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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Australia's situation hopeless, so what are its next steps? T2 D3


England 361 & 5/333 (110ov, Root 178*/334 b/ 2x6, 18x4, Bell 74/103b/11x4, Trott 74, Bresnan 38, Siddle 3/65) lead Australia 128 by 566 runs with 5 2nd inns wickets in hand; T2/5 D3/5 at Lord's, London.

England did to Australia what India did in the series earlier this year : batted watchfully for two sessions then cut loose in the last, adding 162 in 32overs out of  2 /303 from the 90 bowled in the day. They are in an impregnable position.

It was Joe Root 's day : his innings has set the foundation of a huge England win. Does .Australia  have anyone with a portion of his gritty perseverancel? Short answer - no.

So what can we do? First, the bowlers must regroup as best as they are able: not all of them have bowled poorly and in the first two sessions many of them restrained Root, albeit without troubling him too much .

Of course a declaration may - should -  be imminent, perhaps after Root has had an opportunity to reach 200, in which case it won't matter too much.

The batting? Follow Root's example: be positively defensive, and look to build innings and partnerships. How many of the top seven are capable of doing this? I won't make my private opinions public, but I'd
be pleased if four or more made at least 70, with two of them making big tons.

These won't win the Test, but they could be the next steps which Australia must take on the path back to competitiveness.

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