Five Ashes talking points as Jos Buttler battles in vain on day five in Adelaide

England began day five of the second Ashes Test against Australia staring down the barrel of another heavy defeat and the prospect of going 2-0 down in the series.

The loss of Joe Root to the final ball of day four was a massive blow to England's chances of batting out the day and saving the Test and it was down to Jos Buttler to lead their fightback.

Ben Stokes resumed alongside Ollie Pope, having studiously blocked for 40 balls the day before and he looked determined to try and block out the whole day.

However, Pope's struggles this series continued when he was caught at slip off Mitchell Starc for just four off the 13th ball of the day.

Stokes battled hard against Nathan Lyon, staying back and looking to fend off the Australian spinner.

He faced a total of 54 deliveries from Lyon, eventually getting out LBW on review for a 77-ball 12.

Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes provided some stiff resistance for England, safely negotiating their way through the first session.

However, the new ball brought about England's demise, with Jhye Richardson breaking the partnership by clean bowling Woakes for a well-made 44.

At the time of Woakes' dismissal, he had put on a 61-run partnership with Buttler, but his wicket signalled another collapse.

Ollie Robinson managed to offer Buttler some support, before getting caught at slip off Lyon for a 39-ball eight.

Unfortunately for England, Buttler's vigil came to an end after more 207 balls when he ended up so deep in his crease that he trod on his own stumps.

With just one wicket needed for Australia to win, Richardson wrapped up a second-innings five-fer by getting James Anderson caught for 2.

Here are five talking points from the day's play.

England's damning record in Australia

Today marked 4,000 days since England last managed to win a Test match in Australia, the final Test at Sydney in the victorious 2010/11 Ashes series.

We are currently in the middle of England's third tour of Australia since then and defeat here at Adelaide means England have lost 11 of the 12 Ashes Tests they have played in that time.

And another 275-run defeat means it is unlikely that record will come to an end any time soon.

End of Pope's Ashes?

After making a promising 35 in the first innings at the Gabba, Pope has failed to reach double figures in his next three Ashes innings.

The 23-year-old has particularly struggled against Nathan Lyon, who has already got him out twice, and he nicked off in the second innings in Adelaide to a ball he really could have left.

He got the nod for the first Test ahead of Jonny Bairstow, but Pope's current run of form surely means that Bairstow will replace him for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Buttler's fightback in vain

After getting put down early on, Buttler led England's fightback alongside Woakes, facing more than 100 balls in an innings for the first time since his hundred against Pakistan in August 2020.

Woakes, meanwhile, is the only England batter to have reached double figures in each innings so far this series.

The pair first saw England through to the end of the first session after losing two early wickets and they then reached their fifty partnership off 148 balls.

The new ball accounted for Woakes, but Buttler battled on alongside Robinson, who stuck it out for 39 balls.

He was eventually out hit wicket for a 207-ball 26, treading on his own stumps after fending off a delivery from Richardson.

In the end, Buttler's innings was his second-longest in terms of balls faced, only eclipsed by that 152 against Pakistan last year.

Given the number of catches he dropped in this Test and the 15-ball duck he was out for in the first innings, Buttler's effort is that much more impressive.

Despite being unable to save the Test, he may well have saved his Test career.

Starc leads the way

With Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins both missing this Test, Starc was tasked with leading an inexperienced Australian seam attack which contained two-Test veteran Jhye Richardson, debutant Michael Neser and 22-year-old Cameron Green.

In the absence of Hazlewood and Cummins, Starc was at his best, picking up a destructive 4-37 in the first innings and helping fire Australia to a win with the key wicket of Root in the second.

With Australia potentially able to return to full strength in Melbourne, things are only likely to get worse for England.

England's selection blunder

England dropped left-arm spinner Jack Leach for this Test after his struggles at the Gabba, instead opting for four frontline seamers and Stokes.

However, the Adelaide Oval's head groundsman Damian Hough said ahead of play that England would be making a mistake if they did not pick a specialist spinner, stating: "History says that the pitch will spin."

And that proved to be the case, with Lyon picking up five wickets in the match for Australia and Root getting through 20 overs off-spin in Australia's first innings.

In their second innings, Root and the part-time leg spin of Dawid Malan picked up two wickets apiece, while seamer Robinson even switched to off-spin for three overs.

Speaking after day four, England's bowling coach Jon Lewis admitted: "The wicket is obviously turning. And we felt the ball would move around under the lights a little bit more than it has.

"In hindsight, you might say we should have picked a different side."

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