Yesterday, sadly, England fought back.
In fact, fighting back isn’t very English at all. Starting a fight, yes. But doing what England did yesterday? I’m just not used to it. I don’t think the Australian cricketing public are either.
So here’s where things are in a nutshell:
- England started the day yesterday 0/19 — 202 runs behind
- England ended the day yesterday 1/309 — 88 runs ahead
- Alistair Cook is 132 not out, Andrew Strauss made 110
- Australia have been made fools of
So who’s to blame? Apparently Mitchell Johnson. He has copped a hiding in the Australian press today.
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Here’s a list of things more useful than Mitchell Johnson:
- a spork
- bathers on Ted Baillieu (thank god)
- Peter Andre
- a snuggie
- a Christmas song by Justin Bieber
- The Irish banking system
- ant penises (unless you are an ant) (LJ: a First Dog on the Moon contribution)
So what will happen today?
Put it this way — currently at the TAB, the draw is $1.04 favourite.
What England will hope for: A declaration perhaps with 40 or 50 overs and 300 odd runs to chase. There’s probably not enough time for this to happen unless the English go Twenty20 style from the first ball — rubbing salt into Australia’s already open wounds. To then get four or five wickets as Australia try to defend a loss will be the ultimate in psychological chess ahead of the Second Test in Adelaide.
What Australia will hope for: A swag of early wickets allowing Australia the time to chase down England’s lead and win the Test. To do this Australian bowlers need to fire, particularly Mitchell Johnson.
The spork says no.
The best writing around the place:
- Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook join the greats — The Guardian
- Ponting’s hopes of reclaiming Ashes are fading — The Age
- Strauss rises to the challenge — Cricinfo
- An Australian bowling attack unsuited to Australian conditions — King Cricket
- Mitchell Johnson has no wickets, no runs and no catches at the Gabba — The Australian
- Bob Willis: It took time but Jimmy is the real deal — The Independent
- Catches, what are they good for? — Cricket With Balls
The Crikey Sports Ashes archive: