a great Testmatch
England started with a dominant first innings to only then realise that it was a docile pitch and there were actually more runs available if the batsmen had applied themselves.
A great batting performance from the Aus top order with the only concern being the out of form Hussey. In truth England seemed to run out of options when North and Haddin came together and only dismissed Haddin when he was chasing quick runs at the end of the innings.
The surprise of the Test Match was the performance of the spinners from both teams.
England’s much touted spin twins of Panesar and Swann were suppose to put the Aus batting order in a spin and collected 1-246 between them. Whilst Hauritz who can’t bowl to save his life before the Match took 6-158.
Ponting’s choices at the end were found wanting and both captains lack the instinct and creativity of past leaders.
a question of balance?
Is it just me or does the England team lack balance in their make-up?
Invariably when teams go top heavy on the bowling department they usually come undone with the team balance and results are not there to justify the shift in the team make-up.
They have Prior batting at 6 who is capable of scoring runs in a hurry (as Gilchrist in the past) but more than that is required at 6. You have to also be able to stop a batting collapse if need be, adapt to the scoring rate required including increasing it when required. That is the job of a specialist Test Match batsman not a wicketkeeper who has enough on his plate with other duties. Prior should be free to do his thing at 7 let the top order do their job.
Also Bopara looks a good batsman but who should probably serve an apprenticeship at 6 and let the gritty Collingwood bat at 3 to relieve some pressure on the lower order.
KP is KP and he has to do his thing. Sometimes it won’t come off but more often than not it will. Players of his ilk like Gilly are game breakers and need the freedom to do their thing.
The bowling also seems to lack depth with Flintoff out of form. It was all too much up and down from the quicks with only Anderson in spurts offering real challenges for the Aus batting lineup.
Only one Test Match so far and it could all change in an instant.
Looking forward to Lords and what the home of cricket has to offer.