But a solid and unbeaten partnership of 63 for the seventh wicket between Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow had just about recovered their balance at
But a solid and unbeaten partnership of 63 for the seventh wicket between Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow had just about recovered their balance at tea.
Australia remain in the driving seat with England 201-6 but the pair could put some clear water between Joe Root’s men and abject capitulation in the extended third session.
Yet the second just about belonged to the tourists.
Australia were quick to realise the ball had stopped swinging after lunch, electing to give England a test of their ability against the short ball and spin.
And with four wickets falling for 62 runs to leave them 138-6 it was a test they collectively failed.
Joe Denly had batted well with opener Rory Burns to add 66 for the third wicket.
But after the pair were softened up with a barrage of short balls from Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood returned to remove Denly with a superb out-swinger which grazed the edge of his bat.
Burns, too, was peppered by Cummins, taking two on the shoulder in one over after reaching his half century. And he eventually fell to a superb piece of close in work from a diving Cameron Bancroft at short leg from another rising ball.
Yet if Denly and Burns had to be chiselled out, falling to sustained pack hunting from the Aussie bowlers, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes threw their wickets away.
Buttler has been in miserable form since the World Cup, missing the Test against Ireland then falling for five and one in two innings at Edgbaston.
Hanging his bat tamely outside off stump here he edged Peter Siddle to Tim Paine behind the stumps for 12.
Stokes followed shortly afterwards, missing an attempted sweep off Nathan Lyon to leave England 138-6 before Woakes and Bairstow put on 63 to take them to tea.