England all-rounder Moeen Ali claims inside knowledge from new coach Trevor Bayliss was key to his dismissals of Australian batting king-pins Michael Clarke and Steve Smith.
Moeen helped his side reach 434 after resuming day two on 343-7 with a breezy 77 from 88 balls.
He then starred with the ball by taking the scalps of the tourists’ two most dangerous players as Australia slipped to 5-264 at stumps – a deficit of 166 runs.
Moeen’s spot in the side had been questioned ahead of the series after he struggled against the West Indies in May, but he revealed a few quiet words from the former NSW coach, who only took on the England job three weeks ago, had worked wonders.
“He knows a lot of the (Australian) guys quite well,” he said.
“He’s had an input, but a lot of the guys have played against them already.
“Input has come from everybody. Trevor’s more of a motivator … telling us to enjoy and play our best cricket.”
Smith looked well set for big score and showed his class with three boundaries off a Moeen over.
However, the world’s No.1-ranked player, whose technique as a No.3 batsman has been questioned by former England spinner Graeme Swann, got himself into a terrible tangle facing a fairly harmless looking delivery when on 33.
With his arms and legs all over the place, Smith attempted to shovel the ball over the top of Moeen’s head, but only succeeded in lobbing it straight to Cook at short mid-on.
Clarke also got a start and, although he lacked fluency early on, was beginning to find his range with a classy drive through extra cover from a Moeen delivery that pitched too short.
But from the off-spinner’s very next over, Clarke was back in the dressing room for 38 after trying to dance down the pitch to a full delivery, only to hammer the ball straight back at the bowler who took a sharp catch at waist height.
“Smith kept using his feet to me and I almost went a little bit one-day mode, trying to bowl at his hip or fire it down the leg side,” Moeen said.
“He got himself into a bit of a mess really, but I’m obviously happy to get him.
“They were two big wickets … but it’s more in the context of the game – two very good players.”