There is a chance that James Anderson isn’t the nightwatchman, you realise. He might be the new number three.
But while the batting may have changed considerably, life’s the same for England in the field. Today’s backdrop for the Brad Haddin counterattack was 97-5. We all know the drill by now. The old gnarl-dog’s arguably had a greater impact on a single Ashes series than Adam Gilchrist ever did.
The bowlers were the same too. Scott Borthwick all but Kerriganned himself out of the attack, while Boyd Rankin has clearly spent the last few weeks seizing up, rather than warming up. That left us with Anderson, Broad and Stokes. Get used to it. 2014 could see a few players auditioning to be bowlers four and five.
All of this inspires the feeling that despite bowling Australia out inside a day, England aren’t in a great position. It’s the kind of distorted reasoning that probably affects the team as well. The other way of looking at it is that they’ve somehow had a decent day despite the apparent chaos. But does it feel like that?