Batsman after batsman failed to rein in his desire to play at every delivery, with wickets lost due primarily to poor decision making.
Bowling, too, was erratic -- the Australians giving away 21 runs to the extras column.
Even the idea that the match could be over before Friday was being seriously discussed, and inevitably that discussion turned to the format of Test cricket.
Batsmen, it was agreed, were too used to the speed of Twenty20 and 50-over games; skills that fed a long innings, such as the ability to safely leave a ball, had been lost in the pressure to score quickly.
Punters preferred the quick fix entertainment of shorter forms of the game and this was the result.
As the Test entered the afternoon session on the fifth day, however, it became clear that this type of cricket still offers something unique.
This was like choosing an Emmy award winning DVD box set over a summer sci-fi blockbuster.
As the hours and days rolled by, nuance, sub-plots, character development and twists were revealed that would be impossible in the frenetic environment of limited overs cricket.
Trent Bridge was by turns feather bed and cauldron for the protagonists as the game's story evolved; nails were shorn to their stumps, eyes raised plaintively to the heavens by players and fans alike, cries of anguish were matched by sighs of relief and gasps of wonderment, eyes squinted intently at the square throughout.
This utterly enthralling contest was the perfect reminder of what Test cricket can offer.