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Aussies collapse to revitalised England

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Oliver Brett | 19:45 UK time, Friday, 17 July 2009

Watching England bat is a perilous occupation at the best of times. On how many occasions have seemingly impregnable positions been frittered away with hideous, stunningly awful collapses that transform the other side from apparent underdogs to overwhelming favourites?

How glorious it is to report, then, that the boot was most certainly on the other foot on Friday at Lord's - when the final session was played under slate-grey skies that are usually a recipe for depression on an English summer's day.

England's first-innings total of 425 looked no better than moderately good on a Lord's wicket which has rewarded the batsmen far more than the bowlers in producing six draws and just one positive result in the seven Tests played here since the 2005 Ashes.

When Australia slumped to 10-2 England's score looked a really good one, but then it looked pretty average once again when Simon Katich and Michael Hussey were together in a largely untroubled partnership that began before lunch and was only ended after tea.

England appeal, and get, the wicket of Ricky Ponting

Crucially though, captain Andrew Strauss had maximised the resources afforded to him by a five-man bowling attack - a rare luxury in modern Test cricket despite the abundance of flat wickets - because Andrew Flintoff was well rested when the final session began.

He absolutely motored in, almost hurling his body at the batsmen as well as the ball, and though it was Graham Onions' wicket that started the Australian rot, there was a new-found edge to the cricket that could only be explained by Flintoff's bowling.

The best and possibly fastest delivery of the day, bowled by Flintoff at a formidable 95.1mph, ended Michael Hussey's innings on 51, and the floodgates were open for James Anderson and Stuart Broad - the fittest pacemen in the side - to ride roughshod over the lower order, which they did in devastating fashion.

One rather important footnote remains. It was not just brilliant bowling that accounted for Australia's demise. Of the eight batsmen dismissed, shockingly five went playing some kind of hook or pull shot that did not come off.

This was a massive jolt to the system for those of us who have watched dozens of Australian batsmen play that shot with supreme skill over the years.

The last Ashes Test I had seen in the flesh, at Brisbane in 2006 in admittedly very different conditions, had featured some sublime Aussie pulling. But at Lord's on Friday the Australians pulled enthusiastically but with spectacularly poor reward - like boarding-school teenagers let loose in the West End for a night.

Some of their difficulties could perhaps be explained by the poor, floodlit-assisted conditions late in the day, and some by intelligent bowling from England - whose bowlers did not overdo the short ball, and in between offered few easy scoring opportunities.

More mundanely, the Australians felt pressure. Eschewing the tactic of self-denial that had proved so effective in Cardiff, they were lulled into the big shots, and a tiny percentage of doubt proved critical.

The Test is far from won, however. Against Sri Lanka in 2006, India in 2007 and South Africa last year England have reached tremendous positions in Lord's Tests only to have to settle for draws.

Dropped catches cost them three years ago, before the rain saved the Indians and a wicket that suddenly went flat scuppered them against Graeme Smith's men. England are in a good position, but much hard work remains if they are to secure their first win over Australia at Lord's since 1934.

Follow my updates on twitter through the Lord's and Edgbaston Tests.


  • Comment number 1.

    I agree that Flintoff kept up the pressure but that is not where the initial major pressure came from. It came from England scoring over 400 very rapidly in conditions where they should have never got to 196 for no wicket had Australia bowled straight,that is where this game turned. If the ball swings Australia will struggle and that was proved today by their inability to keep the score board rattling along, pressure builds and then being caught out trying to score of short pitched balls. This is not a great Australian side, there is no blinding pace, great guile or mystery, what you see is a very ordinary bowling attack.

  • Comment number 2.

    Flintoff is so special and he showed it again today. Working with his colleagues he set the Aussies up - and how beautifully. Roaring down the wicket and scaring them to death so that the other bowlers can finish them off. Let no-one ever underestimate this man's contribution - it's not just numbers of wickets, it's how he sets them up. How much will the big man be missed; the sheer joy he brings to the game is unique.

    Never say never with the Aussies; they should never be written off. However, Jonathan Agnew's remark that Flintoff had got his retirement out in the open, that he would now go out and enjoy his last few test matches, and the Aussies would be thinking 'oh dear' was very percipient.

  • Comment number 3.

    It's very easy to write off this Australian attack but people are wrong to do so. They had a bad day at Lords. Countless bowling attacks have suffered in a similar way, usually a combination of the Lords slope and nerves at playing at a venue that sweats history like a fat man in thermals on a treadmill. I remember people were similarly unimpressed by Messrs Steyn, Morkel and Ntini about this time a year ago when England cranked up 593 for 8 declared (, and look how that series turned out. Lords is a unique place to play and it did seem many of the Aussies were suffering from nerves in that first session.

    Johnson is clearly out of sync. You can go onto Youtube and see how his run up looked in South Africa compared to this tour. His run up looks uncertain, almost shuffling, and looks really indecisive compared to the hungry strides in SA. He's got wickets despite this. He will come good eventually because he has shown himself to be too good to not come good.

    Those who say the attack lacks mystery are right but what they did demonstrate in South Africa is a collective team spirit and desire that was very Australian. Sheer hard work and effort became the replacement for individual special talents like McGrath and Warne. English fans having a dig at their attack would do well to remember that, of our batsmen, it's current Strauss and Collingwood, the non-glam duo, who have shown the greatest application and skill with bat whilst the more showboating elements have been misfiring.

    The Australians batted terribly this afternoon. Offering repeated crossbat shots on a swinging seaming wickets seems mad to me. It was an afternoon that needed someone to stay there with an attritional mindset. The Australian ideal is to attack at any given opportunity but that backfired spectacularly. I'm surprised at Marcus North giving his wicket away like that as I thought he would have been the perfect sort of batsman for those conditions.

    Oliver, after your mention of the winklepickers in your past, is there any chance you might be covering any part of this match in such fine footwear and, if so, will it get a special blog picture? I can't see the Lords groundstaff refusing to admit a man in 'pickers.

  • Comment number 4.

    As was said in the blogs last night, we are seeing the effect of the one day slog-outs now. Batsman do not have the application, technique or concentration to bat cautiously for long periods and see off difficulties. To be frank, the Aussie performances in this match, Hussey and Hilfenhous apart, have been shocking and represent a very poor standard of Test cricket.
    I'm glad I haven't wasted money to go watch it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Flechcrik - not Duncan F, by any chance?? Lighten up, man! Your point is patently untrue, for starters - the Aussies showed great application, technique and concentration when racking up 600 plus in Cardiff last week. But if batsmen are slogging out in this match, thank goodness for that - it's about time bowlers got some reward. Would you rather see endless runfests?

    Poor standard of test cricket or not, the fact is England are in with a great chance of winning their first Ashes test at Lord's since 1934! I would pay to go and see that... oh, I have. Victory on Sunday? Bring it on!

  • Comment number 6.

    Girlondonblogger writes: "Never say never with the Aussies; they should never be written off."
    Never say "never say never" and then say "never".

  • Comment number 7.

    Steady on there! It's great to have heroes and I don't want to belittle the impact of Freddie's commitment, but there was a pretty devastating contribution by Jimm A there too.
    Anyway, let's see how it pans out - and here's hoping for an England victory.

  • Comment number 8.

    How wonderful to see application from our bowlers, ok the conditions helped them. Perhaps our batsmen can learn something from this!
    I am pleased Freddie is resigning/retiring from test cricket. Anderson & Broad will have to complete their development, they are both more than capable, but are only just gaining the confidence necessary. Thank god Broad came back from a pretty desultory first opening spell, where he leaked runs. He is extremely good but still lacks that ultimate confidence and arrogance required of a top allrounder. Not the blind arrogance of Peterson, but the thinking arrogance of Botham.

    England please 'grind their noses in it', they have done it to us too many times. We love the Ausies, but we also hate them, it is a true 'love hate' relationship.

    Let us stop being 'Mr nice guy', let us assume the mantle previously held by Australia as the 'killers' of world cricket.

    The difference between us and others is focus, application, concentration, adjusting our style to the conditions, occasion and competitors.

  • Comment number 9.

    If the opportunity presents itself tomorrow morning, England should prudently enforce the follow on.

    This strategy will heap enormous pressure on the Aussies to save the match. Several scenarios are possible henceforth:

    1. The Australians could collapse in dramatic fashion and lose by an innings plus; or leave England a modest target;

    2. Should they stage an improbable come-back, over the next two days, that could conceivably leave England somewhere in the range of 200 to 300 to win with plenty of time to do so, barring weather intervention, of course.

    3. This match is now heavily tilted toward an England victory. An Aussie win appears the most unlikely result at this point in time.

    If they do pull it off, it will have been one of the most dramatic in history.

    Great work, lads!

  • Comment number 10.

    I went yesterday and I thought it was one of the better England batting performances that I've seen over the years. Strauss' innings in particular was excellent - after tea when the ball started swinging it was like watching two different games when he was facing and when any other England batsman was facing. It was a very measured and confident innings and now we've had the chance to see both sides it should be the decisive batting contribution. England's bowling today was excellent and they used the conditions far better than the Aussie bowlers. They didn't give runs away and were able to apply pressure to a very good batting line up. Overall, England deserve great credit for raising their game from last weekend.

  • Comment number 11.

    People really need to stop getting carried away. While its fair to say that day 2 was Englands all the way, the test match is far from over, and the weather may affect things yet.

    Freddie Flintoff and his bowling are going to do us a lot of good in this series, far more than his batting will. Coming in at number 7 with the tail behind him will only cause him to slog a la late career Botham.

    Also, we still have 3.5 tests worth of batting to get through, and so far the English middle order has looked less than secure. good individual performances dont get the job done, we need a couple of solid team efforts to get over the winning line.

  • Comment number 12.

    I thought Flintoff bowled well but to give him all the credit because someone shouldered arms long after they were in trouble strikes me as bizarre trying to make his part more than it was. I did not see anyone saying what great bowling when Strauss and KP shouldered arms far from it. The story of 'Stone's career I guess few wickets lots of praise.

    For all the obfuscation his wickets come at well over 30 a piece and they still will in 10 years time despite the wider and weaker test pool he has faced.

    It's turned out nice but Strauss bowling Flintoff and Broad after Hughes was out and not Onions was not the best policy. Onions only got to bowl when the other 3 were bowled out. Ditto Broad may have bounced the tail out in odd light but he got a lot of overs early when he was clearly no threat. Broad will bowl straight and fast however old the ball is. Onions might move the ripe cherry so why let others bowl?

    The media have fed us Flintoff as more than he is and they still are. It's just sad. It's like every Man United game goal shy centre forward Wayne Rooney is sold as the star. Just a hierarchy rather than meritocracy like Strauss bowling choices I guess.

  • Comment number 13.

    What we do NOT want to see is England letting the Aussies escape the follow-on.

    As the previous poster wrote "Let us stop being 'Mr nice guy', let us assume the mantle previously held by Australia as the 'killers' of world cricket."
    "This is about application, ...adjusting our style to the occasion and competitors."

    This is the Ashes.
    Slip Siddle a mashed raw prawn with his scrambled eggs for breakfast.
    Show the bowlers a close-up photo of Hauritz's batting gloves, with the target circled in red.


  • Comment number 14.

    Anderson did not 'need' Flintoff' to 'open the floodgates'.

    Get a grip. You like a lot of people are lost in his ability which he threw away in 2005.

  • Comment number 15.

    "Sublime Aussie pulling"? No need to head as far as Brisbane to see that.

    Try the Walkabout - Temple Branch...

  • Comment number 16.

    Its was Onions who got the key wicket remember, sparking the quick flow of wickets after the end of Australia's biggest partnership of the innings.

  • Comment number 17.

    Thanks for the great nostalgic and awe-inspiring picture of the Pavilion of end at majestic Lord's, Brett! Superb work, mate!

  • Comment number 18.

    Sorry for the typo above!

  • Comment number 19.

    Three words....swing, wickets, follow on....oh and pressure, four then..
    COME ON ENGLAND.....grind the aussies down till they cant get up

  • Comment number 20.

    "....there was a new-found edge to the cricket that could only be explained by Flintoff's bowling."

    Hmmm... I'm not convinced.

    Flintoff took one wicket out of eight, and that was the fourth wicket to fall.
    Prior to the start of this Test I saw plenty of comments about how much better England now perform when Flintoff is NOT playing.

    Perhaps it was the news of his retirement from Test cricket that inspired the other bowlers!

    Perhaps it was the inspired leadership of Captain Strauss, and the confidence gained from "The Great Escape"

    Perhaps it was just that the other England players bowled and fielded well under conditions that suited them.

    Or perhaps BBC journalists are duty-bound to find something hyperbolic and "tabloid" to say about an entertaining day of cricket.

  • Comment number 21.

    Please let Onions be the decisive factor in this match, so our Friday night pubtastic punfest won't be wasted.....

    Onions bahjis through the Aussies

    England relish Onions, hes mustard.

    England spring Onions on the Aussies

    Aussie batsmen unable to slice (or cut) Onions

    Onions sets the standard

    Onions seeds doubts in Aussie batsmen

    Aussie batsmen are tripe against Onions

    Aussies make meal of Onions

    Cook with Onions together they make Aussies stew.

  • Comment number 22.

    It may seem churlish to criticise Strauss's bowling changes when the score is 156 for 8 but why wasn't Freddie bowling with Jimmy after lunch?
    Surely Fred's great strength is to unsettle the batsmen and he will be at his most effective before the batsmen have played themselves in.
    And Frogstar, sometimes stats don't tell the whole truth. We've tended to be playing stronger teams when Fred has been in the side recently.
    Although if your username is a reference to Douglas Adams, I take my hat off to you sir. Or madam.

  • Comment number 23.

    What a great commentary, team! You do such a great job, and I am not sure enough of us ever say so?
    I was first hooked on cricket by watching BBC TV live broadcasts throughout my youth and onwards until they weren't even available on Channel 4. This medium, Radio 4 longwave and Radio 5 when not distracted, are great. But now, I get complaints from all around me for listening who have no desire to find out what cricket is all about!
    How might they ever know?
    From a really canny right-arm-over self-taught spin bowler; not a great fielder; wonderful classical batsman to the pitch of any ball - highest score about 10 I think; but I am sure I know the theory! (More than my kids ever will - sadly?) I had no proper coaching at school - my kids had none. What hope for the sport if BBC don't make it free-to-air?

  • Comment number 24.

    So Oliver Brett one of the biggest critics of Anderson won't say anything good about Anderson even today. I can't expect much.

  • Comment number 25.

    Better get a new batch of MBE's minted.

  • Comment number 26.

    In this series Freddie has got 2 wickets at 77.5 and has averaged 22 with the bat!

    So I do not see what is so good about him. He just bowls too short to get wickets.

  • Comment number 27.

    A wonderful turn of events! A 'new-found edge' indeed, to English bowling and catching at least.
    Katich's was a real winning dismissal and the whole team can be proud of Broad's great effort. Howler of a 'leave' from Hussey and England got on the gravy train.
    With injury scare and retirement looming large, handling Freddie's bowling has become a new parameter for English captaincy. It was like a last drop from the lemon squeezer that lifted other bowlers into inspired spells.
    With twelve wickets on the day, one is tempted to mark this Lords pitch as a bowler's paradise. Hopefully Aussie tail doesn't wag like the English one. With a night's rest, follow on should be de jure, should circumstance take that turn.
    Is Anderson on his way to be this Ashes' hero?

  • Comment number 28.


    Broad beams after taking deep flying Onions delivery

    That's shallot! Onions sizzles and finishes off Aussies

    Onions has Ponting in a pickle

  • Comment number 29.

    I think Anderson caused 4 times as much damage to Australia than Flintoff.

    Now stop pretending the latter did all the work.

  • Comment number 30.

    The home side had two glorious days in the middle. England bowlers did not give away anything. This English side looks a bit more experienced than their talented opponents. Day 3 could be fascinating for the home fans. Tussle between the ball and the bat is what test cricket is all about. Best wishes to the two sides.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 31.

    I have seen Brett criticising Anderson a lot so, it is no surprise that he won't give the credit to Anderson.

  • Comment number 32.

    All this Fred bashing is a bit weird. He may average over 30 with the ball but a bowler's average does not reflect his (or her) economy rate, and Fred's is superb. Also would you want to face inswinging deliveries at 95 mph. Just imagine. He will play a key role in their second innings when I'm sure they will bat better. I doubt we will make them follow on.

  • Comment number 33.

    Freddie bowls too short and that is why he can't get too many wickets. In this series he averages 77 with the ball.

    If England have to win the Ashes it is Anderson who has to fire and he did that yesterday. The in slant and that slight away movement he gets to righthanders is always a good combination on any wicket provided he pitches it up and bowls with a bit of control and of course he can reverse.

  • Comment number 34.

    Fred is a good bowler but his inability to pitch it up means that he would beat the bat but won't get too many wickets.

    He has only 2 five wicket hauls which says everything.

  • Comment number 35.

    Jimmy Anderson delivers one of the most convincing performances with bat and ball by an English test cricketer for many years, following on from heroically saving the first test, and Oliver Brett writes about the inspirational Flintoff. OK, so Brett clearly has a problem with Anderson, but it's time to get over it Oliver. Anderson has 6 - 8 years left playing at the highest level and will go on to prove himself as one of the greats of his era. I imagine it is difficult for you to acknowledge this given the rubbish you have written about him - but as a sports writer, how are you going to be able to continue to ignore him.

    He will certainly end up with far more wickets than Flintoff and, quite possibly, end up with a higher batting average. He will be an English hero of this Ashes series and Flintoff will be lucky to reach the end of the series. If Flintoff truly had any desire to win this series for England he would do the decent thing and retire now - saving selectors the pain of having to select a failing batsman and non-strike bowler out of some misdirected sense of loyalty and fairness.

    In the name of God, go now Freddie.

  • Comment number 36.


    Aussies all out within 25 minutes for under 170, Anderson taking 5.
    England do not enforce follow-on.
    At 130 for 6 at close on day 3, Anderson is sent in as night watchman.
    England hammer way to 240 all out 30 minutes before lunch on day 4, Anderson unbeaten on 70+.
    Chasing 490 to win, Australia crumble following a 100+ opening stand, with Anderson claiming 6 wickets - including a middle order hat-trick.
    With 12 runs and 3 wickets across both innings, Oliver Brett names Flintoff man of the match for "frightening the Aussies into submission".

  • Comment number 37.

    Some great overs of vintage Flintoff matched, in my opinion, by some superb bowling by Anderson, and well supported by Onions and Broad who also took a superb catch. Ponting's ungracious acceptance of losing his wicket was absurd. He must have known that if he hadn't touched the ball he was out plumb LBW because he danced out of the way of the stumps PDQ. Strauss' catch was all the more impressive as he was just joining Anderson's appeal when he saw the ball was coming to him and went down well. Wrong decision, right verdict.

    England must not lose momentum however. They should remember that tail enders can enhance scores and finish off the job by not allowing easy runs to be scored - bowl straight and fullish length. Although the Aussies shouldn't bat as badly again, continued cloud cover promises more swing and seam, and it will be a tough ask for them to set a realistic total for England to chase. Strauss must continue to use Flintoff as a presence - he intimidated by bowling very fast and accurately. Let's hope his fitness holds up for the rest of his Test career.

  • Comment number 38.

    Fred is a good bowler but yesterday he played more of a supporting role to Anderson who is the leader of the pace attack now but Oliver Brett can never say anything good about Anderson and that is a fact.

    The sad part is even in his last series Fred has not learnt that a bowler won't get many wickets if he bowls back of a length!

  • Comment number 39.

    Please Please just stop it-yes he bowled well but it was Anderson who made the breakthrough-there is too much of this love in with Fred Flintoft-he played well in one series is a bit of a maverick and suddenly he's saved the world. Give the credit where it is really due!

  • Comment number 40.

    No one seems to want to acknowledge the fact that England only got so many wickets yesterday because of the conditions.

    If it had been sunny, as on the first day, and as it apparently will be today, then it would most probably have been a run fest!|

  • Comment number 41.

    Yeah but a bowler has to take advantage of it. If a bowler bowls lots of deliveries which are short and wide he would be punished.

    I do remember the Indian team getting some help from the Trent Bridge wicket in 2007 against England but creidt has to go to that fine swing bowler Zaheer Khan for using it to his advantage.

    Actually for a change it is good to see the bowlers dominating.

  • Comment number 42.

    England earned their position, sure the conditions favoured bowling (especially in the last hour), but on balance the Aussies bowled a lot of rubbish on the first day.

    I'm not going to use conditions as an excuse for Australia. If they had kept the bowling tight and the pressure on the first day it's pretty safe to assume England would not have reached the total they did.

    Katich, Hussey, Clarke, North, Haddin and Johnson all snapped under pressure and fell into what looked to be english traps.

    Well done England. They've earned their position of dominance in this match.

    Going to be excellent today watching what they do with it. lol. And how the Aussie's respond to the uncommon feeling of being thoroughly up the creek.


  • Comment number 43.

    A bit of Freddie bashing going on here. Ask the Aussies whether they would like him in their team.

  • Comment number 44.

    hopptastic-in resposne only because the article is misguided and does not reflect what really happened

  • Comment number 45.

    PS does Oliver Brett take any notice of what we think anyway!

  • Comment number 46.

    No, Oliver Brett, the 'new found edge' was because Anderson bowled as we know he can - and whatever the outcome of this match, his inconsistency is still a big worry. Yes, Flintoff was a menace with the new ball, but I can't help thinking that Onions may have got two or three early wickets in those conditions if he had been given the hard new ball. Actually, with Harmison breathing down the bowlers' necks, it's Onions I'm worried for here, because the selectors seems to have blinkers on regarding Stuart Broad: he needs to go back to county cricket to work out his game a bit more (not that he hasn't got the attributes to make a great third seamer in the future). Reminds me of how Paul Allott missed his rightful place on the 82/83 tour to Australia due to the fact that Peter May seemed obsessed with Derek Pringle - without any good reason. Onions is a more complete bowler than Broad, and is in the unlucky position of a) being relegated to fourth seamer; and b) in an Ashes series with only two tests under his belt.

  • Comment number 47.

    Can somebody please tell me how many spaces you need to type in after a full stop on here in order for them to be registered in the text?

  • Comment number 48.

    It's all going to change in the next Test. Right now the Aussies are struggling with a second-rate bunch of bowlers. They can deliver about 1 good ball in 10 overall. Next time - Enter The Dragon - Bruce Lee ... erm, I mean Brett. What can England do? Bring on Harmy! With really effective bowling on both sides the game will step up another gear.

    But you know what? Even with Brett Lee fit, we have the better bunch of bowlers. And on balance, our batters are very nearly as good as theirs. So I still think we'll shade it. Another glorious summer?

  • Comment number 49.

    TMS producers: never mind Russell Crowe, can you please put on the ashes archive Greg Chappell describing Rod Marsh's flight to London in the 70's, and Agnew and Tuffnell reading the Queen's menu options from yesterday?!?

  • Comment number 50.

    Brilliant decision by England not to follow-on.

    Australia only have two fully-fit bowlers, one of whom hasn't yet bowled a decent length all tour. Siddle is maybe 3/4s fit and Hauritz isn't even 1/3rd fit.

    If England can bat until noon tomorrow, they'll have a lead of 500. 30 kamikaze minutes later and they'll have 5 sessions and 6 overs to get 10 wickets.

  • Comment number 51.

    As an expat i would say that the presenttest series is the best chance England has of regaining the ashes for many a long year , it would be the worst touring side to leave Australia in 50 years. I say this as I believe ponting would be the worst captain I can remember ( and I am 73) and the bowling attack the weakest for 30 years. Having said that if England are to regain the ashes the English selectors have to bight the bullet and replace S Broad as although a very good county bowler he lacks at test match level as shown this morning when bowling at tail enders and he is weak when bowling to left handers for to long it has been harder to get out of the english side than it is to get out as was proved when A.Stewart was kept as keeper causing England to be defeated when they should have won by standing to far back to the quiks thus many chances for the slip fielders dropped short

  • Comment number 52.

    'As an expat i would say that the presenttest series is the best chance England has of regaining the ashes for many a long year , it would be the worst touring side to leave Australia in 50 years.'

    Many a long year? Born in 2006 or something?! They last regained the Ashes in 2005 not in pre-history.

  • Comment number 53.

    Just caught up with this blog. I usually wholeheartedly agree with your observations, but I fear you may have got a touch of Flintoff Fever. Yes, he bowled very well according to reports - I won't give in to Sky but thats another story! However, Anderson is now the man who makes things happens far more than Flintoff ever has over his 71 test matches before and after the Ashes 2005. I won't miss him because he will allow England to build a much better balanced team. Maybe we will be able to move on from the 2005 team when the 2009 team win the Ashes back, but don't be surprised if in 2013 the selectors try to patch up this team and bring them back!!

  • Comment number 54.

    'Anderson is now the man who makes things happens far more than Flintoff ever has'

    I hope you are not basing this statement on one bowling session! Anderson has good games and bad ones. He played well yesterday and has also had some nightmare days.

  • Comment number 55.

    I hope you are not basing this statement on one bowling session!

    Why do you say that? He has been far more incisive than Flintoff as 6 five wicket hauls in 38 tests proves compared to 2 in 76. 46 in 11 matches in 2008. 21 in 4 and a half matches this summer. I'd say that adequately proves my point especially as he is improving and Flintoff is deteriorating.

  • Comment number 56.

    Lets really hope there isnt any rain over London this weekend, because England will never get a better chance to win against Australia at Lords. They could pretty much declare overnight and still be comfortable.

    I agree with Andrew Strauss's decision to not take the follow on, because in all honesty the game is already out of Aussie sight, with 2 days left. On a more sentimental note, it means Freddie can walk out one last time in front of the Lords crowd, and get his deserved standing ovation when he walks back in at some point tomorrow.

    As for the series, I predict now a 2-0 win, unless the return of Brett Lee brings some sort of punch to the Australian bowling attack.

  • Comment number 57.

    An allround dissapointing display by Australia. I don't think they will save the test. I think their bowling is unbalanced. As succesful as Johnson has been, he's very hot and cold and can bowl some rubbish and when hes not bowling well the attack looks very poor and inexperienced when hes n ot fiering. It's a difficult balance because Hauritz has done as well as he could. But their must be a case for Stuart Clark or Macdonald having a game. As for the batting, Ponting aside batting like that won't win many tests. But well done England to pickup their game after a sub par performance at Cardiff.

  • Comment number 58.

    Time and again famous English bromide comes to mind; a bird in hand is better than two in the bush.

  • Comment number 59.

    Just listened to Rolf Harris...He's off his trolley!!...oo aaaHH ooo aahhh..sshh...hhaa! hilarious!!:)

  • Comment number 60.

    Rolf's cartoon club?!! hhaaa ooo hha pure genius!!:))

  • Comment number 61.

    Excellent comments on the cricket !! Charles from Singapore... Fez originated from Egypt... agree any colour as long it's Red!!

  • Comment number 62.

    Chaps, as a Man of Kent I must tell you that Meopham is pronounced "Mep'ham."

  • Comment number 63.

    well, it looks like England might win. I guess we won't see any stalling now or will James Anserson's hands require the 12th man and the physio again? With the amount of time they spent on the pitch last test, I thought they might find their way into the side at Lords. Disgusting gamesmanship that won't be forgotten and I hope the Ashes stay safely with the team that plays hard but fair cricket.

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    Barrie Englishman in Philippines and on the computer watching the test match updates, my wife has never been so neglected, told her it will be over today or the promise of a shopping spree.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Sorry Should be along the lines of, With all the jubilation of the impending victory, There has been no mention of the extreme bad luck that has befallen Australia with the Strauss catch, The Flintoff no ball, Hussey not hitting the ball, consider if all of these decisions were taken to the third umpire and all the modern technology that is available was used, how much more interesting would this match have been. Just consider this for one moment. What if England had had these decisions go against them, what would be the context of all these bloggs or the Journo's articles??

  • Comment number 68.

    If there's one thing worse than a whinging Pom, it's a whinging Aussie.

  • Comment number 69.

    England won the recent 1st Test Match against Australia at Lords by 115 runs and while the home side did exceptionally well to post a 1st innings total of 435 it was the bowlers who really put England in the driving seat at Lords.

    In Cardiff England made 425 in their 1st innings, with this in mind many thought that England had squandered a tremendous opportunity to gain a significant advantage in the match when the home side posted 435 all out at Lords, having been 196-0 at one stage.

    However James Anderson whose record against Australia coming into the contest had been poor compared to his career stats, turned in a sublime display of pace swing bowling as Australia found themselves struggling.

    The experienced Mike Hussey, did manage to make a resilient half century, but he fell soon after as Australia were bowled out for 215 to put the home side in complete control of proceedings.


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