Australia v England second Test talking points

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England need to get back in the Ashes reckoning in Adelaide.

Here, Press Association Sport considers the primary factors which may determine the outcome under lights.

Who will be in the pink?

Two previous day-night Tests at this venue indicate a quick resolution, probably inside four days.

Wickets tumble under lights, so it may even come down to which team ends up batting at the wrong time most often. Whether it is a self-fulfilling mental phenomenon, or something more rational in the conditions, is a moot point – if you are three-down at dusk, you could soon be in big trouble.

England are arguably as well-equipped as their hosts to take advantage, and must grab this chance to battle back. If it is 2-0 going to Perth next week, they will be all washed-up already.

Moeen's finger still a concern

The seamers are likely to have the biggest impact, of course, at the Adelaide Oval. But England could do with Moeen Ali firing on all cylinders again – as he patently did not at the Gabba.

Outbowled there by Nathan Lyon, England’s off-spinning all-rounder was struggling with a cut and blistered finger on his right hand. He has been on light duties since in the nets, which must be a worry for the tourists.

Cook needs runs

There will be even more anxiety about the form of England’s all-time leading runscorer Alastair Cook. The former captain has hit only 70 in his last six Test innings since his double-hundred under lights at Edgbaston in August.

Australia v England - First Test: Day 3

His determination to put things right has extended, typically, to extra net practice all week so far in Adelaide – and it can only be hoped that the pink ball proves to his liking again.

How do you bowl at Smith?!

James Anderson came up with a novel idea in his Thursday press conference – just don’t make the mistake of looking at the Australia captain when you are bowling to him.

Steve Smith’s fidgets before facing up continue as he remains a moving target once the ball is in play. The problem for the opposition is that he then hardly ever misses it, despite his constant motion.

Anderson’s updated plan, after Smith’s unbeaten century at the Gabba, is to simply forget he is there this time.

Australia v England - First Test: Day 3

England’s tail in for another battering

Among Australia’s gleeful mutterings as they moved towards their landslide win in Brisbane were Mitchell Starc and then Smith’s assurances that England’s lower-order batsmen can expect the barrage of short-pitched bowling to continue throughout the series.

Anderson has already inquired of the umpires whether it amounts to intimidatory tactics. He knows it does not, of course, so will need to make sure he has packed the chest-guard again if he plans on getting into line in the cause.

Australia cricket
The Ashes
England cricket
Joe Root

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