But a de­feat at the Waca

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Second Ashes Test -

– in the same dash­ing mode as when he was No8 in the 2015 Ashes – and Jonny Bairstow; and at least one of the Aus­tralian bowlers break­ing down.

None of these sce­nar­ios hap­pened. So, it was per­haps mer­ci­ful the ob­se­quies were brief. The chief com­pli­cat­ing fac­tor was that, on an al­most hot af­ter­noon, Aus­tralia’s pace bowlers all started to make the old ball re­verse-swing – and Eng­land’s bats­men could do noth­ing to re­verse Aus­tralia’s re­verse, whether they blocked or bashed.

Ha­zle­wood nipped out Woakes and Root in his first two overs. Even the Barmy Army were si­lenced. Ha­zle­wood hits a deck harder than any of Eng­land’s bowlers and he got some move­ment off the worn sur­face: for Woakes, the ball moved away, for Root, it not only came back but kept low and took the bot­tom edge. Yet such was the speed – 92mph – it still car­ried to Tim Paine.

From this stand­ing, or stum­bling, start Moeen and Bairstow could hardly switch from all guns muz­zled to all guns blaz­ing. Bairstow cover-drove but Moeen was still stuck, on two af­ter 19 balls, when he

Ever since Stokes was ar­rested, it was un­re­al­is­tic to ex­pect Eng­land to re­tain the Ashes

went to sweep Lyon and missed – and Moeen is the only Eng­land left­handed bats­man, out of six, to have played any shots at him.

The strong­est straw for Eng­land to cling to is that they have out­caught Aus­tralia. It might not be fair to com­pare Bairstow and Paine, be­cause Paine has had to keep to an off-spin­ner who has made the ball bounce ex­trav­a­gantly. Sim­ply when com­par­ing the 10 out­field­ers, Aus­tralia have dropped five chances and Eng­land only one, when Mark Stone­man missed a ball at long-leg that would at some stage have come out of a back­ground of lamps along the roofs of Ade­laide’s stands.

Given that they dropped 16 chances in three Tests against West Indies, Eng­land’s higher suc­cess­rate in catch­ing is a trib­ute to Paul Colling­wood, who surely has to be lured away as soon as pos­si­ble from the cap­taincy of Durham. In ti­tle, Colling­wood is Eng­land’s field­ing coach, but he will also over­see the bowlers for the rest of this series now that Shane Bond has com­pleted his tem­po­rary as­sign­ment; and Colling­wood’s in­put was no doubt in­te­gral to Eng­land match­ing Aus­tralia in Ade­laide sledge for sledge.

More than that, a side’s field­ing is al­ways equated with their morale. Eng­land’s field­ing is sound – as it has been all tour – and, ac­cord­ingly, they must still be sound of heart. But they have yet to reach the Waca, their most un­suc­cess­ful Test ground. Did not bat Bowl­ing

Eng­land First In­nings

AN Cook MD Stone­man JM Vince

*JE Root

DJ Malan Moeen Ali

†JM Bairstow CR Woakes C Over­ton

SCJ Broad JM An­der­son Ex­tras

To­tal (76.1 overs) Fall of wick­ets

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