Men against boys. The day showcased the real dynamic between the two parties. Cardiff banknotes were exposed to ultraviolet light and found to be counterfeit three game links.

Remarkably, Australia did not surprise England. Instead, the guests slowly overwhelm the host with their relentless authority and assertive vice. England’s performance today or the previous two days wasn’t particularly bad. Australia, however, is far ahead. This tells you everything you need to know.

The new balance of power was best expressed not by a string of wickets or Steve Smith’s innings, but by the way David Warner and Chris Rodgers settled Australia’s second innings after tea. Barely breaking a sweat, they had almost complete control as they headed to the triple-digit opening stands.

Their progress was inevitable, exuding a composure the British opening duo could never match. For them at least, the Rogers-Warner partnership is about restoring order to the natural world. It shows exactly why Australia has been outperforming the UK since November 2013. Michael Clarke’s team has more personality. You have a deeper, stronger self-confidence. They have more — to use the word again — authority.

Combined with ability, these are qualities that usually win a five-Test series. By contrast, the campaign manifesto to play “cricket-style attacking style” is empty talk, an aspiration. Australia doesn’t need British-style corporate mission statements in this race. They just hit and pitch.

I know what you’re trying to say England haven’t even lost that game yet. They are still at the front of the series. Even if they get beat at home, the playing field and key pitching will be the main culprits. Cardiff proved they can’t just co-exist with Australia, they can beat them.

Look inside your heart what do you really think is going to happen? The game has already left a deep imprint on the Briton. They lost eight of nine games, each of which sapped their confidence and self-esteem and reinforced their feelings of inferiority.

After Cardiff, some exaggerated comparisons have been made to this series with 2005. I think England should focus more on the 1997 example. This year, despite a landslide victory in the first test with the help of the court, it soon became apparent – from the second test – that it took place in a parallel universe.

Alastair Cook’s innings are interpreted based on perspective. Proponents describe it as the kind of contribution Cook invented — skilled, patient, persistent, resilient. Others will point to his enthusiasm for the Lord’s Ashes century leading to loose, undisciplined batting by Cook, which cost him wickets and hastened the team’s decline. A number of other English players have been criticized for similar matters before.

The real bright spot for England has been the form of Ben Stokes, who has grown with every game. Barring a major accident, he’s going to be a very good player and possibly one of the greatest all-around players in America. Stokes has more natural hitting talent than Andrew Flintoff. Can he bowl that well?

Finally, I would like to apologize for not being able to attend due to force majeure. As you may have seen James mention, I took paternity leave a little earlier than expected after my daughter decided to start work at the exact time of the first day of Ash Day 2015.

With the aftermath being a bit more complicated than expected, I’m not sure how often I’ll be in the next week or two, but I’ll try to get by as much as I can. I hope to see you all soon.

By x59ok

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