England must rise to Adelaide’s challenge in Ashes Test they must not lose | Vic Marks

Jimmy Anderson hopes bowling with a pink ball under lights on a pitch that is not as batting-friendly as it once was can help England against Australia

The Adelaide Oval was once a genteel cricket ground – it is now a magnificent sport stadium. Only the arch-traditionalist can quibble about the redevelopment and even they might be convinced by it come Saturday night with 50,000 in attendance and the sun dipping gracefully in the distance. The old scoreboard is still there and so, too, is some of the grass on the hill; the cathedral is no longer visible but there is still an air of tranquillity, which has always been so deceptive.

This is where Bodyline boiled over 85 years ago, on balance a more serious matter than the head-butt saga. However, this week, despite the decorous surroundings, there is no indication that the reception for England’s cricketers will be any less hostile than it was in the later stages of the Brisbane Test. For example Peter Handscomb, briefly a Yorkshire colleague of Jonny Bairstow last summer, has let it be known that there will be no let-up of the tormenting of England’s wicketkeeper, which is the first time Australia’s No5 has been on the front foot this series.

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