Two hobbled bowlers, two humbled legends running drinks, too many missed chances, and a spinner smashed out of the attack.
England would have drawn up several plans for this Ashes tour but it is hard to imagine any involved Thursday's perfect storm at the Gabba, which ended with Australia holding a 196-run lead.
The hosts will resume at 7-343 on day three of the first Test, having inflicted several blows to an opposition reeling from Ben Stokes and Ollie Robinson's setbacks.
Joe Root, whose attack was underdone after rain ruined England's hopes of more centre-wicket practice in recent weeks, has already bowled himself for six overs.
The sight of a bowling coach shuffling in to perform post-play media duties is rarely good news for a team, and so it proved as Jon Lewis tried to keep things positive.
It was a hard task, particularly when asked about Australia's successful ploy to target left-arm tweaker Jack Leach (1-95 from 11 overs).
"It wouldn't have been one of his best days," Lewis said.
"It's one he would want to put at the back of his memory.
"But like I said about the other guys, I know Jack is a pretty resilient fellow and it's only day two.
"We're definitely not defeated yet.
"I expect Jack to come back strongly tomorrow, show the character we know he has."
Australia's unbeaten centurion Travis Head confirmed his side made a point to attack Leach, who snapped a 156-run stand between David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne but was clattered for five sixes.
"We spoke about being positive against the spin," Head said, noting the knock-on effect was a bigger workload for England's quicks.
"Marnus got out doing it. I know he's disappointed but I felt like it set the tone for the series."
Stokes was clearly bothered by a suspected leg injury, with the talismanic allrounder to be assessed on Friday after trying to bowl through the pain.
"We'll see how he pulls up in the morning," Lewis said.
Robinson, whose tidy figures of 3-48 made him the pick of England's bowlers, trudged off in discomfort after delivering his 18th over.
The right-armer returned to field late in the day's final session, yet failed to take the second new ball.
It is unclear whether his problem was cramp or something more serious.
"I'm sure we'll find out tomorrow if he's alright," Lewis said.
Lewis denied England were a fast bowler short, after they opted to overlook the combined 1156 Test wickets worth of experience offered by Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.
"If we bowled to the best of our ability we could have put Australia under a bit more pressure," he said.
"We still took seven wickets ... there was some really good stuff."
Australian Associated Press