AWelcome to the cover of Day Three of the Fourth Ashes Test which, holding one particular straw, will last at least longer than the seven sessions of the Third Test. I finished this morning’s tea stint with Australia on 321 for six after England lost control in the final three overs before the break after playing so well to ward off Steve Smith, Cameron Green and Alex Carey. Alas, England bowling allowed Australia to let off steam up the hill and into the distance – at 416 for eight declared but survived, under a millimeter when Mitchell Starc knocked out Zak Crawley only for England’s first match to be pardoned by the non-appeal of the ball.
England therefore take back the 13 without a wicket and if you want to know why England have not won a test in Australia in their previous 13 attempts dating back to Gabba in 2013, this first stand is their second highest in the series. and, of their 26 first-window partnerships completed in their previous 13 tests in Australia, this is their 11th highest. You can’t build anything substantial on such shallow foundations or travel very far by flying by the seat of your pants.
It’s easy to succumb to pessimism, but in the spirit of today’s Mardi Gras at the Pink Test to benefit the McGrath Foundation and all of its transformative work on behalf of families living with breast cancer, I will try to stay positive. England’s stick has failed throughout the series except for two decent partnerships between Dawid Malan and Joe Root. Four hundred and sixteen is an Everest, and they should banish the magnitude of their task from their minds, focusing instead on small, achievable objects. Try to hit 25 for the first wicket, then beyond that aim for an attainable but respectable base camp of 100 for two. See if you can double it to 200 for four. Can anyone other than No3 and No4 reach half a century? Can the two fit drummers start. of their three-digit 80s. How many overs can bowlers get before Hobart? Can a referee appeal verdict when Australia bowling go England’s way for once? (OK, pushing with that one, I admit).
There is still plenty to play even if defeat seems inevitable on this ground against Janus. It is not a question of raging against the extinction of the light but of showing that they know how to play. There are all kinds of mitigating reasons for their poor performance on this tour, but I know some of them are pretty good. What a godsend for this long day of overnight travel if a few of them could show a generation of the Australian public that they are not fools.
And the rain can also be their friend if they can dig. The forecast from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology gives us a 90% chance of showers, saying, “Cloudy. Very high probability of showers. The likelihood of a thunderstorm, possibly violent. Winds northeast 30 to 45 km / h. “