Despite losing three wickets late in the final Test against England, Australia take control of the series.


Despite losing three wickets late in the final Test against England, Australia takes control of the series.

The end of one of England’s worst tours is near.

To be honest, being in Hobart on the second day of the fifth Test was to witness a batting unit on the verge of collapse.

Joe Root and his team have talked about putting “pride in the badge” on numerous occasions.

It’s obvious now that they were discussing the Australian badge.

England started and ended the day in the field, being dismissed for 188 in 47.4 overs – not quite a one-day innings, and certainly not as entertaining.

It would be an exaggeration to say that this was their most spineless performance in recent weeks.

After all, they were bowled out for 147 in Brisbane, 185 in Melbourne, and 68 in Sydney.

There’s still one more inning to play.

But it wasn’t the reaction ECB chief executive Tom Harrison had hoped for when he said before the match that England should ‘come home with some positivity around the Test environment.’

It’s a wonder they couldn’t raise their game with that clarion call ringing in their ears.

Even in the bad old days of the 1990s, England would win the dead match at the end of a series on rare occasions.

Except for a wild first hour in which they reduced Australia to 12 for three and then watched Travis Head flay them to all corners of Bellerive Oval, Hobart’s first Ashes Test has provided them with no such prospect.

England crumbled at the first sign of pressure once more.

Harrison will wait for the team’s managing director Ashley Giles and performance director Mo Bobat to provide an end-of-tour report, but the evidence of his own eyes should be enough to draw some disturbing conclusions.

The most obvious reason for Harrison’s call for a’reset’ of a domestic game he has presided over for the past seven years is that, with the exception of Root, the players who are supposed to represent the cream of English batting have fundamentally flawed techniques and temperaments.

Rory Burns’ failure to dive for the crease after being called through for a risky single by Zak Crawley was perplexing on his return to the Test team – and with a career to play for.

Burns was caught off guard by Marnus Labuschagne’s throw, resulting in his eighth duck in his last 22 Test innings.


Nokia News in a Nutshell

England began day two of the final Test in the field, and ended it there tooYet again in this Ashes series, the tourists crumbled at the first sign of pressure  Joe Root’s men were dismissed for 188, handing Australia a 115-run leadThe hosts lost three wickets before close of play but remain in command


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