Looking at the position they were in, It looked inevitable that they will not only surpass Australia’s first-innings score by a solid margin but would also put their foot on the accelerator to put it beyond the arch-rivals.
Against popular perception, England lost way early on Day 2. The hosts lost their top-order in a hurry and frittered the advantage. At Lunch, they managed to get 85-run lead which is not bad in the conditions but they have given Australia room to come back into the Test match.
Here’s a look at few talking points from the session
Ben Stokes: Ben Stokes bats at number six and had all the ability to steer his team to a comfortable position on Thursday. But at Edgbaston, he failed to respond to a well-directed bouncer from Mitchell Johnson. At Cardiff, Stokes scored 52 and 42 and at Lord’s he had a counter-attacking 87 to his name. On most occasions he has got starts but threw it away leaving his team’s final push for an offensive in disarray.
Out of touch Bairstow: Bairstow made his first appearance for England after a gap of two years at Edgbaston. Poor form was the primary reason for his absence from the squad. On Thursday, he could have made a statement but instead edged one from Mitchell Johnson straight to Nevill behind the stumps.
Fiery Johnson: Johnson was breathing fire in the morning session as he reduced England from 133/3 to 142/5 in a span of just 3 overs. A sharp bouncer well complemented with raw pace to dismiss a technically sound Ben Stokes was a treat to watch. And with England now seven down, Clarke will looking to give him a long spell so that he can repeat his performance of Lord’s.
Spin wizard Lyon: Lyon has been the pick of the Aussie bowlers so far. The Aussie extracted extra bounce and varied his length on occasions to keep the English batsmen guessing. He trapped Jos Buttler plumb in front to kill any hopes of a revival in the pre-Lunch session. As of now his figures read: 8 overs, 3 for 14. With pitch assisting spin with every passing minute, the off spinner has to come back and clean up the England tail enders.