Ashes preview – day three

England captain Alastair Cook

England captain Alastair Cook

By Mike Berriman

Two days into the Ashes and there is still little to choose between England and Australia.

The tourists will begin day three on 254-5, still 176 runs shy of England’s first innings total of 430.

Chris Rogers’ stubborn 95 frustrated the hosts as they managed to take wickets at regular intervals from the other end yesterday, but his wicket – which came courtesy of Mark Wood – will have given England the slight mental edge heading into today.

The Aussie opener’s knock brought up his remarkable seventh successive Test half century, but even more remarkable is his failure to convert any of those scores into three figures, which has to be a huge concern for both Rogers and Australia.

England will hope to clear-up Australia’s lower order without much fuss this morning – especially with the new ball due in only ten overs – but Australia’s tail has wagged before and it will wag again, and the likes of big-hitters Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson are certain to come out firing on a slow pitch in Cardiff.

With the exception of the first morning when the tourists had England wobbling at 43-3, neither side have been able to get on top and with all three results still possible, day three looks set to be an intriguing one in Cardiff.

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