Ashes 2nd Test Day 1: Talking Points from the Boundary

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Anything you can do, I can do better (or should that be worse?)…

We doubt that Ricky Ponting was singing this to Andrew Strauss as he left the crease, but Australia certainly made the England captain’s third ball dismissal in Brisbane look small fry compared to what was their worst start to a test innings in 60 years. Jonathan Trott can take some credit for all three wickets given that his run out of a hesitant Simon Katich enabled James Anderson to get an early shot at Ponting and Michael Clarke. Anderson didn’t disappoint producing two brilliant balls to induce edges from both captain and vice-captain to Graeme Swann at second slip.

Hussey and the drink from Krypton

We don’t know what drinks they are serving in the last chance saloon these days, but whatever Michael Hussey drank must have had some kryptonite in it – unlike the tipple served today to Marcus North. For the second match in a row, the man who we described before the series as looking shot as a test batsman (which goes to show how much we know), got his side out of a very large hole. Once again, he enjoyed some luck at the start with Anderson dropping a difficult caught and bowled when he had only made 3. But also as at Brisbane, he was positive and busy at the crease and played Swann with ease – that is until the England spinner finally got one to spin to induce Hussey’s edge seven runs short of what would have been his third hundred in his last three innings against England.

Michael Clarke’s dial-a-number

Whilst the ball from Anderson that got Clarke was a good one, he didn’t exactly look comfortable in his brief six ball stay at the crease – playing and missing twice at Broad and also looking seriously uncomfortable at a ball the same bowler directed towards his ribs. Clarke’s last six test innings have amounted to 14, 4, 14, 3, 9 and now 2 – not good figures for Australia’s vice-captain unless it is Lara Bingle’s telephone number of course.

UDRS fails again

We’re not big fans of the Umpire Decision Review System at the Reverse Sweep – mainly because it doesn’t do what it says it does on the tin. Snicko showed that Michael Clarke was caught behind for nought at Brisbane and it also showed that Ryan Harris got a thin edge to his first ball leg before today. Neither error was overturned when referred to the video umpire, which kind of makes a mockery of the supposed purpose of UDRS. Until the system can uphold or overturn all decisions correctly – including the use of Snicko, just get rid of it.

Player of the day

Four years ago, James Anderson was smacked all over the Adelaide Oval and returned match figures of 1/108 from just over 22 overs. As at Brisbane – though this time with more luck, Anderson showed he is twice the bowler now and used the new ball perfectly to start Australia’s slide.

Zero of the day

It has to be Simon Katich, who only has himself to blame for departing for a duck without facing a ball and thus missing the chance to bat on the batting paradise that is the Adelaide Oval. His error didn’t just cost Australia his wicket either as it brought a vulnerable Ponting and Clarke out early to face the new ball.

What happens next?

We won’t know how good (or bad) the pitch is until both teams have batted on it, but it would seem Australia are at least 300 runs short of a par score. If England have another day tomorrow  like day 4 or 5 at The Gabba, then this Test match should be theirs for the taking.

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