Ashes 2013-14: Bob Willis questions England bowling to Brad Haddin
Bob Willis believes England's bowling to Brad Haddin was the key to Australia gaining the upper hand in Sydney.
Last Updated: 03/01/14 11:08pm
Australia, who were put in by Alastair Cook, recovered from 97-5 to reach 326 in their first innings thanks to a gutsy knock of 75 from the in-form Haddin and Steve Smith's 115.
Willis said: "It was an important toss to win. I think they were excellent bowling conditions so I think England got the decision right to bowl first.
"The bowling was perfectly fine, Australia losing their first five wickets relatively cheaply, but this is the fifth time in a row that Brad Haddin and company down the order have rescued Australia.
"In that afternoon session they made all England's bowlers look very ordinary indeed. I think they have got the killer instinct but they simply cannot bowl the right length to Brad Haddin.
"He's a difficult customer because if you over pitch he will hit it back over your head and if you pitch it short he will smash you away through mid-wicket.
"The bowlers are going to have to learn quicker than this and I think Alastair Cook has got to be a little bit firmer with his bowlers and make sure they are bowling to the fields he is setting."
Margin for error
Former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie added: "Your margin for error is a lot less with Brad Haddin. He is quick to jump on the back foot and he looks to go straight down the ground.
"He is not afraid to take a calculated risk and put pressure back on the bowlers and this whole series he has been very successful at that."
Ben Stokes followed up his century in the Perth Test by taking 6-99 from 19.5 overs and Willis was full of praise for the England all-rounder.
"He has been absolutely terrific," said Willis. "It has been a long, long time since England had an all-rounder who scored a century and then took a five-wicket haul in the space of three Test matches.
"It was an outstanding contribution from him. Yes he was expensive - he went at five runs an over - but he bowls wicket-taking deliveries. I think he has been a revelation and one very bright spark on this tour."
You can watch day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test tonight on Sky Sports 2HD, starting at 11pm