Ian Bell says he’s not scared of Mitchell Johnson’s pace bowling.
But he can’t speak for the rest of his teammates.
Johnson gave one of the great performances in Ashes history by claiming 7-40 as England were skittled for 172 on Saturday in reply to Australia’s 9(dec)-570.
Johnson’s second consecutive five-wicket haul of the series moves the 32-year-old to 10th on the Australian all-time list with 221.
And it pushes Australia into a winning position after day three of the Second Test on a flat batting track at Adelaide Oval.
Leading by 398 runs on the first innings, Australia declined to enforce the follow-on. The home side will resume on Sunday’s fourth day on 3-132, a lead of 530 runs.
Jimmy Anderson dismissed Chris Rogers (two) and Shane Watson (duck) and spinner Monty Panesar bowled in-form Aussie skipper Michael Clarke (22) at 3-65.
David Warner is unbeaten on 83 and Steve Smith is 23 not out after successfully overturning a lbw decision on seven.
Johnson said the Aussies were keen to see Warner get his hundred and make England sweat a bit more in the field before setting them a massive target.
‘‘The ball came out of my hand exactly how I wanted it to,’’ Johnson said.
‘‘To be able to back up a performance like I did in Brisbane, to do it here, it’s a really nice feeling for me.
‘‘There’s been talk in the past I can have those performances where I can blow a team away and then the next one not turn up.
‘‘That’s why it was a bit more emotional today for me and special.’’
Bell was forced to defend his side’s fighting spirit after some dubious shot selection from the tourists under enemy fire.
‘‘When you are playing pace, you have to have some serious courage,’’ Bell said.
‘‘We need to make sure that’s the first thing that we’re getting out there and we’ve got to battle hard.
‘‘You know there’s going to be a few past your nose.’’
Asked if he was scared, Bell said: ‘‘Not at all. I can’t speak for everyone, but no.’’
Bell said a first-innings total of less than 200 was unacceptable.
‘‘These games are saveable but someone has to play an incredible innings,’’ Bell said.
No side has successfully chased down a target of more than 315 in an Adelaide Test.
Resuming on 1-35 on Saturday morning, England’s middle-order woes continued as they lost 4-6 to crash to 7-117.
Four down at lunch, England were overwhelmed once again by Johnson who claimed 5-12 in an 18-ball burst that will live long in the memories of the crowd of 36,414 who witnessed it.
The menacing Johnson with his Dennis Lillee handlebar moustache claimed three wickets in the third over after lunch.
Debutant Ben Stokes was lbw for one, Matt Prior was caught behind for a fourth-ball duck and Ashes villain Stuart Broad made a golden duck.
Johnson was on a hat-trick for a second time when Graeme Swann and Anderson fell in consecutive balls.
Bell finished unbeaten on 72.
Ashes great Terry Alderman said on ABC radio that Johnson reminded him of Aussie tearaway Jeff Thomson in the 1974-75 series. - AAP