England dominated the start of day two but Australia fought back to leave the third Ashes Test in Perth evenly poised.

Centuries to Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow put England in a commanding position before a late collapse saw the visitors lose 6/35 and be bowled out for 403. In reply, Steve Smith went to stumps unbeaten on 92 as the Aussies finished at 3/203.

Here are all the talking points from the day's play.

BARMY ARMY'S CRUDE LYON SLEDGE

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A report on Friday revealed Nathan Lyon was seeing another woman following the breakdown in his relationship with the mother of his two children, and the Barmy Army had a ruthless response.

The Daily Mail reported Lyon split with longtime partner Mel Waring more than a year ago and has found love with Perth-based real estate worker Emma McCarthy. Photos captured the pair kissing in a car ahead of the start of the third Test.

The report said Waring was "devastated" by her split with Lyon and also claimed McCarthy is a former flame of Aussie star Mitch Marsh, prompting this crude sledge from the English supporters group on Twitter.

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SLAP IN THE FACE TO MARSH

Mitch Marsh didn't have the happiest return to the Test arena on day one in Perth, dropping an absolute soda in the slips.

Peter Handscomb was demoted to make room for the all-rounder meaning Marsh took the Victorian's position at first slip, only to spill an easy chance when opener Mark Stoneman outside edged a Josh Hazlewood delivery.

He will have been feeling awful, knowing Handscomb has already taken a couple of impressive grabs this series while standing next to the wicketkeeper.

Marsh then had his nose rubbed in his opening day blunder as Handscomb made a welcome return on day two as a substitute fielder. Fielding at backward point, he ran back with the flight of the ball and pulled out a full length dive at the final second to take a spectacular catch just above the turf after Dawid Malan skied Nathan Lyon high into the air.

The irony wasn't lost on Aussie fans.

ENGLAND BATSMEN CREATE HISTORY, THEN FLOP

Jonny Bairstow joined Dawid Malan at the crease on day one with England in the uncomfortable position of 4/131. By the time Malan left on day two, the pair had added 237 runs for the fifth wicket and put the tourists in a commanding spot.

Malan made his maiden Test century a sizeable one, registering 140 and Bairstow became the second England batsman to reach three figures this series, eventually dismissed for 119 shortly before lunch on Friday.

The partnership was the highest fifth wicket stand for any side at the WACA and as Malan and Bairstow progressed, it became England's highest ever fifth wicket partnership against Australia, knocking off a record nearly 80 years old.

But once Malan departed β€” caught by a diving Peter Handscomb (on the ground as a substitute fielder) β€” it was all downhill as the England tail surrendered meekly.

The Poms lost 6/35 off just 51 balls to go from 4/368 to 403 all out.

WARNER'S FORM A WORRY

David Warner's new-found pedestrian approach to batting is being questioned by former Test stars.

Warner has transformed from risk-taker to single-maker with his strike rate in the Ashes series against England, dipping to near-record lows. In Warner's 22 Test series, only twice has he scored at a slower rate.

His strike rate against England in the current series is 54.44 β€” his lowest-ever rates are 50.38 in India in 2013 and 54.11 in the West Indies in 2012. And while his Test career strike rate remains a healthy 76.22, some former Test stars are questioning Warner's sluggish output.

"Warner is a little bit of a concern for me, (he) looks like he is really playing within himself this series," ex-England batsman Kevin Pietersen told the Nine Network.

"We have hardly seen any hustle and bustle ... I'm wondering whether he is thinking responsible, responsible, responsible instead of thinking the David Warner way which is whack, whack, whack.

"He has been so good at handing over the pressure to the bowlers, to the opposition captain, and we just haven't seen any of that."

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor concurred, saying Pietersen had "hit the nail right on the head".

"Playing within yourself is not exactly the right way to do it," Taylor said.

Pietersen said Warner's dismissal against England on the second day of the third Test in Perth was evidence of the batsman's mindset.

Warner was caught behind from Craig Overton's bowling when prodding outside off stump.

"A symptom of what is happening to David Warner at the moment is he is thinking singles," Pietersen said.

"Look at the angle of his bat β€” he is thinking, 'I want to put you to the offside and get a single, I want to get off strike.'"