Luckless England brace for uphill task in Adelaide
Adelaide — It is usually a sign of a day with few redeeming features when a coach rather than a player faces the media after play. Sunday’s appearance of England’s Trevor Bayliss was no exception.
When rain forced an early end to day two of the second Ashes Test, England were 29/1 in reply to Australia’s 442/8 declared, having thrown their best at their hosts only to come off second best.
Two DRS (Umpire Decision Review System) referrals that overturned what looked to the naked eye to be plumb lbw decisions off the bowling of the luckless James Anderson were symptomatic of a day where little went right for the tourists.
When Alastair Cook and James Vince crashed into each other trying to take a catch to dismiss Shaun Marsh, who went on to make an unbeaten 126, memories of the 5-0 drubbing on the last Ashes tour Down Under started to surface.
England are already 1-0 down after a 10-wicket defeat at the Gabba but a defiant Bayliss was not prepared to surrender to the gloom only two days into the first day-night Ashes Test.
"There’s a good feeling in the dressing room. They’re certainly not disheartened at all. Shaun showed it’s not impossible to score runs out there. It will be up to one or our guys to go out and make a big score. We’re here to win. We’re not here to make up the numbers. That means batting all day tomorrow and well into the fourth day," he said.
The day started with Stuart Broad removing Peter Handscomb with the third delivery and for the first hour it looked like England’s bowlers had raised their game after putting Australia in and only taking four wickets on day one.
But Marsh answered his critics with a fighting and unbeaten century to put Australia firmly in charge.
The experienced left-hander, in his eighth recall to the Australian team, put together his fifth century in his 25th Test, an unconquered 126 off 231 balls.
Marsh, along with wicketkeeper Tim Paine, were the major surprises in the Australian team for the opening Ashes Tests. But the batsman has staked his claim for retention with another solid innings at No6. He backed up his 51 in Brisbane to bring his series tally to 177 runs and strengthen Australia’s middle order.
Although debutant seamer Craig Overton (3/105) ended the day as England’s biggest wicket-taker, Bayliss was not prepared to countenance the idea that his spearhead of Broad and Anderson was simply no longer good enough.
"Some days it goes your ways and some it doesn’t. On that wicket the bowlers we’ve got are more than capable of taking wickets and creating chances, which I thought we did over the last day or two. It didn’t go our way on this occasion but these are the bowlers we’ve got, there’s no point wishing or hoping someone else is going to come along with a click of the fingers," Bayliss said.