England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day August 2, 2013

Siddle strikes to cement Australia's control

136

England 52 for 2 (Cook 36*, Trott 2*, Siddle 2-7) trail Australia 527 for 7 declared (Clarke 187, Smith 89, Rogers 84, Starc 66*, Haddin 65*, Swann 5-159) by 475 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

So far, the Old Trafford Test is being played is if in a time capsule. Australia are ascendant, batting boldly and bowling with discipline and menace. England are constrained, left to toil in the field for hours before taking up a grim occupation of the crease with a draw quickly looming as their favoured outcome.

The results of the first two Tests of this Ashes series dictate that a stalemate is all the hosts require to keep the urn, but by stumps on day two they found themselves 52 for 2 in reply to 527 for 7 declared - the sort of hole once faced with regularity by preceding generations.

For a team who had lost six consecutive Test matches leading into this one, Australia have made a remarkably good fist of driving the game. The captain Michael Clarke soared to 187 before Brad Haddin and Mitchell Starc stretched England's resources with an impudent stand that stretched 15 minutes past tea.

Once Clarke closed the innings, Nathan Lyon produced an energetic first spin spell of the series before Peter Siddle took advantage of England's defensive mindset by winkling out Joe Root and the nightwatchman Tim Bresnan, who appeared to defer to the batting class system in declining to review a caught behind decision by Marais Erasmus that appeared mistaken. Specialist batsman or not, it is one wicket less for Australia to claim over the remaining three days.

England's predicament was largely down to Clarke, who compiled both his most substantial innings against England and his highest Test tally overseas. Steve Smith provided sturdy support until he threw his hand away on 89. Clarke's exit had granted Stuart Broad a long-delayed 200th wicket in Tests, but Haddin and Starc followed up with near impunity on another sun-drenched afternoon.

Root and his captain Alastair Cook walked out with stodgy intentions that became quickly apparent. Starc swung the new ball but it was the introduction of Lyon that caused the most trouble, also leaving many to wonder how he had been omitted for Ashton Agar earlier in the series. In his first over Cook snicked a sharp off break that rebounded off Haddin's pad, but a wrong-footed Clarke was unable to propel himself forward to take it. Lyon finished the day wicketless, but his loop and spin had created considerable doubt in English minds.

Siddle's entry to the attack was delayed while Ryan Harris and Shane Watson were tried, but he quickly made an impact, moving one away from wide on the crease to confound Root and then coaxing a false stroke - if perhaps not an edge - from Bresnan. In the day's final over Jonathan Trott edged fractionally short of the slips, leaving plenty of positive thoughts in Australian minds.

Early morning showers had given way to blue skies by the time the teams walked to the middle, Clarke and Smith seeming to set themselves for a long stay as they negotiated the second new ball. Milestones came and went, the highest fourth wicket stand in an Old Trafford Test then the 200 partnership, leaving Cook looking somewhat bereft of ideas.

He resorted to Graeme Swann's offspin soon after mid-morning drinks, and the temptation of the slower, spinning ball proved too much for Smith, who aimed a heave towards midwicket but managed only to send a skier into the hands of Jonny Bairstow. This was profligate by Smith, who had shown so much patience to this point, but England will argue that it was in fact the fourth time in the innings they had dismissed him.

David Warner thus walked to the wicket with Australia in decent fettle, accompanied by the inevitable boos following his earlier attack on Root in Birmingham during the Champions Trophy. Clarke was by this time in flowing form, treating Tim Bresnan in particular with rare disdain as he crested 150. But Warner's was a brief and skittish stay, one firm push to the cover boundary undone when he snicked Swann's offbreak to slip via Matt Prior's pad.

Unable to tell he had hit the ball having simultaneously thudded bat against pad, Warner sought advice from Clarke, who surprisingly assented to the review. Replays revealed the thickness of the edge, sending Warner off to even louder departing boos than those to have greeted him. On the Old Trafford balcony, the rest of Australia's players and coaches were less than enchanted with events.

Haddin watched all this then marched to the middle, quickly reasserting his side's strong position with a trio of lofted boundaries that conveyed both the true nature of the pitch and Australian desire to mount their tally in a timely fashion. Like Clarke to Swann at short cover earlier in the session, Haddin did offer one exceptionally difficult chance with an inside edge through to Prior, but the catch went down as England pondered how many they might be chasing.

Ultimately Clarke fell into a pattern of running singles down to third man, and in attempting to do this to a Broad delivery that cut back he succeeded only in nudging the ball onto the stumps. Siddle had a lusty swing at Swann and missed, but Starc had rather more success as Haddin accumulated ably.

Nine boundaries were coshed from the bat of Starc, and his stand with Haddin was worth a rapidfire 77 by the time the bails were tipped off for tea. It had become 97 by the time Clarke gestured his men in, leaving England with a vexing task ahead to ensure the retention of the Ashes.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • pat_one_back on August 3, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Plenty of cricket left in this test, finally we get see how strong this Eng batting line up really is!!! A modest 2 sticks in the first session and the heat will really be on. Aussie bowlers will certainly enjoy having some runs behind them for a change and the return of Lyon really gives Clarke some great opportunity to bowl Harris in short sharp spells or hide Starc if he can't hold line & length. Watson will want overs, it's inly his bowling that's keeping him in the team now. Rogers & Hughes has a nice ring to it, time Watson dropped down or out.

  • Nampally on August 2, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Brilliant late heroics by Starc enabled Australia to declare their innings at 527 for 7. When Clarke got out at 427 followed by Suddle at 430, it looked certain that the Australian innings will not reach 450. But Starc & Haddin had different ideas & added 97 runs between them to bring the Aussie total to 500+ for the first time after so many Ashes Tests. Starc had a S/R of 92- similar to what Agar did in the first test. Clarke played a patient sheet anchor along with Smith. It was great to see Clarke regain his form & contribute a big innings after so many failures - hampered by bad back. The Aussies seem to have a bad luck in 80's. Rogers 84, Smith 89 & Clarke 187. If the Australians can salvage a win, this Ashes series will suddenly get exciting. But England are unlikely to fold as shown by determined Cook 36* with S/R in 30's. It is a sporting wkt. with equal chances to bowlers & batsmen. Cook, Trott, Bell & KP are not likely to fold easily. So it is Game ON! Good luck Guys.

  • on August 2, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    All England have to do is believe they can get around 500 on this pitch first time around. The County Game played beforehand between Lancs and Glamorgan when something like Glamorgan 470, Lancs 570, Glamorgan 120-5, drawn game in four days. If England bat out two days, whether that leads to a slim deficit or a slim lead on first innings, that should be enough to end Australia's ashes campaign. If there's any weather around during the game, given England remain vigilant, but not too stoic in defence, that'll only hurt Australia more. It's clear Australia want to bowl England out twice, that's the only way they'll win this Test and remain in the series. All results are possible though. Day 3 will be crucial.

  • on August 3, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Willow tv in USA showing India vs Zim who wants to watch them. They should show Aus vs Eng.

  • iwatcheditwhenwewasrubbish on August 3, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Never understood the logic of using a nightwatchman, why should a tailender be expected to do something a specialist batsmen should be able to do much better than the bowlers?

    Anyone know when did this malarky all start?

  • on August 3, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    While I believe England are probably a superior side to Australia, I cannot help but wonder if Australia aren't in with a show here. Just watching England bat, there is a sameness about how they approach each innings with the bat. They just seem happy to cruise along at one and a half to two runs an over, whether the pitch is a belter or whether it's a minefield, they do not seem to have the ability or desire to alter the tempo of the game and this could play into Australia's hands in this test and in future matches.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 3, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    O.K. guys (Tricstar and Optic in particular): here's a chance for KP to prove himself. England need him to perform and contribute in this game - let's see if my moaning about him previously was justified or not...

  • on August 3, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Clarke played like a true leader and led team to safety of not losing .Anderson was so hyped before the match as best bowler in the world and he proved why he is a mediocre bowler when conditions and pitch dont favour seem or swing.he is nowhere near steyn and Philander in bowling over every surface .Anderson needs to learn to bowl on placid tracks as well if he has to etch his name books, otherwise he will be forgotten like so many before him.swann also leaked 150 runs when there is so much turn in the pitch.hoping that kp and prior bale England out, yet again.

  • JG2704 on August 3, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    @JonoM - I was hearing about the forecast for Sunday/Monday. Today was supposed to be good but heard Sun/Mon not so great. If Eng don't avoid the follow on Clarke def needs to enforce it

  • on August 3, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Two results are possible here an England win or a draw. This Australia team are a one-trick pony. England will post 650 plus, and Australia will collapse , yet again.

  • pat_one_back on August 3, 2013, 4:13 GMT

    Plenty of cricket left in this test, finally we get see how strong this Eng batting line up really is!!! A modest 2 sticks in the first session and the heat will really be on. Aussie bowlers will certainly enjoy having some runs behind them for a change and the return of Lyon really gives Clarke some great opportunity to bowl Harris in short sharp spells or hide Starc if he can't hold line & length. Watson will want overs, it's inly his bowling that's keeping him in the team now. Rogers & Hughes has a nice ring to it, time Watson dropped down or out.

  • Nampally on August 2, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Brilliant late heroics by Starc enabled Australia to declare their innings at 527 for 7. When Clarke got out at 427 followed by Suddle at 430, it looked certain that the Australian innings will not reach 450. But Starc & Haddin had different ideas & added 97 runs between them to bring the Aussie total to 500+ for the first time after so many Ashes Tests. Starc had a S/R of 92- similar to what Agar did in the first test. Clarke played a patient sheet anchor along with Smith. It was great to see Clarke regain his form & contribute a big innings after so many failures - hampered by bad back. The Aussies seem to have a bad luck in 80's. Rogers 84, Smith 89 & Clarke 187. If the Australians can salvage a win, this Ashes series will suddenly get exciting. But England are unlikely to fold as shown by determined Cook 36* with S/R in 30's. It is a sporting wkt. with equal chances to bowlers & batsmen. Cook, Trott, Bell & KP are not likely to fold easily. So it is Game ON! Good luck Guys.

  • on August 2, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    All England have to do is believe they can get around 500 on this pitch first time around. The County Game played beforehand between Lancs and Glamorgan when something like Glamorgan 470, Lancs 570, Glamorgan 120-5, drawn game in four days. If England bat out two days, whether that leads to a slim deficit or a slim lead on first innings, that should be enough to end Australia's ashes campaign. If there's any weather around during the game, given England remain vigilant, but not too stoic in defence, that'll only hurt Australia more. It's clear Australia want to bowl England out twice, that's the only way they'll win this Test and remain in the series. All results are possible though. Day 3 will be crucial.

  • on August 3, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Willow tv in USA showing India vs Zim who wants to watch them. They should show Aus vs Eng.

  • iwatcheditwhenwewasrubbish on August 3, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Never understood the logic of using a nightwatchman, why should a tailender be expected to do something a specialist batsmen should be able to do much better than the bowlers?

    Anyone know when did this malarky all start?

  • on August 3, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    While I believe England are probably a superior side to Australia, I cannot help but wonder if Australia aren't in with a show here. Just watching England bat, there is a sameness about how they approach each innings with the bat. They just seem happy to cruise along at one and a half to two runs an over, whether the pitch is a belter or whether it's a minefield, they do not seem to have the ability or desire to alter the tempo of the game and this could play into Australia's hands in this test and in future matches.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 3, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    O.K. guys (Tricstar and Optic in particular): here's a chance for KP to prove himself. England need him to perform and contribute in this game - let's see if my moaning about him previously was justified or not...

  • on August 3, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Clarke played like a true leader and led team to safety of not losing .Anderson was so hyped before the match as best bowler in the world and he proved why he is a mediocre bowler when conditions and pitch dont favour seem or swing.he is nowhere near steyn and Philander in bowling over every surface .Anderson needs to learn to bowl on placid tracks as well if he has to etch his name books, otherwise he will be forgotten like so many before him.swann also leaked 150 runs when there is so much turn in the pitch.hoping that kp and prior bale England out, yet again.

  • JG2704 on August 3, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    @JonoM - I was hearing about the forecast for Sunday/Monday. Today was supposed to be good but heard Sun/Mon not so great. If Eng don't avoid the follow on Clarke def needs to enforce it

  • on August 3, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Two results are possible here an England win or a draw. This Australia team are a one-trick pony. England will post 650 plus, and Australia will collapse , yet again.

  • DylanBrah on August 3, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    To those saying Maddinson isn't ready for another 2 seasons.. who do we call up then? Rob Quiney? Aaron Finch? Shaun Marsh? Callum Ferguson? Peter Forrest? The reality is we don't have the luxury of calling up guys with 10 years FC experience who can come straight into the side and average 45-50 anymore. Maddinson is worth a chance. His strike rate has gone from about 55 to 64 this Aus A tour, which tells me he is playing his natural attacking game, and is scoring runs when all others are falling around him. He has improved. He is a confident kid and won't fail under pressure. He'll back himself.

  • Dark.Matter on August 3, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    As a neutral observer, it seems like there is a 100% chance of Australia's win. There will be too much for the England to compete with, and mind you, the pitch is not a batting road either. So, there will be a lead for Aussies to help them in the final day IC the test match, when the ball would seam and turn. Aussies always have good seamers in their rank.

  • on August 3, 2013, 8:08 GMT

    like I've said before watson needs a year in shield to learn how ro score first class runs sgain before coming back into the test team. in a junior development game years ago david hookes told me to stop trying to hit boundaries and to turn the strike over. I ended up playing longer innings and scoring more runs. best advice I was ever given and made me a better club cricketer. watson should take the same advice and relearn batting in tge shield open with hughes he's an opener.

  • on August 3, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @JG2704, Just checking out the forecast they are putting it at a 20% chance of showers this morning with sunshine later on, tops of 21 and some decent humidity, sounds pretty good for bowling to me with a chance to make up time this evening if anything is lost. Pup couldn't want for anything more!

  • lankymanky on August 3, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    How can you say England should not have wasted the review for Tim Bresnan? 1. he missed it by 2 inches , the noise was later and therefore should have been overturned, 99% of the time at worst. IF England have that little faith in the DRS system, maybe they should take India's viewpoint and not use it at all!! 2. this number 8 has been doing just as good as the 1,3,4 and 7 so far in this series. 3. England seam to show time and again how Bresnan is dispensable, time and again despite his performances with both bat and ball beating those of supposed better quality whereas Clarke trusted Warner despite knowing he was wrong, Cook was selfish in not allowing Bresnan to appeal and should have said if you didn't hit it, review it. not "oooh don't take the risk, even if you didn't hit it I want to make sure I have a review left" Shocking leadership skills!

  • calcu on August 3, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    If AUS dosen't win the match from here, it will be a heartbreak.

  • DrDamo on August 3, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    mmm it seems none of my comments on various articles during the lunch break yesterday did not make it through the filter. So hopefully I can remember what I wrote. I a few to many memory boosting stouts last night. Yes that is right. I will paraphrase, "It is time to go Watson, Warner and Hughes (not really sure why he was dropped from this match, it was not like Warner's century on a run feast of a pitch showed anything to warrant reselection)". From the stats from shield cricket over the last few years the question has to be asked why some batsman have not been given a shot. I say it is a good thing Clarke is not involved in selection anymore example Katich saga, but we have a number of openers waiting in the wings, Cosgrove, Doolan, Maddinson, Marsh etc. Also said it before the Indian series Ferguson should be in the side, he is one of the best batsman currently in Australia that uses his feet against spin. O'Keefe or Hauritz should be Australia's spinner.

  • GiantScrub on August 3, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    I think it will be very difficult for England to post up a similar score, or at least they'll have to bat very differently to Clarke. Clarke left a lot of deliveries over the top of off purely on length. In Siddle's spell, the ball was starting to skid through and Haddin took several on the bounce, so England will probably have to play at everything. KP is the most likely candidate to do that well, so I think he will have to step up now after a couple of rather average tests.

  • JG2704 on August 3, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @ Dayafter Yesterdayon (August 3, 2013, 4:49 GMT) Australia have to win the test to stand any chance of winning the series and there's rain predicted for Sunday and Monday. Given Eng's conservative approach (which will be even more so being so far behind) I don't see ANY possible way for an Eng win. I'd say Clarke still has to be able to enforce the follow on to win. Definitely not declaring too early

    @ Shaggy076 on (August 3, 2013, 2:36 GMT) You're spot on re the declaration

  • JG2704 on August 3, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    @ FlashAsh on (August 2, 2013, 23:11 GMT) Draw possibly looks most likely due to weather but it could still be a momentum swinger. Aus are highly unlikely to regain the Ashes this time round but a tied series or even losing by a solitary test , after the 2nd test would be a boost for them in the treturn leg

    @ thebrotherswaugh on (August 3, 2013, 4:10 GMT) Can't see any way Eng will win this game if the weather happens as predicted. I'd say draw would be the favourite and Aus HAVE TO be able to make Eng follow on to win the test. I hope for your sake that if Aus have the chance to make Eng follow on Clarke does so. You can't mess around with the Modern Way when there's weather about. PS sorry but I agree that Cook is at best an average captain. In fact I think he's just Flower's robot alot of the time

  • on August 3, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    @Chris_P, all of what you say about Maddinson is true, but since when did players not being ready dissuade our selection process? Warner, Cummins, Starc, Agar, Lyon and others have all made debuts with a third of Maddinsons experience! Not to say that they were always right, but it would not be unprecedented.

    @Humdrum, quite right, the world is watching and awaiting the English firestorm!

    Another big p'ship coming from the Aussie tail too! But it's not like that is going to keep happening, they are just bowlers afterall, guess Starcy fluked another fifty, tut tut, easy up old son!

  • JG2704 on August 3, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Please publish this time - there is nothing of offence to anyone below

    @Arrow011 on (August 2, 2013, 13:00 GMT) Kerrigan should have probably got the nod before Monty if they selected 2 spinners

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (August 2, 2013, 13:13 GMT) I'm not sure. TBH , I was not against not enforcing the follow on in the last game where the weather was guaranteed and the pitch was likely to deteriorate as it gave our bowlers a rest and probably took alot out of the Aus bowlers. Vs NZ , I still maintain that it was a terrible decision with weather around and if NZ had been anything better than pathetic Cook would have been made to look silly which is what he deserved I reckon Clarke will definitely not be arrogant enough to ignore the weather forecast

    @Pyketts on (August 2, 2013, 19:03 GMT) To me he's just another of Flower's finger puppets PS you didn't answer me on the snail's maximum the other evening?

  • VivGilchrist on August 3, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    @sailboatmike, "Clarkes conservative captaincy", are you serious? How can so many people on this forum know so little about the game?

  • on August 3, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    @Mervo, thats right, but Invers and co. are right to look around for better bowlers than Johnson. Broad is decent but nothing more, if you want to be no.1 you need better seamers than Broad and Bresnan, both averaging 31+, backing up your main man. Just look at the difference Philander has made to the SA attack bowling in support of Steyn and Morkel. I don't think there can be too much debate that Harris and Siddle are our best right now and I think the selectors are right to be bringing along the likes of Bird, Patto and Starc rather than persisting with Johnson.

    @Landl47, nice line on Bressie Lad, love it!

    @Dunger.Bob, you've nailed it, we won't be enforcing any follow ons here. England will probably notch up quite a good score, we'll be going back out to give our bowlers a rest and put the match out of reach. To enforce a follow on, even if the opportunity did arise, would be plain stupid.

  • milepost on August 3, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    So many armchair experts here! Great batting performance, great declaration and fantastic bowling by Australia. The Aussies are all over England and this pitch has a little something for everyone. Yes we all rue the poor umpiring bur Bresnan's was not a howler and he could have reviewed it. C'mon Australia let's give the spectators some value for money!

  • VivGilchrist on August 3, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    @Virag, it was 5 years ago.....let it go. How is this Ashes series about India anyway?

  • on August 3, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Wow, after all this talk about Anderdon being the top of his game, he could not even grt a single wicket. Can Smith and Clarke himself provide support to Lyon to force 20 wickets? Today is crucisl for both the teams. A lot depends on how the spinners boel in these conditions. From Clarkes perspective, if things go to plan, he has Smith, Warner and himself to support Lyon. Hope he has learnt something from Dhoni on how to place confidence in your part timers and try to force a win.

  • on August 3, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Certainly Australia's day again. Three or four really big innings required by England's batsmen to just think of parity. I think we might be quietly satisfied if we bat long and are about 100 behind on first innings. Might make the Test very interesting.

  • spot_on on August 3, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    527 on the board.. Clarkey, give a couple more catchers around the bat for Lyon. You can choose to attack, mate. It's all about what you prefer. Make Smyth bowl some rippers and have 5 men around the bat. Let us see if Poms can see through a spell of 16 overs from both these men. ;)

  • Mervo on August 3, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Interesting that Broad has finally reached 200 wickets. he has almost caught up to Mitchell Johnson in runs and wickets, yet Johnson can't get a game for Australia, although he is the fastest we have and with his new action very accurate. Funny game.

  • on August 3, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    The unpredictability and poor use of DRS has transformed DRS into a luck factor, Eng reviewed marginal calls twice (how can a team judge if a batsman is totally or marginally out enough to review or not in 15 secs !!!) and lost and were unable to challenge 3 wrong calls against Smith, Bresnan chose caution and got a wrong decision, so the science has devolved into a luck factor, this time it has gone Aus's way, last two tests it was Eng. This is the fifth time that Australia has a clear upper hand in this series, the last four times England got away from 215 all out, 11 -2 in the first test and 30 -3 twice in the second test.It remains to be seen if Aus can push it through. DRS has also upset the umpires a bit, in the pre DRS era altelast one of the the 3 Smith decisions would have been given. Now it seems the umpires are recalibrating their decision making on a decision to decision basis thereby moving away from their core individual decision making framework that got them there.

  • on August 3, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    It was a shocking declaration by Clarke. The declaration came when Starc and Haddin were going great guns and 3 runs short of 100 partnership. 600 would be a safe score. This test reminds me of Adelaide 2006.

  • landl47 on August 3, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    @Viraq Sharma: and yet India are the one country opposing the system that would have corrected at least some of the errors you are complaining about. It appears the BCCI want such errors to continue. Very strange.

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 3, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    I think I speak for everyone when I say its good australia finally had a good day so we can have a whinge-free day for once.

    England are one big rain cloud away from yet another sweet, sweet ashes success. 3 in a row I make it, yea?

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 3, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    Bresnan is the most honest bloke in either side. He didn't hit the ball, wasn't sure either way, and chose to stick with the umpire's decision. It looked out to the naked eye, but it clearly wasn't. Doesn't surprise me from what I've seen of Bresnan in the media - he did an excellent interview at the end of day 1 and appears to be a real character. Honest, forthright, and doesn't just follow the script. @ThyrSaadam - I strongly disagree that Cook is an average captain. He mild-mannered and a touch conservative, but he is a very good captain, and you can't blame him for playing in a winning side. There's never been a captain who would prefer to play in a struggling side, has there? Cook is a great batsman and a thoughtful captain. He handles Swann particularly well and managed a come-from-behind series win in IND (something that only Gilchrist could achieve for OZ during our era of dominance). The players also respect him and respond well to him.

  • cccrider on August 3, 2013, 4:08 GMT

    Clarke should have got 50 more runs before declaring. 50 runs now are worth at least 150 in a 4th innings. Hope it doesn't bite us.

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 3, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    This test is not an inevitable draw, OZ can definitely win from here, and so can ENG. I've said in earlier posts that I thought Cook would get a hundred, and I reckon KP will flick the excitement switch and bat in a dominant fashion (he always does this at some stage of an Ashes series). Then you have Bell and the attacking Prior. But OZ might be able to bowl ENG out more cheaply and have a 200+ run lead with a lot of luck. If ENG get near the OZ total, we are notorious for getting bundled out cheaply in the 2nd innings, and Clarke's average is something like 1/2 his career average in the 2nd innings (I don't know the exact figure). The ENG could conceivably claim a famous victory (like AUS in Adelaide or Botham's test). This match is not yet dead & buried, destined for a draw. OZ currently in the box seat, but anything can happen from here, and that's the most alluring and entertaining aspect of test match cricket. Give me a drawn test match any day over yet another slog-fest/T20.

  • on August 3, 2013, 3:46 GMT

    I do not want to bring the famous Sydney Test (India vs Australia in 2008) but I see a lot of comments here stating that DRS or no DRS, there were some very poor decisions given by the on field umpires (like Khwaja's or Bresnan's) who apparently belong to ICC's elite panel of umpires. So do people understand now why the Indians felt so aggrieved when Steve Bucknor (in particular) got so many wrong in one test? He was afterall a member of the elite panel and considered to be one of the very best in those days.

  • heathrf1974 on August 3, 2013, 3:32 GMT

    The Aussies are in a good position, but England have plenty of batting to come. Lyon got some good turn which was encouraging. After seeing Warner's referral as bizarre that was topped by Bresnan's non-referral. Siddle's bowling was outstanding.

  • realfan on August 3, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    so the MOST SKILLFUL BOWLER went wicketless after bowling 33 overs in his own country.... hmmm thats some SKILL he has got

  • on August 3, 2013, 3:05 GMT

    Go out there Australia and win this series. This coming from an Indian. England has shown 10 times Australia's old arrogance without achieving a 10th as much. What happened to England's "10 year dominance"?

  • Int.Curator on August 3, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    The first test was so close Australia were beaten by some average cricket by both teams and poor umpiring decisions. The second test Australia threw their wickets away. The third test England are already playing for a draw. England are inept to playing creative and expansive cricket to win matches. Australia will try to figure out how to get a win from even the most difficult position. The English approach to cricket limits their ability to win series comprehensively. They will remain good competitors but will always lack greatness with the current mindset.

  • Shaggy076 on August 3, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    As an Aussie fan I agree with Stuartk319 Bresnan was the pick of the England paceman and was quite unlucky. These innings occur at times but Bresnan can hold his head high.

  • Shaggy076 on August 3, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Salazar; Not sure what your expecting but if England bat for a day and half they will still be behind. Say average 100 runs a session which is a massive stretch at there current scoring rate they will still be behind in 4 1/2 sessions. I cant see England winning from here and there batting in this session suggested they cant see a win from here and are playing for the draw.

  • Shaggy076 on August 3, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    I think some people are getting a bit carried away with Maddinson, he appears to be in great form for AUstralia A at the moment but his NSW form for a couple of seasons has been pretty average. If he comes out and scores some tons early in the shield season I would certainly consider him for selection in the home series.

  • Shaggy076 on August 3, 2013, 2:39 GMT

    Pyketts; If you had said at this stage of Steve Waugh's career that he would end up as a legend retiring with an average over 50 you would have said the same thing your saying about Smith now. Steve Waugh had massive limitations too. Jason Bray has only said he could follow this path not declared that he will - barely an outrageous statement. Steve Waugh had limitations in his game to the end but knew his game so well, I see a bit of Smith in that.

  • Shaggy076 on August 3, 2013, 2:36 GMT

    I've got no issue with the declaration, Australia have always played agressive cricket. you make 527 losing should never cross your mind and if you lose time for rain throughout the remainder of the test your better of declaring earlier rather than later. Cant believe people have issue with this being an early declaration.

  • Shaggy076 on August 3, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    David Allen; I disagree with your reasons behind umpires call. It is because the DRS is a predictive path and that when it comes to being close its the umpires call. If a ball is predicted to clip leg stump it doesnt mean it was definetely going to hit thus they stick with the umpires call.

  • jmcilhinney on August 3, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    I don't think even the most optimistic England fan realistically expected Michael Clarke to go through this whole series without notching a few good scores. The fact that he got assistance from several of his colleagues means that it won't be completely wasted, with defeat for Australia pretty much out of the question now. Winning the game is another matter and far from guaranteed even if they do outplay England from here. The forecast says rain throughout the day for Saturday and Monday and a thunderstorm on Sunday. Other than the storm, it should be light rain but it's hard to see at least some play not being lost. Regardless, England should still consider themselves far from out of the game on this surface though. Scoreboard pressure can do funny things but they're more than capable of racking up at least 400 to make the draw fairly safe. That said, this would be a good time for Cook to emulate Clarke and refind his form with a big innings, for this game and the rest of the series.

  • humdrum on August 3, 2013, 1:55 GMT

    When was the last time Aus made in excess of 525 in 1st inns and lost? Answer is to India in Adelaide in 2003-04 series.So, if England want to live up to the 5-0 hype, nothing prevents them from matching India's achievement, seeing this aussie team is not a patch on the earlier one. Plus, it would be truly the stuff of champions, which the English believe they are. The famous British grit should be on ample display in the coming days.So come on ladies,the world is watching you.

  • sailboatmike on August 3, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    Im thinking Clarkemay of batted too long, whilst its great to put up a large first innings total, remember that Australia has to WIN the game to remain in the hunt for the ashes, a less conservative declaration may of been better as rain is forecast for later in the game, so the game could well be shortened, with only 9 wickets having fallen for the first two days,

    Australia have to get another 18 English wickets in 3 days less any time that may be lost for weather, and thats if England dont make the follow on and Australia dont enforce it

    Given Clarkes' conservative captaincy it would be almost certain he will choose to bat again and not enforce the follow on, rather than risk being skittled out by Swan and Co on a last day turner chasing 120 runs

  • Ms.Cricket on August 3, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    How is Root's innings better than Compton's innings against NZ earlier this summer that unfortunately got him the sack?

  • on August 3, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    Great batting from Clarke and good support from some of the others. This is the type of contest the Aussie fans want. Probably too late in the series to actually get the urn back but if the boys keep improving in England it should set them in good stead for the five tests at home.

  • dunger.bob on August 3, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    @ Saba Saeed Sheikh: An amazing set of coincidences and a lovely, romantic notion. ..The only problem is there is one massive, massive difference. Apart from the 1936 series being played in Australia, the Aussies had the services of a tiny little bloke by the name of Bradman. .. people reckon he could bat a bit.

    He started the series poorly but came back into form in the 3rd Test. He ended up with 860 or so runs at a mere 90 ave. His return to form included a brilliant 2nd innings double ton which is a rarity in itself. I can't remember one since Laxman, though there may have been of course.

    I know this is a matter of debate, but for me, there is only one man right at the top of the pile. .. I believe he is the greatest batsman the game has seen, bar none.

    Clarke is pretty good, but he's not Bradman. ..

  • on August 3, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    Two on field umpires and THREE off field umpires Vidyaranya? What is the guarantee the five men will give the right decision when three are struggling. Simple, go by hot spot. Not by any sound. Then, at least four of the howlers in the series may have been avoided.

  • Chris_P on August 3, 2013, 1:11 GMT

    @ DirkWobbles. I have nothing against Maddinson, don't forget I am a NSW supporter, but you asked why I don't want him rushed? First of all, when all players are available he doesn't get selected for the Blues. Secondly, take a look at last season's fc record. He averaged in the 30's. I am not an advocate of selecting players based on the success of 2 or 3 games but only after a season of sustained form. Thirdly, I have watched him plenty of times, he is not ready. when has played out a long innings to save a game? When has he delivered a win in a pressure situation? Name one innings scored against a top notch attack? These are accumulated with experience & he is lacking that, let him acquire the skills for him to succeed at the highest level. Watson aside, all other batsmen ahead of him in the touring squad have performed better than he has in fc recently, the only basis for selection criteria IMHO.

  • on August 3, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    Australia have shown that they can bat. Good. But why declare when you can go on to score 600+. England would look to grind out this innings with slow batting and use up two full days before bowling Australia out on a deteriorating pitch. After all their batsmen are due for a big score. Clarke is still the first centurion for Australia in this tour. This match sounds like Adelaide 2006 all over again. Englands best chance could be a draw and that's what they need to retain the Ashes. Unusual to see Anderson go wicketless but it could be a hard toil for Australian bowlers as well. This is a batsmens paradise there is still plenty of runs in it.

  • kanga733 on August 3, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    well done Aussies on a great two days Test cricket. When was the last time that 4 English bowlers got centuries in one innings? Anderson the 'destroyer' ) 0for 100+ must have pleased the Aussie batsmen. Brilliant by Clarke, but great to see Haddin and Starc get solid runs and both 'nots'. Keep the pressure up lads! Don't thin k the Poms can win from here, but can we win??

  • dunger.bob on August 3, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Two days of decent Aussie cricket. Whatever will they think of next!! .. one of our problems lately has been our inability to follow up a good session with another one. There always seems to be a session or two where we fumble catches, run ourselves out, lose a clatter of wickets and just generally mess things up. .. Nothing like that so far, but as a long suffering fan, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop. .. Hopefully it won't happen this Test but we do have an enormous capacity to screw things up it seems..

    The pitch looks to be slowing down considerably to me. .. most of the carry is gone and the bounce is starting to vary. I wouldn't be surprised if we see the odd shooter coming out of those patches of mange. .. If that trend continues, there is no way in hell Clarke should enforce the follow on if he get's the chance. Forcing his team to bat last on this pitch will be suicide I reckon.

    @ those who say Clarke shouldn't have declared. That's the aussie way. Nail it in

  • jmcilhinney on August 3, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    After Khawaja's shocker, it seems the tide of luck has turned. Such is life though. I didn't see the last session again but, again, England bowled relatively well without a great deal of luck but Australia batted very well and continued to score fairly freely. I was relieved to see that one of the wickets England lost was the night watchman but, as we saw last game, Bresnan can stick around and he can score. He'll rue not reviewing his dismissal but hopefully what we've seen lately has put to bed the myth that a batsman always knows whether or not he's hit the ball. If Root had been caught early in his big innings at Lords then his record would be looking very poor indeed. I think that his dismissal is an example of what scoreboard pressure can do. It's hard to be positive when time is more important than runs. Not that runs aren't important as they have to avoid the follow-on first. If they can do that then the smart money is on a draw with the threat of rain still looming.

  • Orsoncarte on August 3, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    @salazar555 - i have some sympathy for Bresnan, because he didn't hit the ball. Perhaps the failure to review was linked to Khawaja's unsuccessful review in the Australian innings. It is the umpires being given the benefit of the doubt and not the batsmen. Players on both sides have lost any confidence in DRS.

  • Prized-Ass on August 2, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    Why are we using Technology when for 1 it`s not being used properly It should be taken out of the player`s hands & left with the Umpires Because for GOD SAKE they need all the HELP they can get & even then they struggle to use common sense to get the right decision . Just to think they are meant to be the ELITE umpires of our game And don`t know how they can`t say it won`t or does`nt affect the result of a match . Scrap the NEUTRAL UMPIRE SYSTEM Bring back 1 Umpire to stand from each company And just to think this Test is far from OVER - for these 2 Umpires , so god knows what else is going to happen & I should have said the 3 ( 3rd Ump)

  • dpool on August 2, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    @salazar555: I disagree...it can't be that bad a decision if the batsman himself wasn't sure if he'd hit it or not, and there was certainly a noise. If he clearly hadn't hit it, I'm sure he'd have reviewed it, but even his skipper at the other end wasn't sure enough to have it reviewed. An incorrect decision for sure, but certainly not a howler.

  • FlashAsh on August 2, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    WHOOAA!! Lets get things in perspective (As A Flower im sure has done!!) ENG only have to draw one of the next three (including this one!) Tests to retain the ASHES!!

    Thats is all we need?? In the process ENG will break Harris (probably on Sunday morning?) Pattinson may be ready for the return in OZ, So that leaves Starc etc, to be broken in next two tests??

    Don't know why all the hype as only people underestimating Aussies are the media!!

    Anyway, Go ENG but I think weather may for once be ENG's saviour and deliver ASHES on monday!

  • on August 2, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    About even, I would say.

  • Bonehead_maz on August 2, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    It certainly looks like Australia can create chances here. I wonder if (hope) we can take them all in the first session tomorrow. Nick's bouncing off keepers pads, run out chances, standing closer at 2nd slip etc....... just a few half chances away from 2-1.

  • on August 2, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    Australia will win this match. Shane Watsons career is over. Ed Cowan comes in to open with Rogers. Phil Hughes played at 3 against Sri Lanka and India, now Khawaja's in the side and Hughes is out? Nonsense.

    Australia are going to go into the fourth test with a side that is very near it's best team and gaining momentum. Come on Aussies!

  • FieryFerg on August 2, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    These two days certainly show up the flaws in Akram's argument about Anderson. He might have more 'skills' than Steyn but the job is to take wickets and there's a reason Steyn's average is 7 runs lower. At least it makes him a lot less gobby - is he the bowling equivalent of Hick and the 'flat track bully'? Anderson's average is no better than Caddick's and inferior to Gough and Fraser, none of whom got lauded the way he does. It's also inferior to the derided 'workhorse' Siddle who continually proves he's a lot better than the English press credit him.

  • landl47 on August 2, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    An even more dominant day for Australia than day 1. Apart from a brief comedy interlude, when Smith hit one straight up in the air and Warner proved he had no idea what to do coming in at #6 against Swann, Aus wore the pants all day. Haddin should have been caught early, but Matt Prior, who is quietly having a horrendous series with both bat and gloves but everyone likes him so no-one says anything, put the chance down and Brad and Starc added almost 100.

    When England batted the pitch suddenly seemed not so friendly. Cook and Root worked hard, but couldn't get going. Lyon bowled well, even though he looks like an unmade bed, and made the decision to omit him for Agar seem even more curious. The stalwart Peter Siddle, for some reason relegated to 4th change, found a good one for Root and Bresnan, like any good Yorkshireman, hated being hit in the pocket so much that he walked off.

    England has it all to do tomorrow to save this game. The win looks out of sight.

  • on August 2, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Hahaha England are so used to getting wickets caught behind when a batsman doesn't hit it they whine when they don't get one in the same circumstance. Smith survived ONE chance (the LBW they couldn't refer) and Prior dropped a sitter. England don't look as good without a bunch of umpiring mistakes in their favour

  • on August 2, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    Not much to choose between the sides. Winning the toss is an important factor. Had Aus won the toss at Lords the result may have been different.

  • Moutarde on August 2, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    There doesn't seem to be many Aussies complaining about Bresnan's decision.

  • lesamourai on August 2, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    @salazar555. How is that a poor decision to give Bresnan out? Everyone on the field, including apparently Bresnan himself, thought that was out. Cook at the other end thought it was out. All the commentators thought it was out until they saw the side on slow motion replay with snicko. It was an understandable decision that should have been able to be overturned by DRS. But maybe after seeing Khawaja's failed review Bresnan didn't have much hope of receiving better treatment?

  • on August 2, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    Finally.......... AUS come back in the game

  • JG2704 on August 2, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    Another great day for Australia - so well played again.

    England have to bat well , even if the pitch is good as there is still going to be the scoreboard pressure. The one good thing is that we are only 1 batsman down with good form players in Bell and Trott and players who are due an inns in Cook and KP still around

  • Lmaotsetung on August 2, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    Adelaide 2006 here we come........but on a more serious note, another shocker from Erasmus...surprise...surprise!

  • stuartk319 on August 2, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    @hhillbumper; are you watching the same match I am? Bresnan was the pick of the bowlers for much of that innings. At least him and Swann keep trying to take wickets when the opposition are on top. Rogers got after Anderson early and he just hasn't been the same bowler in this match. This has made the huge difference, IMHO, but Aus need to keep this up a while longer yet.

  • GOLFTRIX on August 2, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    Aussies played well over the last 2 days, but to read these posts you'd think these guys had been reincarnated as Alan Borders or Warney's love children. Credit where credit is due, they knuckled down and made a good score instead of throwing away wicket after wicket, but lets face it they couldn't have gotten much worse. They have performed in a toothless, spineless manner over the last 6 test matches, and I fully expect England to draw this match and go on to win at least one of the next 2. One swallow doesn't make a summer, and I can't believe at least one test won't get rained out so 3-1 England.

  • Iddo555 on August 2, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    There's not been much talk about it because bres chose not to review but again it's another poor decision to give bres out by the on-field umpire. These are suppose to be elite umpires and again another mistake. Yes bresnan should have reviewed but shouldn't the umpire be getting it right in the first place?

  • GrindAR on August 2, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    @Salmon89. I agree on your points. My view is, giving 30 overs to play at the end of the day half an hour after tea, is not going to give the opening batsmen a tiring body as anticipated, when ever the declaration happens like this situation. An aggressive 20-25 overs is good enough to pluck first 2-3 wickets when the batsmen are tired in the field. On a summer day, the time on field for 30 balls make a big difference. In 52/2 2nd wicket was a gift by umpire/Cook. Root was not comfortable with anyone to make scoring strokes. Cook did, and he chose to play ultimate defense on Watto. If they make strokes on Watto's bowling, they open themselves to wickets. So, if concentrated run containment happens at both ends, batsmen are forced to make strokes. Eng do not have combination to play patiently together for more than 15 overs without at-least 2 rpo on board.

  • B.S.Vidyaranya on August 2, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    For some reason, I want Ozs to win. But the whole series is marred by terrible umpiring & atrocious referral system. It looks like these men have their brains up their ass. There should be at least a panel of three people, when referred, so that one of them may have it in the right place, who then can tell the other two, so that right decisions are made.

    Certainly OZs will win this match.

  • Pyketts on August 2, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    @Jason Bray that has to be one of the funniest things ever said on here! He's as likely to be your modern day Steve Waugh as I am to being the modern day Don Bradman!

    Had so many chances in this game and still didn't get a big score. I hope the Aus selectors think the same and stick with him and his many limitations for years to come!

  • Iddo555 on August 2, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    England need to bat for a day and a half, get a lead and roll the aussies out. This pitch has no demons although England did their best to make it look like a minefield tonight.

    If the sun is out tomorrow then there shouldn't be any reason why England can't get near the aussie score.

  • t20-2007 on August 2, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    This test is heading towards a draw!!

  • on August 2, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    Really wished either Rogers or Smith had gone on and got a big 100. Some one has to be prepared to stand up and carry the team with big scores when Clark doesn't get them. Im still hopping Smith may be one of those guys. Maybe he is our modern day Steve Waugh - once he gets his first hundred he will get them regularly.

  • Pyketts on August 2, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    @ThyrSaadam I think calling him average is a bit kind. He is very fortunate to have two of the best bowlers in the world and a resonably solid batting line up otherwise his limitations would be fully exposed. I don't just base this on the current Test Match but on his captaincy since he got the job.

    Negative, lacking ideas and just wanting to grind a team into submission is very like his batting but unlike his batting he needs to think more of the team and how best to use the tools at his disposal.

    The limitations of playing 4 bowlers has also been highlighted. When you've got three bowlers who can bat a bit (Swann, Broad and Bressan) a wicket keeper averaging above 40 (Prior) and all but one of the top order averaging above 40 why insist on having 6 batsmans on a flat pitch. Like the captancy, all very negative.

  • hhillbumper on August 2, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Fair play Australia have played well.I was afraid that England would have their usual nightmare test at least once in the series.Hopefull they can bat well.The bowling attack was not at the races this test and I would suggest getting rid of Bresnan and bringing in Tremlett. Time for Cook to prove he can play long innings again.

  • DirkWobbles on August 2, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    @Chris_P I don't know what you have against Maddinson; his recent record speaks for itself. As does Khawaja's. I think we've already seen enough of Usman both on this tour and in the past Shield series to figure out he's a sometimes good, but seldom great, FC player. There's been nothing to suggest he'll suddenly bang out a century every other match like Hughes does in FC or gattling gun 6's like Maddinson, Warner or dare I say even Wattson. Let's stop mucking around with these mediocre players and start blooding some if these gifted youngsters.

    They're actually worth the effort. Otherwise we'll lose them all to the IPL.

  • ThyrSaadam on August 2, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Cook is average when it comes to captaincy. He pretty much let Australia build the score, once after Clark was dismissed. Giving away those easy runs, what a sin! And Anderson is half effective when conditions arent in his favour. This is Eng of the 90's, cant wait for tomorrow!

  • sonicattack on August 2, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    Amazing how all the ex-players (pre-DRS) on the commentary teams on both radio and television are insistent that a batsman knows when he has hit the ball yet today's players haven't a clue! Obviously just another example of how much better the player's of yesteryear were!!

  • Salmon89 on August 2, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @GrindAR, why mention that Clarke declared before the 100 run partnership was achieved. You obviously don't know much about cricket, although you are not alone judging by some comments on this site. Aust are not interested in records, they want to win the game. You can't judge a declaration at 0/47. It can quickly become 2/52. As far as bowling combos go, how is Ryan Harris & Siddle "toothless" You didn't even mention Lyon who has bowled well. How does Watto containing at one end "not help"? It is exactly this containing bowling that builds pressure & will often result in wickets at the other end. @TrainStationer - are you joking or serious?

  • Bones87 on August 2, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    Incredible DRS garbage, Khawaja gets a howler, reviews it, it's still out. Now Bresnana gets a howler and he must have known he didn't hit it but Cook didn't want to waste the review in case the umpire decided to be stupid about it again. Get rid of it, how about the third umpire gets a little more involved? He's watching, how hard can it be to go "hmm, not sure about that one, let's just see if there's anything there"? But I bet even then it would still get messed up somehow. I like that we use technology but no one is using it correctly now, the players and the umpires, it's becoming a total embarrassment.

  • strikeforce2003 on August 2, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Sticking to my comment made yesterday, should Australia post runs way beyond 500, they could well be seated as a delightful trucker on the highway to victory. 327 to avoid a follow on, builds pressure. This ain't as easy a batting wicket as most commentators suggest. Day 1& 2 had the Aussies capitalise on winning the toss, remarkable application from their bats. Day 3 could have a cloud cover assisting bowlers in the air, seam with bounce making a heady combination on a rather nervous batting display by the Pommies. Lypon looks good. Line & Spin extracting a variable bounce, that could see him get wickets. Siddle impeccable in seam and length. Starc could be the one benefitting from the air on the expected cloud cover, should Harris get his back sorted, could see more of the backs of pommies on their walk back.. It's a make or break day for both teams.. Australia are on top now.. victory depending on bowling out Cook & co within 325, the follow on & ofcourse the weather..

  • ScottStevo on August 2, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    @SirViv1973, Agree that England would have to do well to win this test match, but with the wicket the way it is and the weather forecast, it's looking more likely a draw than anything else, unless some of that weather gives the deck some juice or some extra movement in the air. A couple of late wickets there have helped Aus chances (no idea why Bresnan didn't review - can only say he was dissuaded by Cook as there was some noise from his inner thigh guard, but he missed that by miles. Again, as we've copped, Engs poor use of DRS). Would've been nice had either of the edges from Cook off Haddin's knee (a bit of English luck a la Warners dismissal would've helped - maybe one of their knees is harder/softer than the other!) or Trott's that dropped agonisingly -and typically of him-, short of 2nd slip when very little hasn't carried off this deck. Big day tomorrow. Good deck - but Lyon looks decent. SHould really have been selected in the 1st 2 - no disrepect to Agar, but he is too green..

  • on August 2, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Just a note to remind everyone that the LBW law only requires that the ball would have hit the wicket if all other conditions are satisfied. The ICC 'invention' of umpires call is a deliberate skewing of reality to make the umpires seem better than they really are. This could be disposed of if the technology was used before a decision was given rather than after..

  • samincolumbia on August 2, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Warner - what a talent! He also got a easy caught out reviewed as well.

  • on August 2, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Michael Clarke 187 is the main reason of 527 score ,i think they cannot lose this match, but they have to bowl by seeing pitches and days condition.

  • voma on August 2, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    Australia are in the driving seat in this test so far , and good on them i say .They have had some rough decisions go against them , with the DRS . The only real surprise is how long it took micheal clarke to finally find his batting form . But if they dont get cook earlier tomorrow morning , he will bat out . Another ton to his name .

  • on August 2, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    Notwithstanding the bizarre decision by Bresnan to offer his wicket when it hadn't been taken the supposedly helpful DRS continues to create even more controversy particularly when the on field umpires are so unreliable. The blindingly obvious solution to this is to allow the umpires the benefit of technology before they make a decision as opposed to letting them take a guess then handing an officiating decision over to the players to manipulate if they can, often resulting in a loss of that peculiar intervention in the management of the game only to see a howler from one of the standing umpires a bit later on. The technology is there so use it, including the definitive audio detector 'snicko', don't not use it then revert to it to overturn or confirm a decision that in many cases is impossible for a standing umpire to get right with only his natural senses to go on.

  • Greatest_Game on August 2, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    I'm increasingly puzzled why journalists & posters here called for Warner's inclusion. His value is unjustified by his batting. After a big score in SA there was a clamour for his recall, but a failure to recognise that he had scored 6 and 11 against Zimbabwe.

    In 35 test innings, he has been dismissed 11 times under 10 runs - 31.42%. He's gone 4 times between 10 and 20 runs - 11.42%. Between 20 & 30 he's gone another 6 times - 17.14%. That is 60% of his innings in which he has scored under 30: the percentage rises to 71.42 % of innings he is dismissed under 50 runs. When be bats, there is about the same chance - 30% - that he'll score under 10 or over 50. Not a very good bet!

    I saw no advantage to disadvantage in his replacing Hughes, only because Hughes' record is worse. Out below 10 runs 38.8%, & under 50 runs 79.5%. Cowan is marginally worse than Warner, out under 10 runs 31.25%, & under 50 runs 78.2%. Not an exciting bunch!

    It this truly all that Aus has to offer?

  • on August 2, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    As seen on Twitter. 1936-Perry won Wimbledon, Princess Alexandra born, Aus took Ashes 3-2 after 0-2 down. 2013 Murray won Wimbledon, Prince George was born, Australia are currently 0-2 down....

  • on August 2, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    good day for aussies batted well clarke is made the day for aussies bowlers have done well but it will be crucial day tommorrow cook troot and kp is key here

  • hkiran1 on August 2, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    They have turned it into a game of reviews rather than Cricket. Any one want to watch a game of cricket will have to watch a test involving India now.

  • Chris_P on August 2, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Finally the team showed a bit of character! Good knock by Pup, ably supported by Smith, Haddin & Starc. I liked what Lyon did & am keenly waiting to see if Starc's follow through will help later in the match for Lyon's offies. Good work by Cook too, he is struggling but is is doing the tough stuff to get through. You got to admire that sort of character, no matter which team you support.

  • GrindAR on August 2, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Combination of bowling looks toothless... Starc + Siddle, Ryan+Siddle, Starc+Smith, Smith+Watto, Clarke+Watto a good stirring sets. Clarke's variety will play well with any fast bowler as well, in terms of taking wickets. Watto's containment at one end is not going to help, it has to happen on both ends. So, Clarke+Watto combo would be deadly for eng to handle... Also will be a delight to watch top two think tanks bowl in tandem... Seriously they have done good amount of damage stand alone... In combo, as this is more of spin assisted, will be a wise use of human energy:-)

  • SirViv1973 on August 2, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Incredible why did Bresnan not review that?

  • GrindAR on August 2, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    So far,@47/0, its captaincy error by Clarkie to not to bat for additional 5-6 overs today. I expected him to declare between their 150 and 155 if wickets lasted. He did not let the 100 runs partnership happen for the 8th wicket. He just thought, he should have enough overs to do damage, but forgot, every additional over is possible runs as well, or a rubber. As I was writing this Joe Root was out. But they already cleared 50 runs off the table... Not a wise decision by a captain at that stage.

  • JimDavis on August 2, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Why would England feel that was the 4th time Smith was out? DRS is in enough bother with such poor reporting. Other than the incorrect decision on the LBW when they had no DRS reviews left the other two were not out.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 2, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Aussie new ball bowlers look like they are straining for swing, a little too much leg stump stuff.

  • on August 2, 2013, 15:32 GMT

    Silly declaration from Australia......Just about the only way to lose this match

    England will now bat until the first hour of the 5th day when they'll declare and run through australia cheaply

  • jackiethepen on August 2, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    It wasn't an exceptionally difficult chance to Prior. He has been fumbling a few in this Series. Also the fielding hasn't been as smart as usual. Root in particular didn't bend his back enough to pick up balls. Fatigue is obviously getting to the players. Winning the first two games has obviously taken a lot out of them. Good job though they are well ahead. Australia have to win this game. It isn't enough to draw it.

  • SirViv1973 on August 2, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Well after a bit of encouragment early in the session that's turned out to be another good 1 for Aus. Any chance of Eng being able to get in to a position later in the match to win have now well & truly evaported. From here on it it's all about survival & taking a 2nil lead to Durham next week. I don't see this pitch changing too much until the back end of day 4 so if we bat until then the game should be safe. However Aus will want to have 45 mins to an hour at Eng 2nite, which will not be easy for the top order. Fairplay to Starc I have a hunch that part of the reason Aus prefered him to Bird was for his batting. Although Lyon & Harris can hold a bat they are nowhere near as capable as Agar & Pattinson so to have brought JB in would have further weakned an area which has been good for aus so far. I don't really understand why Siddle bats ahead of MS or DP when hes in the side. PS can bat those 2 knocks in ind showed that but he dosen't do that sort of thing that often.

  • DirkWobbles on August 2, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    @dylanbrah Yep bring Maddinson in now. I keep seeing people say he needs more FC experience but he's eating up the A series where Khawaja was failing. I don't get it.

  • on August 2, 2013, 15:02 GMT

    Just get rid of Watson already. He has had 5 series innings now at the top for 128 runs to average 25.6! He has been tried and come up short each time. Time to cut the cords and include anyone else. Cowan will get about 10 runs per innings more and Warner will do a touch better still with the added bonus of the occasional gamewinning knock.

  • loki897 on August 2, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4 this track is not swinging or seaming or having extravagant turn so your theory of England's bowlers exposed dosen't make sense. Australia are not being extradoainary, they are doing what most decent test sides would do.

    Do remember they got all out for 128 in a similar track at Lord's.

    From an Indian fan

  • Chris_P on August 2, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    @SirViv1973. Unlike many others, I have seen Maddinson play as I get to the SCG & watch the Blues shield matches fairly often. Maddinson is very much in developmental stage, he needs at least another season probably 2 to round off his learnings. He still has some technical issues he needs to address, issues that would be brutally exposed at test level. He is one to watch out for, but trust me, he is not ready yet, nor should he be sacrificed in the hope he might click. If we can continue with this momentum, then we can have a base to build on. Rogers, while always a short term option is the perfect choice for the next 2 or 3 seasons. Watson should go, give Warner another chance at the top, stick with Khawaja for a few tests with Clarke, Smith & Hughes at 6 where he went so well in the first test. Until guys like Maddinson are ready.

  • milepost on August 2, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    @Mitty2 I'm with you, where is FFL? A bit quiet now. Lets see what the track has in it and what England can do. Cook is a bit out of sorts and opening after nearly two days captaining the side can't be easy. Root might have gone cheaply at Lords too though I'm not knocking he made the most of his let off really well, like good batsmen should. Nice that the umpiring isn't the focus today at least! Here's hoping for some early inroads, I don't fancy watching England bat for 2 days! A flat pitch is not a given, the guys still have to earn their runs. I think if there is rain the stop start nature might suit the bowling team though it is frustrating as a fan.

  • Shan156 on August 2, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    That's it. Bresnan should not be selected again in this series. Jimmy is allowed one off test. Broad is just unlucky. So, Swann is carrying all the bowling for England. It is sad that we are allowing an Aussie line up with one world class batsman to score 500+. Mitchell Starc has smashed 50 at a run a ball and is feasting on a tired attack. Whoever said 5-0 must be hiding their faces.

    This test looks to be going the Headingley 2009 and Perth 2010-2011 way. Perhaps Eng. took Aus. lightly but I think their team selection is wrong. Tremlett in for Bresnan. And, why is Cook not using Root? He has bowled just 2 overs and is a better bowler than that.

  • DylanBrah on August 2, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Watson's career must be on the line. He's had more chances than Hughes/Cowan, and that's saying something! Good to see Nic Maddinson putting his hand up for selection. He's scored 528 runs @75.43 in 4 matches for Australia A. I would not be surprised if we see him open the batting in the 4th Test.

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 2, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    Congrats to Swanny on yet another 5 wicket haul. Congrats to Broad on his 200th wicket. Finally, congrats to Clarke for his 187, his highest score outside OZ.

  • SirViv1973 on August 2, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    @Praspunter, I think the signs are that Watson's career at test level is coming to an end. If he fails again in the 2nd inns here & Aus don't win this test match I think his selection must be in serious doubt for Durham. Even if he does make the 4th/5th tests I will be very surprised if he is considered for the return series. It really is his abilty to play as a 4th seamer which is keeping him in the side at the moment. Given Hughes was unlucky to miss out here I guess he would just come back in. As for Warner I think it was always odds against that he would come back and get runs in this game. Aus need to stick with him though, apart from Clarke he ave significantly more than anyone else in the side. As for Maddison I don't know too much about him but from what I see from his record he probably needs to play a bit more FC cricket before he is ready for tests.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 2, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    Again the Eng 'attack' exposed . No ,this time it's not a no.11 smashing a century off them,it's the world's best bat alright. But with seaming ,spinning and swing for the bowlers ,Aus with 1 class player are going to score 600-700 in 1st inngs. Aus pace attack is at a diff. level though and the struggling Eng bats will find out true nature of conditions when they bat.This Eng bowling is well below even N Zealand and is 6 th or 7th in world at best.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 2, 2013, 13:50 GMT

    Why are people panicking already just because Aus. are down into the tail? Don't you remember how inept England are at cleaning up the tail cheaply?

  • on August 2, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    hats off clarke, to play a captians knock, now itis aussies turn to push england to back foot.

  • on August 2, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Australia really need 500+, anything less and they could be chasing a scary total on day 5 if england bat big on 3rd & 4th with a 600 . Pieterson, cook and trott are due scores

    I predict Aus will lose if they don't watch out

  • PrasPunter on August 2, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    Watson and Warner should not find a place in the test XI. Why don't we try Nic Maddinson rather ? Has been among runs off-late and definitely worth a try.

  • DirkWobbles on August 2, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Can someone please explain to me what Khawaja's done to get selected?

    Even Cowan has a better record.

    The sooner we bring in Maddinson the sooner we can start looking forward.

  • Haiphong on August 2, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Warner does NOT belong! Guys, please... I do NOT understand why this guy seems to get endless opportunities (to fail). The sooner we forget about him (and Hughes), the easier it will be for us to rebuild and stick with players who deserve to play test cricket.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 2, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Unlike Cook, Clarke will enforce the follow-on if England get themselves skittled out. Could be a confidence-clinching game here!

  • Arrow011 on August 2, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Shame on the Englishmen for not selecting Monty Panesar in place of Tim Bresnan. When will these people think that spinners are better than pacemen, never? G.Swann has taken 4 out of 5 wickets single handedly & the 3 pacemen are drying pickles? They could have gone with 2 pacemen & 2 spinners but as usual the old fashioned 3 - 1 was picked & the Aussies will now steamroll them in the 3rd test.

  • Mundrathy on August 2, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Three best batsmen in the world right now Hashim Amla, Michael Clarke, Virat Kohli. They seem to have a midas touch. They are cruising along.

  • jmcilhinney on August 2, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    I'd say that was a fairly even session, although Australia are still on top in the game. They made steady if not spectacular progress and England once again bowled relatively well without a great deal of luck. Smith will be very disappointed to go out the way he did with a hundred on the cards but it looked like either he and Clarke were both getting a bit frustrated or had just made the decision to up the run rate because they both played a few rash shots. Australia have got themselves into a position where it would be fairly hard, although not impossible, to lose this game. England just have to concentrate and bat well in their first innings and then Australia may beat themselves by pushing hard for the win, as they have to do, in their own second innings.

  • spot_on on August 2, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Like I said before.. David Warner is just not the material what Oz can look up to. Clueless against spin bowling... pushing on the ball, clearly knowing that the ball passed the bat before the bat hit the pad... just sheer nonsense.. hope Clarke doesn't get affected by DW's stupidity. The man needs to go back to the Shield to prove his worth. Maybe, he was Oz's biggest selection mistake when he debuted. They should have looked for a batsman who can consolidate and accumulate runs rather than a flasher at the top.

  • RJHB on August 2, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    A bit disappointing from Smith, a century there for the taking. He's unlikely perhaps to ever have another innings with so much luck on his side so he needed to cash in completely. I can't understand why Clarke allowed Warner to review an obvious nick, even if Warner confused himself by hitting his pad. Mind you this is exactly the sort of uncertainty that's been created by poor umpiring on and off the field, plus an opposition that's seems to appeal for wickets that aren't even close! What was Prior actually appealing for with Khawaja anyway? No sound. No deviation. Just madness. I think this series is showing the character of a few players on both sides and its not too flattering for the likes of Broad, Prior, Watson and Warner

  • disco_bob on August 2, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    We'd be better of sticking with Hughes than these endless Warner chances. I think the Australian team would do well to get rid of Watson permanently and send Warner back to shield for a year. These two selfish, smug arrogant show ponies are not really Test material and it doesn't look like they want to be either. The disruption they cause for a one in six decent innings is pointless.

  • Mitty2 on August 2, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    We're in a very dominat position, and with a good tail, we should be aiming for 500. Around 500 at tea, declare, and then Harris and siddle will bowl well only to be let down by the inferior of bird in starc. He is going to get hammered on this pitch/in these conditions and it still remains disgraceful that he was selected over Bird.

    Clarke, brilliant as usual. I'd like to look back on some of FFL's comments regarding Clarke an smith but sadly I have a life. There is no one in world cricket who are better at pushing on with their starts than Amla and Clarke - reasons why they are the best two batsmen in world cricket.

    Smith has now wasted quite a few of his fifties, and when on 92 in India he threw away his wicket as well. Once he gets that out of his game, he will become very good. He proves that temperament is of superior necessity to technique in test cricket (too bad Watson doesn't have either) and has a lot of good fight and grit.

    Hughes should not have been dropped.

  • Mitty2 on August 2, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    We're in a very dominat position, and with a good tail, we should be aiming for 500. Around 500 at tea, declare, and then Harris and siddle will bowl well only to be let down by the inferior of bird in starc. He is going to get hammered on this pitch/in these conditions and it still remains disgraceful that he was selected over Bird.

    Clarke, brilliant as usual. I'd like to look back on some of FFL's comments regarding Clarke an smith but sadly I have a life. There is no one in world cricket who are better at pushing on with their starts than Amla and Clarke - reasons why they are the best two batsmen in world cricket.

    Smith has now wasted quite a few of his fifties, and when on 92 in India he threw away his wicket as well. Once he gets that out of his game, he will become very good. He proves that temperament is of superior necessity to technique in test cricket (too bad Watson doesn't have either) and has a lot of good fight and grit.

    Hughes should not have been dropped.

  • disco_bob on August 2, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    We'd be better of sticking with Hughes than these endless Warner chances. I think the Australian team would do well to get rid of Watson permanently and send Warner back to shield for a year. These two selfish, smug arrogant show ponies are not really Test material and it doesn't look like they want to be either. The disruption they cause for a one in six decent innings is pointless.

  • RJHB on August 2, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    A bit disappointing from Smith, a century there for the taking. He's unlikely perhaps to ever have another innings with so much luck on his side so he needed to cash in completely. I can't understand why Clarke allowed Warner to review an obvious nick, even if Warner confused himself by hitting his pad. Mind you this is exactly the sort of uncertainty that's been created by poor umpiring on and off the field, plus an opposition that's seems to appeal for wickets that aren't even close! What was Prior actually appealing for with Khawaja anyway? No sound. No deviation. Just madness. I think this series is showing the character of a few players on both sides and its not too flattering for the likes of Broad, Prior, Watson and Warner

  • spot_on on August 2, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Like I said before.. David Warner is just not the material what Oz can look up to. Clueless against spin bowling... pushing on the ball, clearly knowing that the ball passed the bat before the bat hit the pad... just sheer nonsense.. hope Clarke doesn't get affected by DW's stupidity. The man needs to go back to the Shield to prove his worth. Maybe, he was Oz's biggest selection mistake when he debuted. They should have looked for a batsman who can consolidate and accumulate runs rather than a flasher at the top.

  • jmcilhinney on August 2, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    I'd say that was a fairly even session, although Australia are still on top in the game. They made steady if not spectacular progress and England once again bowled relatively well without a great deal of luck. Smith will be very disappointed to go out the way he did with a hundred on the cards but it looked like either he and Clarke were both getting a bit frustrated or had just made the decision to up the run rate because they both played a few rash shots. Australia have got themselves into a position where it would be fairly hard, although not impossible, to lose this game. England just have to concentrate and bat well in their first innings and then Australia may beat themselves by pushing hard for the win, as they have to do, in their own second innings.

  • Mundrathy on August 2, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    Three best batsmen in the world right now Hashim Amla, Michael Clarke, Virat Kohli. They seem to have a midas touch. They are cruising along.

  • Arrow011 on August 2, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Shame on the Englishmen for not selecting Monty Panesar in place of Tim Bresnan. When will these people think that spinners are better than pacemen, never? G.Swann has taken 4 out of 5 wickets single handedly & the 3 pacemen are drying pickles? They could have gone with 2 pacemen & 2 spinners but as usual the old fashioned 3 - 1 was picked & the Aussies will now steamroll them in the 3rd test.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 2, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Unlike Cook, Clarke will enforce the follow-on if England get themselves skittled out. Could be a confidence-clinching game here!

  • Haiphong on August 2, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Warner does NOT belong! Guys, please... I do NOT understand why this guy seems to get endless opportunities (to fail). The sooner we forget about him (and Hughes), the easier it will be for us to rebuild and stick with players who deserve to play test cricket.

  • DirkWobbles on August 2, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Can someone please explain to me what Khawaja's done to get selected?

    Even Cowan has a better record.

    The sooner we bring in Maddinson the sooner we can start looking forward.