With three days gone at Brisbane, England are out of the game. They have absolutely no realistic chance of winning the Test and only a slender hope of saving it.

Most of the talk this morning has been about Ricky Ponting's decision not to enforce the follow-on, even though Australia were 445 runs ahead on first innings.

One of the most perceptive comments about this was made by ABC's Tim Lane when he pointed out on Test Match Special that many players in the Australian side, Ponting included, were mentally scarred by their experiences in Calcutta in 2001, meaning that they're more aware than most that to enforce the follow-on does not always mean certain victory. It can spell defeat and humiliation. Never forget, also, that Australia are the only team ever to enforce the follow-on in a Test match and lose. And they've done so three times.

So these considerations can always cloud an Australian captain's horizon, even when they seem absurd.

It's also obvious that Ponting and his team want to put the distresses of the 2005 series behind them by putting an under-prepared England side firmly in its place as swiftly and decisively as possible. If they feel it needs a sledgehammer to crack a nut, they'll use one. And they are.

As they trooped off the pitch this morning England's players already had the look of defeated men, but, as Nasser Hussain said on Sky, they need to bear in mind how Ponting is going to feel (and how much stick he's going to get from the Australian media) if they manage to draw the game.

The pitch is clearly still playing well so it should not be beyond England to survive for what will be less than two full days.

Somehow, though, you tend to feel they won't.

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