now. At least show you have character. Joe Root has.

  • POSTED BY nafees.qureshi on | December 9, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    I always thought that batsmen from the subcontinent start quaking in their boots when they are up against quality fast bowling. However, looking at what the English batters have accomplished against the hostilities shown by the likes of Mitch & friends, I guess this phenomenon in universal. Against the South Africans, the fearsome Indian run machine is being blown into pieces and less we talk about the spineless English batting, the better. Unlike the ECB, BCCI is lot clever. Immediately after the drubbing in SA, we will shred the FTP calendar and invite teams like New Zealand, W Indies, Bangladesh et. all in our backyard and make them toil for 600 runs in 50 overs. With Kohlis, Rainas & Sharmas amassing 250+ scores in ODIs against these teams, pretty soon we will forget the drubbing in SA and Australia and England and will start singing paeans for our flat track bullies. I wonder what will ECB do???

  • POSTED BY Nickle-arse on | December 9, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    Hey Tal_Botvinnik I reckon Nathan Lyon might have something to say about that!!

  • POSTED BY BRUTALANALYST on | December 9, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    People are talking about it's good KP and Prior got some runs but KP smacking Steve Smith with field up and getting a cheap half century in a second Innings and Prior having a slashy risk a ball innings again with field up in 2nd innings is hardly convincing for me. I said before if England go 2-0 down they should throw Tymal Mills in for Perth who cares now they have got to do something drasticly different and at the very least it will be some consolation for English fans to see him rush a few Aussies.

  • POSTED BY Sugath on | December 9, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    There are few factors that has led to this downfall. Firstly England did not realize the Aussies are re-emerging, judging by the way they played in India, a Waterloo for any visiting team. Despite a young side, they performed well and lost to India in the final match, when they were without Johnston. Underrating the opposition was the mistake English made. But what is most unbelievable is the way Peterson is under performing, a player who can play fast stuff with ease. Yes, Swann seems not able to do much with the ball and time to find replacement. Above all that it is evident that English has not done the match SWOT correctly and slowly but surely fading away. THis could well be another white wash for Aussies. As Tal_Botvinnik said off spinners are useless down under. Even Murali could not do much.

  • POSTED BY MYJHAN on | December 9, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Cricket God was not happy when this Cook-Men pissed on the pitch during previosus Ashes in England. Now they are smelling their own in Australia. No regrets. I want 5-0 so that they dont react overboard during victories and so underwhelmed when thrashed! Let Victory for the game prevail.