August 24th, 2009

Tea-drinker par excellence

Throwing it away

Whilst the Aussie press are blaming the pitch, the umpires and pretty much everything except the players, well except for Pointing, it seems to me that Australia still had a good chance to win the Oval test match but blew by losing three crucial wickets through non-bowling dismissals, the stumping being opportunistic rather than a deliberate ploy. And even then, had Haddin shown more composure, it looked like Hussey could have batted until November.

Of course, the test was really lost in the first innings. For me, the other main factors were Broad putting on a real class display of swing bowling, Swann being the only proper spin bowler on the pitch and bowling well, Strauss making steady contributions (in each test, not just this one) and Trott making up for the disappointment of Bopara (and to a lesser extent Cook).

In then end, Australia may have taken things too much for granted and weren't prepared for the gutsy underdog performance that a developing England side put it. Player for player, and on their day, I don't think anyone would doubt that Australia are the better side. They just forgot that you also have to prove it on the pitch.

And whinging Aussies is just music to English ears.