This is how you can get rid of the night watchman job for good, Scotty

Unfortunately for England, their tackles on day two in Hobart summed up their entire summer.

There were plenty of promising starts: Zak Crawley hit some fours, Joe Root had 34, Sam Billings and Chris Woakes teamed up a bit, but no one ever scored a big score again.

It was just an average score, midway through a day and night test, but it probably magnifies Travis Head’s first day hundred.

What they did at 3-12 in tougher conditions, England couldn’t.

There’s been a lot of talk about the release, but I’d still give it a thumbs up from myself. It’s pretty tough under the turf cover and aside from the first hour of day one and the last session of day two, I always felt like the hitters are in the game and can score runs.

The conditions have certainly made cricket entertaining. It has been a strange test; it has generally been dominated by the bowlers, the runs are low but they have been scored at a pretty good rate.

What a day Nathan Lyon had too…and he didn’t even need to throw a single pitch! He first came out and scored 31 to take Australia over 300, and what a catch he took to fire Ben Stokes.

I think he needs to be the hitch hitting coach for Australia. He got in such a good position for the shot, and then he split them for those three sixes. I loved that.

Taking that catch, seeing some of England’s falls in this series, seeing our falls on the slips, was also excellent.

Captain Cummins was once again super as the spearhead of the attack on bowling.

He had a couple of innings where he struggled to take his usual haul of wickets during the series, but even then I think hitters rarely get used to his pace, bounce and movement. They are constantly surprised by those three factors that he provides.

Scotty Boland probably had his most frustrating test day of cricket bowling-wise, but slips let him down. However, if you keep bowling that way, things will change. Mitchell Starc wasn’t at his best, but he’s a pink ball superstar, so he still got a three-for.

Night watchman Scott Boland bats during the second day of the Ashes fifth test. (Photo by Matt Roberts – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Speaking of slip fielding, they really need to address that now.

Everyone talks about the way they part and that they are too narrow. I’m not entirely sure who organizes that; I would have thought that Alex Carey needs to have a great voice as a wicketkeeper.

Sometimes they definitely look a little too close together. They need to get it right.

We’ve already won this series, so these missed catches aren’t going to hurt us significantly; but going to the subcontinent, if we’re not taking our catches behind the wicket, particularly early, it can cost you a series.

For England, at least they came out and tried last night. This was the best that Chris Woakes has launched throughout the series, while the Stuart Broad-Dave Warner battle was won again by the Englishman to end Davey’s duo.

Not wanting to be negative and look back again, England had a chance on the first day in Brisbane when they won the draw. Broad should have been playing ahead of Jack Leach, and if Root had chosen to throw first, that first Broad ball would have been thrown to Warner and Marcus Harris.

Imagine what the atmosphere would have been like; could have brought them down in those rocking and sewing conditions.

Decisions made on the first day at Gabba continue to haunt them, particularly as Broad continues to bowl in this manner. What could have been for England.

As if it wasn’t enough for Boland to deal with all those dropped catches, he also had to come in as a night watchman!

When he was young, he was thought to have quite good technique; so I was Victoria’s night watchman for the first three or four years, because they felt I was trustworthy.

I hated it! I was getting hit a lot so I made the decision to go to England and learn how to play more shots.

Suddenly I was labeled as a punch player who was a bit unreliable, so I was never a night watchman again!

So Scotty, I’d be playing my shots tomorrow, and you’d expect to turn that job over to Nathan Lyon.

On the other hand, I don’t want him to bat too long – get out before 70 (my best test was 71)! I think Merv Hughes (72) would back me up there, and probably Paul Reiffel (79) too.

England will need to almost eliminate Australia by less than 200 to have a chance of winning the match. They only scored 188 in the first innings, and they haven’t scored 300 in the series.

But with Robinson now fit again after that back spasm on day one, that will at least raise more questions for the Aussies. They won’t necessarily be up against Root, so bowling changes will continue to put pressure on them.

The first hour is huge, IF they can bowl as well as they did tonight. You’d take anything under 300, but if they let Australia go to 200, I think it becomes too big of a task, unless someone does a Travis Head.

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