The difference between England and Australia so far is that when Australia have been down, they’ve fought like bastards. Even when they lost, they still managed 406 in the fourth innings.
England fought in the first Test, but their decline since the middle of the third Test is unstoppable. The players may not know the meaning of the word momentum, but if they take a look at their deterioration from one day to the next – that’s momentum.
But why? They’re not bad cricketers. On Australia’s bad days, they scrabble to stay in it. On England’s bad days their heads drop and they seem to resign themselves to it. It’s certainly not deliberate, but is there something in the England players’ make-up that makes them this way.
We wonder whether it’s a county cricket thing. If you look like losing a county cricket match, you endure the loss and aim to win the next match, which will probably start within 24 hours. It’s easy to forget. By contrast, Australian domestic cricketers only get a handful of matches a season, so they concentrate on the here and now.