You could say that the nation is divided right now on England and their Ashes defence.
Some people are in the camp who are thinking it could be another 5-0 whitewash, which would be an absolute disaster. On the other hand there are people who fully believe, even at 2-0 down, that England could right a few wrongs and really upset the odds by going on to win the series 3-2. It may seem extremely unlikely, especially with Australia’s dominance on home soil but it can be done.
First of all, the pressure is really on for Joe Root and his men as they must not be beaten in Perth. Now, many people would look at this and think that this may not to that difficult but when you take into account that England haven’t won at the WACA since 1978, you certainly get a feel for just how difficult a task lays ahead for the current holders of the Ashes urn.
The question is, how can Joe Root and England mastermind a remarkable comeback? Well the need to keep Steve Smith at bay for a kick off. Smith was 141 not out in the first test back in Brisbane but in Adelaide, England did everything they could to unsettle Australia’s captain and it worked. He was bowled out by Craig Overton for a disappointing 40. Keeping his tally down is vital and England have shown they can do it so they must make sure he’s out early doors again in Perth.
England must do better with the ball in hand too at the WACA. People will say that the pace and bounce will be more suited to the Aussies bowlers but England have to aim for the top of the wicket and make sure they find that all important line and length on the Perth surface. The pace of the bowl won’t be important as long as England’s bowlers adapt and make sure they’re finding their range with more accuracy.
It’s been a concern for a long while in regard to England’s batting abilities and their frailties are already showing in their Ashes defence. If England need centuries, they’ll likely come up very short and that’s worrying. They must do better with the bat and they can if they keep their concentration levels up and make sure they’re aware of their surroundings. England’s major failure here has been how cheaply batsmen are being dispatched from the crease.
What England need is improvement and fast. If they can up their game in Perth, they will certainly cause Australia problems. Not winning there since 1978 should be put to the back of everyone’s minds and records like this have to be broken sometimes. The pressure is at an all-time high for Joe Root and his side now as they know a third successive defeat will see the famous little urn back in the hands of the Australians, with a potential 5-0 defeat on the horizon.