“It had started so well.”
The Ashes series has started humiliatingly for England. They werent only just defeated but crushed by the Australians, who won their first test match in nine. A massive 381 run winning margin shows that England must perform better (mostly the bat) before the second test.
Day one was a decent day for England, Australia were on 279-8 at Stumps, with Stuart Broad responding to the criticism and abuse he had to endure leading up to the test match with six wickets. The only Australian partnership which seemed tricky to stop was Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson. However this was as good as it got from England.
The Australians controlled the rest of the test after their first innings was over. Firstly they ripped through the England batting line up with England only scoring a measly 130. Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took most of the wickets with his troublesome bouncing deliveries which caught almost all the England batsman by surprise. This was just after two days! Only rain seemed to be the only element which could condemn the test to a draw.
Day three; and Australia knew they were in a commanding position. They had a lead of nearly 150 before their second innings. They used the wicket to full effect and for England- a tough exhausting day laid ahead. Centuries from David Warner and Captain Michael Clarke helped toddle Australia to 407-4 when they declared, England needed 541 to win.
The second England innings was very reminiscent of the first. Only Alistair Cook seemed to be resilient to the pressure put on the England team by the Australian players and public. He made a respectful half century before being caught out by the spin of Nathan Lyon. England were hanging on by a tightrope and finally James Anderson was caught and the game was over.
Australia will now for the first time, feel confident they can regain the Ashes. It has been a period of dominance by England, but now we are perhaps the underdogs. I originally predicted a 1-2 or 2-2 in the series with England winning the ashes yet again. If that is to be the way this Ashes plays out- we need to be better in the next four tests.