The slim spirit that England showed to take the second Test into the final day lasted all but five balls of the morning session as Stuart Broad brainlessly hooked Peter Siddle to Nathan Lyon on the square leg boundary.
Only Matt Prior’s 69 fed the tourists a tiny morsel of positivity as they slumped to a 218 run defeat, but ultimately this was a case of more of the same disappointment for Alastair Cook’s men, who face a mounting task to save the series.
No English side has ever come back from 2-0 down to win the Ashes and the magnitude of Cook’s challenge is highlighted in the series betting odds, which puts England as huge 20/1 outsiders, with Australia 1/12 and a draw 9/1.
With the even quicker and bouncier WACA pitch facing them in Perth, there is a real worry that England’s supreme failure to deal with the short ball will prove their downfall again, leading to an insurmountable 3-0 deficit.
Mitchell Johnson, for once, didn’t rampage through the England batting line-up in the second innings but will once again lead the hostile bowling style that is becoming synonymous with this Australian attack.
To make matters worse for England, Peter Siddle joined his moustachioed bowling partner in the bouncy castle fun, tempting three of his four second-dig victims to find catchers on the boundary with false hook shots.
So, with two bowlers now a short-ball threat, a quick pitch on the horizon and a listless touring batting line-up, it’s little surprise to see a 5-0 whitewash the series correct score favourite at 7/2, with a 4-0 and 4-1 Aussie win the next shortest price on offer at 4/1.
England’s realistic goal now must be to retain the Ashes, which requires a drawn series, and that outcome can be backed at 6/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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