• Did the Indian cricketers sneak into Adelaide and replace the Poms?

    So it would seem, as the Aussies, after exerting complete dominance in Brisbane, have not found the Adelaide Oval nearly as hospitable.

    As has become customary, the blame for the resurgence by England is being laid at the door of Captain Steve Smith.

    Even Australian bowling Coach David Saker, was not sparing of Smith and Smith’s decision not to enforce the follow-on.

    Smith has not shortage of detractors, that much is certain, but for a coach to become involved in the middle of a match seems unseemly.

    Australia can go up 2 – 0 in the Ashes if they can bowl off the tourists before they can score 178 more runs, but another decision by Smith, to bat again without first consulting his teammates, drew fire for Saker.

    “In hindsight it probably is (a regret to bat again), yeah,” Saker told reporters at the conclusion of day four. “There are obviously different reasons why you go back out and have a bat and one is to give your own bowlers a rest.”

    Saker said that everyone, not only Smith, was surprised by the conditions. “We probably didn’t think it would move around like it did,” Saker said.

    Mitchell Starc was supportive of Smith’s decision, saying that it is the captain’s call to make, but others, including Shane Warne and Mark Taylor, seemed to think that Smith’s mindset is entirely too defensive to suit their tastes.

    Saker was not privy to the conversation, but he expressed confidence that Smith’s decision was taken on behalf of his bowlers.

    “There were messages going to and from the dressing room about the possibility. Steven obviously made the decision that he thought the bowlers had bowled enough and that would do. In hindsight, again, we didn’t get an opportunity to bowl with the new ball under lights. That was our chance. Maybe we got it wrong.”

    Saker was also critical of how Smith used the DRS system on day four.