Australia vs England - Second Test - Day 1
In 2005 when England regained the Ashes, Australia won the first Test by 239 runs. In 2006/07 Australia have just won the first Test by 277 runs.
In 2005, England named an unchanged line-up much to the disgust of many, Giles was retained. England (although losing the toss) batted first. They batted with confidence and posted 400 at better than 4 per over.
In 2006/07, in Adelaide, England again with unchanged line-up, again, with disgust that Giles was still there (or Panesar wasn't) batted first. There the similarities stopped. Stuart Clark - not there in 2005, struck early. Like Ponting's strange decision at Edgbaston (to send England in after winning the toss), this session as much as any, could to be quite a turning point. If England can rebound in this Test the pressure would be firmly back on the Aussies especially Ponting who would be haunted still more by 2005.
And so the day progressed, England toiling hard, desparate not to give Australia the upper hand. This was an old fashioned day of cricket. In recent times the bar has been raised and you find yourself thinking that "if teams aren't scoringa at 4 and over, they're not on top".
Naturally, scoring runs is a great was to get on top in a match - but surely the next best thing to getting yourself in a winning position is avoiding being in a losing one. That is exactly how England seemed to approach this day's cricket. If they're still in the hunt when they get the ball (i.e. not all out for 157) anything can happen. The longer they are still in the match, the longer they are not out of it. There is always that threat against Australia that Warne or McGrath will come on and change the match in an over or two, sure, but with Pietersen and Flintoff coming in, in your middle order, there is always the chance for a match changing session with the bat too.
So England proceeded, grafting, building a couple of partnerships, and as it turns out, you'd have to say had the better of the day. It could've been a lot worse, if a couple of wickets fell late, a lot of good work would've been undone. But that didn't happen.
So as it turns out, we head to day 2, with England a nose in front. It could change at any minute, but they'd have to be happier than at this time in Brisbane. A big day for KP or Freddie tomorrow and the Ashes are very much alive.
As I said above, imagine the pressure on the Aussies if England take back a match here. There is a long long way to go in this one, but surely that's the first goal accomplished to England, they're still in it at stumps and Warne went wicketless! A big step in wresting back that all important...momentum.
(Cross posted on STUmpcam
Labels: ashes, ashes 2006