I (stupidly) had some optimism yesterday, I have little today. This could be the 1st and 2nd Test being played all over again, England get themselves in a great position, and then throw it away – and then get crushed out of site on Day 2…….
Australia’s middle order is hammering England. At 143/5, England had Australia on the rack. What ever lead to Australia’s recovery, good batting or bad bowling, or probably a bit of both, it was still a decent comeback.
I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t have happened back in England, where Australia were absolutely hopeless at key moments. But this certainly looks a different outfit now.
Steven Smith and Brad Haddin did the damage this time, or should I say about Haddin, he did the damage again. I had reservations about Steve Smith, but he played a magnificent innings under pressure. I still don’t see him moving up the order though, I believe No.5 is definitely high enough for him at the moment.
As for England, and I share some of David Saker’s frustrations. Why on earth did they take all the bean polls? This squad selection will surely come back to haunt England when/if they get hammered. I can already imagine the hacks picking over the squad selection in the post mortem.
Surely it was time to unleash one of them – Steven Finn for me – on this wicket? Selection issues aside, and Saker also wasn’t happy with the performance after lunch.
I suppose this is one of those things when you are not playing on home surfaces, or familiar wickets. You can do all the homework you want, but experience of these types of wickets isn’t something England have a great deal of.
England knew what they needed to do, but they got immersed in the situation of it all, and abandoned their game plan. It’s these little things that England are getting wrong, and is what is costing them the series.
I do think if England can score 350 twice, they should save this Test match. But England have been struggling to score that lately. The batsmen are so out of form now, not just in this series, you can go back to the home Ashes series and beyond. Look at the tour of New Zealand at the start of the year.
If Australia get beyond 450, it could end up being a job for England to even avoid the follow-on. That’s how bad the batting has been lately.
England need a spark from somewhere, they need a boost, I can’t see it coming though. Australia probably used up all their bad luck, and England their good luck, back in the Ashes in England, and now the roles are reversed.
I fully expect to get up and see England struggling, with Australia having upwards of 450 on the board.