It’s like a game of chess, once one side becomes so dominant, it’s simply a matter of time to play until the conclusion; they were the telling words of Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special as the shadows lengthened on Day 3 in Perth. Indeed, he is correct. While England could still save this Test with the bat on Days 4 and 5, for much of Day 3 England were simply marking time, going through the motions.
It, of course, makes for frustrating watching for England fans, but once their innings had been quickly extinguished, the dream of victory died with it, and in the face of Australia’s dominance there is little England could do for the remainder if the day, especially with Stuart Broad off the field with an injury.
England’s performance in the field was archetypal of a downtrodden, downhearted team. While it would of course be heartening to see more fight and energy, the circumstances for a group of players for whom almost nothing has gone right since Day 2 in Brisbane dictate that such fortitude is difficult to display. England are being beaten, battered and bruised, and when you’re on the floor, in the dust and the bully keeps kicking you, it’s almost impossible to get back up.