Ashes Review: First Test, Brisbane.

November 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment


Hopefully those five days silenced all the critics that think test match cricket is a dying trend. Think again, what a rollercoaster five days. Everything happened. There is just something about the Ashes that injects excitement into the longer format of the game. The rivalry was there, the quality was there, the weaknesses were there. Everything was there apart from a result. England were on the back foot from the first over when captain Andrew Strauss guided a long hop into the palms of Mike Hussey.

A nightmare start. After everything that Strauss and Andy Flower would have said to their side before they entered the game about getting off to a great start. Well, this third ball duck was just as bad as Steve Harmison bowling to second slip four years ago.

England were rattled as soon as Peter Siddle claimed a hat-trick. He is a gutsy performer who bowls with fire in his belly and looks the most threatening of the Australian bowlers.

The visitors were skittled for just 260 probably around 50-80 runs too short of a competitive total. Just when you thought the Aussies were in the ascendency at 80 for no wicket, England struck and that’s the beauty of the Ashes. Things can change in a matter of overs, a matter of balls. Who knows where to place your free bets!

140-5 soon became 462 after Hussey and Brad Haddin batted sensationally to give the home side a lead of 202 runs.

England were on the ropes, and the tote betting suggested that they were heading 1-0 down after the first test and brought back down to reality after all the confidence leading into the series. How that changed when they batted out the last two days and ended up 517-1. Unbelievable. Never seen anything like it. Alistair Cook 235 not out, sensational.

People were calling for his head before the series after a poor summer against Pakistan and after a scratchy 60 in the first innings; excelled and played one of the best test innings ever seen in an Ashes series. He played the situation and is a very easy player to watch when he is full of confidence and smacking the ball to all parts of the ground.

As for Strauss, he has a huge amount of mental strength, a duck in the first innings and then a wonderful hundred in the second. What an effort. Then Jonathan Trott gets in on the act as well. England are full of confidence and if you take out the hat-trick and the huge partnership from the game, the visitors battered the hosts and it was only the wicket that proved to be the big difference. Day one was testing, with the ball nibbling all over but as soon as the Aussies got their willow out it flattened out and helped them to accumulate the runs more easily.

What we do know about Australia is that Marcus North can’t bat, Michael Clarke can’t catch and Mitchell Johnson can’t bat, bowl or field! Happy days, things look rosy for England. So much to take in, in such a short space of time! This test has given a flavour of what is to come in this Ashes series and if Brisbane is anything to go by, it’s going to be one hell of a series!

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Entry filed under: Cricket.

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