Stung by accusations of cheating and embarrassed by the off—field antics of a squad member, it’s hardly been the most comfortable of weeks for England since retaining the Ashes.
And an improving Australia is threatening to make life much trickier when the fourth test starts at Chester—le—Street on Friday.
The tourists are 2—0 down with two matches remaining and have to wait until the return series in Australia at the end of the year for a chance to reclaim the urn.
But such was their dominance of the drawn third test at Old Trafford that squaring the series is a realistic target for Michael Clarke’s side.
Clarke says Thursday 'the way we played in Manchester has built some momentum for us, and plenty of confidence is flowing in our camp.'