George Bailey lifts lid on pain of poor Poms during Ashes

Relations between the two Ashes combatants have not been great this series but there is some sympathy for England's plight from the Australian with the closest view of the destruction wreaked by Mitchell Johnson.

George Bailey has been under the lid with a front-row seat as Johnson, clocking more than 150km/h repeatedly, has shaken  England's batsmen, in particular a nervous middle order and tail.

The Tasmanian, boasting a flawless 2-0 record after his first two Tests, admitted on Tuesday he felt  for England, especially No.11 Monty Panesar, who was stoic in fronting up to a Johnson-led barrage after making a mess of the visitors' first innings in Adelaide.

As balls flew past Panesar's head, one thunderbolt even thudding into his helmet, Bailey could not help but offer a helping hand.

''He was getting plenty of advice from his partners but I was just trying to get him to get his elbow out of the way, for starters,'' the 31-year-old said. ''That didn't look that much fun. He was muttering away to himself to watch the ball. It was not pretty.''

Australia's approach towards bowling to the England lower order has been uncompromising, a throwback to the frightening West Indies attacks of years gone by.  The latest to cop a painful blow in the final hour of the match was James Anderson.  Bailey can tell from his regular fielding position near the bat just how apprehensive England's less capable batsmen are.

''It's uncomfortable, there is no doubt about that,'' he said. ''I try to put myself in their shoes with some of these fields.

''You've got to make some tough decisions – if you're going to wear a couple, if you're going to play ...

''And if you are going to play, where can you score? And do you bat to try and survive? You start to see that a little bit.''

It's a tactic that Australia do not apologise for, and which will  continue in Perth, where Johnson could well be more of a threat to their health on the country's bounciest Test wicket.

''That's been our team plan,''  bowling coach Craig McDermott said. ''I don't think we're going to go away from it. There is not too many tailenders around the place who bat below seven that enjoy playing a lot of balls around their helmet. So be it.''

England can expect even more short stuff at the WACA Ground, with Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle tipped to revert back to the diet of deliveries that left such a bad taste in England's mouth at the Gabba.

Although what they achieved by opting for a more stump-to-stump route on a supposedly lifeless Adelaide Oval pitch did the trick too. ''That probably surprised them, from what they felt was in the wicket and what Mitch and even Ryano were able to get out of the wicket,'' Bailey said. ''That probably shocked them a bit.

''One of the pleasing things was it was a little bit different. Knowing that the short stuff can ruffle them a little bit, but how many times Mitchell is hitting the stumps ... it's starting to play on their minds because he can go both ways.''

Australia know that with a repeat performance, the Ashes could be wrapped up in as few as four or five days from now.

''It is more exciting going [to Perth] knowing that if we play that well again, and continue to play that way, how close we are to something special,'' Bailey said. ''We're still so hungry to keep playing the same way.''

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