© Getty Images
© Getty Images

England would want their tour to conclude. They have had it. How long do they bowl to this tireless Australian batting? They removed Steven Smith for a mere 83, and are still lying under a lead of 133 runs. Usman Khawaja scored 171, and after he walked out, the Marsh brothers continued annihilation. There seems to be no stop to England’s wretchedness. Are England under a necromancy?

Joe Root himself bowled 8 overs. He had his moment, but the DRS suggested that Shaun Marsh had not edged it. Mason Crane would have dismissed Mitchell Marsh early, but the DRS saved him as well. Moeen Ali bowled 37 overs, conceding 125 runs for 1. He looked nothing less than a part-timer: that, or Australia batted so sensibly that it diminished Moeen’s reputation of being an all-rounder. Stuart Broad, who is just a wicket away from becoming only the second Englishman to 400 wickets, bowled as if he is older than James Anderson: he went wicketless today. Anderson, of course, was the pick of the bowlers and is not bored of that. Tom Curran ran in as if he is on a high dosage of glucose all the time, but his variation did England little to no good.

The ooohs and aaahs moments came to the fore only when the leg-spinner bowled: Crane, as the name suggests, lifted our moods. One of his deliveries was a reminiscence of Shane Warne’s ball of the century, but on a day that hardly gave England any respite, the ball missed the stumps. Tom Curran had had David Warner caught on 99 in the last Test off a no-ball, stretching the wait for his maiden Test wicket. Today, Crane repeated the blunder. Khawaja would have been in the dressing-room earlier in the day. Again, why does misfortune keeps towering over them? Are they some kind of magnet?

Crane would later make Khawaja his maiden Test wicket.

There was no way England would been taken out of the misery. The Marsh brothers added over a hundred runs together. Shaun is 2 runs short of his sixth century, while his little brother remained unbeaten on 63.

Only four Australians took field today, meaning the remaining seven are fresh as a fiddle. On the other hand, England have already fielded for 157 overs and goodness knows how long will they be running behind the ball before they are put to bat again. Mitchell Starc and his pacemen will gobble down the Englishmen once Smith declares the innings.

Brief scores:

England 346 (Joe Root 83, Dawid Malan 62; Mitchell Starc 2 for 47, Pat Cummins 4 for 80, Josh Hazlewood 2 for 65) lead Australia 479 for 4 (Usman Khawaja 171, Steven Smith 83. Shaun Marsh 98*; James Anderson 1 for 52) by 133 runs.

Full scorecard