Ashes 2013/14: England must salvage some pride by batting long and hard
England will be in trouble if they fail once again to get first innings runs...
Last Updated: 06/12/13 3:43pm
The tourists, 1-0 down after losing the first Test in Brisbane, reached 35-1 before stumps after Australia declared their first innings closed on 570-9, a total featuring hundreds from Michael Clarke (148) and Brad Haddin (118).
England lost skipper Alastair Cook early in their reply when he was bowled by Mitchell Johnson for three but Michael Carberry (20no) and Joe Root (9no) saw out the day, and Botham says the rest of the batting order must match their resilience to keep Australia's bid to regain the urn at bay.
"This game is far from over yet but Australia are very much in the ascendancy," he said. "England's first priority is to get runs on the board and make sure they are not following on, otherwise they will be in trouble.
"They must salvage some pride and get themselves back into the game and by doing that they've got to bat long and hard.
"To go 2-0 down here with Perth to come would be really hard work. But I believe they can bat it out here. The pitch is flat. They've done it before in Australia and they've got players capable of doing it."
Australia began day two on 273-5 and grabbed the initiative thanks to a 200-run stand between Clarke and Haddin, who enjoyed a reprieve shortly after posting his half-century - and the partnership stood at 111 - when debutant Ben Stokes overstepped.
"Clarke and Haddin played magnificently," reflected Botham. "The writing was a little bit on the wall after the first ball that Clarke faced from Monty Panesar - he got a leading edge and it sailed over cover by two or three yards.
"From that point on he didn't put a foot wrong. He was quick on his feet, he cut the ball and he pulled it if the bowlers dared to drop it short - particularly the spinners - and he would go the aerial route.
"Brad Haddin - what a man to have in support. They both average well over 100 on this ground and they didn't do any damage to those averages. They shared a 200-run partnership that took the wind out of England's sails.
"I thought Ben Stokes in his first Test match came in well; he had good pace, he kept going. It would have been a massive disappointment, but also a good lesson for him, when he overstepped the line for what would have otherwise been his first Test wicket when Haddin had 51.
"England have got a lot to do but they can do it, believe me; there is not much happening with this pitch. You keep the Australians out there tomorrow in 30 degrees for most of the day and Mitchell Johnson won't be bowling at 95 mph then."
Watch highlights of day two from 10am on Sky Sports 2 and On Demand from 6.30pm, then tune in for the Ashes Verdict from 9pm and The Ashes Extra from 11pm ahead of live coverage of day three from 11.30pm.