The Gabba dust has settled and the two sides now turn their attention to Adelaide. The Australians find themselves one up in the series and looking to press home their advantage, whilst the English are still trying to find a way to combat Mitchell Johnson.
The Adelaide pitch is generally more placid than the Gabba with the new drop-ins expected to turn late in the match. However, according to wicketkeeper, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson won’t be too bothered. Haddin pointed out that Johnson’s resurgence started in the ODI series in India which are generally flat tracks with less bounce than Adelaide.
Michael Clarke had his own scare at training after it was thought he rolled his ankle at training on Monday. He has since finished two full training sessions and has declared himself 100% fit to play. Clarke has also announced that Australia will enter the match with the same side that won the first test.
Alastair Cook however has yet to name his side. With Johnathan Trott leaving due to health issues, the English are still trying to come up with a number 3 batsman. It appears to be a two horse race between Gary Ballance and Tim Bresnan with Joe Root seemingly set to move up the order.
Australian spinner, Nathan Lyon, is expected to make a big impact as the match continues with the former Adelaide groundsman having been on a hat-trick in Brisbane. Due to the possibly spin friendly conditions Michael Clarke may turn to David Warner and Steve Smith as well in order to extract some more spin. The English have also refused to rule out choosing two front-line spinners.
The drawback for England playing two-spinners is that should the pitch not turn as much as expected, their seamers will be required to pick up the workload. Not only that but Australia’s middle order contains terrific players of spin in Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, George Bailey and Brad Haddin.
Adelaide has often been witness to many a thrilling run chase, with Amazing Adelaide being one that comes to mind. England declared at 6/551 with Australia replying 10/513. The English then proceeded to collapse as the maestro Shane Warne weaved his magic before Michael Hussey cracked the winning runs late on Day 5.
If Australia win here then it really is an uphill battle for England. Following Adelaide they have to travel to the pace friendly WACA before playing in front of the Boxing Day crowds. The English will be doing everything possible to dent Australia’s attack. It will be incredibly important for Alastair Cook and Ian Bell to score runs. Especially Bell, who is yet to lose when he passes triple figures.
As always for Australia they’ll be looking to Michael Clarke to ram home the advantage. David Warner and Chris Rogers will want to lay a solid platform for the captain who plays his best when he can dictate terms.
The talk is almost over and soon enough we shall see if England has recovered from Brisbane or if the Australians have begun an unstoppable roll to reclaiming the Ashes.
Let the game begin.