BUMBLE ON THE TEST: Root's below-the-belt woes brought tears to my eye

BUMBLE ON THE TEST: The sight of Joe Root being hit where it hurts TWICE brought tears to my eye – while England may need to move Dawid Malan up to the top of the order

  • England are staring down the barrel of a second Ashes Test defeat in Adelaide
  • Australia declared their second innings at 230-9 with a lead of 467 runs
  • The hosts decimated England’s top order with two wickets for Jhye Richardson
  • England lost captain Joe Root on the final ball of the day in a further blow
  • Australia need six wickets to win the second Test, while England need 368 to win

England are staring at a second Ashes Test defeat after Australia piled on the runs then picked their way through the visitors’ top order on day four in Adelaide.

Australia declared for 230-9 setting England a target of 468 to win, before Jhye Richardson took two wickets removed both of the tourists’ openers inbetween Michael Neser dismissing Dawid Malan for lbw. 

In the final ball of the day, Mitchell Starc sent Joe Root back to the pavillion in a further blow for England, who need to hang on to their six remaining batsmen as the task of putting on 386 more runs to win is surely too much to ask.

England are staring at defeat in the second Ashes Test with Australia in Adelaide

The tourists need to avoid losing six wickets in Monday’s final day to salvage an unlikely draw

With the second Test edging towards an Australia victory, with England on 82-4, Sportsmail columnist DAVID LLOYD picks out the best of the Adelaide action… 

Jonathan Agnew is a wonderful broadcaster and tends to be sympathetic towards England when they are going through horrible times like this. 

But even Aggers said on Test Match Special in all his experience that the third day of this second Test was one of the worst he can remember. It didn’t get too much better on Sunday and it’s all very depressing.

There was little chance of any sympathy coming England’s way from the fourth day radio commentary after Aggers and his crew were confined to barracks by Covid protocols. 

I appreciate how difficult it was for ABC to cobble a team together and commentate from Perth but it was like listening to players. When an England wicket fell they cheered!

Two positive Covid cases among the media meant the BBC and ABC were not there in Adelaide

The sight of Joe Root being hit twice where it most hurts brought tears to my eyes. 

Did I ever tell you the same thing happened to me in Perth in 1974? Switch Mitchell Starc for Jeff Thomson and you get the picture. 

Only I had a little pink box to save me rather than the protection they have today. I told the nurse – get rid of the pain but keep the swelling….

England captain Joe Root was hit where it hurts on two separate occasions on day four

Just after tea on day three Nathan Lyon had bowled 17 overs and taken two for 18. Then think back to how Australia knocked Jack Leach out of the series by smashing him for 95 off 11 overs in Brisbane. 

You can see from thousands of miles away the plan is for Lyon to bowl at one end and the seamers to rotate from the other. 

England simply have to take Lyon on. They have to find a way to score against him but they just can’t seem to do it.

Still puzzling over England’s selection in Adelaide. It’s a day-night match and Chris Woakes has barely featured. 

They seem to have picked him to lengthen the batting. It’s telling you England know the batting isn’t up to it. But it’s hapless selection. Mark Wood had to play.

Chris Woakes (left) was barely used during the pink ball day/night Test in Adelaide

What was I saying about the England openers? It’s on repeat. 

Yes Haseeb Hameed got a ball with his name on it but he still has that problem of playing with his hands too low. 

The reason Dawid Malan is a much better player in Australia is that his hands are high. Malan might as well go in first. They will have to change it for Melbourne.

That lack of preparation is coming home to roost now. England are dropping catches and missing run out chances on top of everything else.

 They had bowled 22 no balls to Australia’s two by the end of the fourth day, too. It comes down to match sharpness. 


I know Covid is a huge factor but England have to try to find a way….

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