Australian Hopes Unrooted
On the eve of the third day of the second test, almost all the hope and pride kept by the Australian fans were blown to dust due to the patient yet flamboyant innings from Joe Root, who also became the youngest player to score a century in ashes. During the start of the day, Tim Bresnan gave good company to Root on the other side, nudging out the important session of the day. He waited until his 30th ball to get off a duck, a mistimed pull shot at James Pattinson reaping a single. From there Bresnan continued to play patiently, soaking up plenty of Australia’s best bowling of the day in the company of Root and surviving beyond lunch. England also conquered this session from Australia by going wicket less which started the demoralisation of Australia.
The second session saw some intriguing battle between bat and ball. Both Siddle and Pattinson’s spell produced a lot of mistimes and both the batsmen were beaten comprehensively a number of times. Eventhough the bowlers made them uncomfortable, they were not gifted with a wicket. The post-lunch spell from Pattinson, he bowled seven overs, three of
them maidens and conceded only five runs and Peter Siddle was particularly impressive with Pattinson eventually rewarded with the wicket of Bresnan, hurried into a pull shot and caught at midwicket. It was a fine effort from a bowling unit who have spent several days in the field of late and are winning little support from their batting colleagues. After the first breakthrough also, the Australians were not in the driving seat as their best bowlers were exhausted and also Root was in company of the in form Ian Bell. Australia were aggrieved that Bell, when only 3, had not fallen to a catch by Smith at gully when Ryan Harris forced the edge. The umpires handed it to the TV umpire, Tony Hill, to determine if the ball had
carried. It was a tough decision, as there was the vaguest suspicion that the ball might have burst through Smith’s hands, but the foreshortening of a TV lens notoriously can make good catches seem illegal and it was probably out.
England shifted into fourth gear during the post lunch session, as Root fresh from his century and Ian Bell bludgeoned the spinning duo of Agar and Smith as Clarke did not have any other option than to go with them.If Root had been caught on Friday evening on 8, when wicketkeeper, Brad Haddin, and first slip Michael Clarke left the catch to each other, life might have felt different. Instead, once his hundred had been achieved and with England looking for impetus in the final session, he gambolled along, his inventiveness at its height, particularly against the left-arm spin of Ashton Agar. There were also some innovative shots tried by the centurion on the later part of the day as he reverse swept Agar a couple of times and heaving Smith over mid-wicket for sixes in consecutive balls. With a lead of 566 runs with 5 wickets remaining and 2 days left, there cannot be enough hope for the Australians, only a miracle can save them from this crisis but with their recent batting performances this match is surrendered to the England.