The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Inexperience let us down, laments Fletcher
- second ashes test l ‘You’ve got to have continuity and we don’t have that’

Adelaide: England’s inexperience let them down allowing Australia to snatch back the initiative on the second day of the second Ashes Test on Friday, coach Duncan Fletcher said.

England dominated Thursday’s opening day’s play to score 295 for four only to collapse all out for 324 on Friday. Australia in reply were 247 for two at the close, just 95 runs behind with eight first innings wickets in hand.

“It’s a little frustrating. We played some good cricket yesterday to be four down for close to 300,” Fletcher said.

“We were in a good position but we probably let it slip there. We should have got a lot more runs on the board.

“We had hoped to be in the high 400s but that’s what’s done and we’ve got to put it behind us and make sure we battle on tomorrow.” Fletcher said England’s collapse was a reflection of the inexperience in their team, forced on them by the absence of several senior players through injury.

“You’ve got to have continuity and we don’t have that. We’ve shown over the summer we can make some good totals but you can’t hide away from the injuries,” he said.

“We want continuity so we can build some sort of momentum but at the end of the day, if you walk in there and you’ve got three or four new’s very difficult to continue that sort of momentum.

“They (the Australians) are really experienced and they know once they get their tails up they can apply the pressure when they want to.”

England have another injury problem looming with opener Michael Vaughan troubled by a sore shoulder.

“It could be a slight problem batting for him (in the second innings) at this stage,” said Fletcher.

“He’s struggling to turn his arm over, it’s sore and still, and he couldn’t throw a cricket ball. It’s badly bruised and it was checked this morning and there’s nothing more serious than bruising.”

Vaughan didn’t field during Australia’s first innings on Friday.

Fast bowler Jason Gillespie and leg spinner Shane Warne led the Australian fightback to finish with four wickets each.

“We weren’t overly impressed with the way we performed yesterday,” Gillespie said. “We thought we bowled well and fielded well in patches but probably didn’t take all the chances that came our way.

“This morning we came out and we were a little bit more patient. We tried to dry the English batsmen up a little bit more and it seemed to work.”

Gillespie said the Australian plan was to stick to bowling tight line and length and restrict the English run flow because the Adelaide Oval pitch was still suited to batting.

“It’s a good batting pitch so it’s nice to have an impact and bowl a few impact balls when it counts. It just came down to how we executed our plans today,” he said.

“We kept it pretty simple and bowled the top of off-stump and didn’t vary it too much and kept up the pressure with dot balls. It’s not rocket science but that’s how we went about it. It was a really good team effort and that’s how the wickets come, just by being patient.”

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