|Starc removes Trott|
It was proper and it was dull but not because Australia made it so. Michael Clarke swing shifted his bowlers from different ends and in the five over and less spells his captaincy is famous for. He attacked when he could, bottled the English batsmen and probed with both his spinners. All this on a perfect batting strip which is only just starting to spin and occasionally jump. The fieldsmen were sharp, men like Warner chasing to the very edge of the boundary and diving to scoop and save boundaries, like young boys diving for coins for gobsmacked tourists in one of the Pacific nations.
The tactics were right, the execution was good.
No, all responsibility for a hundred overs yielding little more than two each lay with the negativity of the English batsmen. It's the same approach they have adopted all series, rarely exceeding two and a half an over and playing with safety. The same thinking killed cricket in the 1950's until Richie Benaud and Frank Worrel put entertainment back into the game. England, of course, would have none of it and tried right through the 1960's and into the seventies with our Geoffrey flag bearer of the somnambulant crew. It wasn't until Tony Greig that England dared venture into three an over territory.
Alastair Cook's desire to kill all hope for the Australians is understandable but harder to justify when you have potent attacking weapons such as Pietersen and Bell. Yet they batted like men in chains, nudging singles to the leg side and leaving half volleys unmolested outside off stump. Pietersen's half century included 80% of his runs scored on the leg side. Every batsman, even allowing for good bowling, refused to engage in the task of taking the attack on. With an eye to tomorrow's promised foul weather, England batted as if the realm was being defended.
Proper Test cricket yes but out of place when you already have the series won. They won't be able to get away with it in Australia, come November.
|Day of frustration for Harris|
Although follow-ons are out of favour in the modern game, with the 4th day likely to suffer watery incision, in is the only hope Australia have. With 45 runs to play with, something dramatic will be required.
As for those who cry crocodile tears for the health of Australian cricket, the evidence for your distress grows thin. Perhaps if you watched the game, rather than read jaundiced opinions written solely to attract media attention, you might see the metal of this team. You might also notice the grunt and pride much maligned men such as David Warner have bought to the XI. Men who have fought for their spot such as the oath bearer, Nathan Lyon. Hussey was no fool in choosing him to stand Under The Southern Cross. It has long been accepted than if you poke Siddle or Harris, they will at least growl at you but when you see babies such as Steve Smith wearing that damn green cap with with the pride of a nation still to attach itself, you have to notice that something is happening here.
|Couldn't get it off quick enough|
Except maybe his mouth ...