Geoffrey Boycott, as always, had something interesting to say, noting that, as a player, you become too conscious of its gathering momentum. The opposition, the crowd, the noise, the vibes, all sweep you along. Suddenly, you're in it, dragged outside of your game. The number of England players rooted to the crease, caught in the headlights, was telling. Jerome Taylor produced two terrific deliveries, to Pietersen and Prior. They seemed to take more than one wicket each.
From the outside of course, it's different. England should cancel the papers tomorrow. But it's not really the details that matter, it's that the start of a collapse - and the reaction to it - is a measure of the psychological health of a team. Teams in good health can usually halt the slide at four or five wickets. Australia, at their peak, did so many times. England are far less robust; the decline since Fletcher's departure has been steady.
They lost the first Test in New Zealand last winter. Significantly, Harmison and Hoggard, two big players, were dropped afterwards. The mental health of the team improved. Perhaps Bell and Collingwood will go this time.