Adam Voges' half-century was one of the highlights of Australia's innings © Getty Images
Adam Voges’ half-century was one of the highlights of Australia’s innings © Getty Images

Coming off a string of humiliating defeats on an emotionally draining tour, Australia picked themselves up and continued to dominate England for the second day on a trot. With England tottering at 107 for 8 for in their first innings and Australia’s lead in excess of 350, it is safe to conclude the tourists are likely to call the shots for the remainder of this game. Even though these efforts are coming in a lost cause, Australia are finally giving a glimpse of what we might have got to see in Ashes 2015 had they played to their potential, says Devarchit Varma.

Four out of top five batsmen in the Australian batting line-up faced more than 100 balls. Two scored half-centuries; one went on to get more than 140. When it was their turn to bowl, they reduced England to 107 for 8. Three out of these eight wickets have been snaffled by Mitchell Marsh. Had he not overstepped in the 37th over of the England innings, he would have had four in his kitty. It was just the performance Australia wanted from their cricketers throughout the Ashes 2015 but unfortunately never received it.

The top order had done everything it could to give Australia the starts throughout the series. There was the regulation 100-run stand between David Warner and Chris Rogers in the first innings, and it was up to the middle-order to carry on. In the past, the middle-order had blown it all away, but this time they dropped anchor and did what they were supposed to do. Without much trouble, Australia were able to post more than 450.

Steven Smith notched up his 11th Test ton and became the 12th Australian to score more than 500 runs in a single Ashes series in England. While it would have been heartening for the Australians to see their batting mainstay making merry in the enemy land, there was another positive for them. Adam Voges stuck out to score a resolute 76 facing as many as 130 balls, adding a crucial 146 for the fourth wicket to provide Australia a platform which they never got from their middle-order. ALSO READ: Steven Smith first Australian in 18 years to score 500 runs in an Ashes series in England

Voges showed tremendous discipline and determination. He had his share of nervous moments but was brave, and as the saying goes, fortune favoured him. He played with authority, and struck 12 boundaries in his 76. Though England did not bowl their best, nothing can be taken away from Voges. Catch live cricket scores and cricket updates of the 5th Ashes 2015 Test between England and Australia

The Australian bowling attack was led by Peter Siddle, who celebrated his comeback with two wickets. Siddle bowled 10 overs, gave away only 18 runs and moved the ball so dangerously that it would have forced the English bowlers in the dressing-room to wonder why they did not get similar movement. Others chipped in as well, with Nathan Lyon producing a few unplayable deliveries and Mitchell Johnson snaring Jonny Bairstow.

To come back in such emphatic manner is indeed a special effort from the Australians. Had they shown a little gumption when it really mattered earlier in this Ashes, the scoreline could have been different. Australia have given a glimpse of what could have happened, albeit too late in the contest.

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)