sport

Willis: Quick wickets needed

Former England captain and Sky Sports pundit Bob Willis believes England need to bowl out Australia for less than 350 on the second day of the second Test in Adelaide.

Australia, who lead the Ashes series 1-0 after their emphatic victory in Brisbane, closed the first day on 273-5 and Willis reckons England cannot afford to let them add too many more runs if they are to win the Test.

He told Sky Sports News: "England do have to bat superbly well in their first innings because it's not going to be easy batting last on that pitch.

"Yes, Graeme Swann made the point that England have got two spinners to one for Australia but Steve Smith can bowl some leg spin in the second innings and make life difficult for England if they are chasing a huge target.

"But England cannot afford to lose this game because Perth is a real graveyard for them so they really have to get out at least with a draw, and if Australia get much beyond 350 that's going to be unlikely."

Former Australia paceman Jason Gillespie added: "It was interesting listening to Chris Rogers who initially thought 500 was a good score when they were one down for 150.

"But he now thinks it is more like a day two/day three wicket. Anything over 400 is going to be quite difficult for England."

England could have enjoyed a better start had Monty Panesar, Michael Carberry and Joe Root not dropped catches of varying degrees of difficulty.

Willis added: "England could have done with those two extra wickets - two simple catches going down really - the return catch to Panesar and Carberry's at the end.

"Root's miss was much more difficult but you can't afford to drop catches when you lose the toss on a feather bed pitch on day one and because of those dropped catches I just give the day to Australia."

Gillespie, however, believes Australia wasted a great chance to take total command of the match after winning the toss.

He said: "Australia will have a few things they are disappointed with. Players got good starts - Rogers got 70-odd, Watson got to 50 and then got out again, George Bailey did all the hard work in difficult circumstances. But they didn't go on to get a big score.

"I thought Panesar bowled OK. I think the England attack bowled well on that wicket. If I have one little criticism it is of the seam bowling which was probably a fraction short. You could see where Australia scored their runs, which was square of the wicket."