Well Done England. It was a good come back. An Aussie fan may say that they may have played too fast for their own good. The positive aspect of playing fast is you give time to your bowlers to bowl the opposition out. The other point is a team batting first is out before the end of first days play. The Aussie plan is simple bat England out of the game.
One may see “slow” run rate by Aussies. They perceive a run rate of 3.5 runs per over as flow. But is Aussie batsman can hold for till Gilchrist comes in the score as well as scoring rate will be pulled to back on track. The English however have to repeat the performance in second innings as well. Openers did a good and tidy job. I don’t know what the pitched had to do with it!! The absence of McGrath always helps the opposition. I being a man of statistics would like to know that how many Tests have Aussies won when McGrath and Warne have toured together and one of them has missed a match due to injury. I am sure the answer will give an interesting hint. My instinct and my following of the game say not many. Aussie top players seem to get injured mid way during the series. Then they make a big emotional come back. It was Steve Waugh during their last tour. He was injured with a triple ligament tear in his thigh. He stayed in England had an amazing recovery and struck a very memorable, emotional and trademark Steve Waugh century. Don’t be amazed if McGrath does something similar. He will not hit a century but we know what he can do with a red cherry in his pockets.
Aussie openers have a big day today. Hayden and Langer would be licking their lips seeing a flat wicket. It is time they redeemed themselves and set the scoreboard moving.
The English will be looking for a consistent performance in second innings. They would have to come from behind as Aussies may lead in the first innings. The English have to hold on to their nerve and display similar pyrotechnics in second hunting. The Ashes is in balance for now. The batting display they did in first inning; this game may be headed for a draw. If they English happen to bat well which Aussies try to thwart and Aussies have to bat the last day on a dicey wicket then who knows? The English Lion may just roar and give a Kangaroo a run for Ashes. Coming up next………. Day Two story in The Ashes Diary