England’s mad half-hour casts a shadow over what could have been a series-defining day
The most important context to this passage of play was that it started with Nathan Lyon limping off the field. As he hobbled around the boundary rope supported by the team Australia physio, the crowd and commentators simultaneously realised this was more serious than cramp.
Leave aside, for a minute, the connotations that moment could have for the series and simplify them to this game alone. Lyon walked off in the 37th over of the innings. By that point, he had already bowled 13 overs and taken the only England wicket to fall. Australia have four seamers, two of whom with recent injury struggles, plus the part-time spin of Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith and Travis Head. England would be batting last