Cow Corner

View from Down Under: Poms’ worst nightmare

As if Michael Clarke's imperious batting on day two of the second Ashes Test was not bad enough for England, another Australian hero Mitchell Johnson had a chance to strike terror into England hearts late on in the day and given an indication of what is to come on Saturday.

That's the view in the morning's Australian papers, with a photo of the moustachioed menace adorning the back page of Sydney's Daily Telegraph under the headline 'Poms' worst nightmare'.

If every Englishman who'll pull on the pads today didn't sleep well last night, this is the man you can blame.

Mitchell Johnson was at his fearsome best yesterday, regularly clocking 150km/h thunderbolts, as England limped to stumps at 1-35, chasing Australia's 9-570.

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On a similar theme, Peter Lalor in the Australian newspaper writes:

England is 535 runs behind on the first innings and in trouble. Mitchell Johnson is inside the visitors' heads, his searing pace has rattled a top order that is scarred from Brisbane and trying not to think of what lies waiting in Perth.

Being in the Adelaide moment is just too hard for a team that has an enormous job ahead to remain in this game and this series.

Johnson's first over was brutal and Alastair Cook's dismissal in the second was telling. The England captain looked like he did not want to be out there.

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With Johnson bristling with menace and seemingly firing on all cylinders, the overnight mood is a suitably upbeat one and that is conveyed across the morning's papers.

Robert Craddock in Brisbane's Courier-Mail even goes as far as suggesting that:

Ruthless Australia will attempt to win two Test matches for the price of one in Adelaide.

Behind the overwhelming priority of winning here lies the significant subplot of trying to leave England's drained bowling attack so broken that they fire like damp water pistols in the Perth Test which starts just four days later.

It's why Alastair Cook is already trying to conserve the energy of his quicks and why Michael Clarke should be no certainly of enforcing the follow on if England go belly up for a small total on Saturday.

[Read the full story]

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Clarke, understandably, is singled out for individual praise, both for his supreme innings, but also for his considered captaincy, which has impressed Malcolm Knox in the Sydney Morning Herald.

When Michael Clarke clashed with James Anderson in the long shadows of the Gabba, a widely asked question was why he would bother. The game was as good as over. If not for Nathan Lyon's errant elbow, the game would already have been over. The end was minutes away. Why, in those circumstances, would a captain lose his cool?

For Clarke, however, this was not the dying gasp of a one-sided Test match. It was day four of a scheduled 25-day series, a beginning, not an end.

The single-mindedness of Clarke's pursuit of the Ashes was evident in his Adelaide century. This was an innings of many shades but one underlying tone. On Thursday afternoon, after the fall of three quick wickets, he played grittily, locking down his defensive game while George Bailey counter-attacked.

[Read the full story]

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Another early night for me, congrats @MClarke23 on a superb 100 ! Give him a man hug from me please @KylyClarke !

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And this photo pretty much sums up the mood in Australia - they wouldn't want to miss out on a good old fashioned Pommie-bashing, would they?

Sign outside the Adelaide oval for next two days. #ashes

— BBC TMS (@bbctms) December 6, 2013

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