Where do Australia go next?
They have just lost a Test by an innings and 71 runs. For the first time in two decades, they have failed to win a single one of their last five Tests. Four opposition batsmen have an average in the series of more than 100. So do four of their own bowlers. They are also taking a fearful pummelling from public and pundits alike.
So, with the third Test only a week away and needing to win at least two of the remaining three Tests to regain the Ashes, how can Australia bounce back from here?
There are issues over selection, tactics, the team's attitude and the captaincy of Ricky Ponting, let alone a toothless bowling attack and struggling top order. By contrast, England will head to Western Australia off the back of their most impressive overseas victory in memory, full of runs and wickets and bursting with confidence.
"It's going to be tough, no two ways about it," former Ashes-winning skipper Mark Taylor told the BBC. "There are plenty of questions and about a thousand answers to each question."
"The first thing they need to do is find a replacement for the injured Simon Katich. I daresay that will be Phil Hughes," says Taylor. "He can play and he's back in some sort of form. But it's in the bowling that they're really struggling. To me, Doug Bollinger doesn't look quite fit. He struggled in Adelaide and I think Ben Hilfenhaus will have to come back in. Ryan Harris will be retained because he bowled OK.
"The people around the team have to sit down and say, righto, what's our best team for Perth, let's pick it and go from there. I'd like to see some young players coming through."
Australia's chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch is due to announce his squad on Friday. Spinner Xavier Doherty is the man most likely to be dropped, with the axe also hanging over Marcus North, Peter Siddle and Bollinger.
Could Mitchell Johnson earn a recall? Photo: Getty Images
There are even rumours that Mitchell Johnson, discarded after a pummelling in the first Test at the Gabba, might be called back in.
Steve Waugh was a young all-rounder in the last Australian team to lose an Ashes series at home. He then starred in eight consecutive series wins, the last two as captain.
"I don't know what the selectors are going to do because they have chopped and changed probably too much in the last 12 months," he says.
"You just look at the bowling. They've got through so many bowlers: Clint McKay, Peter George, then we've got Hilfenhaus and Johnson. Where do you go if you've just discarded these guys? Nathan Hauritz , do you bring him back now?
"I was totally against Hughes being dropped at the time. I think it was a short-sighted decision and I think it's proven so if he gets picked right now. He's got that fire in the belly and you can see something in his eyes."
Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell averaged more than 40 in Tests against England and led his side in four Ashes series.
"What happens if they bring Johnson back in and he goes for plenty in his first three overs?" he asked me. "You're then stuck with a bloke who the captain doesn't want to turn to and who could be a liability. He needs to go off and get some wickets in Shield cricket before they even think about it."
Should Australia opt for a policy of all-out attack? In the two games so far, they have taken only 17 wickets, 10 of which came on the very first day.
"What I would like to see from Australia is tactics that are a bit more conservative," says Taylor, who scored 2,496 runs in five winning Ashes campaigns from 1989 to 1999.
"England have flourished because their tactics have been pretty simple - bowl line and length and set your field accordingly. At stages in Adelaide, Australia had three men on the hook shot or three men on the drive. It is very hard for bowlers to bowl to that. Be consistent in your plans and at times be boring.
"Australia don't have the cattle at the moment. What Ricky Ponting has to do in the field is remain as positive as he can. And be a bit more relaxed. There's been a lot of talk from Ricky about being fit and how every day is the biggest day of your life. Well, it's a game of cricket and I think Australian teams play their best when they're relaxed."
With the exception of the first day in Brisbane, the Australian players have looked a shadow of their aggressive, self-confident selves.
"It's almost like the shoe is on the other foot, we've reversed roles," says Waugh. "I'd like to see us have a bit more spring in our step. I know it's hard when you are not taking wickets but someone has got to lift the team in that situation."
"They've got to find some sort of aggro for their attack," believes Taylor. "Johnson's been out of form - there's no doubt about that - but by not having him in the side they've lost that bit of aggro that's always been part of Australia's way of playing. They've either got to bring him back or find someone who can do that kind of job."
Chappell, an expert summariser for Test Match Special, disagrees. "Aggro doesn't get you wickets. It's no good having a bloke who's just going to shout his mouth off. You need batsmen who can score runs and bowlers who can take wickets.
"You don't get self-belief from great speeches, otherwise Winston Churchill would have been the best cricket captain England could ever have had. You get it from playing well and winning matches. Ponting can't just conjure it up from somewhere for his players."
What of captain Ricky Ponting, who scored only nine runs across two innings in Adelaide and faces the dismal prospect of becoming only the second Australian captain in history to lose three Ashes series?
"He is in a really tricky position," says former England skipper Michael Vaughan, now a summariser for Test Match Special. "His bowling unit is not what it was and you can see a captain just trying to prove to everyone that he should be the captain.
"He is trying to come up with a masterstroke in a tactical way. He is changing his field regularly and changing his bowlers regularly. He is not really sticking with a plan for a period of time to allow it to develop.
Michael Vaughan says Ponting should stay as captain. Photo: Getty Images
"He is under a huge amount of pressure but Ricky Ponting has to stay as captain for Australia to get back into this series and he has to go to Perth and score runs. So far in this series, he has scored an unbeaten 51 in the second innings in Brisbane, failed in the first innings (10) and failed twice in Adelaide.
"I really feel he has to concentrate solely on scoring as many runs as possible. The only way, I believe, Australia will get a big score is if Ricky Ponting contributes with the bat."
There have been comments in some Australian newspapers that Ponting might have to step down as captain, both to focus on his own batting and freshen the side up.
"I think it would be the wrong move," says Vaughan. "I think he is an extremely good leader. Tactically, I think we can all question him but this bowling unit will take some captaining. I think in terms of drainage on the mind, he is probably getting drained more with this unit than he ever has before because they all need captaining.
"I think he is actually playing OK. He is making one error and getting out but that happens in cricket. If he continues to move his feet like he has done, I am pretty sure he will get a score. But England know if they get him cheaply at Perth, the Australia team will definitely wobble once again because the leader is so important."
The pitch at the WACA is traditionally a fast, bouncy wicket, although the pitch that England played on in their warm-up game in Perth was slower and lower.
Can an Australian attack that has shipped more than 1,100 runs in breaking England's last five partnerships take the 20 wickets it needs to win a game on a track like that?
"I don't see how Australia can come back into this series unless they produce a green wicket in Perth that has plenty of bounce and allows the likes of Siddle, Johnson, Harris and Hilfenhaus something to bowl on," says Vaughan. "If they think they are going to try to beat us on flat wickets with a bit of spin, that is just going to play into the hands of England and Graeme Swann. They have to get some life into the pitches.
"England lost a game last year at The Wanderers in Johannesburg when Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn twice bowled us out cheaply. That is the way I would play against England. But this England batting order is playing well and it wouldn't surprise me if they scored runs on anything at the moment."
"The immediate future for Australia as I see it is pretty bleak," laments Chappell. "Those of us who remember the mid-1980s will recognise it but I think a lot of other people are going to have to get used to the idea that Australia might be in a slump for a while yet."
"Our people aren't used to this," admits Taylor. "We're used to being impregnable. There's no doubt that you can't stay at the top forever, whatever you do. We probably fell off the perch two years ago. I just hope it's not a cycle that takes us 30 years to get right because there's been too much time, money and effort invested."