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An Ashes five-fer: Day five in Brisbane

1) ENGLAND THERE IN PHYSICAL FORM ONLY: Whatever is said in public about the value of getting a few wickets in a lost cause, England looked like they were in private hell. Cameron Bancroft and David Warner took a little more than an hour to get the required 56. The situation was horrible but the bowlers couldn’t even have a pop at Usman Khawaja. Only Stuart Broad seemed up for a few verbals, which were about as effective as his use of the DRS when batting.

2) AUSTRALIA PAYS ITS RESPECTS TO HUGHES: Today was the third anniversary of the death of former Aussie opener Phillip Hughes. The whole Australian team wore black armbands as a mark of respect. The Barmy Army also followed up their rendition of “Jerusalem” with a strain of “There’s only one Phillip Hughes.” It was called a “classy tribute” by Cricket Australia. Mmmm



3) TWO MANY BUTTS WITH BEER O’CLOCK:
Reports that Jonny Bairstow touched heads with Cameron Bancroft in Perth at a student baron the first night of the tour was a piece of prime meat (and drink) for the media. Steve Smith claimed that the Aussies used the incident to put the wicketkeeper-batsman off his game and “it worked”as he was caught at third man shortly after on the fourth day.David Warner was picked up on the stump mic, saying to Jimmy Anderson: “You shouldn’t headbutt our mates.” Bancroft deadpanned: “He (Bairstow) says hello to people very differently to others.” It may be a storm in a tinnie, but a cup of Yorkshire tea is probably the staple diet until Adelaide

4) MOOD HOOVER HOVERS: In his self-serving autobiography, KP spoke of the ‘mood hoover’, Andy Flower, claiming the Zimbabwean had stopped any freedom for team-bonding nights down under in 2013. At the post-match press conference, the more laissez-fare Trevor Bayliss merely said that there will be a stern talking-to given out and that England have made some dumb decisions around drink. Judging by the look on Joe Root’s face and Bayliss’s ire, the mood is rather dark already.

5) ROOT MUST REMAIN ON FRONT FOOT: Much was said before the game about the importance of England coming out of the first Test unscathed. For three days, there was parity. After the pummelling and bad press of the final two, Root’s rookie captaincy will be now be tested to the limit. The 2006 carnage broke Andrew Flintoff’s spirit and a muted Alastair Cook simply couldn’t prevent the wheels coming off in 2013. Adelaide is the chance to feel English again with seam under the lights before the pace purgatory at Perth starts all over again….

By Tim Ellis