Ad welcome to live coverage of day five from Adelaide where, barring a miracle, England are heading for a defeat that would confirm they would go into the third Test 2-0 down for the fourth time in the past five tours.
At least, one supposes, they made it into day five, unlike the first Test, which is progress of a sort but all promise on this tour generally lasts, at most, a session before a collapse that provokes more rage than sympathy despite how badly these players have been let down by their board and strange management policies.
Had Joe Root, Viz’s Buster Gonads come to life yesterday, not got out or sensibly retired hurt when struck in an intimate location for the second time in seven hours, there may have been a touch of false hope around this morning. But reality tends to bite in these situations and even so Australia, with two rookie bowlers in their attack, would manage to maintain their superiority, bowling probingly, precisely and patiently, on a length England’s two greats finally felt comfortable achieving only 25 overs into the hosts’ second innings.
There is a whiff of four year ago about the scorecard. England were 176 for four overnight at the end of day four at the Adelaide Oval and began the morning with words of defiance and yet were all out for 233. If England were somehow to manage to avoid a crushingly quick defeat, it will be down to Ben Stokes and two more players sticking around for long periods but it would never feel safe until they reached the safe harbour of the end of the day with at least one wicket intact. It is possible but the likelihood is so vanishingly small that we should banish all thoughts of it for now. That way, woth this England team overseas, madness lies.