The Ashes 2013-14 December 10, 2013

'England can fight back' - Flower

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Andy Flower has said he believes England can fight back against Australia, despite heavy defeats in the first two Tests. England travel to Perth, where the third Test will begin on Friday, trailing 2-0 in the series and in imminent danger of losing the Ashes and Flower, the team director, said his players would have to improve their level of performance.

England have never come from two behind to win an Ashes series and, although a draw would be enough for them to retain the urn, their record at the WACA does not inspire confidence, with one Test victory in 12 visits. Flower, however, questioned the suggestion that Australia's desire has so far been greater than England's.

"I know that we can fight back into the series, absolutely," Flower said. "We have a history of playing competitive cricket and I know we have a mixture of experienced and young players, but a lot of these players have done some amazing things for England in the recent past, and we are going to have to fight for that to happen again.

"Quite frankly, usually in sporting contest when there are losses, especially heavy losses, one of the first areas people look at is lack of fight or the other side wanted it more. That's quite a simplistic view. We've been outplayed in these two Tests, very obviously, and the Australians have outplayed us in all three facets. We haven't been skilful enough for long enough to get into better positions in the matches. That's the crux there."

England on Tuesday named their limited-overs squads to play Australia after the Ashes, from which Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson and Graeme Swann were missing, and Flower said that a de facto rotation policy was intended to prevent fatigue affecting the Test XI.

"I don't think we're jaded," he said. "I don't think we have been skilful in dealing with what the opposition have thrown our way. I think that's part of the reason why we take players out of the spotlight occasionally is to ensure they don't burn out physically, or mentally of emotionally because the schedules are quite heavy. We try to make those decisions in a responsible manner. The main reason for pulling players out of squads is so that we can maximise their skills and their strengths when they do play. That is one of the challenges, the intensity and the regularity of or fixtures."

In four innings, England have only gone past 200 once and Flower admitted that getting big scores on the board, particularly in the first innings, was a priority. The highest individual score by an England batsman is Joe Root's 87, while the senior trio of Alastair Cook, Pietersen and Ian Bell have just one half-century apiece and Flower said that more was required of the team's experienced core, which includes the likes of Anderson and Swann.

"In these sorts of contests and series where the intensity levels are high, you do need your more experienced players, players who have been through similar situations in the past, to come through tough periods and play match-defining innings or produce pressure to create chances with the ball. Yes, absolutely we do," Flower said.

"I think past glories mean nothing in this context. We've got a big challenge to stop the momentum of the opposition and to get ahead in the game. One of those biggest challenges is getting a first innings score on the board. Without that you can't put pressure on the opposition. We had Australia 130 for six in Brisbane but since then they've been ahead in both games."

On the subject of whether some of England's problems were self-inflicted, with poor shot selection costing a number of players their wickets, Flower was clear. "It has happened too often," he said. "Any punter watching the game back home could tell you that. It is the responsibility of the players to find that balance. You can't score runs without playing shots but you have to assess the conditions, assess the balance of the pitch, assess the field setting and then you deliver your game plan accordingly."

England deployed both Swann and Monty Panesar in Adelaide but, with the WACA expected to offer pace and bounce, the requirement for spin will be reduced. Tim Bresnan, who would also stiffen the batting, has been tipped to return to the side after recovering from a back stress fracture, while Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin all offer extra height and bounce. Flower, however would not be drawn on the subject of whether Swann, whose four wickets in the series have come at 99.25, would keep his place, or if England might consider an all-pace attack.

"The conditions in Perth will be very different," he said. "We picked two spinners and that was the right decision to make considering how it turned on day one. We will assess those conditions and we pick the side to give us the best chance of winning. Graeme Swann has been an outstanding spin bowler for us and been very much a part of England's success but we'll assess those conditions and see who will best able to help us 20 wickets."

22.00 GMT, December 10 - This article was updated with new material

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rajuramki on December 12, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Flower would certainly want England to up the tempo but that is not going to happen .When England could not handle Australian pacers on relatively batsmen friendly pitches at Brisbane and Adelaide, it is unlikely that they can beat Australia at Perth. The whole Australian team is presently fired up and would not allow England to get any foot hold on the series .It is also an education for the England team to realise that they are not as good as they thought they were .

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 12, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    @JG2704 I don't know what else Bell could have possibly done to claim the #3 spot though. He failed early on in his career, but he still had at least equal success to what Root is having now, and he is no longer that batsman. He's one of the best there is, technical and attacking, great leaver, watches the ball like a hawk. Root is vulnerable early on, whereas Bell never looks vulnerable, he just occasionally gets out early on. He recently had a shot at the spot and scored a bucketload of runs. He looks England's best bat by a million miles. I feel bad for Bell having the spot he covets, and has always coveted, taken by some kid who gets away with slashing wildly early in his innings every time he makes a score, and bogging down every English innings he's been a part of. Bogging it down doesn't matter when you're in match saving mode but it matters when you're batting first in the first innings and trying to stick the knife in. Root will be a #3 one day, but he's a #5 or #6 right now.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 11, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    @JG2704 / ModernUmpiresPlz: really don't like KP at 3 at all - even in the shorter formats. Firm believer in having a steadfast/grafter player at 3 like Trott, Thorpe, Ponting etc. No doubts that Bell could/can do it; kind of agree with ModernUmpiresPlz that Root can get a bit bogged down and historically I've been much happier with him down in the middle. Desperate times, desperate measures...

  • gop_cricket on December 11, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    No changes in batting order, but the same order has to prove entire world that they are the right combination. Bowling is not great either exceptional Broad. In test matches one or two chances go down coz they come suddenly and not greatly alert fielder may put down, but if the bowlers are great they create another chance. That is the stack difference between Aussies and England. Aussies have been very agile on the field and have not put down any half chances either (ex: Michael C getting out when D.Warner took one of the best catches and only a half chance). Where as he himself putdown one sitter from Haddin and allowed him make a 100 and thus lost the match there itself.

  • YouTalkinToMe on December 11, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Much like Australian supporter's clutched at straws during the Ashes matches in England, the English supporter's are now in the same position.

    It's like a cut and paste of names into the same posts stating; if, what, when then "we" will win.

    Still, it's not over yet but realistically, only a one eyed supporter would believe they have a good chance of retaining the Ashes. For everyone else, it's obvious that the task is easier for Australia to regain the Ashes than for England to retain them.

  • LeeHallam on December 11, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Can England win in Perth? The odds are against it, but it is possible. Australia have not suddenly become a great side. England's bowling attack has created enough chances in both first innings to get Australia out for a reasonable score, but the fielders have missed too many of them. Clarke is a great batsman, the others are not, I would not swap any of them for Pietersen, Bell, Root or Cook. Johnson has blown away the England lower order because he got to them while he was fresh. He has not got many batsmen out, most of them fell to bad shots against the other bowlers. To win England must bat first, and the top order must bat well, if England are 450 for 5 at tea on day two, lets see how fast the Australian's are then!

  • satkaru1 on December 11, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    England need to bat first. All english batsmen got atleast half centuries..so 3rd test will be a good fight.. It is good to see all of them came up with 50's..that should show up in 3rd test..

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @milepost on (December 11, 2013, 9:54 GMT) You seem a little obsessive re England and FFL

  • sidekick45 on December 11, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    well it only takes a big innings from 1 or 2 poms and make a 1st innings big score and make a bit of pressure for the aussies to reach then the poms need to back it up with good bowling line and length and be outstanding in the field

  • on December 11, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Even Shane Warne reckons that the Poms can fight back in the series. Can't see that one myself. Where are the big scores going to come from? All the English batters have been worked out and the plans for them beautifully executed. Perth will be the same. The Poms lack that extra oomph factor with the ball as well. No extra pace and no hostility.

  • rajuramki on December 12, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Flower would certainly want England to up the tempo but that is not going to happen .When England could not handle Australian pacers on relatively batsmen friendly pitches at Brisbane and Adelaide, it is unlikely that they can beat Australia at Perth. The whole Australian team is presently fired up and would not allow England to get any foot hold on the series .It is also an education for the England team to realise that they are not as good as they thought they were .

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 12, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    @JG2704 I don't know what else Bell could have possibly done to claim the #3 spot though. He failed early on in his career, but he still had at least equal success to what Root is having now, and he is no longer that batsman. He's one of the best there is, technical and attacking, great leaver, watches the ball like a hawk. Root is vulnerable early on, whereas Bell never looks vulnerable, he just occasionally gets out early on. He recently had a shot at the spot and scored a bucketload of runs. He looks England's best bat by a million miles. I feel bad for Bell having the spot he covets, and has always coveted, taken by some kid who gets away with slashing wildly early in his innings every time he makes a score, and bogging down every English innings he's been a part of. Bogging it down doesn't matter when you're in match saving mode but it matters when you're batting first in the first innings and trying to stick the knife in. Root will be a #3 one day, but he's a #5 or #6 right now.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 11, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    @JG2704 / ModernUmpiresPlz: really don't like KP at 3 at all - even in the shorter formats. Firm believer in having a steadfast/grafter player at 3 like Trott, Thorpe, Ponting etc. No doubts that Bell could/can do it; kind of agree with ModernUmpiresPlz that Root can get a bit bogged down and historically I've been much happier with him down in the middle. Desperate times, desperate measures...

  • gop_cricket on December 11, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    No changes in batting order, but the same order has to prove entire world that they are the right combination. Bowling is not great either exceptional Broad. In test matches one or two chances go down coz they come suddenly and not greatly alert fielder may put down, but if the bowlers are great they create another chance. That is the stack difference between Aussies and England. Aussies have been very agile on the field and have not put down any half chances either (ex: Michael C getting out when D.Warner took one of the best catches and only a half chance). Where as he himself putdown one sitter from Haddin and allowed him make a 100 and thus lost the match there itself.

  • YouTalkinToMe on December 11, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    Much like Australian supporter's clutched at straws during the Ashes matches in England, the English supporter's are now in the same position.

    It's like a cut and paste of names into the same posts stating; if, what, when then "we" will win.

    Still, it's not over yet but realistically, only a one eyed supporter would believe they have a good chance of retaining the Ashes. For everyone else, it's obvious that the task is easier for Australia to regain the Ashes than for England to retain them.

  • LeeHallam on December 11, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    Can England win in Perth? The odds are against it, but it is possible. Australia have not suddenly become a great side. England's bowling attack has created enough chances in both first innings to get Australia out for a reasonable score, but the fielders have missed too many of them. Clarke is a great batsman, the others are not, I would not swap any of them for Pietersen, Bell, Root or Cook. Johnson has blown away the England lower order because he got to them while he was fresh. He has not got many batsmen out, most of them fell to bad shots against the other bowlers. To win England must bat first, and the top order must bat well, if England are 450 for 5 at tea on day two, lets see how fast the Australian's are then!

  • satkaru1 on December 11, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    England need to bat first. All english batsmen got atleast half centuries..so 3rd test will be a good fight.. It is good to see all of them came up with 50's..that should show up in 3rd test..

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    @milepost on (December 11, 2013, 9:54 GMT) You seem a little obsessive re England and FFL

  • sidekick45 on December 11, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    well it only takes a big innings from 1 or 2 poms and make a 1st innings big score and make a bit of pressure for the aussies to reach then the poms need to back it up with good bowling line and length and be outstanding in the field

  • on December 11, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    Even Shane Warne reckons that the Poms can fight back in the series. Can't see that one myself. Where are the big scores going to come from? All the English batters have been worked out and the plans for them beautifully executed. Perth will be the same. The Poms lack that extra oomph factor with the ball as well. No extra pace and no hostility.

  • grahaam on December 11, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    It is likely that Flower's old team mate Murray Goodwin is in Perth at the moment, his opinion of the pitch would help Flower's selection..its not always what you know!!! Goodwin learnt his skills there and from that turned out to be a very good International and First Class cricketer...Go find him, Andy!

  • on December 11, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    This is one way I think Englandwould surprise Australia in terms of selection as well as aggression: Bell at 3 Prior at 6 Get rid of Ben stokes - a guy who averages 35 in first class cricket should NEVER EVER be in a test team Another 2 fast bowlers - blow Aus away in Perth Get rid of panesar Use Swann as a holding bowler and set semi-defensive fields when he bowls - allow some pressure to be created (also bowl swann and bresnan as the same time for that reason - pressure!!) The most frustrating thing about watching England is they think they have to play a shot if there have been 3 maidens in a row. You can almost see it happening. I don't know why someone doesn't say to them that a couple of good overs doesn't mean you have to play a stupid shot. It's test cricket after all!!!! I obviously don't support Eng but the nature of their play is so predictable and frustrating at the moment.

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    @ R_U_4_REAL_NICK /ModernUmpiresPlz - Personally I'd have either moved everyone up one place (so KP at 3) or moved Bell to 3 and move Root to 5. But having put Root at 3 , he scored the highest individual score for Eng in this series in the last inns. So there's no logic in dropping him back down after his last inns is a success. If they do that and both players fail - Bell at 3 and Root at 5 - then the decision looks terrible. Also I wouldn't say any Eng player has been dominating the Aus bowling by and large. Prior did to a degree in his last inns and Bell in the previous one but both when they were batting with the tail.

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    @ jb633 - I remember in UAE when I wanted them to change to a 5/1/5.My reasoning was our batting was so bad that taking away a batsman would not damage the batting so much but adding a 5th bowler might have made it hard for even that set of batsmen to flid up.I think there are arguments for 6/1/4 & 5/1/5 and as said before we need to strengthen both areas.Someone said before the game that Stokes weakened both batting and bowling which may be true even if they were trying to strengthen both No easy solution.I'd try Rankin who seems to have more control than Finn (similar wicket taking threat on this tour) and more WT threat than Tremlett. I'm still not for dropping Swann but maybe that has as much to do with history and what happened the last time we tried a 4 pacer attack.Our batsmen are neither regularly scoring 50s or when set converting 50s into 100s so we have the worst of both worlds here. All our batsmen have got 50s but not one 100 and no one has scored more than 1 50

  • job_eapen on December 11, 2013, 17:18 GMT

    After the two tests we know England are facing many problems...but the real problem they are going to face in the 3rd Test is the Johnson factor... None of the England batsmen had any clue whatsoever ion how to play him... On the pacey and bouncy pitch in WACA he can be even more destructive than the first two tests..... England should really go in with Bell at no:3 position because he is a natural no:3 batsman...They will have so many opportunities in the future when they can try Joe Root in that position...but now is not really the time for that... Another thing England can do is they can bring in Tim Bresnan in for the WACA test , because he will be much better option than Ben Stokes.. Swann is a good player..But he hasn't been that effective in troubling the Aussie batsmen..He needs to find his bearings and start to be more effective.. England batsmen have to perform far better than they did in their previous two outings.. #really looking forward to another Johnson Hurricane#

  • DJAbacus on December 11, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    It is quite possible that Australia will freeze in this next Test. They are expected to win at Perth. However, they have lost the last 3 Ashes Series and that may be at the back of their minds. Anyone who has played/watched a lot of Sport will realise that crossing the line is the hardest part. If you look back to last Summer, the 3rd Test was only a draw because of the weather. The Aussies being 2-0 down threw off the shackles and started to play. This could happen in Perth. England may just relax and start playing. If England do win this game, then it really is game on. I really hope it goes to the fifth Test at 2-2. What a spectacle that would be.

  • Big_Chikka on December 11, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    the only way england are going to win this next test is by fighting back and i think they will try damn hard.........................root is the no 3 now and until someone else claims the spot, which i don't think will happen. anderson when you arriving on this tour? come on man....got bitcoins on you....!

  • DJAbacus on December 11, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    'England will fight Back' - DJAbacus

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 11, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    @RU4REALNICK I think the deciding point over the Root vs Bell argument is that you want someone who can dominate a game at #3. Bell can, Root cannot. He simply isn't good enough yet. He has technical flaws and is generally a slow starter, and can get a whole innings bogged down right from the start. Bell is near on technically perfect, as well as attacking. Root looks likely to develop into a great batsman in my opinion, but he's not there yet, so if England wants to do well in the rest of THIS series Bell has to be the choice. Root's 87 doesn't change that.

  • jb633 on December 11, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @JG207, Yeah I would normally agree with you with having the 5 bowlers but in this particular series we need to strengthen the batting somehow. I just think with Swann at the moment they have made it their game plan to get after him and changing him will actually alter how they go about things. If our top 4 were contributing like they should I would lover to see us attack with 5 bowlers but with their failings and Prior in such bad nick we can't risk having Stokes in at number 6 again. Possibly we bring Bres Back for Stokes and Ballance in for Monty. Leaving us with 4 genuine bowlers and batting that goes to number 10 (in theory). I must confess whatever happens I see nothing else but an Aussie victory in sight.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 11, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Batting-wise, I see no reasons not to stick with Cook and Compton opening (although no doubts Cook really needs to find his mojo). I'm sitting on the fence with the whole 'Root vs. Bell at 3' argument... JTP made a good point somewhere that Bell ran out of partners in one of the innings because he was kept at 5 - but on the other hand Root didn't exactly disgrace at 3, so tough call. What I'm certain about is that I don't think a newbie should be baptised at 3; seems Ballance is continuing his good form and justifying calls for his debut. But that debut should come at position 5 or 6. KP is KP - keep him at 4; I'd stick with Prior as wicket-keeper. Anderson, Broad, Bresnan and ??? for the bowlers - backed up by Root and KP as the spinners. Eeeek... much to ponder over before next game.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 11, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    As I implied before the series even started, expecting Swann to be thick amongst the wickets in Australia is like expecting Magic Monty to be the main run scorer. Swann's only saving grace this series would have been to contain and/or contribute significantly with the bat. So far he has managed neither - and that's not intended to be a horrible criticism because the Australians have attacked him very well when he's bowling, and bowled really well to him while he's batting to force him into silly mistakes. Therefore, and it's very unusual for me to say this because in my opinion a specialist spinner is 99% necessary in tests to mix things up, I'm thinking it's maybe best to leave Swann out next game and rely on Root and/or KP to cover the spin quotas. I wouldn't fancy playing Magic Monty as the sole specialist spinner. (To be continued...)

  • on December 11, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Anyone in the English selection squad ever care to notice the value of a left-arm spinner on the Perth pitch? India's Bishen Bedi took 10 wickets in the 1977 match against Australia, New Zealand's Daniel Vettori took 6 1st innings wickets against Australia in 2001, and Monty Panesar in Australia's 1st innings of 244 during the 2006 Perth test match claimed a 5-for bowling analysis. South Africa's heavy win over Australia last summer in Perth was ALSO achieved with considerable assistance from left-arm spinner Robin Petersen so Steyn,Philander & Morkel were not alone in undoing Australia's batting order in a crunch match during 2012-13. Tremlett took 5 second innings wickets during Australia's 2nd innings effort in the 2010-11 Perth test match and the only thing that is missing for England is a replica of Paul Collingwood,the speccie catch-taker.

  • JG2704 on December 11, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    @ jb633 on (December 11, 2013, 10:57 GMT) Against your theories re Swann. The last time Eng dropped him for a 4 man pace attack was vs SA and it was the one game when his opposite number Tahir had success in the series. I know stats may tell a different story but I rate Swann similarly to Broad and Bres as in they can all do it with the bat on their day but not enough to be labelled all rounders. I'm still not convinced by Stokes either with bat or ball. I'd probably keep Swann in and maybe bring in Rankin for Monty. Rankin hasn't done that much but for me he's done more than Finn and Tremlett and he adds another dimension to the bowling line up. It's a difficult choice re strengthening the batting. I mean we had some of our worst batting displays with the 6/1/4 formation but we need both areas strengthened and I'm not sure we'd get away with fielding 12 players

  • jb633 on December 11, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    We have got to lengthen the batting order even if it means we sacrifice Swann. We can't have our tail starting at number 6 and we must do whatever we can to make more runs. I would bring Bresnan in for Swann and Ballance in for Monty. That leaves us with 4 seamers and Root can chuck a few up if needed. The Aussies have murdered Swann in Australia and I don't see it being any different in Perth. Whilst I like the guy a lot and he will be back but at the moment he isn't really adding much with bat or ball.

  • on December 11, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Cannot drop Swann - the conditions will be hot in Perth - the seamers will need to rest - Bresnan is not a good enough bowler - I would bring him in for Stokes though and also Tremlett - Cook, Carberry, Root, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Tremlett.

  • milepost on December 11, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    It is telling that Lunge is taking more punishment than the English team, I did not think that was possible at the moment lol!

  • Thegimp on December 11, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    I still think Cook's biggest nightmare comes if he wins the toss. His best chance of winning is rolling Australia cheaply when the pitch is at its fastest and bouncyiest and then bat for two days. Now if he wins he will not want to look like a coward and send Aust in he will bat and it will be carnage. I have never wanted an opposition captain to win the toss quite as much as now LOL

  • milepost on December 11, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha on (December 11, 2013, 8:14 GMT) "It is rumoured that as motivation for the second test the England team watched that scene from Monty Python's Jabberwocky where the knights face the killer rabbit in the cave. "Run away! Run away!". Absolutely hilarious mate, very funny! I am enjoying this Ashes for all the good humor as much as anything else, it is great that as Lunge would put it "normal Ashes service has resumed".

  • on December 11, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    I'm a staunch Englishman and love nothing more than getting stuck into the Aussies and take my greatest pleasure from sticking it to Mitchell Johnson, who in recent years has been England's greatest asset. However at the moment he's in the form of his life, bowling 95mph and giving the English batters a torrid time. England's batters haven't played well at all. Lost 40 wickets, 33 caught - professionally unacceptable, many caught out trying to hook short deliveries. In addition to Johnson, Harris is top class and siddle one of the best. Come on lads stop making excuses and lets take a look at ourselves, respect the opposition and start playing to the conditions. Nobody to blame but ourselves, it pains me to say it but the Aussies are totally outplaying us at the moment.

  • TheBigBoodha on December 11, 2013, 8:14 GMT

    It is rumoured that as motivation for the second test the England team watched that scene from Monty Python's Jabberwocky where the knights face the killer rabbit in the cave. "Run away! Run away!"

    One thing is for sure. Jony Bairstow won't be selected for Perth. But it would be great entertainment if it ever did happen.

  • dunger.bob on December 11, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    Sporting coaches definitely have a limited shelf life. In our Rugby League for example, 4-6 years is about the average tenure for a coach before it's time to part ways with that club. The players and coaches tend to go a bit stale on each other and even the best coaches can't do much about it. .. Crickets the same I reckon. It might just be Flower's time to go. He could still be saying and doing exactly the same stuff he always has, but the players aren't responding like they used to. Sort of like lovers parting, if it's not done cleanly you can end up hating each other unnecessarily. .. just a thought.

    @ sharadgargconnect: Thanks for that post. Most enjoyable. Playing Trott at 8 is, I think, the crowning glory of the entire piece. Well done mate.

  • whofriggincares on December 11, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    All this talk of " if Australia didn't have MJ" is ridiculous. WE HAVE GOT HIM. He has always been a devastating bowler when in form and he is in the best form of his life at the moment. As for all the keyboard heroes with suggestions on how to deal with him ( one genius suggested " just take him for 40 of 5" and miraculously that will be the end of him LOL) Has anyone making those suggestions actually faced a left arm quick bowling 150kmh? Seriously doubt it. I have faced very quick lefties in my time (not 150 though) and they are tough to handle and if they get it to rise from just back of a length they can be almost unplayable by even the most talented batsmen as we have seen in this series. But the true strength of our pace attack is the overall makeup , Harris is up there with the best in the world and Siddle is the bowler every captain loves to have in their side he just chips away gives the batsmen nothing and has the heart of a lion. Bring on Perth I say!

  • on December 11, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    There is a difference between "Can fight back" and "Will fight back". This statement only radiate weakness.

  • Cubey on December 11, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Drop Swann and Anderson for the WACA. They have no fight, no guts, no pride at the moment. It'll give them a kick up the rear...hopefully...and remind them how lucky they are.

  • zenboomerang on December 11, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    Flower: "There will obviously be changes in Perth" - CA website

    I guess the plural means 2 players (or 3) though I wouldn't. Obviously 1 spinner is all that is needed & the WACA offers a lot for a 4 man pace attack with wins against Eng & Ind in recent years. I'd keep Stokes & bring another seamer which offers a good balance for the conditions, with Root available to throw a few overs with Swann into the wind.

    Flower: "We haven't been skilful enough for long enough... our batting failed three times in a row... we need to up those skills and improve on that batting in Perth if we are to have any chance whatsoever"

    I can't see the batters being dropped - Stokes maybe but his bowling will come in handy - with the WACA normally a results pitch I'd expect 1 or 2 of Cooke, KP, Prior to come good & give a decent score & hope the bowlers can contain us (Oz).

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 11, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Nice to see some English optimism in here. Unfortunately they all seem entirely focused on Johnson, which is all good and well, and yeah maybe he'll have a bad performance at the WACA for once even though that seems doubtful. The problem for England is we have 2 other bowlers suited perfectly for this pitch, in Harris and Siddle. I think there is some serious underestimation of what Harris is going to do at the WACA by English fans. The Adelaide pitch did not suit him at all, but the WACA will be his bread and butter. I forecast Harris taking at least 5 wickets in the first innings with control and plenty of pace and bounce in the wicket. Johnson having a blinder is not going to be that relevant at the WACA.

  • on December 11, 2013, 2:52 GMT

    bring back steven finn , otherwise it would be 3-0 against MJ pace attack, they should play 3 fast and tall bowler like broad finn and rankin/tremelet . they shouldn't always rely on Anderson , his swing and pace is not enough in aus specially in WACA.

  • on December 11, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    Has anyone seen Tyrone Mills bowl yet? I hear he's quick (145+) and a lefty, but there must be a reason he's not being talked about by England?? And as Randy Oz says, we desperately need someone to get above 135 on a regular basis.

  • jmcilhinney on December 11, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    @sharadgargconnect on (December 10, 2013, 15:31 GMT), sorry but that's ridiculous. England have three openers in their squad and you're suggesting leaving two of them out and playing the other down the order. Exactly how long would you expect Broad to last against a brand new ball in the hands of fresh bowlers? As for Prior, even when he's in great form he often gets out quickly when the second new ball is taken. Without experienced opening batsmen, Cook would be out in the middle in no time even if he was playing down the order. Cook has had all his success opening so there's no good reason to move him. Who has shown that they'd do a better job? As for Root, why would you leave out the player to have made the highest individual score for England so far in this series? You've also picked Jonathan Trott in your XI and he's not even part of the squad any more. Sorry but you clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

  • jmcilhinney on December 11, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    There are those calling for Bell at #3 in Perth and I was leaning in his direction for Adelaide. I can see that England wouldn't necessarily have wanted Root, Stokes and an out-of-form Prior at #5-#7 and if Root had failed in the second innings then I think that they would have made the switch. Prior looks like he may hopefully have turned a corner so the lower order wouldn't look so bad if Bell moved up but I think that they'll take Root's 87 as a sign that he can bat at #3 and leave him there. He has had trouble with bounce though (who in the England side hasn't though) and he's going to see more at Perth, so I'd still lean towards Bell at #3.

  • jmcilhinney on December 11, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    England have to remain positive because it doesn't do them any good to dwell on the negatives. It would be a monumental effort to come back from here even if Melbourne and Sydney were the next two venues but Perth being next makes it harder still. They have to try though. The first order of business has to be to take their catches. Let's not forget that if Bailey and Haddin had been caught when they should have then Australia probably wouldn't have made more than 350 and that would have been considered under par at the time. Does that mean that England would have batted better? Maybe, because scoreboard pressure does have an effect, although they fell apart in Brisbane without it, so who knows. I think England have bowled well enough so far. Not fantastically but well enough to have been in the hunt if their batsmen had performed. If they can keep that up in Perth, take their catches and the batsmen can put a few scores together then they're in it. That last is a big "if" though.

  • Cantbat.Cantbowl.CantField. on December 10, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    Bring on the WACA test! I'd like to see Doug the Rug get a bowl, maybe just for this test. He's an intense player and with the other three quicks, they can put the poms under the pump and get this series won.

  • JG2704 on December 10, 2013, 21:56 GMT

    @ jackiethepen on (December 10, 2013, 19:15 GMT) Indeed a good knock but if he had batted at 3 he would have still needed someone to keep their wicket. Bell would have scored more (had he continued) and had he continued in the same attacking mindset the team would have got a few more runs but no matter how well a player is performing you still need players to stay with you and if those players above Bell (KP and Root) were below Bell , if they had got out for the same scores then the team would not have done much - if anything more. If memory serves me right Bell only really accelerated when he was with the tail. Maybe all the batsmen should imagine that they're batting with Monty? Anyway after Root scored the highest individual score for Eng in this Ashes they'll not drop him back down the order now

  • HOMEBREW on December 10, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Being an Aussie fan, maybe the ECB could get rid of Flower who's all talk at present. I know a good coach you lot could have, Mickey Arthur lol. He was always talking the sort of stuff Flower's talking about now. Welcome to the slide

    As for your bowers attacking Mitch & co, keep dreaming, there's no one in your side at present who can bowl 150km p/hr or more. The fastest i've seen so far has been Broard, who let rip a 141km p/hr at Adelaide, but only 1 ball, not 6 in a row above 145km p/hr. If i were you lot, i'd drop Panesar for Bresnen who might just enjoy the WACA & has troubled us in the past, move Bell to 3 as Root has said he's happy to bat anywhere & drop Stokes for Balance.

    It's pleaseing to see the boot on the other foot now. Instead of you lot whinging about sledging & short pitch bowling, just play your game. We had to put up with rubbish from your lot in England without us whinging, so get over it! Once again, thank you for sending us to paradise!

  • Number_5 on December 10, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    The momentum is completely with Aus now, this along with history and form of Eng suggest NO they cannot. Whilst most pundits down under believed the 3-0 result was much closer than the final result suggested, no-one from the northern hemisphere believed this to be the case, indeed every Englishman I have spoken to this summer is still scratching their head as to what has happened, some even going as far to suggest the pitches have been doctored (umm it always seams in Bris and Adelaide is a batting paradise if you dont play rash shots and hold your catches). Eng are a rabble, Cook is under pressure, Swan cant turn it (Lyon can), Jimmy cant swing it (Aus bowlers have), Broad seems more intent on being the villain and the unfortunate loss of Trott was a massive blow. With 5 days of 40 degrees forecast Eng will complain about the bounce, the heat and the crowd all the while playing loose shots, fielding poorly and not bending their back enough with the ball. the urn is coming home.

  • iwatcheditwhenwewasrubbish on December 10, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Flower must tell the players how it is and he must drop people who are not going to perform!

    Boycott has the right analysis, basically he says that the England batsmen must cut out stupid shots v MJ and not be scared of him. MJ is bowling well, but he is far from being on par with the all time great quicks, against whom some batsmen still scored a decent amount of runs. Half our dismissals are due to stupid shot selection. England must bat longer and start playing like they want to be in a test match. We need a coach like Boycott who will tell our players to sort it out and what they need to do. The current England camp has too many flatterers.

    The WACA is going to be fast bowler heaven, we might as well drop our spinners, Monty has done OK considering his lack of international games in recent times, but Swann has had his best venue this tour, and failed to perform, so why pick him again?

    Finn deserves a chance, bit of a gamble but the alternatives are bleak.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 10, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    England are still the better team. Australia have won mainly because of Mitchell Johnson's inspired spell of bowling. England need to play how they have always played in test cricket - a boring brand of attrition cricket. It is also worthy to remember that none of the deliveries bowled by the Aussies would have gone on to hit the stumps. So it was England's batsmen playing rash shots and giving catching practice to the Aussie fielders. They need to take a leaf out of Monty's book. The way Panesar ducked and moved away from the short pitched deliveries is a lesson to the English top order. It won't be easy at Perth. If England manage to come back from this situation, then they ought to be the BEST test team in the world.

  • Sigismund on December 10, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    11 batsmen for England. Delivering pure filth could be the key to igniting the self-destruction of the Aussie batting - it won't be worse than 570dec in any case. Bell to take the new cherry - where's Strauss when you need him?

  • RandyOZ on December 10, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    That's the problem though, with their band of medium paced trundlers they really dont have a way to fight back. The journeyman swann is also really struggling with only Bell looking like holding a candle to the wind

  • jackiethepen on December 10, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    Bell might have played a match defining knock in the first innings at Adelaide except there was no one left to bat with at 72*. Would that be because he was languishing at No 5 approved by Flower?

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 10, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    The impossible is only so until someone goes and does it. Anyway according to some sources the two Test losses are just part of a cunning plan,so cunning that even Baldrick could not have come up with it. Re changes-I do not think that blooding players at Perth in a deficit situation is necessarily wise. Playing Panesar for Swann may be okay but on balance I would want the 'Old Guard, there.

  • on December 10, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    England appear clueless as to how to proceed. In my opinion even the last day of the second test the batsmen gave up their wickets for fear of having to face Johnson again. Extreme pace has them totally lost as to how to move forward.

  • on December 10, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    Johnson is being used as a shock weapon.if he starts going for runs then Watson comes in and we all know how tight he bowls..johnson then comes back in and these runs starved batters become sitting ducks..so people stop this thing about going after johnson..unles of course you dont want england to pass100

  • on December 10, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    Agree with Rohan. The sides are much closer in terms of ability, and they were much closer in England than 3-0. What England need is old style common sense about batting - it was drummed into me in the 60s - defend and leave; let the bowlers tire; don't cut or hook before you're seeing it properly; check where the fielders are ; guard your wicket with your life. I think we will need plenty of bowlers at Perth so they can be rotated in what promises to be blistering heat. If they do this it could be a good close match.

  • Hatter_Mad on December 10, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Well anything is possible but I don't think anybody will be putting their mortgage on it. In England's favour they do have options, Bresnan being an obvious choice. They may even go for 2 or 3 changes and I guess some of the players know that they're possibly looking at an end to their England careers if they fail to show up again.

    Also, Johnson has hardly been consistent in the past, maybe Perth will be a bridge too far?

  • RohanMarkJay on December 10, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    Absolutely Andy Flower. Australia has had it a bit easy in the last two test matches. If England play to their potential they should be able to beat Australia. It will be close though not much seperates the two sides. The last two matches should have been a lot closer like one wicket or und 15 runs separating the sides. England batters should leave as many Johnson deliveries as possible and wear him down. Also Andy flower should pick a tall all seam attack of Tremlett, Finn, Rankin and Broad with strict instructions to go for Aussies upper chest throat and head also Cook should tell his bowlers to just let it rip and try and be as accurate as possible. Drop out of form Swann but keep Panesar as only spinner. Aussies think Perth is where they will regain the ashes. I disagree Perth is where the fight back by the England cricket team begins.Flower is right I can well see England team rather than Australia winning in Perth.The England batsman have to go and nullify MJ evade his deliveries

  • sharadgargconnect on December 10, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    I think England should beat Australia in next 3 tests. They should leave out players like Carberry and Stokes. They are not meant for big games. root should also be left out. I think cook should also come down the order. He is englands main batsman and should not be exposed to new ball. Its different when he plays in Asia. England should play a batsmen heavy team and thats their best chance. Gary ballance should debut because he is a good batsman. Good enough then carberry. I think they should open the innings with Prior and Broad. Both are good enough to see off the new ball. England is loosing wickets early on. So they have no other option. Johnson will have no clue. He will try and get 4 new comers out early on. and later england can score those runs.

    England team for 3rd test: 1. Matt Prior 2. Stuart Broad 3. Gary Ballance 4. Johny Bairstow 5. Ian Bell 6. Alistair Cook 7. Kevin Pieterson 8. Jonathan Trott 9. Steve Finn 10.James Anderson 11. Monty Panesar/Swas

  • LETSCOMPLICATEIT on December 10, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Greetings. A simple but relevant question, Does anyone believe that Australia would have won without Mitchell Johnson? Simple solution, hammer MJ for 40 in five overs, and he is NOT the same bowler. Study the stats from past. This Australian team is on a high, from two wins (OK..Huge wins). We can beat the Aussies in Perth, with just one change, Bresnan for Panesar. England have to make decisive confident changes, Bell at 3 is a must, a man with significant confidence, with no fear to on the offensive. Each member of the team have to sing a chorus to KP, "Its a team game dumb ass, and your brilliant personal attributes don't mean S..T, when the team loses". We go in with one simple message, to ourselves: We have to and we will win here! Thanks PC

  • Paul_Somerset on December 10, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    @64blip: Derek Pringle being hailed as the new Ian Botham was indeed depressing, but not as much as watching Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes slot in as the new Derek Pringles.

  • Manush on December 10, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    Swann can be replaced by Tremlett or Finn and Bresnan to replace Stokes will be a right mixture for the next game to avoid a whitewash. Top order should not play lofted shots till they are reasonably in.and must play straight in the V area till reaching a decent score.All the English players were guilty of gifting their wickets for the current status they are in. Flower should insist in having serious practice before playing overseas games. The last 2 or 3 years England has been sluggish and slow to adopt to local conditions. !!!

  • liz1558 on December 10, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Hard to see England coming back under Flower - he's run out of ideas. His biggest faling is not getting enough out of Finn, who would've made a big difference here if on form. Not been the biggest fan of Flower's England - Duncan Fletcher teams were more potent.

  • Nutcutlet on December 10, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Some interviews are utterly predictable. This is one such. Flower has to back his men & the men themselves have to stand up & respond to the situation to make good his words. I think it is fair to ask questions of the batting coach as the major problem has been England's ability to post an adequate (let alone competitive) first innings score. If a sector or department is underperforming in other walks of life, then the manager of that department is called to account. Yes, Jon Trott went home but that doesn't explain how the rest haven't got things together. Of course, Gooch is trying his best, but it's not yielding results. More of the same coaching style will give... more of the same in performance. Interestingly, most of the small successes in the batting - Root's 87 & Carberry's good starts - have come from players who haven't been under GG's guidance for as long as the others. The newcomers are doing better - Bell, perhaps, excluded. A systemic problem then - needs fixing.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 10, 2013, 13:43 GMT

    @Priyantha Gunaratna on (December 10, 2013, 12:38 GMT), Adelaide was supposed to suit England and they got taken apart. The WACA won't be a draw, Australia will win well there. The other pitches aren't suited to England, they can't handle raw pace, that's their problem.

  • 64blip on December 10, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    @ Long-Leg I've supported English cricket since the 70's too, but I can't agree this is the most depressing period. Most crushingly disappointing, with the chance to see the Ashes held for four series running disappearing at a rate of knots, I'll give you, but more depressing than Derek Pringle being hailed as the new Botham? Never!

  • on December 10, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    England lost a golden opportunity at Adelaide. The way Aussies played there, England were never going to win but with extra 100 runs in first innings they could have drawn that game with some help from the weather on the final day. Had that been the case, all England will require is hang on to another draw at the WACA and win either at Melbourne or Sydney where conditions will be much more favorable to them. The batsmen especially the senior lot should take the major share of blame. Bowlers get demoralized when they find there is nothing left in the game for them to fight for. If England looses at WACA (which is the most likely scenario) and losses the Ashes they should try out remaining batters and bowlers in the squad in next two tests.

  • on December 10, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    The Aussies have been brilliant and all seems in their favour. Plus for the team, especially Johnson and Clarke, it's payback time for years of ridicule and perceived English arrogance. They won't relinquish this ascendancy lightly. Mentally England seem at best confused and at worst dispirited. As a fan tho I want to see some hope for England so cling to the following: Australia's top order is flakey - they can oust the likes of Rogers and smith cheaply and perhaps even Warner and Watson ; perhaps the faster bouncier WACA will also aid our fast bowlers; they'll find a better way of counter attacking than compulsive hooking to leg side fielders. Above all I'm hoping that the unpredictability of sport will prevail and England can bounce back

  • SirWilliam on December 10, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Botham's 5-0 prediction is looking good ….

  • stueyh1 on December 10, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    England need to bring in Finn with one mission, damage! Never mind the wickets or runs, go after their tail, as Australia have done. England need to fight fire with fire and do some damage to Johnson and co who at the moment are getting away with bowling dangerous stuff at the England tail and getting away with it. Simple way to get at Mitch is bowl at his head, consistently! You are going to get it back anyway so you might as well return the compliment. Maybe even Rankin could be a possibility, the ball coming down from 9 feet high will bounce off a good length in Perth and maybe give Team Bombast something to think about!

  • Dr.Vindaloo on December 10, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    If Clarke wins another toss England are done for. Their only hope is to win the toss and put a good batting performance together. If they put 400 on the board we will see a huge change in their bowling and fielding performance as the confidence returns. If Aus bat first it will go the way of the previous two tests.

  • Long-Leg on December 10, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    I have supported England since the 1970s and this is probably the most depressing period in English cricket that I can remember. It is worse than the drubbings of the 1990s and worse even than the 5-0 in 06-07, simply because we all expected so much more. Who is flower kidding! It seems blatantly obvious that England are not up for this contest at all. Why else are they gifting so many of their wickets away with careless shots. I don't mind losing if I feel that my side have shown some fight and done their best. This side has just capitulated in the most important form of the game and in the most important series that there is in English Cricket. I hope that the promised fightback materialises, but I am not holding my breath.

  • Green_and_Gold on December 10, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    The WACA will be an interesting game. Eng gained some momentum in their last innings with a few players showing some fight with the bat. They can bat long if patient and that will be the key for them. Aus are playing some very good cricket and the one thing that stands out for me is the patience of their bowlers. At times they havent looked like taking a wicket when bowling to set batsman however they have kept it really tight and back up maidens with maidens - this pressure and control has been brilliant (hats off to MJ who is showing some awesome maturity as a bowler). Aus just need to keep playing the way they are - its exciting with the bat and calm with the ball. It is Eng that need to make changes with their playing style. I hope we (the aussies) win at Perth so i can watch the last 2 matches with less stress!

  • CustomKid on December 10, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    It's all pointing Australia's way but on a helpful pitch I'm not writing england off just yet. Our top six is still flakey at best. Clarke, Haddin, Warner aside the rest aren't doing a lot and this pitch will expose possible weaknesses in our game. If ENG can break even on the first innings or get a lead it's game on. That is my cautious side.

    The reality, England just look drained, they've spent a lot of time in the field and 36-38 degree temperatures on the back of a 3 day turn around is going to be a hard ask for their bowlers. Throw Mitch and Harris in the mix on their favorite pitch and it will be a tough assignment. Their batsmen will be sweating on the back foot, so I hope to see some 150km+ full swinging deliveries from the boys with a bit of chin music to keep them hopping.

    Got to love the WACA, lets finish them off without remorse, fingers crossed :)

  • on December 10, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I think all the cricket sides have to learn the lesson that no matter how good and experienced some batsmen are, when they are out of form,its better to give chance to a man in form rather than hoping that maybe this time,they will do it. I dont mean to change everybody, but combination of youth and experience can give some momentum and will to go on offensive. England has been totally on the back foot in this series against Australia, which was itself struggling before this series. Lets see,if England can bring back their fast bowling attack and attack Australia and put them under pressure. Thats the only chance to come back into the series. Plus,the batting has to do much better.You cant lose your wickets so cheaply. Dont give away your wickets needlessly. Everybody has to make his contribution. Make it a team effort rather than hoping for just one batsman to fire.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 10, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    England could have fought back from 2-nil down in the 2006/2007 series....

  • cricromantic on December 10, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Well with the losses sufferred it is obvious that its time for some introspection and one tangible difference between the two sides is the pace battery. English bowling looks tired and they are in desperate need for someone who can instill some aggression through pace and bounce something close to the MJ factor. Maybe the Wayward Finn could be a pick and the great Swanny should rest. England can also do very well by employing a batsman like Compton who can see off the new ball without a fancy shot. Here is hoping for another treat of a match.

  • Talalthegreat on December 10, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    Flower is off his rocker. Eng have been poor on tracks which haven't favoured fast bowling at all. Now I think at perth eng will be beaten even more badly on worlds fastest track which has pace, bounce, and swing

  • milepost on December 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Rubbish, utter nonsense from Flower. This is the hiding that has been brewing for a long time, England do have some players who were once very good but every time they were tested (like when they played NZ, Pakistan), they have been found out. Now that Australia are playing well, something no one can really deny, England have been exposed. Go on, keep saying Australia are overated, it does not make the England loses seem any better does it. Saying that senior players need to stand up is stating the obvoius. Not even a 5-0 drubbing will make some of the commenters here realise their team is in a spot of bother but you can take the gloss of our sucess by referring to former glories, albeit them limited and distant.

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  • milepost on December 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Rubbish, utter nonsense from Flower. This is the hiding that has been brewing for a long time, England do have some players who were once very good but every time they were tested (like when they played NZ, Pakistan), they have been found out. Now that Australia are playing well, something no one can really deny, England have been exposed. Go on, keep saying Australia are overated, it does not make the England loses seem any better does it. Saying that senior players need to stand up is stating the obvoius. Not even a 5-0 drubbing will make some of the commenters here realise their team is in a spot of bother but you can take the gloss of our sucess by referring to former glories, albeit them limited and distant.

  • Talalthegreat on December 10, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    Flower is off his rocker. Eng have been poor on tracks which haven't favoured fast bowling at all. Now I think at perth eng will be beaten even more badly on worlds fastest track which has pace, bounce, and swing

  • cricromantic on December 10, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Well with the losses sufferred it is obvious that its time for some introspection and one tangible difference between the two sides is the pace battery. English bowling looks tired and they are in desperate need for someone who can instill some aggression through pace and bounce something close to the MJ factor. Maybe the Wayward Finn could be a pick and the great Swanny should rest. England can also do very well by employing a batsman like Compton who can see off the new ball without a fancy shot. Here is hoping for another treat of a match.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 10, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    England could have fought back from 2-nil down in the 2006/2007 series....

  • on December 10, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    I think all the cricket sides have to learn the lesson that no matter how good and experienced some batsmen are, when they are out of form,its better to give chance to a man in form rather than hoping that maybe this time,they will do it. I dont mean to change everybody, but combination of youth and experience can give some momentum and will to go on offensive. England has been totally on the back foot in this series against Australia, which was itself struggling before this series. Lets see,if England can bring back their fast bowling attack and attack Australia and put them under pressure. Thats the only chance to come back into the series. Plus,the batting has to do much better.You cant lose your wickets so cheaply. Dont give away your wickets needlessly. Everybody has to make his contribution. Make it a team effort rather than hoping for just one batsman to fire.

  • CustomKid on December 10, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    It's all pointing Australia's way but on a helpful pitch I'm not writing england off just yet. Our top six is still flakey at best. Clarke, Haddin, Warner aside the rest aren't doing a lot and this pitch will expose possible weaknesses in our game. If ENG can break even on the first innings or get a lead it's game on. That is my cautious side.

    The reality, England just look drained, they've spent a lot of time in the field and 36-38 degree temperatures on the back of a 3 day turn around is going to be a hard ask for their bowlers. Throw Mitch and Harris in the mix on their favorite pitch and it will be a tough assignment. Their batsmen will be sweating on the back foot, so I hope to see some 150km+ full swinging deliveries from the boys with a bit of chin music to keep them hopping.

    Got to love the WACA, lets finish them off without remorse, fingers crossed :)

  • Green_and_Gold on December 10, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    The WACA will be an interesting game. Eng gained some momentum in their last innings with a few players showing some fight with the bat. They can bat long if patient and that will be the key for them. Aus are playing some very good cricket and the one thing that stands out for me is the patience of their bowlers. At times they havent looked like taking a wicket when bowling to set batsman however they have kept it really tight and back up maidens with maidens - this pressure and control has been brilliant (hats off to MJ who is showing some awesome maturity as a bowler). Aus just need to keep playing the way they are - its exciting with the bat and calm with the ball. It is Eng that need to make changes with their playing style. I hope we (the aussies) win at Perth so i can watch the last 2 matches with less stress!

  • Long-Leg on December 10, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    I have supported England since the 1970s and this is probably the most depressing period in English cricket that I can remember. It is worse than the drubbings of the 1990s and worse even than the 5-0 in 06-07, simply because we all expected so much more. Who is flower kidding! It seems blatantly obvious that England are not up for this contest at all. Why else are they gifting so many of their wickets away with careless shots. I don't mind losing if I feel that my side have shown some fight and done their best. This side has just capitulated in the most important form of the game and in the most important series that there is in English Cricket. I hope that the promised fightback materialises, but I am not holding my breath.

  • Dr.Vindaloo on December 10, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    If Clarke wins another toss England are done for. Their only hope is to win the toss and put a good batting performance together. If they put 400 on the board we will see a huge change in their bowling and fielding performance as the confidence returns. If Aus bat first it will go the way of the previous two tests.

  • stueyh1 on December 10, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    England need to bring in Finn with one mission, damage! Never mind the wickets or runs, go after their tail, as Australia have done. England need to fight fire with fire and do some damage to Johnson and co who at the moment are getting away with bowling dangerous stuff at the England tail and getting away with it. Simple way to get at Mitch is bowl at his head, consistently! You are going to get it back anyway so you might as well return the compliment. Maybe even Rankin could be a possibility, the ball coming down from 9 feet high will bounce off a good length in Perth and maybe give Team Bombast something to think about!