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:

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:

The Crikey Sports Ashes archive:

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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