Will England find a player to repeat Randall's innings of 1977? © Getty Images

So far this fluctuating Test match has closely resembled the Centenary Test at Melbourne in March 1977 - which, perhaps not coincidentally, was probably the most-hyped England-Australia encounter until this one.

In that showpiece game at the MCG, staged to mark the 100th anniversary of the inaugural Test match, England were cock-a-hoop at bowling the Aussies out for 138 on the first day - until they were rolled over for 95 themselves, with Dennis Lillee taking 6 for 26.

Just as in this match, the Australian batsmen then regrouped, scoring 419 to set a massive target of 463. England didn't make it ... quite. A memorable innings of 174 from Derek Randall, his first Test century, took them a tantalising 46 runs short of victory before Lillee (5 for 139) finally ended the fun to exactly replicate the result of the original game in 1877. So who's going to do a Randall for England this time?

Steven Lynch is the former editor of Cricinfo