Cook and England punish Australian bowlers again
Ball after ball, over after over, hour after hour, day after day, Australia’s Test team is being dashed against the rocks of England’s batting.
After one English wicket in two days in Brisbane, they improved to claim two in one day at Adelaide Oval, but a tally of 2-317 in reply to an inadequate 245 has put the second Ashes Test entirely at the mercy of the visitors.
Recalled paceman Doug Bollinger (1-76) provided the best possible start for his side by removing England captain Andrew Strauss with the third ball of the morning.
But this served only to reunite the prolific Alastair Cook (132no) and Jonathan Trott (78) for a reprise of their monumental partnership in Brisbane – 173 runs here made it 502 together across two innings.
Trott was eventually out to Ryan Harris (1-51), the best and most disciplined of the Australian bowlers, but Pietersen (85no) was soon rattling along at his customary rate on Adelaide Oval, the ground where he soared to 158 in the corresponding Test four years ago.
Cook, not pretty but pretty effective, has now made 438 runs for once out in the series.
“It was just a really good day for us really,” Cook said.
“We talked about backing up the bowlers after they did such a good job to dismiss them for 245 and really make the most of it and seize our opportunity and we have done that today.
“Coming here to Australia when the side needed it most, I have managed to deliver so far.”
England enjoyed some good fortune.
Trott escaped a run out chance and was also dropped twice, while Cook was given out on 64 for a perceived glove down the legside that upon appeal was revealed to have brushed his arm and the decision was reversed.
However they were again successful in blunting an Australian attack that does not appear capable of claiming the rush of wickets they will need to re-claim the Ashes this summer.
The left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty (0-70), off the field for some of the first session, struggled to find his length and was severely punished by Cook in particular.
Early wickets were desired urgently by Australia in order to make their first innings appear substantial, and Bollinger waited until only his third ball of the series to oblige.
As in the second innings in Brisbane, Strauss raised his bat high to leave a ball tailing into him, but instead of striking pad and eluding an frenzied appeal, this one plucked the off bail.
Trott prospered either side of lunch from a steady supply of straight deliveries that he continually tucked through midwicket, while Cook’s slow accumulation was helped by an occasional edge through slips.
Shane Watson (0-31) brought a little more control to the bowling crease by pursuing a line wide of off stump, and Cook had more success against Siddle, arrowing one crisp square drive to the fence in front of the new members stand.
The chances offered after lunch, eventually resulting in Trott’s wicket when he chipped a catch to midwicket, were some reward for persistence against unrelenting conditions and batsmen.
But the overall impression was of a professional England dealing out punishment to a decidedly ordinary Australia, and this would be confirmed by Pietersen.
Aside from one early miscue against Doherty, he was completely at ease, and helped Cook to maintain his focus against tiring opponents.
The weary Australians were unable to bowl the 90 overs required in the time allowed, and they trudged off seemingly without hope in this match.
“It was a tough day and England are in a very good position in the game,” said ‘keeper Brad Haddin.
“But the important thing from our point of view is we’ve just got to make sure we’re in with a fight.”© AAP 2013