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An enthralling day of action moved the third Test along in fast forward at the WACA with Mitchell Johnson reviving his career and Australia’s Ashes fortunes with a brutal 6 for 38 to dismiss England for 187. However, the home side didn’t extend the advantage without further top-order failures as Steven Finn and Chris Tremlett caused problems although by stumps Shane Watson was unbeaten on 61 and the lead was 200.
After eight days of England dominance this one went comprehensively to Australia and how desperately they needed it. If the visitors had batted throughout the day the Ashes would have been hard to save, but by the close Australia’s belief was being restored after the efforts of their most mercurial cricketer. Johnson’s morning burst of 4 for 7 knocked the stuffing out of England’s previously prolific line up. The whole feeling of the series changed with each booming inswinger and all ten wickets fell for 109.
Full story: ESPNcricinfo
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My feelings on the third Test are split. As an ex-coach of the team I want to see England retain the Ashes. But a draw would surely be the better result for the sport. It is crucial for the health of Test cricket that this series holds the interest of the public.
In Australia the television audiences have been dropping. Over a million Australians watched their team on TV on the Saturday of the first Test at Brisbane. Eight days later, on the Sunday at Adelaide, the viewing figures had dropped down to 655,000. Attendances at the grounds are down too. Only 7,088 people paid to watch the fifth day of the first Test. I hear the first two days at the Waca are sold out, but if Australia are utterly outplayed again then fans will start to turn away.
Full story: The Guardian
On a quiet night in another Australian hotel room, with the hours dragging until battle resumes in the Ashes on Thursday, Alastair Cooktells a vivid story. But the England opener does not linger over his epic innings in Brisbane, when he helped save the first Test and broke Don Bradman‘s record for the highest score at The Gabba by batting 10½ hours for his undefeated 235.
He also skips across his seven-hour knock in Adelaide, when his 148 set up a crushing innings victory.
Cook focuses instead on an amusing anecdote. His wry account is framed by distant hurt as he remembers an English summer day, earlier this year, when he went shopping in his local supermarket.
“This little kid followed me around,” Cook says as, in his memory, he slips past the ready meals and heads towards the fruit and vegetables. “Eventually, he said, ‘You’re Alastair Cook, aren’t you?’ When I nodded, he looked me up and down and said, ‘You’re not batting very well, are you?'”
Full story: The Guardian