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Ashes: Will England win the second Ashes Test v Australia? Plus vote on the outcome


Pint-sized Ashes: Best TMS moments as England set up tense final day
Second Ashes Test, Adelaide Oval
Australia: 442-8d & 138 v England: 227 & 176-4
England need 178 more runs to win
Coverage: Play starts at 03:30 GMT and you can follow ball-by-ball commentary on TMS and the BBC Sport website and app.

Australia remain favourites but can England pull off a record-breaking run chase to win the second Test in Adelaide?

England have an outside shot at a stunning victory after bowling Australia out for 138 and then reaching 176-4 in pursuit of a highly-improbable 354.

With a further 178 runs still required, captain Joe Root – who will resume on 67 not out – holds the key to England’s hopes of recording their highest-ever fourth-innings run chase in Tests.

BBC Test Match Special pundits discuss which way this thrilling match will go.

Stay in and graft – Boycott

“England have a chance but it’ll be tough. They have some good batsman but it’s a big ask,” said former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott.

“They have 18 overs to the new ball so England have an hour and 20 minutes before that where the ball won’t move around too much, but their bowlers will be fresh.

“Off-spinner Nathan Lyon has bowled beautifully and could have had more wickets. I think the left-handers in England’s team will find it rough against him.

“We don’t care whether it’s the last pair at the wicket needing 20, we just need to get the runs. A win’s a win and we need it. I know how difficult it is but records are meant to be broken. They need a steely mind, and they have to stay in and graft.”

  • England require their highest successful fourth-innings chase in Tests. Their previous best is 332-7 against Australia at Melbourne in 1928.
Root survived some testing moments on day four as he played himself back into form

Root back to his best – Vaughan

“Joe Root needs to get 135-plus and Chris Woakes is a pest and can play. If they can continue their partnership it’s a dream we can believe in but statistics and history tell you Australia will probably win,” said former England captain Michael Vaughan.

“The captain looked back to his best. He looked back to having his head in the right position, getting it going to towards the ball. He is the key.

“Australia captain Steve Smith has to be thinking about 24 hours ago when he didn’t enforce the follow-on. If he had, the game would have been done and dusted.”

  • England have to produce the highest successful chase at the Adelaide Oval, beating the current record of 315-6 by Australia against England in 1902.
Cummins bowled Dawid Malan in the closing stages on Tuesday to give Australia a huge boost

England will win – Swann

“England will win half an hour after the first break,” said former England spinner Graeme Swann. “You can see there’s been a change of momentum and body language.

“Pat Cummins looks ominously dangerous because the ball will reverse swing, so the first hour, as boring as it sounds because we say it every day, will be massive.

“Get through that and England win the game.”

  • If England are successful it will be the 10th highest successful fourth-innings chase in Test history.
Listen: Anderson claims first five-wicket haul in Australia

We can do it – Anderson

“There’s obviously a huge amount of work ahead of us but we’re in with a chance, which is all we can ask for after the first two days,” said England bowler James Anderson, whose five second-innings wickets brought his side back into the match.

“There are no gremlins in the pitch. There’s nothing to fear in terms of the pitch deteriorating.

“It’s just a case of coming out tomorrow [Wednesday] with belief. We’ve got to believe we can do it and we’ve got the players in the dressing room who can do it.”

  • Anderson’s 5-43 was his first five-wicket haul in Australia and his 25th five-wicket haul in 131 Tests

Australia still on top – Saker

“We’ve got a hell of a game haven’t we?” Australia bowling coach David Saker told Test Match Special. “It’s turned quite quickly but we’re still in the ascendancy. Joe’s innings was special but if we go bang-bang in the morning, we’re well on top.

“Pat Cummins has been the best fast bowler in this game and will be a really important player for us. Tomorrow will be very nervy. It’s set up for a fantastic game of cricket.”

  • On the last 14 occasions England have been set in excess of 300 dating back to 2013 they have won none, and only once have they come within 100 runs.
Steve Smith looked like he was feeling the pressure as England frustrated his attack

Should Australia have enforced the follow-on?

Saker conceded that Australia captain Smith had made a mistake in not enforcing the follow-on after bowling England out for 227 in their first innings.

“Steven has obviously made the decision that he felt the guys had bowled enough,” said Saker.

“In hindsight, we didn’t get an opportunity to bowl with the new ball under the lights – that was our chance.

“Maybe we got it wrong. At the end of the Test match we will review that.

“He is obviously frustrated at what has happened but I don’t think he is really ruing the decision.”

  • Only South Africa captain Dudley Nourse against Australia in 1950 has previously lost a Test after failing to enforce the follow-on.
England’s Barmy Army fans made plenty of noise in support of their team

But why so late from England?

“At the end of the Test match, if England win then brilliant, it would be incredible,” said Vaughan. “But why didn’t England start the game like they bowled last night and why didn’t they bat like this?

“Why has it taken two days for them to get into this Test match? Why has it taken that long for the intensity and desperation to be there?”

  • If Australia win they will lead England 2-0 in the best-of-five series, needing one more win to regain the Ashes



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