The debrief in Adelaide was meant to represent a fresh start for England but was instead followed by pants being pulled down in Melbourne. Their batting on St Stephen’s Day was so utterly dysfunctional that even the script writers for EastEnders might have deemed the storyline a bit too depressing for their annual dose of festive humbug.
Joe Root had claimed before this must-win third Ashes Test against Australia that a response was incoming from the tourists. Chris Silverwood, the usually mild-mannered head coach, had locked the dressing-room door in response to going 2-0 down a week ago, stuck their dismissals up on the TV screen and dispensed what is known colloquially in these parts as a bake.
Instead, shortly after tea on the opening day at …