New balls anyone? How about some for Root?

Drinks break after tea 3/209 Smith 46 Marsh S 15. At last a wicket for Broad who next ball and the next over overdid the histrionics with more useless appeals – I don’t think he will ever learn! Perhaps he will get better when he starts his media career – apparently he’s been on a media course in readiness for his retirement!

Smith is just accumulating in his quiet indiscernible way – another 50 if not more is on the cards. Still 18 overs to go in 70 mins and we shall lose some! I think Root has been given the hurry up by the umpires or risk a fine etc. Limited difference seen but Malan with his leggies is on – Smith holds him in high regard.

Pitch looks flat and fine for batting but I think you need to take time to build an innings on it and then things get better. Fast but nowhere near as quick as the WACA which may be why things seem so challenging today – except for Warner and Smith!

Close of play forecast 3/275

3/244 Smith 65 Marsh 31 Australia march on and on and there appears to be no respite for England. Bowling changed today have been haphazard at best and ridiculous at worst. I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the pseudo captaincy of Broad and Anderson – the near open disobedience when Root finally took the new ball was clear for all to see. Someone needs to stand up to these ageing cricket stars and say no! Root had, probably through happenstance than anything else a wonderful opportunity to make a statement- Woakes and Curran were on when the new ball was available 10 overs from the end of the day. Give it to the youngsters to take – after all the oldies didn’t do anything with the first new ball so try what the opponents were least expecting. Ok, the effect on the team and the language at the end of the day would have needed some managing but why not give it a go? Don’t think he has the cojones to give it a try! It would also give a glimpse into the future after B and A have gone.

And in the context of the series, what do England have to lose? Nothing!

So am very frustrated at what could have been a good end to the day. England did come back in the afternoon and early evening but while tomorrow is another day, I can see Australia heading for 500 plus and then England’s top 6 needing to match it since the tail will go down like a free pint!

Seem to have collected another hobbyhorse for my stable!

Broad looking delighted to have caught Warner off Curran but it’s a no ball!

Roots ‘I’ll try anything’ field placings

Now we need to take 21!

Drinks on Day 1 afternoon 1/131 Warner 100 Khwaja 4 but in the last over Curran had Warner caught by Broad only to have him called back for a no ball! So now we need to take 21 wickets!

Up to that point it had been slow accumulation after lunch. Woakes bowled a lot better but the whole team approach seems off – they give the impression they would rather be somewhere else and on top of that the bowling is still in Christmas mode gifting so much to the batsmen.

Forecast for tea 1/175

Tea 2/145 Smith 5 Khawaja 10 – slow going all round as the bowlers start to take a grip and batsmen start on their innings. Overall not particularly sparkling session but marginally England’s as they took two wickets (three in reality) but another 36 overs to be bowled. One day someone will do something about over rates, we don’t need all the time wasting and conferences and discussions and meaningless drinks breaks, just get on with it!

Anyway, forecast for next drinks break 3/200.

Is today rubbish collection day?

Toss won by Australia- first this series. Pitch looks brown dry flat and no hint of green, should bat well for days 1-3 but I suspect will take spin later. One change for Australia as announced already.

Expect Australia to bat and bat so long Day(s) in the field for England. Forecast for drinks 0/54.

Drinks 0/37 Warner 30 Bancroft 7. Australia went off like an express train for the first 20 minutes then some tighter but not penetrating bowling from Broad and Anderson over 4 and a bit consecutive maidens has slowed the pace. The ground is allegedly sold out – all 91,000 – but so far only 60,000 have turned up! So where we the rest? Seems like the cheap seats A$30 – £18 – and up in the ‘nosebleeds’ are not being taken up. Such ticket prices are unknown in England!

Forecast for lunch 0/95.

Lunch 0/102 Warner 83 Bancroft 19. Thank someone that Bancroft is slightly off form or out of touch otherwise it would have been carnage! I’ve watched England over many years and seen some rubbish play over that time but today is gold standard rubbish! Bowling as per the rest of the series, fielding plans change every ball – as England are following the ball- if you have a plan then stick to it. There’s so much overthinking going on it’s hurting my brain from 100m away!

England don’t look like taking one wicket let alone 20 (they’ve only taken 37 out of a possible 60 so far this series). I just don’t know what to say. What I can say is how impressed I am with Tom Curran on his debut, good start and not fazed by the occasion – the one thing to cheer at lunch.

I got some ‘happy’ socks as a Christmas present and I was hoping they’d be ‘lucky England’ socks and I’d have to wear them every day- perhaps they become happy in the afternoon?

Forecast for drinks 0/155 as I can’t see where England are going to get a wicket from unless someone’s taking out the rubbish at lunch?