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Australia vs England, Ashes 2021/22

And welcome to our live blog of day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test.

After a promising start yesterday, having reduced Australia to 12-3 early on, England’s bowlers let the game slip from their grasp and let Australia off the hook in Hobart.

There have been precious few moments for genuine optimism – with England losing the Ashes in double-quick time – but it might have been, in context, the worst day of them all. 

Here’s Nick Hoult with what happened on day one in Hobart: 

New ground, same old story. England threw away a good start against Australia and the move from the mainland to Tasmania looks like a trip too far for a broken bunch of players.

English hands were on hips and shoulders sagged as Travis Head broke any remaining resolve with a brilliant second century of the series, and Cameron Green showed why he will be an Ashes star for the next decade as Australia reached 241 for six before the lightest of rain persuaded the umpires to come off.

Ollie Robinson bowled beautifully with the new ball but his lack of conditioning became a problem again, as he stiffened up and bowled just one abject over after lunch, barely reaching 70mph, leaving Joe Root a bowler short. 

Robinson has skills, and is an intelligent bowler, which makes it worse that his fitness levels, something he can control, are such a problem. If he is to last in Test cricket he has to be more professional and England tougher with their players.

It is hard to imagine Justin Langer, the Australia coach, allowing one of his bowlers, especially one who is only playing his ninth Test, so much rope. Robinson played golf on the players’ day off on Tuesday, when colleagues such as Chris Woakes decided to prepare instead for the Test. It is no surprise he had a bad back three days later, letting Root down. He has gone off in every Test with a niggle.

Still, England are not yet out of this game. But given how the batting has gone this series – their highest total in four Tests so far is 297 – you really feel that England will need to knock over the final four wickets quite quickly.  

Play gets under way at 3.30am GMT. Can England salvage something from the day and the Test?



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