Australia came into the Trent Bridge Test needing to produce one of the best Ashes performances to come back from their 1:2 deficit. They instead succumbed to one of the most abysmal starts in Test history, making a total of just 60 runs.

In the first 37 balls of the match they shed all six of their specialist batsmen amid an onslaught that saw acting England lead paceman Stuart Broad snare 5-6 within his first overs with the new ball.

After the first ball of Broad's third over, and the fifth of the match, Australia were at a calamitous 5-23. It raised memories of Cape Town in late 2011, when Australia was stricken at 5-18 on the way to being bowled out for 47 by South Africa. The only specialist batsman to survive at that stage was captain Michael Clarke, who came close to being dismissed from his first two scoring deliveries, first almost playing on to his stumps and then almost caught from a top-edged hook.

Clarke's entry to the crease was helped by exclusively facing Mark Wood for his first 14 deliveries. When he finally faced destroyer Broad he attempted to assert his authority over him, but succeeded only with a loose attempt at driving that gave an edge gratefully accepted by his England counterpart Alastair Cook.

That he was the only top-six batsman to reach double-figures might be deserving of qualified praise in the circumstances, if not for the way he departed.

Only four times in Australia's Test history have they shed their top six more cheaply than they did in Nottingham. One was in Cape Town, the other three were in the 19th century.

Australia sought to stiffen their batting by including Shaun Marsh at the expense of his all-rounder brother Mitch. As a repercussion of that the left-hander was slotted in at No.4, allowing Clarke to move to his more-favoured No.5 and Adam Voges to No.6.

Even though England was without their lead paceman, Jimmy Anderson, for just the third time in the past eight years in a home Test captain Cook had sufficient confidence in his remaining seamers to bowl first when given the opportunity.

If Clarke thought the move down a run, to where his average of 61.83 is almost double his record at No.4, would lead to a softer entry to the crease he was sadly mistaken; he was called up just eight balls into the match when David Warner became Australia's third victim already.

Australia lost two batsmen, Chris Rogers and Steve Smith, within the first over. Rogers' departure, snared at first slip by Cook, vindicated Broad's decision to immediately attack the left-hander from around the wicket. Smith sought to strike back by scoring from his first two deliveries, one of them a boundary through extra-cover, yet fell to his third after providing Joe Root with a catch at first slip.

Wood gave an early vindication of his selection as Anderson's replacement by having Warner inside-edging behind to Jos Buttler, consigning both openers to ducks.

For most batsmen, getting a "start" involves getting to 20 or 30. For Shaun Marsh it involves getting off the mark. A quarter of his Test dismissals have been for a duck. Within the first half-hour in Nottingham it was seven of 25 dismissals as he wafted outside off-stump to Broad and gave a catch to Ian Bell at second slip.

If you needed any more indication of just how emboldened England were by their start it came courtesy of Ben Stokes' dazzling catch to remove Adam Voges for 1. While the stroke was too aggressive in the circumstances that did not detract from the skill required by Stokes to propel himself to his right from gully to snare the one-handed catch. Bowler Broad could hardly believe what he had seen.

When Peter Nevill became Australia's seventh victim just before drinks, comprehensively bowled between bat and pad by Steve Finn for two, it left the visitors at 7-33 in just the 10th over, requiring the bowlers to lessen ignominy of the batsmen above them.

Australia needed to win at Trent Bridge to maintain any chance of winning their first away series since 2001. After being bowled out for a total of just 60 runs, the chances of them winning their "grand final" could hardly have been any more remote.

Courtesy: smh