Adapt a tough stance
Bob Willis says that England's batsmen must learn to modify their game after their painful time in Perth.
Last Updated: 19/12/10 10:05am
Sadly, there was something all too predictable about England's rapid demise in Perth.
Graham Gooch admitted the game was as good as up after day three so I wasn't surprised that there wasn't any longevity about the remainder of their second innings on day four.
Quite simply, the damage had already been done.
I thought Nasser Hussain made a great point on commentary when he pointed out that our tail-enders simply don't fancy batting at Perth - all they can see is a bit of pain coming their way.
Perhaps that's why Jimmy Anderson didn't take that single late on day three that preceded Paul Collingwood's dismissal.
Either way, England can't get out of Perth quick enough - history proves that they don't have what it takes to play on the unique pitches at the WACA - and it's time to move on.
Ryan Harris reaped the rewards in England's second innings by trusting in pace, accuracy and sheer endeavour.
While he's not quite as quick as Brett Lee, he makes batsmen play more so if he can stay he will be a real handful for the remainder of the series.
I know Beefy thinks it is time to spice up some of our Test pitches in England to give us a better chance of performing at places like Perth and I'd go along with that.
Unfortunately, though, I can't see those responsible for running our game giving up the four-day sell-outs (which often come with the bonus of some fifth-day action too) any time soon.
Old Trafford has produced some great five-day matches in recent years but for the most part the administrators still prefer 'chief executive wickets' and I can see it staying that way for the foreseeable future.
That is a problem.
Amid all the euphoria surrounding England's batting in Brisbane second time around and at Adelaide, there is enough evidence around to suggest that as soon as a pitch starts to do anything our players struggle to adapt.
Our performances at Perth, at Headingley against Australia in 2009 and against South Africa at the Wanderers are three examples that spring to mind.
As heavy as this defeat was, though, I don't think it will leave a lasting impression on England's psyche - it will be quickly forgotten once the Melbourne Test comes around.
Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower are very calm thinkers and this shouldn't affect the morale to any great degree. They remain a very tight unit and England will certainly play better in the last two matches.
The bigger issue is that is has boosted the confidence of the opposition.
If you'd drawn up a composite Ashes XI before this Test this Test then probably only Mike Hussey and Brad Haddin would have got in it. Now you can throw in Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson and Harris to even things up a little.
That means the series is now set up perfectly for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG and I for one can't wait for that first session to roll around.