England go down fighting in Adelaide – final day of second Test

The Ashes

England’s hopes of regaining the Ashes urn hang by a thread after Jos Buttler’s rearguard was not enough to stop Australia taking a 275-run win in Adelaide and a 2-0 series lead.

Australia took the final six wickets they needed on day five, but only after Buttler had sowed the seeds of doubt with a 207-ball knock worth 27.

His innings ended in improbable fashion in the final session of the match, stepping on his own stumps as he went back in his crease and gifting Jhye Richardson the fourth wicket of his maiden five-for.

Magic number

Pic of the day

Jos Buttler is dismissed after standing on his stumps
Jos Buttler stood on his stumps (Jason O’Brien/PA)

England’s dirty dozen Down Under

  • Lost by 381 runs (Brisbane, 2013)
  • Lost by 218 runs (Adelaide, 2013)
  • Lost by 150 runs (Perth, 2013)
  • Lost by 8 wickets (Melbourne, 2013)
  • Lost by 218 runs (Syndney, 2014)
  • Lost by 10 wickets (Brisbane, 2017)
  • Lost by 120 runs (Adelaide, 2017)
  • Lost by innings and 41 runs (Perth, 2017)
  • Draw (Melbourne, 2017)
  • Lost by innings and 123 runs (Sydney, 2018)
  • Lost by 9 wickets (Brisbane, 2021)
  • Lost by 275 runs (Adelaide, 2021)

England selection in a spin

Jack Leach bowls during a net session
Jack Leach did not feature in the second Test (Jason O’Brien/PA)

After watching Australia blast Jack Leach out of the attack on an unhelpful pitch in Brisbane, England ignored the public advice of the Adelaide Oval curator when he told them to pick a spinner on his pitch. They left Leach out in favour of a five-pronged seam attack but clearly read conditions wrong. There was a total of 108 overs of spin in the match, with Australia’s Nathan Lyon taking the bulk while the likes of Joe Root, Dawid Malan, Ollie Robinson, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Travis Head all tried their luck with part-time twirlers.

Twenties aren’t plenty for Pope

Ollie Pope finds himself in the spotlight after another lean Test.
Ollie Pope finds himself in the spotlight after another lean Test (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Ollie Pope has long been touted as the best English batter of his generation and even as the domestic game’s brightest star since Root. But things are not panning out as planned for the Surrey prodigy. He is now 22 matches into his Test career and his dismissal for just four left him with a batting average that has now ticked down into the twenties (29.79). More worrying still, his average across nine appearances this year is just 21.64. Will England stick or twist in Melbourne?

Australian reunion

The television studios are heavily populated with reminders of the great Australian side of the late nineties and early 2000s and several of the most memorable faces came together on the field to recreate one of the safest slip cordons of the modern era. Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, current head coach Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden all recreated their old positions and captured the moment for posterity.