Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 4th day December 16, 2013

Stokes gives England stay of execution

200

England 251 and 5 for 251 (Stokes 72*, Bell 60) require another 253 runs to beat Australia 385 and 6 for 369 (Watson 103)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It seems only a matter of time now. Australia slipped to within five wickets of regaining the Ashes on a day of free scoring and the occasional moment of terror caused by a WACA Ground pitch that is cracking up almost as comprehensively as England have done to find themselves in this position.

There was some faint consolation to be found for the tourists in the unaffected strokeplay of Ben Stokes but any day on which the spearhead of your bowling attack is taken for 28 runs from an over and your captain clean bowled first ball is not one for England to remember fondly. They plumbed considerable depths in the morning session, as Shane Watson then George Bailey battered the bowling senseless to allow Clarke to declare well before lunch.

Following Harris' first ball, Australia's bowling was not their best of the series, as the pacemen sought wickets with an impatience they have largely eschewed in favour of unrelenting pressure. Nonetheless, they did enough to bring the match to a juncture at which only something truly miraculous will prevent anything other than an Australian victory sometime on Tuesday. They may only require four more wickets - Stuart Broad's brief foray to the nets with a badly bruised foot did not appear promising.

Watson benefited from a situation in which he was free to play on instinct, depositing Swann into the stands with relish, crashing 37 runs from 13 balls he faced from England's No. 1 spinner. He enjoyed a moment of fortune when one straight hit was caught by Tim Bresnan, only for the fielder to tumble over the long off boundary. Watson's departure was a comic masterpiece, skying a pull shot that Ian Bell dropped, but then run out as the annoyed bowler Bresnan threw down the stumps with Watson wandering out of his ground oblivious to the danger.

Bailey equalled the record for the most runs scored in a Test over from Anderson, allowing Michael Clarke to declare the at the psychologically numbing moment a third straight six of the over had crashed into the sightscreen beyond the boundary.

Left with a handful of overs to face before lunch, the bedraggled tourists reeled from the loss of Alastair Cook to a wondrous first delivery of the innings from Ryan Harris that shaped in then held its line to pluck the off bail. Joe Root and Michael Carberry did well to survive to the interval.

Resuming with an enormous task ahead simply to get through to stumps, Carberry and Root aimed mainly to survive. Clarke shuffled his bowlers around, and Watson struck, confounding Carberry from around the wicket just as Harris did in the first innings. The ball was full, shaped in a touch to beat the inside edge and would have crashed into the stumps.

Pietersen pushed his first ball from Watson down the ground for four, and looked comfortable enough as he survived an initial burst from his nemesis Peter Siddle. Clarke called on Johnson from the River End, and one ball angling across Root drew a loose flirt and an edge wonderfully taken by Haddin. Root hit the ground at the same time as the ball and immediately reviewed. His sense of injustice was mitigated by replays showing a clear edge, leaving Bell and Pietersen to scrape their way to tea.

Needing seven wickets in the session to claim victory and the Ashes, Australia's eagerness was manifested in some of their more impatient bowling of the series. Pietersen played breezily, advancing to loft Lyon into the Lillee-Marsh Stand and looking for a moment like he was capable of anything. But Clarke's choice of ends for Lyon was intelligent, coaxing Pietersen to hit into the breeze, and his next attempt held up. Harris, with an eternity to settle under the chance, held it safely.

That wicket might on another day have opened the floodgates, but Bell and Stokes responded to a seemingly hopeless situation with admirable verve. For the first time in this series Harris was hit out of the attack, while runs accrued rapidly enough to give the Barmy Army some reason to sing other than their own fortitude. Stokes was particularly fluent, driving ramrod straight and pulling with certainty.

Bell was organised and elegant as ever, prospering with several uppercuts over the slips. But it was with one such effort that he gave up his wicket, Siddle striking as the shadows grew long. The edge was audible, but the umpire Marais Erasmus declined the appeal - the sound apparently lost in the afternoon Perth breeze. Bell reacted like a man on death row, as the indication of Real-Time Snicko was enough to overturn the verdict, despite a lack of Hot Spot evidence.

Siddle celebrated this moment in a manner that suggested the finish line was imminent, but Stokes and Prior survived, averting any thoughts of the extra half-hour. For England, it was a stay of execution. For Australia, one more sleep until the Ashes.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roshan_P on December 16, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    I just can't think why England are playing so badly. Bresnan is a good bowler and he has been performing well for a long time now. We know how good Jimmy is, and Broad has actually been impressive. Until now Swann has been one of the best spinners in the world. What happened? I think it is more a case of the mental state of the English players. This XI is arguably the best England can provide, but their failures I think leads to a psychological problem, probably from Johnson's destruction and Trott's departure. They seem weary. They need to take their minds off cricket and get some well earned rest. This Test is probably beyond our reach, but I think if the players rest themselves and come back fresh with the desire and belief that they can beat Australia, the very same desire and belief Australia have, then I think they can beat them. If they provide a good fight tomorrow that may give them some of it. Christmas could not come early enough for them.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on December 16, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Well done Watson. A ton was what was required & he delivered, you could see the relief in his celebration. More will come, he can bat & does average around 40. I think his role is as a batsman & partnership breaker/holder & he now seems to understand that. I think Hughes will probably take over from Rogers, but we don't want to change a winning combination. Bailey should go to SA for his experience & then a good young batter at 6. Silk seems like he could be destined for the top order. Well done Stokes, great to see a bit of counterattacking. Time for Prior & KP to go. Bell should go to 3 for England. Keep the openers, Carberry has been impressive at the crease. Root to 4 and Bairstow to keep. All you need is a new No 5 as Stokes has staked his claim. Broad, Finn (may be expensive but he takes wickets) & give Rankin a go. Swann is fine. England need to revert to picking the best players (no more Bresnans) & after today you can see they need to change their attitude. The End for Flower

  • on December 17, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Just imagine, if Peitersen & Prior play for South Africa, Stokes for New Zealand, , Ballance for Zimbabwe, Morgan for Ireland, ... (this is just a sample) -- and Andy Flower coaches Zimbabwe what would have been the "level" of the England Team? Just give it a thought.

    And also, on the flip side, how many more Roots would have found their way to their own national team? Think about it.

  • Garp on December 17, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    @ Roshan - because this is the first bit of cricket England has played since july. England does this every year, they rap up a long season after the last series at home at the end of summer and take every single second of off-time the schedule allows regardless of who the opponent is after the break. Most professional sportsmen would say ok we have a three and a half month break in the schedule and then it's off to Australia for a 5 Test Ashes series. Lets take 2 and a half months off and then start a2 week conditioning program followed by a couple of warm ups against whoever we can get a game against even if it is our EPP team to get back into some sort of game fitness and form. Then we'll take a week off and then head out to Australia and get 2 warm up matches in and be prepared for the series start. Not England, they take ever possible second off folly out and use 2 warm up matches to prepare for a 5 game series and then wonder why everyone is not prepared and fail miserably.

  • Shaggy076 on December 17, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    landl47 ; Winning two man of the match awards, going a long way to single handedly returning the ashes then has a couple of unproductive innings and you jump on his back. YOu are usually a insightful commenter but this one is absolute rubbish, not everyone is going to take 10 wickets every test match and I admit I haven't seen much of this test but what I have seen has mostly been a fast, very accurate bowler. The calls of the return to the old Mitch with one game is probably one of the worse calls on here, I didn't expect it to come from you.

  • on December 17, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Just a gentle nudge to everyone lauding Ben Stokes. Born Christchurch, New Zealand 1991. Learned to play the game here. But well done.The rest of the England team look like they need a few months in our Coromandel. I predict the NZ team will be top 4-5 material when Ryder and Guptill return. You read it here first.

  • samincolumbia on December 17, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Stokes is a Kiwi...that explains his talent and fearlessness, which has always been in short supply in England!

  • on December 17, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Well done Stokes - some positive light for the poms. Quite funny their most inexperienced player is showing the grit you expect from the old guard.

  • Kapcharlie on December 17, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Hey Watto, it's not that difficult to get a ton when your team has a lead of 300 plus nor to hit out at tired bowlers who have been deserted by their batsmen. Neither George nor Watto have done much when the pressure is on...

  • on December 17, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    The giant cracks in the pitch are a disgrace. This match should be abandoned and we go to Melbourne at 2-0 with 2 to play. If the Aussies win today then they should hand the Ashes back to England.

  • Roshan_P on December 16, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    I just can't think why England are playing so badly. Bresnan is a good bowler and he has been performing well for a long time now. We know how good Jimmy is, and Broad has actually been impressive. Until now Swann has been one of the best spinners in the world. What happened? I think it is more a case of the mental state of the English players. This XI is arguably the best England can provide, but their failures I think leads to a psychological problem, probably from Johnson's destruction and Trott's departure. They seem weary. They need to take their minds off cricket and get some well earned rest. This Test is probably beyond our reach, but I think if the players rest themselves and come back fresh with the desire and belief that they can beat Australia, the very same desire and belief Australia have, then I think they can beat them. If they provide a good fight tomorrow that may give them some of it. Christmas could not come early enough for them.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on December 16, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Well done Watson. A ton was what was required & he delivered, you could see the relief in his celebration. More will come, he can bat & does average around 40. I think his role is as a batsman & partnership breaker/holder & he now seems to understand that. I think Hughes will probably take over from Rogers, but we don't want to change a winning combination. Bailey should go to SA for his experience & then a good young batter at 6. Silk seems like he could be destined for the top order. Well done Stokes, great to see a bit of counterattacking. Time for Prior & KP to go. Bell should go to 3 for England. Keep the openers, Carberry has been impressive at the crease. Root to 4 and Bairstow to keep. All you need is a new No 5 as Stokes has staked his claim. Broad, Finn (may be expensive but he takes wickets) & give Rankin a go. Swann is fine. England need to revert to picking the best players (no more Bresnans) & after today you can see they need to change their attitude. The End for Flower

  • on December 17, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    Just imagine, if Peitersen & Prior play for South Africa, Stokes for New Zealand, , Ballance for Zimbabwe, Morgan for Ireland, ... (this is just a sample) -- and Andy Flower coaches Zimbabwe what would have been the "level" of the England Team? Just give it a thought.

    And also, on the flip side, how many more Roots would have found their way to their own national team? Think about it.

  • Garp on December 17, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    @ Roshan - because this is the first bit of cricket England has played since july. England does this every year, they rap up a long season after the last series at home at the end of summer and take every single second of off-time the schedule allows regardless of who the opponent is after the break. Most professional sportsmen would say ok we have a three and a half month break in the schedule and then it's off to Australia for a 5 Test Ashes series. Lets take 2 and a half months off and then start a2 week conditioning program followed by a couple of warm ups against whoever we can get a game against even if it is our EPP team to get back into some sort of game fitness and form. Then we'll take a week off and then head out to Australia and get 2 warm up matches in and be prepared for the series start. Not England, they take ever possible second off folly out and use 2 warm up matches to prepare for a 5 game series and then wonder why everyone is not prepared and fail miserably.

  • Shaggy076 on December 17, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    landl47 ; Winning two man of the match awards, going a long way to single handedly returning the ashes then has a couple of unproductive innings and you jump on his back. YOu are usually a insightful commenter but this one is absolute rubbish, not everyone is going to take 10 wickets every test match and I admit I haven't seen much of this test but what I have seen has mostly been a fast, very accurate bowler. The calls of the return to the old Mitch with one game is probably one of the worse calls on here, I didn't expect it to come from you.

  • on December 17, 2013, 4:27 GMT

    Just a gentle nudge to everyone lauding Ben Stokes. Born Christchurch, New Zealand 1991. Learned to play the game here. But well done.The rest of the England team look like they need a few months in our Coromandel. I predict the NZ team will be top 4-5 material when Ryder and Guptill return. You read it here first.

  • samincolumbia on December 17, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    Stokes is a Kiwi...that explains his talent and fearlessness, which has always been in short supply in England!

  • on December 17, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Well done Stokes - some positive light for the poms. Quite funny their most inexperienced player is showing the grit you expect from the old guard.

  • Kapcharlie on December 17, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    Hey Watto, it's not that difficult to get a ton when your team has a lead of 300 plus nor to hit out at tired bowlers who have been deserted by their batsmen. Neither George nor Watto have done much when the pressure is on...

  • on December 17, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    The giant cracks in the pitch are a disgrace. This match should be abandoned and we go to Melbourne at 2-0 with 2 to play. If the Aussies win today then they should hand the Ashes back to England.

  • archibalbinbusassolin on December 17, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    when this is all done, 5 zero for Australia

  • chicko1983 on December 17, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    @at all the people sticking up for the Barmy Army for staying at the matches even though they are getting flogged - they are on holiday with nothing else to do but stay at the cricket, duh! "But the trumpet man is still playing" oh, havent you ever watched a carrabean or indian match with Aussies playing in it? Trumpets and vuvuzela's galore. The Barmy Army are just a bunch of drunk tourists with nowhere else to go. That does not make them great supporters. Watch the boxing day test or any test match crowd on the weekend against any opposition in Australia - great vocal crowds and the most knowledgable in world cricket as well.

  • Micky.Panda on December 17, 2013, 1:59 GMT

    England are not suddenly playing so badly. Their are so many reasons, apart from psychological. Australia was only soundly beaten by Eng in one test in England. J Anderson performs OK in Eng with 27 Avg. but Harris is better. Broad is good but Johnson has been more destructive at home. Siddle is better than the 3rd Eng Bowler. Anderson and Swan have never been great in Aus. Only Bell was difference between Eng and Aus in the last series. Prior has lost form and Haddin has found it big time. Aus tail enders Johnson and Harris can bat a bit. Aus fielding is better. Aus batting is still very suspect but against the England attack, they are heroic, including the tail enders. Against SA attack would be different. Its simple. The England attack is not good enough except for Broad. Prior should be rested till finds form again. Feeling confident has made Aus attack more disciplined than before. Only one team is having a good time out there.

  • El_Awrens on December 17, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunch - you make a painfully accurate point about the variable character of the wickets depending on who is batting. I really don't know which roller Clarke requests but it does seem to have magic powers. If only Cook could get the same one...

    @GurSinghgur - Bell was clearly out. It looked out in real time, his body language said "guilty", and as a number of people point out it's pretty obvious what he was saying to Stokes. I didn't think Root was out in the first innings, mostly based on his reaction of total outrage and immediate referral (I was at the WACA and saw it live). Then again, he reacted similarly in the second innings when he looked pretty out.

    Whilst I'm really hoping Stokes and Prior summon the spirirt of Botham at Headingley and 81 and produce probably the greatest comeback in Test history (aside, perhaps from the miracle at Eden Gardens), it seems a lot more likely that the urn will be gone by lunch. Congrats to Australia on a ruthless demolition job.

  • on December 17, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    i think Aussies will wrap remaining English batsman in first hour of the game congratz aussies for regaining ashses (in advance)

  • on December 17, 2013, 1:27 GMT

    I think its a bit of a stretch to say that Stokes is the new Sobers. What a joke statement! Before this innings, all the commentators were saying he had promise but didn't look up to test match level in his batting or bowling. He has one innings where he could have been out early, throws crossbat shots like he is in a T20 match and the desperadoes call him the next Sobers/Beefy/Kallas. Gimme a break, so far even Watson has looked better as a bowler and a batsman. Even so, he has done well. He certainly has shown that on a 4th day pitch with fire in your eyes that you can get plenty of runs if your luck is in. The same attitude killed off KP and Steve Smith but came up roses for Watto and G.Bailey. That doesn't make Stokes into the new Lara or whatever. Just means today is his time to shine and good luck to him. Lets keep the ludicrous accolades away until a year of cricket.

  • on December 17, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    to Raju Reddy: thrashed Australia? the batting/bowling averages for the summer's series suggest a very even series that could have gone either way.

  • on December 17, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Subjects from England's ex-Colonies do help. When the South African fell rather cheaply by his own standards the New Zealander rose to the occasion. The tradition set by Duleepsingji & Ranjitsingji , and in between resurrected by players D'Olivera continues.

  • JAH123 on December 17, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    There are a lot of people getting carried away over Stokes. Yes, he's shown promise and he may even become a world class allrounder, but give the guy a break. He doesn't need pressure heaped on him by declaring him to be the next big thing or comparing him to Sobers. He still has a long way to go and a lot to prove, and while he batted well yesterday Australia bowled poorly to him - at one stage every third ball was pullable or driveable. Before this innings the commentators weren't convinced he had the goods to be a top six batsman, now he's England's saviour. Have a bit of perspective!!!!

  • AidanFX on December 17, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    I will say something of Warner. I have long held the myth "Warner is a 20/20 slogger specialist". All the shots he has played (apart from the odd innovative shot) in a good innings have demonstrated a guy with great technique. He is now coming on strong with a well rounded game. As for Watson - he needs to bat something like that more often.

  • on December 16, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    Somewhat brash statement from a previous commenter re Ben Stokes. He's clearly a good player and with a future as an all-rounder. But to make comments that he'll finish with a 40+ batting average and under 30 with the ball is mighty daring! Still, if he and whomever can hold out all day against Australia, he will be a true hero!

  • Alexk400 on December 16, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    I want ashes to one Test at england and next Test in australia, kinda NBA finals. This way we can really evaluate team. At present Home team wins , it gets boring to watch ashes as england going down 5-0

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 16, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    Don't normally get caught up in arguments over DRS/decisions in general, because I believe they always even out throughout a series - but I have to say I thought Bell missed that by a country mile, and I thought the whole idea of using Snicko and Hot-Spot together was that an on-field decision could not be overruled unless both technologies revealed conclusive evidence together. A noise without a mark on Hot-Spot does not constitute contact between bat and ball in my opinion; a mark without a noise on the other hand would at least be more credible. As the on-field umpire said "Not Out", to reverse the decision based on a tiny noise ONLY is ridiculous.

  • Shaggy076 on December 16, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    jmcilhinney ; I agree with your sentiment about Watson and he appears out of form. But I will play devils advocat as I know a high percentage of the AUstralian public have issues with him being in our team. 1) For a 2 year period he dominated world cricket without converting centuries, he averaged 50 as an opening batsman between 2009-2011 (not sure of actual dates). No player without talent can do that for a sustained period especially without the 100's to bring the average up, it means he was very consistent and his strike rate was high at the time 2) He is the perfect 5th bowler, 4 bowlers will handle the greatest work load so a fifth bowler to keep things tight is great. As seen this series every wicket he has picked up has been a top order batsman. 3) There is no-one in Australia besides Clarke and Warner that can just explode and take the game away from the opposition. I believe we are going to have to live with his frustrating dismissals as he provides an important role.

  • cricmatters on December 16, 2013, 23:03 GMT

    Stokes is so far the best all-rounder we have seen in a while and he is going to get even better with time. Whether he is Gary Sobers or not, only time will tell but he is performing under intense pressure. So far he seems to be relishing the challenge, willing to knuckle down and fight unlike some of the other senior players around him. Hope he gets a ashes ton as he fully deserves it.

  • Shaggy076 on December 16, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    Roshan_P ; As far as the bowlers Broad and Anderson go, in every game the batsman have not given them enough rest. Brisbane they bowled well as a team in the first innings then was back in the field after 3 hours of batting. Day 1 in Adelaide and Perth they have bowled very well, Adelaide was destroyed by catching. THe workload the bowlers have to put up with after the inability of the batsman to bat time has significantly contributed to what we are seeing as the series goes. THis also gives the Aussies confidence to attack the English as they have full confidence in the Australian attack and as such the confidence of the Warner's etc has risen. Johnson and Harris brilliant bowling with great fielding and smart field placings, has set the tone for this series. You are right all the English guys are good bowlers but they need help from there batsman.

  • Bridget. on December 16, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Watson has to be the most overated test player in Australia....... Never makes runs under pressure when it really counts, and is injured more often than not. How many times when an innings of real substance is required does he simply get to 30 or 40 and through poor shot selection get himself out....his stats confirm his inability to convert. I see a place for him in this team......but as an allrounder....which would mean having to bowl 15-20 overs each innings and batting at 6....this way he could play more like he did yesterday......but that won't happen cause he is always injured....how long will the selectors persist with him at 3?......

  • camcove on December 16, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    Ohhhh indeed, Matty. You say, "Stokes proved today what me and other experts knew 5 years ago". Whilst I'm not so sure about your grammar credentials, I admire your self-esteem. Greatest natural talent since Warne and Lara is a very big call indeed. There's the odd talent to mention in that era, such as Kallis, AB De Villiers, Warner and Dhoni. I do like the look of Stokes, and indeed as an Aussie fan I hope to see him dismissed on the final day. You mention a swag of young talents and say that England will dominate the Ashes from 2015 to 2030. As Blofeld would say, "Just conceivably, you may be right". However, for the sake of balance (no pun intended), I'll counter with the following youngsters who aren't yet established Test players for Oz - Maddinson, Silk, Lynn, M Marsh, Hughes, Maxwell, Cummins, Hazlewood, Coulter-Nile, Faulkner, Boyce, Zampa, Head, Behrendorf, Henriques. I'll mention also that Lyon, Warner and Siddle are still young, as are Patto and Starc.

  • on December 16, 2013, 22:06 GMT

    Biggest difference between the two teams - the Aussies are playing and showing that they 'have' to win the Ashes. The english team doesn't seem to want the Ashes as badly as the Aussies and the show of intent has rekindled ghosts of yesteryears. To be objective, the English team is no less skilled nor are they no less experienced...just the collective will to win seems to have disapparated when they needed it the most. Personally - am just relieved to see the Aussies fighting well and getting back to their 'brand of cricket', whatever it meant!!!

  • ShutTheGate on December 16, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    So if Broad bat's do you think we can expect a few fast yorkers fired at his feet? I think so.

  • Lermy on December 16, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    Its a funny game. How quickly the same team can turn from world beaters to laughing stock, and vice versa. Even Bangladesh would fancy their chances of rolling England now. A lot can change in a couple of months.

  • shopcraft on December 16, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    @OhhhhhMattyMatty; 'me and other experts'.... are you for real? And Stokes is in his 2nd test and has from freedom to swing the willow in the 2nd innings, makes a few runs and you are putting him in the same sentence as Warne and Lara while excusing Sachin?? Turn it up mate! He'll probably end up being the next Shane Watson (hahahaha). Speaking of which.. when the pressure is off and it turns into some hit and giggle, 'Watto' comes to the party and looks like he's saved his career for another season (hopefully he fails in the last 2 tests and in S.A. as well) The press is loving him and his ego has exploded. Let's hope the Aussies can clean up the last few wickets, send Broad in for a couple more toe cruchers 'if required' and England can get their WAGS out to celebrate Christmas with them.

  • cricmatters on December 16, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    "But Clarke's choice of ends for Lyon was intelligent, coaxing Pietersen to hit into the breeze, and his next attempt held up. Harris, with an eternity to settle under the chance, held it safely." That was the pivotal moment of the Test match that took any chances of drawing the match out of equation.

  • on December 16, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    O ye of faint hearts. Cheer up. All is not lost. In fact there is everything to play for and once Stokes and Pryor spend the first hour at the crease an England victory is assured.

  • JG2704 on December 16, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    @jb633 on (December 16, 2013, 16:58 GMT) I'd say if you're going to do all that you'd have to start above Cook. Cook is no different from Strauss as a captain - good on top but no plan B or boldness to try something different if things are going wrong and SO safety first. I'm sure I heard Strauss say (if he was Aus captain) he'd bat on for longer - Why?

    So are you saying to start bring through guys like Mills,Topley,Overton?

    Who do you like as a future captain?

  • righthandbat on December 16, 2013, 21:25 GMT

    England now have the freedom to make wholesale changes for Melbourne. They have had one success this match in Stokes - who has impressed majorly with his attitude. I think they have far more skillful players in the side, but test match cricket is not often about who is the most attractive player. Case in point - Mark Waugh's batting was infinitely more impressive to watch than his brothers, but ultimately Steve's was the more important. Stokes is definitely the kind of player England need and must be persevered with. He is probably a number 7 - but until Bairstow becomes more comfortable he should stay at 6. England should drop Cook down the order and give Bell the captaincy, and open with Root. Ballance should come in for Pietersen. Broad should play if fit, if not, Finn can take his place. Team: Root, Carberry, Bell (c), Cook, Ballance, Stokes, Bairstow (wk), Broad, Tremlett, Rankin, Panesar.

  • Kapcharlie on December 16, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    Time for Pietersen, Swann, Anderson to move on and make way for Stokes, Taylor, Mills, etc Pietersen, like Watson, has considerable talent but neither of them are very bright. With some perserverance, Pietersen could have helped England get a draw out of this test but, no, it's all about KP trying to be a star.

    The bottom line is that Oz have batted, bowled, and fielded better than England and on top of everything else have wanted to win much more than Eng.

    Of course, losing the toss 3 / 3 doesn't help. However, in a game between professional athletes it's time to get rid of the luck of the coin toss and alternate the call. If the toss was merely to see who kicks off, fine, but not to see who gets a 55% chance of winning instead of 45%

  • on December 16, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    How can a "Curator" prepare such a shockingly substandard pitch and still keep his job. It is a total disgrace.

  • landl47 on December 16, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    One thing nobody seems to have picked up on, certainly not the Aussie commentators, is that after his three great bowling displays in both innings at the Gabba and the first innings at Adelaide, MJ seems to be pretty much back to the old Mitch. In the last three innings he has had returns of 1-73, 2-62 and 1-52 (so far). That's 4-187 overall, an average of 46.75- vintage Johnson.

    I've heard all the stuff about how he's getting wickets at the other end, but it's basically tosh. The England batsmen aren't having too many problems with him and Stokes was smashing him round the ground. Incidentally, Johnson's last over of day 4 was especially telling, mostly wide and short to both sides of the wicket. He'll always be fast, but now he's spraying it round and not swinging it. Luckily the reliable Siddle and Harris have been there to pick up the pieces and mask his deficiencies.

    Aus got 3 great innings from him, enough to tilt the series. That might be all he's got.

  • on December 16, 2013, 20:46 GMT

    I've said it before in this forum: the difference at the bottom of England's Ashes debacle is the captaincy.

    Cook lacks inventiveness. He is reactive rather than proactive: he lets it happen rather than making it happen. KP would have been better because he's a proactive person and wouldn't let Australia do as they like which is exactly what Cook has done. The Ashes are gone and I'd be surprised if England wins one Test. I've been looking for a contest and haven't found one.

  • wellrounded87 on December 16, 2013, 20:45 GMT

    Man it's funny how short term some peoples memories are. Yes England are having a poor series. But this is the same side that won 3-0 not too long ago and 2-1 in India prior to that. I'm an Aussie fan and can't stand England but credit where credits due they have a great test side. Australia have just prepared perfectly for this Ashes series. Lehman is an amazing coach he's got the players living up to their potential unlike Arthur who blunted the likes of Warner, Watson, Johnson and Lyon. The plans have been executed well and England have been caught off guard. But people are acting like the whole team needs to be dropped and cycled out. From comes and goes but class is always there and England have quite a few class players in Swann, KP Cook Bell and Broad. (I don't rate Anderson at all, this tour has shown his complete inability to take wickets when the conditions don't suit him and when the going gets a bit tough)

    Bottom line, England are still a great side, just in a slump.

  • Front-Foot-Lunch on December 16, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Cook clean bowled for only the second time under 100 runs in his career (first one at Adelaide) and Anderson going for a world record 28. That is an absolutely amazing quinella of pain. If this series does not finish 5-0 it just won't do it justice.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 16, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (December 16, 2013, 16:56 GMT), I agree, I wanted a contest too. 2005 was my favourite series (despite me living in the UK at the time and losing, it was amazing). 2006/07 I switched off after the whitewash was inevitable. This series is different though, there's a desperation by the Aussies to completely destroy England and I think that is Lehmann's influence. I saw him interviewed years ago on some panel show and he was asked if they ever felt sorry for teams like Kenya or Canada when they played them and he replied "no way, crunch em and get off the field, that's the way we play". I think that's always been thementality but it's happening under Boof, England certainly aren't getting any mercy and certainly are getting cruched.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 16, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    Better get these wicket's quickly. There's a slim possibility (slimmer than the cracks) that this pitch may turn dangerous in the afternoon and the match be called off.

  • cricpanther on December 16, 2013, 20:14 GMT

    It's Sadden that England situation on this ashes even though it has Great Graham Gooch, who dominated with his Classic Batting and World Cricket Admire him so much, serving for his country and English cricketers putting him down, which no one likes!!! This is real bad cricket by batman of England, not paying respect not following his advise or wasted valuable efforts of Legendary Graham Gooch (My Most Favorite Batman/Cricketer of all time/Selfless Cricketer) Common England do it for him!!!

  • cricpanther on December 16, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Intensions are very clear for players Ian Bell, Kevin Peterson, Matt Prior...to Loose test match and test series, if selectors cant read this thing they should be thrown out quickly. Also, England has lady physio might be factor for Cook, he may not be comfortable and loosing his focus :) County cricketers can play much better than these English side!!! Call more youngsters and average players from England they can turn ashes with X factor!! See the great example of all rounder Stokes, fighting for his country and leading from the front!! Joe Root, classic example and looks like Great Graham Gooch again proudly playing and leading from the front for England. More and more youngsters can be very effective rather than old over credited batman not scoring runs and bowlers not taking wickets!!

  • SherjilIslam on December 16, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    @Roshan_P: "I think it is more a case of the mental state of the English players. This XI is arguably the best England can provide, but their failures I think leads to a psychological problem" These kind of lame excuses...seriously dude?? The whole world knows English fans, cricket administrators & even players in their own words keep on bragging that they care for only one battle, i.e. The Ashes and you come-up with an excuse that players are not mentally ready to play Johnson or anyone for that matter. Then what for you are playing, take a long live from all forms of game only appear in those series in which your players feel interested. This is seriously pathetic from English fans...

  • cricpanther on December 16, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    Well Done Stokes, one man stands out finally for England!! More youngsters and non famous faces can fight better than the same oldies who are scoring t20 scores in test match and wondering still they are playing this huge Ashes!! Stokes should continue and he along with Tim Bresnon both are match winner. Now just need to look final day as one day cricket, if England play positively with fast rates and look to achieve chase able target 251 runs, they can actually get it or they can eventually end up with a draw for sure.

  • Joll on December 16, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    England look a spent force. They look listless and jaded. They bat without energy or aggression. Their bowling is steady, without being penetrative. Thier tactics look stale and unconvincing. Clearly, this has been an Ashes tour too far for them. They have come to Australia with more or less the same players as 3 years ago, confident they can win, as they did 3 years ago. But 3 years is a long time in international cricket, and what worked well in 2010/11 has not worked well now. England has simply not moved on from 3 years ago. What this Australian team is showing (remembering, this is not a great Australian team) is England do not possess any great players. Cook, Pietersen, Bell and Anderson, all very good players at their best, are not greats. That is, they are not in the same category as Clarke, Ponting or McGrath. So, what was a very good England team 3 years ago, has become an avergae team today. Simply put, Australia are punishing England for stagnating.

  • on December 16, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    KP got a good start but he couldn't take it longer.. Same with Bell.!!! The same England team thrashed Aussies just few months ago and now suffering humiliating loss..!!! And people here say India can't win outside.. Comeon it's the same case with Eng and Aus.!!!

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on December 16, 2013, 18:30 GMT

    Stokes proved today what me and other experts knew 5 years ago. He is the greatest natural talent in cricket since Warne and Lara (Tendulkar is far too robotic to be a natural talent). He will end his career with a 40+ batting average at a strike rate of over 80 and a bowling average of under 30. World class talent.

    With Stokes, Root, Ballance, Bairstow, Woakes, Taylor, Finn, Mills, Jordan and Dockrell/Briggs all coming through, the Ashes will be England's from 2015 to 2030!

  • Sagarneel on December 16, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    So, India is not the ONLY team that win emphatically at home and get thrashed away! Barring SA, there's not a single side in world cricket today that seem to have a potential to make an impact overseas. I know people will remind me of England winning the series in India, but hey, exception proves the rule!

  • gsingh7 on December 16, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney on (December 16, 2013, 13:14 GMT) -- its one thing to hope that miracle wud happen and england wud score 250 runs tomorrow inside 30 overs without losing any wicket. but then again if that was case then england wud not be up against prospects of 5-0 whitewash repeat of 2007 under ricky ponting. i wud give 40 overs before johnson and powerhouse harris wrap the england innings. no stopping aussies on their bouncy wickets after 7-0 loss they suffered earlier.

  • CodandChips on December 16, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    Continued from my previous comment, I'd also like Moeen and Taylor near the team, but can't see how to get them in at the moment.

    If Broad isn't fit, then replace him with Rankin.

    The reason I'd drop Anderson is because he has looked like a spent force since Trent Bridge. I would drop Bresnan because he is just an average, innocuous medium pacer.

  • on December 16, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    It will only be a matter of time before this Test is lost. What a pity from an English point of view that this is the case.

  • strikeforce2003 on December 16, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    KP's shot was appalling, so was Bell's..they threw their wickets after a start..simple arithmetic said stay at the crease, fetch 4 to an over and WIN!! this is cricket, half-played in a determined mind of a batsman, the other half the needed patience and perseverance shown in chasing or easing out time on a target..unfortunately the Poms showed no courage. The only chap with courage seemed Stokes, on his patience, impatience with measured strokes. KP started the slide, Bell could have gone for a ton, but fell to some one-day cricketing shot, carried away as if it was fun. Ain't funny losing out on the urn, in this manner..

  • strikeforce2003 on December 16, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    KP's shot was appalling, so was Bell's..they threw their wickets after a start..simple arithmetic said stay at the crease, fetch 4 to an over and WIN!! this is cricket, half-played in a determined mind of a batsman, the other half the needed patience and perseverance shown in chasing or easing out time on a target..unfortunately the Poms showed no courage. The only chap with courage seemed Stokes, on his patience, impatience with measured strokes. KP started the slide, Bell could have gone for a ton, but fell to some one-day cricketing shot, carried away as if it was fun. Ain't funny losing out on the urn, in this manner..

  • gsingh7 on December 16, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    felt bad for second best bowler in this world jimmy when he was carted for record 28 runs in an over in test by a newbie in test -bailey,not. bailey had shown in indian series he can tee off and play as good or better than kohli and dhoni when in full flow. he lacked confidence in first 2 tests. first ball duck for captain cook was on cards since kp have added pressure on him by saying he cud catch sachin'ss record. one stat was on tv that sachin has as many runs in tests in as many matches as cook and clarke combined.tells u how much more these batsmen have to go to match sachin'S RECORD.5-0 still on cards.

  • landl47 on December 16, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    It's taken a long time, far too long to save the series, but finally someone else besides Broad has taken the fight to the Aussies instead of believing that if they just kept playing long enough the Aussies would roll over. The difference in intensity between the two sides has been staggering. Australia has attacked constantly, England has been passive and the result has been a win in all three departments (four if you include captaincy) for Australia. Well done, Australia- you wanted it more.

    There's not much that England can take from this series except maybe that Stokes has a bright future. However, the partnership between Bell and Stokes was a demonstration of what can be achieved with a more positive approach. England need to use the two remaining tests to work on matching the Aussies for aggression. Otherwise, it will have been not just a defeat, but a wasted tour.

  • Damo_s on December 16, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    All this talk of England possibly scoring hundreds, drawing the test, winning? Wish I lived in that parallel universe lol. The series was finished half way through the last test. Im surprised England made it to the fifth day here, and a few players deserve some credit for that. However, they will be rolled before lunch or shortly after as the aussies hit them hard having rested overnight. Its time for us to rebuild the team as others have stated. There is talent in the ranks, we just need to be bold and get them in. India are rebuilding, Aussies are rebuilding, we must do the same.

  • CodandChips on December 16, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Pietersen has to go in my opinion. He's not the player he was, and now is just not scoring the runs required. Bring in Ballance to replace him. I'd keep Stokes despite him appearing the bits and pieces player everybody thought he was. He has shown some good northern-fight, some talent with the bat and some pace with the ball. Prior has to go as well. Bring in Bairstow. Prior has had a rough year in front of the stumps and now it seems to be affecting him behind them.

    On the bowling, if Broad is not fit, we have a serious problem. I'd like to see Finn in the side whatever, because he takes wickets, has pace, and deserves to be shown a bit of faith by the coaches and selectors. I would also like Chris Jordan to get a go, even though he isn't in the squad. He performed over the county season, has good pace, played well on his ODI debut and is young. He can bat a bit as well, and is a good fielder.

    Cook Carberry Bell Root Ballance Bairstow (wk) Stokes Broad Swann Jordan Finn

  • hotsaif on December 16, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    no ricky ponting,no michel hussy,no pattinson,no starc,no commins.....aussies still making the english look like a club team! aussie aussie hoi hoi hoi!!!nice for the aussies to get the little urn back after 6 years which the great 2007 legendry team had acheived!

  • JG2704 on December 16, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    @chicko1983 on (December 16, 2013, 11:29 GMT) I think the Barmy Army are among the best supporters (for any sport) in the world. They're still there with their trumpet player , singing away like they're about to regain the Ashes and not in reality lose them. It was also amazing last time around how the grounds became empty (bar England fans) when Australia were being hammered. So yes 4-5 as many supporters when you're winning , but what about when things aren't going so well?

    @AFanOfGoodCricket on (December 16, 2013, 12:14 GMT) No - definitely not. I've seen 2 occasions where a team has batted on too long this year and come a cropper and one occasion where a team got lucky when trying to play it safe. This is a chance for Australia to seal the Ashes here and now.

    @jmcilhinney on (December 16, 2013, 13:17 GMT)I thought he was out , but I'd say by the DRS laws it shouldn't have been overturned just as Root's wasn't yesterday

  • jockoz on December 16, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Andrew Edgington what are you talking about? Last time I checked these guys are well payed proffesional sportsman. If they can't get the motivation to play an Ashes series and set a record for beating the Aussies 4 series in a row then they should return their pay cheques and retire! I don't recall the Aussie teams of old dominance ('05 the exception and they got what they desrved as England are here) performing like this and using being worn out and tired as an excuse. OK they play more cricket now, but that's down to personal greed and bad management from the back room staff. If you can't manage your players in a way where they aren't burnt out or unmotivated to play the pinnacle of the game, then the back room staff should pack up and go as well. There were two teams in the last series as well and only one is looking worn out........oh hang on let's try another adjective......outplayed.......beaten. C'mon Aussies and wipe the floor with them, lame excuses and all!

  • jb633 on December 16, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    I think as an England fan we have got to swallow some pride here and get back to the drawing board. I feel if we are going to avoid becoming the laughing stock of the 90's we must be prepared to lose some series blooding our younger players in. It has been good to see Stokes doing so well and he must be included in all future plans. For me I would drop Cook as captain and let him just bat. His captaincy is weak and negative and he doesn't seem tactically astute. I think we look for a young leader ala Graeme Smith for SA. In terms of bowling I would ditch Tremlett, Rankin and Monty for good. Whilst they have had their moments we must look beyond them now. As for batting I would drop Carberry for good (despite a reasonable showing) and give up on the idea of Trott coming back. I would look to guys like Taylor, Ballance, Vince for our upcoming series and give them a go. We need to play a positive brand of cricket and look to win games not waste time and draw them.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    @FFLNAH I think a whitewash would be more interesting after the fact, I'm not sure I'd be that interested in watching every session as it happened, especially with the way England has been playing. If England made wholesale changes it would become even more irrelevant to me. If they pulled a rabbit out of the hat in Perth though they might actually put up a real fight in the last 2 tests.

    I guess I'm not that patriotic when it comes to sport except for when Australia is a massive underdog like the soccer world cup, I'd rather see a good contest.

  • on December 16, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    Quite a bit of Bresnan bashing going on in previous comments - "no more Bresnan's" and "why on earth is Bresnan playing?". Undeserved in my opinion. He is playing because Finn and Rankin can't bowl sustained periods accurately and because Tremlett is way down on last year's pace. He is desperately needed to put in the long overs to allow Anderson and Broad to retain their edge. Especially important this, with Swann being so ineffective. He usually takes wickets - he would have had four for in the Aussie's second innings, had simple catches been held. He also demonstrated in the first innings that he is a capable technical batsman, not just a thrasher, essential to hold together a tail that has looked awful without him. . Finally, he brings courage, determination and commitment every time he plays - something this England team lacks. Maybe Bresnan wouldn't be needed in a team where everyone in the squad was doing his job, but where batting and bowling need shoring up, Bres is the ma

  • PSK_analyst on December 16, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    It is deeply saddening when a really good time slides down . It is similar to what India went through, once great players stretching themselves and giving their all and still get beaten. England have never been the same team after their tour of new zealand, the warning signs kept flashing . Errors crept into machine like run scorers. The quality of Australia's bowling threw them wide open for everyone to see. Cook,Pietersen,Prior,Anderson,Swann are not finished by any means, I hope they come back strongly and be able to retire on a high, They deserve it , they have collectively raised the bar of English cricket, I hope the fans around the world realize that, they may not be world-beaters for some but they've done enough. How many England teams can lay claim to have won a series in India and Australia ? Respect them for their ilk are few .

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 16, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    @ModernUmpiresPlz, they won't be dead rubbers if England lose tomorrow, there will be much interest as Australia seek their second 5-0 whitewash in just 5 series. That's got to be exciting right? 2 whitewashes at five attempts would be something all cricket fans would like to see.

  • Elbow on December 16, 2013, 16:07 GMT

    Lots of comments on here about the amount of cricket played.....sorry isn't that their job!

  • Chrisfg on December 16, 2013, 16:01 GMT

    Not always in favour of dropping senior/proven players for youth but I see no other option for England to head towards. The odi's are a brilliant way to blood some of the youngsters but could also destroy confidence if they take a hammering!!! Anyone aware of when the Aussies will announce there squad???

  • on December 16, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    The selection for this Test was clearly flawed. Why on earth is Bresnan playing at the WACA when the three tall fast bowlers were left out? Bresnan and Anderson will be more effective on other pitches. Was bringing Finn, Tremlett and the Irishman a double bluff? Prior so far seems to be going the way of Trott, Carberry can't seem to get a fifty and KP just gives his wicket away too often. Broad has a great game occasionally, but this isn't enough. We'll lose the Ashes tomorrow, one assumes - time to make some changes for the remaining Tests. Or will we just stay stuck in the mud?

  • foeofdevil on December 16, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Beware Aussies miracles tend to happen in conditions like these only. history says that

  • AnotherCricketFan on December 16, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    The so-called World's #1 spinner - who most likely exists in team thanks to Cook connection - had 44-8-169-3 (56 ave) And none of the wickets creditable to his mastery in bowling. His series average 560 / 7 a whopping 80+ ave.

    Incredible that with that kind of data - with commentators screaming career defining series - one can even be in the 15 let alone in the XI and be called - the match-winner.

  • Elbow on December 16, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    It's game over I'm affraid, I can't see Prior sticking around on current form and with the new ball due, the tail will be blown away. If Stokes has luck on his side tomorrow (he deserves it), he should carry his bat. Hopefully the rest can stay out there long enough for him to reach 100, that will be a huge moment for him. Stick it up 'em Stokesy!

  • on December 16, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Some people are calling for KP to be dropped but it was actually hia aggressive attacking which gave England the momentum to score freely, something Bell and Stokes responded to. So often Pietersen's innings dictate the type of innings England will play.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    I hope England pull off a miracle tomorrow. Would make the series interesting again. Can't see it happening but it would be good for the game, I'm not a huge fan of dead rubbers.

  • on December 16, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    I think Prior, Pietersen, Broad, Anderson, Swann and Bell looked at the Aussies at the start of this series and thought 'What am I doing here? I've beaten this lot three times since 2009 and my legacy is guaranteed as a proven Ashes winner. I'm rolling from one series to another and from one series of one dayers and T20s to the next.' Its become a treadmill.....

  • sweet2hrme on December 16, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    In Eng atleast Aus were fighting bt here Eng is failing in all department! What happened to this team they are looking more than ordinary team. Very poor effort by Eng plz go back n learn more..

  • Bodders70 on December 16, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Manoubra_Flyer Yep and a lot of rubbish is talked about an eighty page cookbook that was clearly designed to get the final 1-2% advantage out of the players. Hasn't worked but doesn't mean it wasn't the right thing for England. The 'matey, blokey' atmosphere has helped for Australia, no doubt but once again, that doesn't mean it would be better for England. The professionalism, stats driven, micro managed environment has worked for England, including in India (where Australia lost 4-0 because it didn't work for them) so why the change now? Amount of cricket played, yes. Mentally out-of-touch and poor performing players, yes. Coaching when nothing has changed in that setup? Seems hard to believe. Saker was bowling coach when Australia were beaten in 2010/11, Flower was head coach. Getting rid of them isn't going to fix England because that's not the problem, though I suspect Flower, at least, will go. They've been outplayed, sometimes it's that simple.

  • on December 16, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    curently Sachin Tendulkar 200 Test 51 centuries 15921 Runs Michael Clarke + Alistair Cook 200 Test 51 Centuries 15919 Runs.

  • Cricfever_PM on December 16, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    The metal strength of Aus have improved a lot and players are performing consistently!!! may be Eng have lost the rhythm in Aus and they are about to lose the Ashes!!! After long time the complete Aus have performed well so for except Baily but he too contributed something to the team!!! Hope Aus will win tomorrow and take the Trophy!!! This is the 1st time team have given 500 + chasing run in consecutive 3 matches!!!

  • Manxmuppet on December 16, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    I still can't quite fathom how a team who were so good 12 months ago can be playing so badly and a team so poor 12 months ago can be playing so well. Just goes to show that, despite of all the theories of tiredness, test overkill, psychological dominance, coaching errors, tactical blunders etc, the bottom line is, simply put; cricket is a funny old game.

  • usapsunil on December 16, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    for all those who think ..watson should be dropped , this is wat he can do .. score run .. break partnership ... and more ...

  • FanofGoodCricket on December 16, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    I can sense their excitement and impatience in Aussie bowlers in closing this match out. They have to acknowledge that Eng have nothing to lose now, and they have everything to lose. Though I root for aussies to win, an england draw or a win (highly unlikely) would break the Aussie confidence. If such a thing happens, the thought / task of winning another one to capture the urn will look more daunting and will drain them, more so than the current english team IMO. Would love to see the methodical & 'hunt as a pack' approach that had won them two matches in this series.. Go Aussies !!!

  • valvolux on December 16, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    I'm still very nervous. A 100 run stand in the morn and its game on. Still a great batting wicket, the cracks are there but apart from surprising batsmen, they aren't troubling them. England boasts a long tail with a good record. A win is not out of reach...and perhaps I've grown to be a pessimist, but I'd be far from surprised.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on December 16, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Bodders 70 Coaches do make a tremendous difference. They provide the morale, the tactics and organisation (anyone for an 80 page cookbook). Lehman has been great for morale, an area that was seen as a Clarke weakness. All of the Australian players have commented on it and thanked him and you can see the turnaround in 4 months since his appointment. Flower exercises a lot of control over the England system, you can see this in Cook's timidity as a captain. The English on the field couldn't organise a drinkathon in a brewery as we say (more crudely) in Australia. Cook was chasing his tail & making moves after the fact and every England player seems to think he's the captain. This demonstrates a lack of confidence in his ability as a captain. This goes back to him not receiving true independence & support to think on his feet. International sport is a high pressure environment worth a lot of money, every player is insecure & needs support - they are human - just ask Jonathon Trott.

  • ScottStevo on December 16, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @jmcilhinney, I'm more pessimistic and unlike many on here and within the media, haven't written Eng off in this test match yet. There's 5 still to go and I hear Harris isn't holding up well. A big first session from Eng, runs aren't too important, but mainly losing a max of 1 wicket, and they'll start believing they can get something from this. If they make runs too, then Aus won't be able to continue wih the v attacking fields set today - even for Bell & Stokes when both well in - allowing plenty of easy runs and we may see a few chances go begging. It's never over till it's over (but an early one should kill it off). As for Bell's dismissal, looks a harsh one. I'd normally feel sympathetic (as much so as I can muster for an Eng dismissal!), however, after the last series in Eng, it's more like karma evening of the score! It would be an utter tragedy for Aus to lose this match after caning Eng in these last 3 tests, but of late I'm almost expecting the unexpected in the Ashes!

  • screamingeagle on December 16, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Would be fun if England get close at lunch with a 100 or so more without losing any. But then, that would be asking for too much, I guess. :)

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 16, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    The aperitif to England's finest hour was the bowling of Swann and then Anderson. it's hard to credit how easy Watson made taking Swann to the cleaners look. I suppose if you put him in the requisite body suit he could turn out at a local shopping mall as a superhero but Watson though bulky does not automatically inspire dreams of superheroics. More likely a brief attractive 20 before some crass dismissal. But here before one's very eyes he became'Watto-man'( new improved version) and smacked Swann to all parts of the globe. It was carnage. Then Bailey(young rather than'Old') proferred his learned verdict upon Anderson to the tune of 28 in an over -more carnage!. How were the mighty fallen! Clarke completed a fine mercy killing and declared and then Cook completed the job and disappeared down a hole.That was that. I am hoping that the cracks open up so much the ball disappears down them and play is called off.Match abandoned-ball gone to centre of the earth!For now we survive though

  • pitch_curator on December 16, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    I don't think it is over yet. Looks very very unlikely but if Stokes and Prior have a good first session, it will be around 150 required with 2 sessions and then it will be match on. For that they would need to target Lyon and hit him out of the attack. If Prior does not score this innings, it is better to replace him for the next test as he has not done well behind the stumps as well. The English supporters were saying that he is the best in the world but looks like he is not even the best in their country. lol.

  • Bodders70 on December 16, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    Far too much credit and blame is apportioned to coaching staff, who don't take the field, but as to the question of what have Saker and Gooch done? How about... series win in Australia 2010/11, taking England to no.1 in the test rankings, series win in India 2012, ashes series win in 2013 in England. The last one may have been lucky given how poorly England have been batting but why is one coach responsible for excellent play, lots of 400+ scores, daddy hundreds and then equally responsible when it goes wrong? They're not, the players are and since NZ 2012, their collective batting performance has been poor. I think you can fairly question selection, Compton was the last hundred+ opening stand which is crucial. Also, Saker may not be good with pure pace, Flynn has struggled, tinkered etc. Judging from both Middlesex and ECB comments, I think that's probably more down to him.

  • DJAbacus on December 16, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    England 100-1 to win tomorrow...must be worth a fiver....350-5 at lunch and who knows....

  • David_Boon on December 16, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    @neil99 To be fair, Cricket Australia have done everything they can to deter fans from attending games. They only want families to go, but the tickets are expensive, so no parent would take their kids more than a day or two. Overpriced tickets, you can only buy light beer, there's police officers standing over you the whole time, ridiculous restrictions to what you can bring into the ground (eg. "Food, but not in packaging that could be used as a projectile ie pizza box") and so on. And they wonder why people don't attend.... I would rather sit on the couch, or have a BBQ with some mates than be treated like that.

  • jmcilhinney on December 16, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    I'm still far from convinced by Watson. Sure, it was quite an innings he played today but, just like in England, his big score came when the team were not really under pressure. There the series was already lost and here the series was already all but won. Not only that, it was basically a limited-overs innings, and then against bowlers who were physically and mentally drained. I'm not saying that what Watson did today wasn't impressive but it's not innings like that that make a Test #3. If you ask me, Warner has proven himself to be a far more impressive Test batsman than Watson. He's looked a genuine Test player this series and can play those limited-overs innings too.

  • on December 16, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Time to drop KP. Its better for KP to focus on IPL rather than playing T20 innings in ashes. He is still talented and flamboyant to thrive in IPL and shorter forms of cricket. May be play a key role in next ODI WC.

    Bell, Cook, Root, Stokes plus couple more young batsmen should form the core of next english ashes team. They need another KP of 2005.

  • jmcilhinney on December 16, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    I can't say I agree with Ian Bell's dismissal. Did he hit it? Quite possibly. Can we say for sure? Certainly not. I said before this series that I believed that both HotSpot and Snicko should have to contradict the on-field umpire for a decision to be reversed. We know for a fact that a noise can occur without it being bat on ball so, given that Bell was originally given not out, I don't consider Snicko alone to be conclusive evidence that that decision was wrong. Not my call to make obviously but that's the way I see it.

  • jmcilhinney on December 16, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    I'm an optimist when it comes to cricket so I won't stop hoping until it's over but it would take a miracle for England to save this game now. At least this second innings offers some hope that they will be competitive in the remaining two games though. I'm sure that they won't want to suffer the ignominy of a whitewash, which is a real possibility if something doesn't give. Australia's batting has still looked vulnerable this series but, unfortunately for England, they've now managed to play most of them into form. England's 251 in the first innings here doesn't look much but, at 5/143, Australia probably wouldn't have made many, if any, more if not for England feeding Smith waist-high bouncers on leg stump all day. If England had bowled a decent length in the first innings then they could have put some pressure on the Australian batsmen in the second. It was England's fault but it means that they can still win a game if they can bat and bowl to their potential.

  • DJAbacus on December 16, 2013, 13:07 GMT

    I think it would be a big mistake to drop Pieterson. He played well today and got the momentum going which Bell and Stokes capitalised on. I would drop Root for now and bring him back next summer at number 5. Bell move up to 3 and bring Ballance at 5. Stokes to keep his place and so does Prior. The bowlers keep their places too except if Broad is injured then I would bring in either Finn/Rankin. England need to keep calm regarding selection. I think Flower will feel the same.

  • izzidole on December 16, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    If not for some wayward bowling Australia should have wrapped up the ashes with a victory today rather than leave it for another day tomorrow. For the first time in the series the aussie bowling looked very ordinary and as a result Pietersen, Stokes and Bell took advantage to post a good fightback by England. This reminded me of the aussie bowling attack before Craig McDermott took over as the bowling coach. Johnson hardly bowled at the stumps before lunch and the the only time he bowled good line and length was when he nearly had Root LBW. If he bowled atleast one yorker every over like he did to Broad he would enjoy more success. It would be very difficuit for the batsman to prevent the ball crashing onto his stumps at 150 kph. The aussie bowling attack should show more discipline tomorrow and try to wrap up this match as soon as possible before England gains some confidence after posting a big total in the second innings which would help them in the remaining two test matches.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 16, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    @ballsintherightareas- think you are absolutely right by 'Stokes, Prior, Bresnan, Broad and Swann all capable of hitting a hundred' . Why in the game of cricket any 1 is capable of it as even upto no.11 all are expected to bat .So,to add a few names of my own to yours here are a few . Some1 playing in this game Lyon for eg, and to add Monty ,Chris Martin, etc. I am sure they are all capable ,infact all of these have already scored a 100 or even more . Yes ,in backyard cricket or maybe in school or any other all of them would have already hit their maiden ton. Unfortu'ly for these Eng guys they are up against 1 of top 2 -with SA- pace attacks going in top flight cricket a.tm. And L/Arm swinging nuts@ 150 kph . Realistically all of rem. Eng 'bats' should show some fight and aim to make Aus bowl 100 balls - 16 overs and bit- as a whole bef. getting A/out and go down 'with a fight' . But vs this attack it is too much of an ask ,I'm afraid.

  • Bodders70 on December 16, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    The Bell decision was clearly the right one and he knew he'd hit it but chose not to walk. Identical to Haddin at Trent Bridge so can we stop all the moralising now as that's the modern method and how everyone plays? What today showed more is how much cricket is played in the mind. The game and ashes are gone and with no pressure, England produced their best batting performance of the series. However, for those dreamers, cricket history will tell you the new ball will finish us off in the morning, if the night's rest for the Aussie bowlers doesn't. Stokes won't have faced too many new balls in his time! If by some miracle it doesn't, the pressure returning as we get closer to the target will. It would require the biggest turnaround in cricket ever, moreso than Headingley '81 so I feel comfortable in saying congratulations Australia. Now, let's try and avoid the white-wash!

  • on December 16, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    Big changes are now needed by England and not just short term. This series is over and will be 5-0 but Stokes needs to stay and Root must be persevered with. New, hungry young quick bowlers must come in, Bairstow to keep wicket and bat 7. KP is finished as is Prior and even Graeme Swann must be close to retirement after two shoulder ops. The coaches Gooch and Saker...what exactly do they do and what have they achieved? A whole new plan is required which means a new head coach. Flower did a great job but his time is over.

  • CricketChat on December 16, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Except for Jimmy, who is quite capable of sticking around, rest of players to come (Broad, Bresnan, Swann) can all hang around and score as well. So, this match may not be over quickly tomorrow. With Ashes on the line, hopefully Eng can pull off a miracle. All in all, great 2nd innings batting by Watson and good fight back be Eng after losing Cook to 1st ball.

  • AB34 on December 16, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Warner has really surprised me, given the incident with Root, the caning he got from the England fans in England and some Australian fans, the Trott incident, and still make that many runs, this guy is a stronger mentally then I thought.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 16, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    I don't understand calls to drop KP. Who is there in England that could seriously challenge KP for his place? No one. A lot of comments from the TV that the bowlers have done nothing wrong? How bout not taking enough wickets?

  • neil99 on December 16, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Pietersen has to go. His once great batting is in tatters, he looks clueless. A truly world class player adapts to the conditions and match situation. We have witnessed time and time again his lack of aptitude and there are now many more aberrations than match winning innings.

    @ chicko1983. Sit down. England supporters turn up to watch all test teams, unlike Australians who only watch Ashes cricket. Day 4 at the Gabba - Sunday and only 11,000 bother to go along. Or the 40,000 over 4 days dec 2011 at the Gabba against NZ or the paltry 7,000 that see England rack up 500 on day 5 at the Gabba 2010

  • on December 16, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    England will likely lose this unless Prior and Stokes both score centuries and Bresnan/Broad can hang in and get 30s or thereabouts. Lessons..England have failed to ascend to that "next level" and have been found wanting.None of the batsmen have lead the way and amongst the bowlers,Broad's been excellent but nothing else.The only thing left to play for is to treat the match as a 10 match series locked at 3-3 if Australia win at Perth as seems likely.

    In future discard "bits and pieces"all sorters like good ole Bres,big trier that he is.He is an honest toiler and not much more.Finn should have played in Perth or Rankin.

  • on December 16, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    @ballsintherightareas..unfortunately there will be way too many ballsintherightareas from this disciplined attack. One day a monster score like this will be overrun however; but would have to be done with a daddy hundred from one of the top 6 and support all the way down the order. Australia lost a bit of focus after that wonderball from Harris to get Cook and have bowled much better throughout the series but will refocus tommorrow. Cricket is a funny game though it's a certainty for me that England wont get near the target.

  • geoffboyc on December 16, 2013, 12:21 GMT

    If you watch carefully you'll see that the noise as the ball passes Bell's bat was the Aussie close fielders clicking their fingers in sync and the device picks it up. Innovative use of the technology and well practised by the slips during warm-ups so I'm told. On a more serious note, England have to work out why, on two occasions in the series they've had these world class Australian batters five or six down for not very many in first innings and then let them off the hook. The poor form of the English batting couldn't cope in the face of that kind of carelessness. I'm sure SA won't make the same mistake.

  • 3Ashesinarow on December 16, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    You seem to forget how quickly the MCG emptied last time around when the Aussies were 98 all out. I was at Adelaide in 2010 and the Aussies were leaving the ground at 4pm when Cook and Pieterson were hammering Docherty to all parts. Barmy Army by far the best, and most loyal.

  • Paulo_OWC on December 16, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    @Atul Malhotra - actually i think there is a need for wholesale changes. This England side has been in decline for a while. Results against New Zealand and then Australia in the summer have papered over the cracks. Time to freshen things up with a few younger players. Lets see the likes of Borthwick, Topley, and Meaker, Balance, Taylor and Bairstow get a run in the team. Whats the worst that can happen?

  • AFanOfGoodCricket on December 16, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Anyone else think Australia declared a bit too soon. With Bailey in such devastating form, they could have easily added another 50 runs in no time. Still feel, England have got a chance.

  • Long-Leg on December 16, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    I would not make wholesale changes for the next test. Would like to see Finn have another bowl in the next warm up match before boxing day. However, surely this must be the end for Pietersen as a test player for England. Having all the talent in the world is not good enough. You also have to make good decisions and show some maturity re shot selection. KP seems unable to grasp this. I would drop him from the test side and perhaps rest Prior too unless he makes a big score tomorrow. Can we bring in Bairstow? At the very least I would play the more reliable Bell at 4 and Pietersen at 5, which is a change in the batting order which has been warranted for some time.

  • on December 16, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    When I played the benefit of doubt was with the batsman; not that privilige is only afford to the umpires.

  • stormy16 on December 16, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    Eng hold out for the 5th but surely will not be able to do much more than they have already. Watto finally comes good when it matters and hopefully this is a sign of things to come. He also got a vital wicket which is of course why Aus insist on him bowling. Not with most of the Aus batters with runs under the belt except for may be Rogers and probably Baily and Eng batters struggling, the Eng summer may have well beein in the 1990's - what a change three months make. Happy to see Stokes make an impression and could this be the end of the search for the next beefy?

  • ballsintherightareas on December 16, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    So only 250 more to get and 90 overs in which to do it. Stokes, Prior, Bresnan, Broad and Swann all capable of hitting a hundred. England this can be done, and the closer you get, the easier it will get because any opposition would start to panic if faced with the prospect of losing from this position, especially a side that 'knows how to lose' like Australia. Fight to the death.

  • Chris_Howard on December 16, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Schoolyard shot from Pietersen. How do I teach my kids patience and picking your shots wisely, when the pros don't do it? You had a day and half to play KP, no need for that "death or glory" type shot.

  • bumble23 on December 16, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    The remarkable aspect of Mitchell Johnson's bowling has been his pace. There has not been one single spell in the last three matches where he clocked less than 140kmph. Ian chappel once remarked that any captain would love to have mitch in the team for the plain reason that he is capable of delivering above 140 even if it means bowling for two days in hot conditions.

  • aby_97 on December 16, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Watto probably the best bet at no.3.. Australia should probably vent in with more confidence in him in his test cricket ability and something miraculous could happen just like the way things have turned out of R.Sharma..

  • ste13 on December 16, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    England can still win tomorrow. James Anderson has already one century in this game. He just has to replicate it with the bat.

  • phat55 on December 16, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    so sad to see the worlds most skillful bowler go for a joint world record of 28 runs in an over.i honestly feel the aussies will never dominate like they use to coz of their top 6 batsmen.watson bailey smith warner & rogers are not good enough test batsmen,although that is the best ive seen warner bat his entire career.the big hitting by watson & co was only coz of the match situation.congrats to the aussies on the ashes victory & for letting their media see (once again) how average their team really is.

  • on December 16, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    There is nothing wrong with the English players suddenly. It's just that the Aussies are hungrier and 'want' it more. There is no call for any knee jerk reactions and wholesale changes in the team as well. The team is fine and good !

    It is a similar situation to what India's young heroes faced last fortnight in SA. Coming in cold from playing in Kanpur against an inspid WI, they ran into a wounded. SA at Jo'burg of all wickets !

    Two bad ODI performances don't make Virat, Rohit and Shikhar bad players all of a sudden. It's just that BCCI doesnt care about players morale and psyche, they just want tours after tours to make money... An important (first time to SA for many ) tour four days after playing at home in Kanpur? U gotta be kidding me !

  • Maroubra_Flyer on December 16, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    This series has shown the folly of scheduling this series so soon after the last. England have failed to regroup mentally after the Ashes in England, the series was much closer than the scoreline & Boof has done a great job with Aus. England are now out of season and look underprepared. Johnson has surprised them, as well as the new batting line up. I think with the year and a half that are normally between series has disadvantaged England, as there was little motivation for them to build up after winning so soon. England will rebuild very quickly despite the scoreline, but need to be more aggressive as Bell/Stokes showed. Flower has to go, too negative/controlling. With Cook to learn from this I'm sure we'll look forward to a better series next time. With Trott, KP & Prior gone at least they will start & look & play like England. See my post re:new line up. England, pick players to win games - not to NOT lose them. There is a big difference in the mental approach to each one.

  • chicko1983 on December 16, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    @rednwhitearmy: England has the best supporters. For real? Aussies get 4-5 times as many supporters to test matches than English do." Oh, but the Barry army bring the atmosphere," you might say. I was there when broad was bowled in Adelaide to Mitchell Johnson. It was the loudest it got all day by a mile, but not a peep from the Barry army! Enjoy the rebuilding phase the poms are about to go through. Lucky you have great supporters! Hahaha!

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    @robobobster It has been stated many times that only one of either hotspot or snicko is required for a decision. That's ignoring the fact that he hit it. He definitely hit it. Or are you disputing that too?

  • on December 16, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    2 wickets before the new ball with fresh bowlers and 3 quick ones after the newball with perhaps an extended session and England scoring another 60 runs between them should see Australia beat England by 190 give or take five or 10. That is my prediction!

  • whofriggincares on December 16, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Just a comment regarding the Bell dismissal, the decision was not reached on snicko alone the bloody big noise that sounded just like a nick just as the ball passed the edge had a bit to do with the end decision. The DRS is being used just about as well as it can be at the moment all available technology is taken into account (we know none of them is foolproof) and I think we are arriving at the right decision most times. You can't tell me Bell didn't hit it, in real time I jumped off the couch and fist pumped the air and Bell looked as guilty as sin. It is hard to control body language in stressful situations and Bell knew he had hit it simple as that. He was playing the system (and fair enough too) by reviewing that one and wasn't surprised or disappointed at all when the verdict came down. We will still every now and then get one like the Root decision in the first innings when us viewers aren't sure but the umpire certainly thought he heard something at the right time.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    @novocas If England survive the new ball that Australia will take half way through the morning session tomorrow, after a good night's rest for the bowlers, I will be absolutely amazed. Those cracks are only going to get bigger.

  • Philippe on December 16, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    New morning New day New start for bowlers as well as batsmen.... I dont' think there is a chance for ENG to save this one too... they will loose in first half of the day only. ppl r just expecting & hoping too much here in comments section.

  • on December 16, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    Tough task for England to beat Australia.

  • mask63 on December 16, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    England must take some difficult decisions for the next test. As the urn has gone to Australia so for next test England need some changes. Swann needs a break as well Jimmy. Both can be replaced by Finn and Rankin as they have no spinner left except Monty who is invaluable outside sub-continent. Prior should be replaced by Bairstow. If Broad will not be fit then he should replaced by Tremlet as he was ok in the 1st test. Cook should drop himself to no 3 as he is struggling against swing and Root should open along with Carberry. In that case a let-right combination could become a handy. Let hope for best......

  • RoBoBobster on December 16, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    Monty for Swann has to happen Also, if Root was out on lack of evidence, Bell should have been in on lack of evidence. DRS needs consistency

  • garibaldi on December 16, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Still in shock from these 3 tests. I followed the Ashes in England this summer, first with delight, then a little anxiety as they failed to hammer home the 2-0 advantage as a truly dominant team would, but finally with contentment after a decent victory in Durham took us to 3-0. The last match again could have been Australia's but even so the series victory margin would have been more than respectable. There were signs that the team's engine was not as well-tuned as it might be, but down under they have not only failed their MOT but lost all control, driven into the ditch and written themselves off! I haven't seen batting like this *on such a consistent scale* since the 90s, and our fielding seems to have regressed about 25 years. Poor old Cook's first baller today crowned what must be one of the worst 100th tests in history. Whatever happens now (assuming tomorrow's headlines don't read "Stokes and Prior recreate Headingley 81...!), it's surely ECB investigation time...

  • on December 16, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge, for a group of cheerleaders who pride themselves on team loyalty, the Barmy Army don't seem very loyal all of a sudden. Here's a few comments from their Facebook page:

    --'With the players we have its very disappointing, looks like they have gone to oz for a holiday'

    --'It's disgraceful! Am watching in NZ having been to the Adelaide test and it's time to start "blooding" some of the new guys. We have some easier series than this in the next year before having to visit the Saffers who are way better than this Aussie bunch...we make them look good!'

    --'not sure they turned up with any heart the way they are playing...if they were a horse we would have shot them a long time ago...'

    This was my personal favourite:

    --'I have 3 tickets in barmy army section today if anyone wants to do a swap for anywhere in the ground.'

    I also noticed Barmy Army supporters offering to sell their 5th day WACA tickets! :D

  • novocas7rian on December 16, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    This game is not yet over. Five wickets still to fall (if Broad bats), the wicket losing its pace, the batsmen looking positive. There's oodles of time available to score 250 - this will be a result either way, and anything's possible. As an Aussie supporter I'm not satisfied that the ashes have returned to their true home, not yet.

    Also I'm wondering why Bell's review didn't seem to feature a front-on hotspot replay? There was only the side-on shown on TV, and as it foreshortened the bat it was far from the best angle. I found the decision to overturn on Snicko alone rather curious.

  • Selassie-I on December 16, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Stokes looking set now, Matt Prior is about to turn his fortunes around, big 100's from them both tomorrow as England cruise to a win on the 5th day by tea. 2-1, ahses back on.

  • on December 16, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    earlier also i told u guys not to underestimate watson and hafeez .....well done watson ....i was last in my all cash rooms in fantasy crk but watson was my captain as usual ; now i am 1st in all my rooms ... plzz guys never neglect watson n hafeez

  • on December 16, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    those who have doubts upon haddin's keeping after dropped catch in odi series ;they do not have any knowledge abt crket ....they seems to forget the august-sep ashes in which haddin's keeping was superb ...

  • RednWhiteArmy on December 16, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Australia might have stolen the ashes but England will always have the best supporters.

  • JG2704 on December 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Congratulations Australia on regaining the Ashes in such a convincing manner. They say success breeds confidence and so it's proving. Australia have no concerns so no need to talk about them. I said pre series that the fitness of Harris and form of Johnson were key to how Australia would do. The best Mitch has turned up and England haven't kept Aus in the field for long enough to test his fitness

  • JG2704 on December 16, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    England need to make changes for the next game. For me there are 2 definite big name changes. Jimmy needs a rest and I don't care how good a bowler or how mentally strong you are , the pasting he has got in this series is going to affect anyone. I'd say Broad should be rested regardless of what the scan results say as we all know Broad is a much lesser bowler when he has injury issues on his mind. So I'd probably go for Boyd and Tremlett to come in. Obviously there's the option of Finn and Onions but Finn seems to be lacking right now and Onions has not played much cricket lately. Whoever they bring in is going to be fresher which I'd say counts for alot. Swann is another issue but I'm not sure I have any more faith in Monty - even after the treatment Swann has recd

  • on December 16, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Does anyone else see a lot of similarities between this England side and the Indian side that toured England in 2011? Same story , good team , not performing. Swann is Harbhajan , KP is sachin , Broad is Ishant , Cook is Gambhir , Bell is Dravid ! All the hype before the series was the sam but it ended p to be a one sided series!

  • JG2704 on December 16, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    Re batting. One change. KP must go. Sorry to those who think KP is god but I'm fed up of hearing that he needs to stay because he's a big game player. These have been 3 huge games and on each occasion he's got out playing lazily executed attacking shots and from a spectators point of view it looks like he's the one England batsmen who hasn't valued his wicket at any stage. Prior is another who has made one decent score in the series so far although he will probably score enough tomorrow to keep him in. So one or 2 Yorkies to come in

  • Mitty2 on December 16, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    @whofriggincares, good point, and on that sense I have to agree with you. The SL game was actually very enjoyable with the partnership between Bird and MJ a perfect display of pace bowling. From memory MJ injured Sangga, their keeper and I think one more who's name I've forgotton. But yes that first day in the last Ashes test here was a nightmare, a worse day England have not suffered so far, although they've tried hard to. What I was really hoping for was Bird to make a comeback here - his bowling stats at the 'G in FC and his only test are his best stats at any ground, but oh well the trio of Siddle, MJ and Rhino have done well so far haven't they?

  • Shaggy076 on December 16, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    I would like to apologise to Haddin after seeing him drop a dolly of a catch in the one-day series in India I thought his keeping was no longer good enough to represent Australia and called for his dropping. In this series his batting has been excellent but his keeping has been above any level he has been at in the past. Well done to him. 2) I made the argument with Root that no conclusive evidence so the umpires decision must stand, well I think the same with Bell the on-field umpires decision should have stood. Yes I think he nicked it and Roots Im really not sure either way but I dont think the evidence has been enough to change the umpires decision. I havent seen the Smith dismissal from the first innings so I cant comment on that one.

  • Nutcutlet on December 16, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    At last, there was a feeling of positivity brought to proceedings. Bell played in a form close to his best, but Ben Stokes. Wow! What a revelation his 72* has been. No praise can be too high for him. This is the final innings on a badly cracked pitch, but he put those out of his mind & took the attack to each bowler in turn, the mighty & fearsome Mitch included. All this after a devastaing attack from Watson & co in a morning of mayhem. Temperament? Got it in spades. Technique? Sound, straight, playing the ball down, easy on the eye. Orthodox & assertive without occasional rushes of blood to the brain. Now, the big question to my mind: on this showing, what makes him different from the rest of the oh-so-accomplished veterans that have come & gone with monotonous regularity through out the series? The new boy makes good. The new boy has not been part of the culture for more than a few weeks. He has not caught the malaise. He believes in himself & stands tall amid the ruins. Inference?

  • Mitty2 on December 16, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    1st time ever-EVER-that a team has been set over 500 for 3 Tests in a row....

    Australia's players have a collective batting average of 46.28 this Ashes series. England's av is 19.92 (as at lunch). Says it all really.

    In Tests: Johnson v Eng Avg: 27.59 SR: 44.7 AND Anderson v AUS Avg: 37.71 SR: 68.0

    James Anderson's record in Australia -

    Average - 40.19.

    Strike rate - 71.6.

    These were just a few stats I collected upon the lunch break. Lol England. Hard to imagine them being any worse. After the lunch break, Cook failed again to a Harris beauty - remember when FFL said that Cook was a better captain and batter than Clarke?? Haha. Carberry wastes more starts than Watto, and bregrudgingly I have to applaud his one day innings - which of course was under no pressure, as usual. Looks like I won't be seeing Hughes bat at the 'G, unfortunately. I'd have to say that this was the first time in this series that Swann actually outbowled Lyon - he got more turn and posed a greater threat.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on December 16, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    What the hell is Stokes doing......how many excuses can I come up with to watch cricket on work days.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 16, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Clunge (post on December 16, 2013, 8:48 GMT): I don't want KP to clam up and change his nature; I want runs on the board! I just don't get it why people call for the heads of other players like Bell and Trott who are far more consistent, but hold KP in such high esteem despite obviously being in very poor form. Very poor form is justifiable grounds for dropping, and no amount of promise/historic success should get in the way of that decision - tough as it may be. I seem recall the likes of Tendulkar and [insert names here] getting dropped/"rested" because of poor form - and they came back all the better for it. England are renowned for holding onto players in very poor form at the expense of equally-talented players in fine form - and I'll use the examples of Compton and Onions for this series.

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

    Surprised till now nobody has commented "Tigers At Home And Lamb Outside" either for England & Australia. Both teams have shown to the world that they can win at home comfortably but loose away from home. Or these kind of remarks are reserved for India only. Where are all the Lankans and Pakistanis hiding. Can they dare make a similar comment for either of the above mentioned teams?

  • Zahoor.Ahmad on December 16, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Good performance by stoke... keep it up till the end of the last day...

  • on December 16, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    stokes proving to be innit for the long haul. I'll tell you though what was more disappointing than the england performance in the morning session - the effing WACA pitch, the much vaunted perth deck for the last three days. rumored & promised to be a pacer's highway, proving to be a batsmans' runway.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on December 16, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Mr Marmite has come to the party and silenced his doubters with a ton at a strike rate of over 95... Any rain forecast for tomorrow?

    I think Cook getting bowled first ball by Harris sums up this series very well. What a statement of intent, as if the batsmen hadn't already set the tone! Well played Australia, but kudos to Stokes whom I thought bowled very well at times (at over 90mph too!) and is demonstrating some compelling batting.

  • write2gajanan on December 16, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Remember, we need another 4 wickts to regain the Urn not 5; since broad will not be bat i guess

  • HatsforBats on December 16, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @disco_bob, ouch, stop reminding me. I prefer to be pretend Doherty's selection was just a bad dream. And Maxwell's selection. And Maxwell opening the batting. I won't go on. Pretty dumbfounding though to see England (the most thoroughly professional outfit in the game) make so may errors.

  • Rooboy on December 16, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Hahaha FFL - I realise if one was to point out every factually incorrect statement you make, they'd have no time left for anything else. But as we're unlikely to hear from you for a while now, I'd like to address your last post. There are no 80,000 seat cricket stadiums in Aus. The MCG holds 100k roughly, the rest are 50k or less. Days 2 and 3 at the MCG 2010-11 drew 67,000 and 68,000 people, after Aus had been bowled out for 98 day one and they slid to an embarrassing defeat. Were all 67,000+ fans English? When was the last time 67,000 turned up to a test match in England? lol. As for normal Ashes service, I think anyone who has followed the game for the last 25 years knows what that is, and it ain't England holding the Ashes. Eng beating Aus 4-0 also only occurred in your imagination. Apart from that, great post mate!

  • milepost on December 16, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    "Have you noticed how the wicket goes from road, to minefield to road and back to minefield". Classic @Lunch, thanks to you all for the entertainment this series, as it winds down today. Thanks to cricinfo for the coverage and great journalism, it must be tough with a limited number of superlatives to describe Australia on a daily basis and there's only so many times you can use destroyed, annihated, humiliated, blown away, collapse, hopeless, etc etc. Well done.

  • GurSinghgur on December 16, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Bell out. So a faint sound after the ball has passed the bat is enough (1) to not-alter the on-field umpire's view that J Root was caught; and (2) to alter the on-field umpire's view that Bell was not caught. Useful stuff this one-way DRS.

  • disco_bob on December 16, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    @HatsforBats, at least England kept picking Swann, had we stayed with Lyon in India and England I'm pretty sure, we would not have lost 7-0

  • milepost on December 16, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    @Stephen Scott, nice team suggestion though I'm not sure picking players that suck at county level is the way forward. Mills took six wickets last season, less than Mitch takes in an innings.

  • Front-Foot-Lunch on December 16, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    At FFL, you've had your one year at No. 1, this IS normal service, Australia not simply winning but utterly humiliating you. Have you noticed how the wicket goes from road, to minefield to road and back to minefield.

  • on December 16, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Anderson needs to score 128 if England are to save this match after his record equalling horrific over! its like watching a dull match between south Africa and kenya!! no comparison between the two teams.

  • Front-Foot-Lunch on December 16, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    Bit of a miscalculation there from Bell, although he knows full well he got a massive knick he thought Australia had no reviews left so he undoes the respect he'd get from a nicely played innings by trying to do an impersonation of Stuart Broad. He can even be seen saying to Stoke that 'yeah, I knicked it'.

  • on December 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Gosh i hope the Poms pull off a miracle..Stokes and Bell both need 100s at least.Realistically they will have to bat this last session and bat until lunch tomorrow will this current pair.

  • Chrisfg on December 16, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Anyone know when the Aussies will announce there odi squad???

  • on December 16, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    I know it's drastic, but "England" need to rebuild quickly. So Future Test Team: 1.A.Cook,2.S.Robson,3.I.Bell,4.M.Ali,5.J.Root,6.G.Ballance,7.S.Davies,8.B.Stokes, 9.S.Broad,10.C.Jordan,11.T.Mills.

  • milepost on December 16, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    @DJAbacus, how did your bet for 3-2 go? @Lunge, well, well..... Ah.... Mmmmm..... What can we say champ, THIS is humiliation, this is domination. A word of note, when was the last time England beat Australia 4-0? It certainly wasn't last summer despite your pestiness in persisting with that old one. You deserved the applause here, you earned them.

  • Front-Foot-Clunge on December 16, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    FFL, the same could have been said of England: enjoy it while it lasts. Would it kill you to offer a genuine compliment to the Australian team? Although in all honesty, if the best you can offer your own team is to congratulate their fans (this includes yourself, as I seem to recall) for turning up, then you're really reaching. Nice to see Bell playing some strokes with a bit of freedom, he's a fine sight when he's in form. Pity some English fans still want to put the boot into KP whenever he plays his natural game and it doesn't work. Not sure what people really expect of him at the moment: go into his shell and play contrary to his natural game, or play some strokes and take it up the bowlers? I know what I'd prefer to see.

  • HatsforBats on December 16, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    This series (so far) might give English fans an inkling of what we Australian fans have been feeling these last few years. A poorly selected and unbalanced side is just not performing to their potential, and are not being allowed to perform due to excellent bowling pressure and large run deficits. Bell & Stokes are rollicking along at the moment and it's brilliant watching, but they are part of the problem. As fine a prospect Root is, Bell definitely should be at 3, and Stokes (who looks a magnificent talent) shouldn't be at 6. At the moment Stokes is making a mockery of my opinion. Australia are bowling way too short, pitch it up lads.

  • opto_pus on December 16, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    England look set for a 5-0 Ashes beating, which is the most likely outcome. Then come the summer. The England media will tell us, the England team are world beaters because they are world beaters, when beating sub par teams like Sri Lanka that are basically a two man batsman team with Sangakara and Jayawardena and very few quality bowlers and are poor travellers to England, Australia and South Africa the stronger teams. I already forsee a 2-0 test series against Sri Lanka in England's favour in English conditions. The five test series against India is a joke remember the India team of 2011 well the summer series against India will be a joke and the Indians will be beaten 2-0 by South Africa after which they will draw 1-1 in a two test series against New Zealand. The English media will hype India up as serious contenders, but don't be fooled the Indian team are very poor travelers to any of the three strongest test playing nations South Africa, Australia and England would wipe the floor

  • DJAbacus on December 16, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    It's been a long and painful 5 years for Australia and their fans so I won't begrudge them one good series. It will be interesting to see if they can build on this. They will have to beat SA away, win in Asia and then beat England in England before they can even think about getting back to the number one spot.

    As for England, it's been a poor show but no need to panic. We should aim to win the last two tests and get back to winning ways again. Winning three consecutive Ashes Series is no mean feat. Well done boys. Though disappointed this time round, I believe that England are too good a team to be kept down for long.

  • Scuderi on December 16, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    FFL the barmy army have already paid for tickets, ofcourse they are going everyday. Aussies love them they do provide atmosphere and they have more heart than English players at the moment. They must be really feeling ripped off by the pathetic efforts of the players. If broad doesnt go out to bat he will never live it down.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Looks-Silly-Now on December 16, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Gotta love Front-Foot-Lunge's backhanded compliments lol

    I honestly thought before this series that if Australia were to win back the Ashes that it would go down to the last test. I know alot of other Aussie supporters are enjoying this demolition but after a while it becomes tedious.. almost dejavu if you will.

  • one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on December 16, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    @Rooboy, good pick-up about Anderson. I have been watching him over the last few years and, to me, he still seemed to be bowling the same pies that Hayden and Co used to dine on. Somehow, he was getting wickets.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    On a more serious note than my previous comment, I love watching Harris play cricket. Bat, ball, in the field, always giving 100%. So much so that as a huge Rhino supporter I wish he would try a bit less hard in the field, all that sprinting half way across the oval to save 1 run, diving around and whatnot is stressing me out. We're 400 ahead and need 6 wickets, relax a bit mate we won't mind too much if you give up a couple. We need you to stay fit ore than to save that 1 run.

  • dunger.bob on December 16, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    @milepost: " If we want to be number 1 we need to be ruthless." Yeah there's still some problems with our batting. The bowling is purring so I wouldn't tinker with that unless there's an injury. With Rogers, I'd give him till the end of the series before making a decision on him. He has chipped in a bit and may have more to show us. .. Watson's ton complicates things because that should see him through till the start of the Saffer series. Damn him and his ton. It was so much clearer for the selectors before that. .. Same with Bailey to a degree. He was lethal today but realistically how often are we going to get teams into that position? Are we going to do to the Saffers what we're doing to England? Well, I hope so but I wouldn't bank on it. If you need a T20 finish, he's your man, but I wouldn't count on him batting out 2 sessions against anyone in a backs to the wall effort. .. Anyway, he deserves 5 Tests as well so we'll see how it all looks after Sydney I suppose.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on December 16, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    Well played Australia, you've caught our batting absent of its once-dependable old guard, the side that went to India and won and beat Australia 4-0 at every opportunity: But with our bowling having too much to carry, you've thoroughly deserved victory. What I've also really enjoyed is England support this series: every day of this series, England fans have been loyally supporting their team, despite time difference and working life factors. Compare this if you will to 2010/11, where the Barmy Army were the only fans left in 80, 000 seater stadiums. Then they drowned out the entire continent of Australia. Now, with their team winning, Australia enjoy more support. England fans have been waiting for normal Ashes service to be resumed all series, we now realise we're going to have to wait a few years longer. So well played Australia, enjoy it while it lasts.

  • Rooboy on December 16, 2013, 7:41 GMT

    lol ModernUmpiresPlz, beat me to it. Another controversial decision I suppose, given Root was certain he didn't hit it. Or maybe they're just so mentally shot they don't even know when they're clearly out. Swann and Anderson proving yet again they're the bowling equivalent of flat track bullies ... easy to be mouthy and strut around when you're on top, but true champions keep their heads up in all circumstances. They've been decent bowlers but Anderson's test bowling average is not much better than Watson's, if anyone needed further evidence he is a long way from being a great of the game, today's pathetic display should clinch it.

  • whofriggincares on December 16, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Just heard on the commentary that this is the first time in Test match history a team has been set 500 to win in three consecutive tests. I guess that lends some perspective to just how big a flogging these 3 tests have been. @Mitty2 I too go to the G every year and I couldn't care less if we dole out another one sided flogging. Yeah I know it is good to watch a good contest but at this point in time I would enjoy watching us grind England into the dust just as much! After watching Duminy and Steyn bat nearly all day a few years ago ,then the strong Indian batting (and the Siddle no ball dismissal)and then England running through us on day 1 2 years ago it would be nice to see some strong Aussie performances this year. We had a good test against the Lankans last year but they don't ever really challenge us in Tests.

  • one-eyed-but-keepinitreal on December 16, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    Great to see Australia bowling the lines to Cook that they absolutely refused to bowl to him on England's last tour down under. Great plans and discipline which have succeeded this time and would have previously given his form prior to that tour.

  • Chris_P on December 16, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @ swarzi. We have had the Warne/Murali discussion before pal. In Australia, Murali averaged 75 whereas Warne averaged 32.In Sri Lanka against Australia Murali averaged 26, Warne averaged 21 in Sri Lanka. Unlike Murali, at home, Warne didn't have pitches prepared for his bowling as he had 200+ wicket takers in his team including McGrath, Gillespie, McDermott, Hughes, Lee & MacGill. In the head to head contest in Sri Lanka in 2004, in Murali's back yard, Warne matched him & led his team to a 3-0 victory taking 26 wickets in 168 overs while Murali took 28 in 210 overs. Easily better than him? Hardly.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 16, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Root fails again. What a surprise. The really interesting thing to see (apart from Australia's amazing cricket and England's comedy) is what 11 will take the field at the MCG for England? Will they stick with fumbles behind the stumps, county journeyman Bresnan, wicketless Anderson/Swann/Stokes, runless KP? Lots to ponder. Australia are overrated are they? Does that not make this all the more embarrassing?

  • dunger.bob on December 16, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    @ swarzi on (December 16, 2013, 5:35 GMT) : I could be wrong, but I very much doubt Warne would give a toss about the Lara/Tendulkar debate. As a commentator, he's full of glaring errors, try not to take him personally.

  • milepost on December 16, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Right, one more and we are into the tail. This could be a bigger margin than the Gabba.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    What's that Joe? I thought you always know when you hit 'em.

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on December 16, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    @swarzi I think you're reading into that way too much, Warne actually mentioned Lara earlier in the series as one of the biggest challenges to bowl to and that he had a lot of respect for him and looked forward to bowling to him as he's a great batsman.

  • milepost on December 16, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    @ChrisP, I agree mate. I don't think we can afford a 3 that almost never makes runs. If they must play an all rounder bring in Faulkner. I think we need to be careful not to let the scoreline flatter our performances, England did it after their summer and it has cost them a humiliating Ashes defeat. If we want to be number 1 we need to be ruthless.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on December 16, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    Where for art thou @FFL? Enjoying the action? Normal Ashes service has resumed though will be completed in Sydney when Australia are awarded the urn after completing the whitewash.

  • Chris_P on December 16, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    It looked, for all intents & purposes a game of T20 or the end overs of a ODI such was the hitting of Watson & Bailey. For all his talent, this innings was a rarity for Watson, since the last time England was here he has played 22 tests, scored 1,245 runs at an average of 29.64. Yes this innings was electrifying but seriously, can we sustain a batting average of sub 30 for any batting of the top 6 batting positions? That said, it looks as though we will, barring injury, be keeping the same 12 through all 5 tests. BTW, in those 22 tests he has taken 23 wickets, take that however you wish.

  • swarzi on December 16, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Let Mr Shane Warne know that we're watching the Ashes in the Caribbean, and we know which batsman holds the record for scoring the most runs in an over in test cricket, which George Bailey equaled this morning. The entire cricketing world knows it is the GREAT BRIAN LARA and not "THE AGGREGATES" TENDULKAR! So, Warne, not wanting to tell viewers who holds the world record this morning is not doing himself any good! It only explains the disdain that he has for Lara, who is second only to Ranatunga, as the player he hated most when he played! Those of us who can read and analyse more than him, fully understand that's the implication of what he wrote in his book! We also know Muralitheran was the better bowler - the records and actual performances on the field show so. Both he and Tendulkar were blue eye boys for the media; and thus, benefited from media hype - they were also great players. We know too, he's the one trying to sway consensus in favour of Tendulkar, in the Lara vs SRT debate

  • Meety on December 16, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    "Bailey hammered 28 from a single over by Anderson, equalling the record for the most runs scored in a Test over....." Well poor old RJ Petersen can say that as a spinner, somebody, somewhere was always going to cop 28 runs off an over from the great BC Lara - unfortunately it was he on the receiving end. The same could be said of the Turbanator being tonked for 27 runs by Shahid Afridi. What will Anderson say about going the journey for 28 runs by Bailey?????

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on December 16, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    I wondered if Cook was Harris' bunny but I think he might be his duck. Last Bat AN Cook b Harris 0 (1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00. So much for Cook having a field day hey Lunge, plenty of field days actually. Right now he can watch the action from the dressing room.

  • bobrandle22 on December 16, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Have said it before, but it's time to give Ali, Robson,Bairstow a ago , can't do any worse, may even challange Australia. cheers Bob

  • warnerbasher on December 16, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    NSW 7 centuries England 0

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on December 16, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    Yesterday we wondered if Australia could play any better and England any worse. Well on the evidence from today's first session the answer is yes to both. Anderson brought up another wicketless ton, Swann got smashed for 37 off 13 balls, Bell dropped a sitter, we were gifted a six by poor fielding on the boundary and Bailey equalled the most runs off a test over, thanks to Anderson. Further, Prior was sloppy, Bresnan induced some head scratching as to why he is on tour let alone in the side and the English captain, obviously creaking under now incalculable pressure decided he'd had enough the first ball he faced. I have this feeling we will see a lot more of this and even as an Aussie it is getting painful to watch England be humiliated, I can't think of any other word to describe it.

  • aiksa on December 16, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    It is all about mind over body. England have been mentally destroyed having lost the confidence and self-belief. Unless they sit down and decide that, no matter what, they will fight to the very end, they have no chance what-so-ever.

  • CrikiLeaks on December 16, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Outrageous session. Total domination that could not have been predicted by any sensible follower. Reputations are being made and destroyed in this series.

  • whensdrinks on December 16, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    I know England was shell shocked but for no-one to clap either his 50 or century is bad form. They look like bullies who have had it returned with interest and are now sooking bad temperedly.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 16, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    It is indeed a belting of biblical proportions.

    However,the English can use this comprehensive pounding they are receiving for their own good by having a hard look at the type of player they want for English cricket to become competitive - so we are not all bored to death watching a side that has given up.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 16, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    It is indeed a belting of biblical proportions.

    However,the English can use this comprehensive pounding they are receiving for their own good by having a hard look at the type of player they want for English cricket to become competitive - so we are not all bored to death watching a side that has given up.

  • whensdrinks on December 16, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    I know England was shell shocked but for no-one to clap either his 50 or century is bad form. They look like bullies who have had it returned with interest and are now sooking bad temperedly.

  • CrikiLeaks on December 16, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Outrageous session. Total domination that could not have been predicted by any sensible follower. Reputations are being made and destroyed in this series.

  • aiksa on December 16, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    It is all about mind over body. England have been mentally destroyed having lost the confidence and self-belief. Unless they sit down and decide that, no matter what, they will fight to the very end, they have no chance what-so-ever.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on December 16, 2013, 4:58 GMT

    Yesterday we wondered if Australia could play any better and England any worse. Well on the evidence from today's first session the answer is yes to both. Anderson brought up another wicketless ton, Swann got smashed for 37 off 13 balls, Bell dropped a sitter, we were gifted a six by poor fielding on the boundary and Bailey equalled the most runs off a test over, thanks to Anderson. Further, Prior was sloppy, Bresnan induced some head scratching as to why he is on tour let alone in the side and the English captain, obviously creaking under now incalculable pressure decided he'd had enough the first ball he faced. I have this feeling we will see a lot more of this and even as an Aussie it is getting painful to watch England be humiliated, I can't think of any other word to describe it.

  • warnerbasher on December 16, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    NSW 7 centuries England 0

  • bobrandle22 on December 16, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Have said it before, but it's time to give Ali, Robson,Bairstow a ago , can't do any worse, may even challange Australia. cheers Bob

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on December 16, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    I wondered if Cook was Harris' bunny but I think he might be his duck. Last Bat AN Cook b Harris 0 (1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00. So much for Cook having a field day hey Lunge, plenty of field days actually. Right now he can watch the action from the dressing room.

  • Meety on December 16, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    "Bailey hammered 28 from a single over by Anderson, equalling the record for the most runs scored in a Test over....." Well poor old RJ Petersen can say that as a spinner, somebody, somewhere was always going to cop 28 runs off an over from the great BC Lara - unfortunately it was he on the receiving end. The same could be said of the Turbanator being tonked for 27 runs by Shahid Afridi. What will Anderson say about going the journey for 28 runs by Bailey?????

  • swarzi on December 16, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    Let Mr Shane Warne know that we're watching the Ashes in the Caribbean, and we know which batsman holds the record for scoring the most runs in an over in test cricket, which George Bailey equaled this morning. The entire cricketing world knows it is the GREAT BRIAN LARA and not "THE AGGREGATES" TENDULKAR! So, Warne, not wanting to tell viewers who holds the world record this morning is not doing himself any good! It only explains the disdain that he has for Lara, who is second only to Ranatunga, as the player he hated most when he played! Those of us who can read and analyse more than him, fully understand that's the implication of what he wrote in his book! We also know Muralitheran was the better bowler - the records and actual performances on the field show so. Both he and Tendulkar were blue eye boys for the media; and thus, benefited from media hype - they were also great players. We know too, he's the one trying to sway consensus in favour of Tendulkar, in the Lara vs SRT debate