Ashes 2013: Australia wins the second Test
Australia's bowlers put the England team out of its misery in Adelaide on Monday, winning the Test match by 218 runs.PT1M0S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2z114 620 349 December 9, 2013
Far from taking the foot off the pedal, Australia hopes to "bury" England in Perth, where the old enemy has not won in 35 years.
Requiring only one more victory in the final three matches of the series to draw a close to seven years of Ashes pain, Michael Clarke's team could barely hope for a more friendly setting.
No mo needed: Mitchell Johnson took a match-winning 9-82 the last time he faced England in Perth. His career best innings figures of 8/61 also came at the WACA, against South Africa. Photo: Getty Images
England has won only once in 12 Tests at the WACA and that was in 1978/79 against an Australian side gutted by World Series Cricket. The English have lost on their last six visits to the frontier city by big margins.
Furthermore, they head west utterly befuddled by the pace and hostility of Mitchell Johnson, who just happens to call the venue home, and even during the low ebb of three summers ago managed to inspire Australia to victory there.
"They're a good side England, they're going to bounce back. We just want to make sure that hopefully we can bury them in Perth," Johnson's fast bowling colleague Ryan Harris said. "Three-nil after Perth would be fantastic."
Mitchell Johnson just happens to call Perth home. Photo: Getty Images
Australia's other advantage, unlike their venture from Adelaide to Perth a year ago with a series on the line against South Africa, is how much much gas their quicks have left in the tank.
Johnson, who claimed man of the man honours for the second match running, bowled only 41.2 overs in Australia's 218-run win, while Harris (33.4) and Siddle (31) expended even less energy.
Only when bowlers exceed the 50-over mark for a match do alarm bells begin to be raised about their ability to back up without fear of breaking down.
Feared patch: The WACA pitch. Photo: Getty Images
Siddle sent down a whopping 63.5 overs against the Proteas in Adelaide last year after James Pattinson broke down early on, and ended up sitting out the series decider along with Ben Hilfenhaus.
The fact that the second Test was wrapped up after less than an hour on day five gives them even more time to recuperate and manage the short turnaround before Friday's first day in Perth.
Harris, who took 3-54 to apply the finishing touches with Siddle (4-57) in Adelaide, is confident his objective of featuring in all five Ashes contests remains on track.
Australia takes 2-0 Ashes lead
Long road back. After being thrashed twice, England must regroup in little time, for a Test in Perth. Photo: Getty Images
"I'm a little bit stiff and sore. I was sore when I woke up this morning but once I got going in the middle I got my pace back up. It's encouraging," Harris said.
"It's hard work on those sort of wickets. We had to bowl a lot of bouncers so you're running in hitting the deck pretty hard. But with the extra half-day off now, we'll get the recovery done and be ready to go in Perth."
Given the struggle of England's batsmen to handle Johnson's plus-150km/h-plus pace, and their increasing inclination to turn without fortune to the hook shot, Australia may consider an extra fast bowler in Perth.
They named the same squad on Monday and have Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile on standby, although Brisbane and Adelaide 12th man James Faulkner's readiness to be included is not aided by him not having played any cricket for a fortnight.
Australia is "obviously going to a ground where we feel so comfortable playing at," Clarke said. "But in saying that, I've also experienced some defeats in my career in Perth. I don't think it matters the conditions we play in if we continue to play the brand of cricket we're playing.
"Guys like Mitchell and Ryan and Peter love bowling when there is a bit more pace and bounce. But I think Nathan Lyon deserves a lot of credit for the job he's done in this series.
"There was a lot of talk before the Gabba Test about playing four quicks, and the selectors went with Nathan and he certainly did a fantastic job.
"I think he's done a good job throughout this Test match as well. He mightn't have got as many wickets as he would've liked personally, but he's contributed and helped the attack, which allows Mitch to bowl the way he bowled. Sidds got four today, it allows Sidds to bowl that way."
England captain Alastair Cook is well aware of England's history at the WACA but isn't interested in it.
"Our record at Perth is of no relevance whatsoever," Cook said. "You can say we haven't won there for however many years. It's of total irrelevance to this team. We have to go there as this side in 2013 and deliver something very special, otherwise we're not going to do what we've come to do."
HOW ENGLAND HAS STRUGGLED IN TESTS AT THE WACA GROUND IN PERTH
Tests played: 12. Australia eight wins. England one win. Three draws.
England's last WACA Test win was in 1978. Australia has won the last six WACA Ashes Tests by massive margins.
2010: Australia won by 267 runs
2006: Australia won by 206 runs
2002: Australia won by innings and 48 runs
1998: Australia won by seven wickets
1995: Australia won by 329 runs
1991: Australia won by nine wickets
1979: Australia won by 138 runs
1978: England won by 166 runs
1974: Australia won by nine wickets