So, proof positive that Mitch Johnson's stunning form in Brisbane was not solely thanks to a helpful Gabba pitch. The fact he was able to take 7-40 on a pitch that Australia had just compiled 570 runs on was almost surely the greatest innings performance of his career. Apart from his work with the ball Australian fans can also be buoyed by the continuing good form of Michael Clarke, David Warner and Brad Haddin and that Chris Rogers and George Bailey both notched half-centuries. While Shane Watson is still not in top form arguably the only concern for Australia is that Steve Smith is yet to thrive, although given the series momentum its decision to name an unchanged squad was understandable.
England faces some significant selection decisions. Tim Bresnan is at short odds to be included in Perth in place of one of the spinners, but whether Swann or Panesar departs will be fascinating. Intangibly, there's also the need for coach Andy Flower, captain Alastair Cook and the rest of the England hierarchy lift the team's morale immediately.
Thanks for joining us for the past five days. We'll be back on deck on Friday for full coverage of the Test at the WACA Ground, at which a win would seal a stunning reclaiming of the Ashes by Australia. Before then, keep a close eye on our websites from this afternoon right up until the start in Perth for all the news and views from our Adelaide Oval team Chloe Saltau, Chris Barrett, Greg Baum and Malcolm Knox, and the rest of Team Fairfax.
The Adelaide Oval scoreboards after Australia sealed a 218-run victory in the second Ashes Test against England an hour into the final day. Photo: Reuters
Lehmann finishes his press conference by declaring he'd said nothing to his players after the (two-way) spats with England players on day four. But he was coy on whether he had heard if the ICC would, or if he expected it to, take disciplinary action against any players as a result of it.
"You bat and bowl but you've got to have fielders taking chances, and we've certainly done that in this Test match."
- DARREN LEHMANN, Australia coach, on the quality of his team's fielding in the second Test.
"I'm not worried about what England are doing. That's up to them."
- DARREN LEHMANN, Australia coach, on whether he is surprised England's batsmen are so hook-happy.
"At the moment, all good. We'll wait until we get to Perth [before we make a final decision]. If they're 100 per cent they'll play. If not, they wont."
- DARREN LEHMANN, Australia coach, on the fitness of pace trio Johnson, Harris and Siddle.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann now speaking to the media in Adelaide. Will post updates.
Alastair Cook, in his own words (before our Chloe Saltau and Chris Barrett can put them in context later on).
VIDEO: We spoke to Cook pitch-side right after the defeat in Adelaide. "If we don't believe, no one else will." http://t.co/DouMNCWO4f— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) December 9, 2013
Australia has, unsurprisingly, named an unchanged squad for Perth. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger will be there too on standby, in case any of the seamers don't recover fully in the three-day break.
Here's something which could be the story of the next few days: which spinner does England drop? On form of this series - and past series (excluding Adelaide) - I'd argue Swann should go. But people who watch England a lot more than I do, and have more to do with the team, reckon Swann has a massive positive influence on the team which could sway selectors to retain him.
For Perth... Cook: "I doubt we'll be playing two spinners, that's a fairly obvious thing."— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) December 9, 2013
The man who'll have to spearhead the England recovery: Alastair Cook.
But, as Chloe Saltau explained earlier, his current form is not a patch on what he produced on his preceding tour of Australia.
England captain Alastair Cook in the aftermath of his team losing to Australia by 218 runs in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. Photo: Getty Images
The defeated skipper faces the press to explain what went wrong, and how his team can change it in Perth.
"In this game, on a good first innings wicket, we created some chances & didn't take them." - Cook pic.twitter.com/tIm6Z82Eu7— England Cricket (@ECB_cricket) December 9, 2013
At least the niggle hasn't been bad enough to stop this.
Opposing captains Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook after Australia sealed a 218-run win, and a two-nil series lead, at the Adelaide Oval. Photo: Getty Images
A second consecutive man of the match award for Mitch Johnson, whose eight wickets in Adelaide takes his series tally to 17 after just two Tests.
Mitch Johnson walks from the Adelaide Oval carrying a stump after his man-of-the-match performance led Australia to a 218-run win in the second Ashes Test. Photo: Getty Images
After no Test wins in nine attempts leading up to the home Ashes series Australia now has two in two.
The Australian players celebrate their victory over England in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. Photo: Getty Images
Winners are grinners.
Australian trio Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin celebrate as England's Monty Panesar loses his wicket to seal a 218-run victory for Australia in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. Photo: Getty Images
I may have read too much into body language at the presentation but England captain Alastair Cook looked utterly dispirited. No sign of defiance, just resignation. For the sake of the series I hope I'm wrong.
Ryan Harris had a big hand in the prompt dispatching of England's batsmen this morning, with the wicket of Swann and the outfield catch of the aggressive Matt Prior.
Australia's Ryan Harris celebrates after taking the wicket of England's Graeme Swann (left) in his first over on the final day of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. Photo: Reuters
"It helped our bowlers' workloads, but who cares about workloads when you're winning!"
- BRAD HADDIN, to Channel Nine, on the impact of Mitch Johnson's day-three demolition of England.
"My scores are going up so I should be alright by the end of the series."
- GEORGE BAILEY, to Channel Nine on his Test batting form.
"I was a bit nervous this morning when I opened the curtains and saw the rain, but it's cleared quickly. Well finished."
- GEORGE BAILEY, to Channel Nine.
WICKET!! All over. Monty Panesar bunts Ryan Harris to Chris Rogers at short-cover for a duck. England all out 312. Australia wins by 218 runs - and takes a 2:0 Ashes lead.
Shane Watson looks like the cat that got the cream as Jimmy Anderson tries to pull Siddle and the ball thuds into his ribs just below his armpit.
"It was like flicking a fly off the face."
- MICHAEL VAUGHAN, former England captain, during his Channel Nine TV commentary regarding Jimmy Anderson's preceding boundary off Peter Siddle.
Jimmy Anderson awkwardly fends Siddle bouncer to fine-leg for a boundary. Had no idea where it was going though.
Some good context from my colleague Andrew Wu.
Monty Panesar and James Anderson survived 69 balls in Cardiff 2009. Don't think they can do 69 overs #Ashes— Andrew Wu (@wutube) December 9, 2013
I'm not the only one to see a trend here...
4 out hooking. Not the quickest on the uptake.— George Dobell (@GeorgeDobell1) December 9, 2013
And there's the 21st leg side wicket— Elizabeth (@legsidelizzy) December 9, 2013
Cook, Broad and Carberry will be chanting "One of us, One of us" as Prior walks into the change room.— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) December 9, 2013
WICKET!! Matt Prior's defiance ends, hooking Siddle to Harris at fine-leg. Gone for 69, off 102 balls. Last rites for England right here.
Ryan Harris celebrates after taking the wicket of Graeme Swann. Photo: Getty Images
Proof Ryan Harris has fans in high places.
WICKET!! The bowling change takes works. Second delivery from Harris and Swann fends him to Michael Clarke at second slip, taken comfortably overhead. Gone for 6. England 8-293.
First bowling change of the day, with Ryan Harris replacing Mitch Johnson.
Super straight drive from Prior, waiting perfectly on full delivery from Siddle then caressing him straight with great timing. Lucky to survive next ball, mind, as tries to glides him highly over slips and just gets enough on it to evade Warner backpeddling from gully. Now on 62*, with England 7-292. Graeme Swann on 6*.
Prior slashes Johnson wide of deep third man to move to 57*. Yes, he's swinging hard - and often - but is picking gaps well at the moment. England 7-286.
Still yapping: Australia's captain Michael Clarke (C) continues discussions with England's Matt Prior. Photo: Reuters
Another well-connected pull, this time from Siddle, from Prior takes him to a combative half-century - 52* from 88 balls with 9 fours. England 7-277.
BANG! Prior absolutely smashes a pull shot off Johnson to deep mid-wicket to be on the cusp of a half-century, on 48*. England 7-276.
While most would agree the targeting of Stuart Broad has been over the top in Australia, I suspect many English fans would be seething at the manner of his dismissal today.
England's Stuart Broad departs after his first-over departure on day five of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval. Photo: Getty Images
Some more thoughts on Broad - even from some of the more measured members of the travelling English media there's shock.
Far be it from me....I have never played Test cricket, respect knowledge and approach of those who have, but Broad's dismissal....— Tim Abraham (@skysportsmrtim) December 9, 2013
My flabber is well and truly gasted by that Broad shot.— Mark Pougatch (@markpougatch) December 9, 2013
I reckon 19 England batsmen have been caught on the leg side in this series - ranging from the headless to the lame via the scrambled— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) December 9, 2013
Mitch Johnson takes the ball from the other end. Prior dispatches him to the boundary twice in his first three deliveries: the first through a cut, the second through a pull. He moves to 40*, and England to 7-263.
Not a lot of love for Stuart Broad - and rightfully so. The first shot was controlled aggression, but why you'd immediately attempt the same shot is beyond me.
What was the team talk, Captain Cook? > "Hey guys, we all got out playing dumb hook shots yesterday, let's do it all again today!" #Ashes— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 9, 2013
Siddsy bounces out broad. Marshmallow soft shot. 3 wkts to go. #ashes— Damien Fleming (@bowlologist) December 9, 2013
Could someone please explain the match situation to the tail? Big hitting not really required here. #Ashes— Raf Nicholson (@RafNicholson) December 9, 2013
More stupid shots than a night on Jagermeister. #Ashes— Jonathan Howcroft (@JPHowcroft) December 9, 2013
WICKET!! Broad attempts the same shot off Siddle but, without connecting as well on second attempt, directs it straight into the midriff of Nathan Lyon running in off the square-leg boundary. Gone for 29. Just three wickets to go for Australia.
Blimey! Stuart Broad smashes Siddle well over backward square-leg for six to move to 29* and lift England to 6-255.
Chloe Saltau's day-four contributions from the Adelaide Oval:
- The story behind the great Ashes turnaround
- Cook fails and whole England Ashes team hurts
- Siddle's full-bore approach against Pietersen working wonders
Weather update: playing to begin 10 minutes' late, at 10.40am local time (11.10am AEDT).
Chris Barrett's day-four contributions from the Adelaide Oval.
- Pitched battle heats up as Australians close in for the kill
- Brett Lee to bowl at Twitter tragic Piers Morgan in MCG nets
Malcolm Knox's day-four view: Composed Root starting to bloom.
"Joe Root's 87, the best innings of his short career, could be the first green shoot of an England revival. The 22-year-old Yorkshireman scored 180 at Lord's in July, but the circumstances in Adelaide made this far the better innings."
Greg Baum's day-four view, channeling the thoughts of the England team: Well, lads, we've landed in a right fine mess.
My favourite line? "Gosh, KP's looking good. Also, he's batting well."
A common sight so far on Monday in central Adelaide.
Covers are deployed on the Adelaide Oval before the final day of the second Ashes Test. Photo: Getty Images
"Woah - we've got some heavy rain!" says Channel Nine's Mark Nicholas midway through his on-field spiel previewing day five. Not what Australian fans want to hear. Covers back on.
G'day all. Now back on the couch and ready for the final day. The good news is the rain has stopped so both teams are out on the Adelaide Oval doing warm-ups, but it's still gloomy. Ian Healy says, on Channel Nine, that fourth umpire Simon Fry has told him the umpires are considering turning on the floodlights for the start of play given the conditions.
Weather radar in Adelaide. Rain moving from left to right of screen - could be frustrating day for Australia #Ashes pic.twitter.com/ouYrpWMBl8 — Andrew Wu (@wutube) December 8, 2013
View from the @bbctms window at the Adelaide Oval as light rain falls #ashes #bbccricket pic.twitter.com/v3qH4fJV63 — BBC TMS (@bbctms) December 8, 2013
Here's the "rubbish" weather afflicting Adelaide that Brett Lee was referring to.
The wet morning in Adelaide. Photo: Weatherzone
Former Aussie paceman Brett Lee has told Melbourne radio station SEN that it has been raining in Adelaide for "two hours, consistently" and he "definitely" thinks the start of play will be delayed on day five. He said locals don't expect conditions to clear completely until 3pm.
Asked about paceman Mitchell Johnson's renaissance, Lee said that he and his Channel Nine colleagues had analysed Johnson's bowling action and seen few major changes.
"The only thing that's helped Mitchell Johnson is just pure confidence," Lee said.
England battles Australian barrage
Australia needs four more wickets to win the second Ashes Test after England batted throughout the fourth day in Adelaide.PT1M30S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2yzsh 620 349 December 8, 2013
DAY FOUR WRAPMichael Clarke's decision not to bat on at all on day four, perhaps due to weather concerns, pays off as Australia takes six wickets, two in each session.
While the bowling was decent the big story of day four was the top-notch quality of Australia's fielding, with Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon and Mitch Johnson all taking superb catches. England was well served by young'uns Joe Root (87) and Ben Stokes (29*), but neither was able to survive the day.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior at last showed some good form, and will resume on the final day on 31*. England will hope he can reprise his resolute final-day effort that allowed England to escape with a draw in New Zealand at the start of the year.