Starc stars in Australia's 120-run win in second Ashes Test

Mitchell Starc

Ashes 2017-18 second Test: England batting collapse hands Australia 2-0 lead in Adelaide

Australia captain Steve Smith admits he took a sleeping pill as he dealt with a bout of nerves on the eve of the final day of the second Ashes Test after his decision not to enforce the follow-on had given England a sniff of victory.

While Root was batting England's hopes lingered of bringing off a record run chase of 345 at Adelaide Oval.

Jonny Bairstow offered some resistance with his 36 off 57 balls but Mitchell Starc returned to finish the tail with three wickets.

The third Test gets underway in Perth on December 14.

"I think it's going to be very difficult to win a Test match on this tour."Willis was equally pessimistic, saying Australia was clearly the superior side."England are fighting as hard as they can, but the bald fact is they are up against a better side in these conditions", he said in the same newspaper".

Vaughan suggested England had neither the skill nor resilience to win a match."This was the week we all fancied England to take something from", he said in comments in The Australian Friday.

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Steven Smith bailed his side out with an incredible 141 not out at The Gabba to help Australia go one up against England in The Ashes. We showed that from the way we played yesterday. "We showed a lot of character". If we bat reasonably well - I thought we batted pretty poorly to be honest to get to 350 - we should be getting up over 400.

Two unconventional captain's calls had big influences on the test, and neither for the benefit of their teams.

Earlier, Australia declared their first innings on 442-8 and bowled out England for 227, handing Australia a huge 225-run lead.

On Day 4, England were given a little hope as Australia bundled out for just 138.

England have only won once at the WACA - in 1978 - and with the pressure on them to avoid defeat at the Perth venue for first time since 1986 in order to save the Ashes, Starc says he is ready to get stuck in.

Smith said he no longer needed to dwell too much on his decision regarding the follow-on. "It doesn't make any difference anymore".

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