After the hope comes the agony – and the fear of an England Ashes whitewash | Andy Bull

Following England can be a masochistic business and all those dashed dreams can lead to severe recriminations. Avoiding a 5-0 drubbing is now a priority

Bleak as life can seem when you’re lying awake in the middle of the night, it’s an immutable truth that everything will be better in the morning. Everything, that is, but English cricket. Hope didn’t even make it to sun-up, it slipped out the door while you were sleeping. And all of us poor fools who set our alarms for 3.30am found that all the bright optimism that got us out of bed was spluttering as soon as we’d flicked the kettle on, guttering while the tea brewed, and out altogether by the bottom of the cup. The idea that England might break their own record and make 354 to win lasted just under three overs. Long enough for Josh Hazlewood to pinch a couple of wickets, and, with them, England out of their dreaming.

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