Ashes 3rd Test Day 3 Talking Points from the Boundary

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Hussey serves up more humble pie

Before the Ashes we suggested that Michael Hussey was shot as a test cricketer – we even wrote this: Zeroes – Mike Hussey. We now feel like turning the gun on ourselves as once again Mr Cricket proved that we couldn’t have been more wrong if we had said on the night of the Election that Nick Clegg was a man of his word. Hussey is now the leading runscorer in the series and has hit six consecutive scores of 50 or above in an Ashes innings – a record. Now, where did we store that humble pie?

Test Cricket? It’s a funny old game

Perhaps like no other sport, test cricket is a game of highs and lows. Mitchell Johnson’s rise from the dead in this game is arguably the type of resurrection not seen for circa 2,000 years – especially given how low he sunk in Brisbane. Kevin Pietersen has gone in the opposite direction. After a test best 227 in Adelaide, he followed his first innings duck here with a dreadful shot to give Ben Hilfenhaus his first wicket since the first over of the series.

Not so elementary my dear Watson

We’re not big fans of Shane Watson in the Reverse Sweep household (see Zeroes – Shane Watson), but to be fair he does provide plenty of hilarity. No one does the nervous nineties quite like him and it seemed inevitable that he would yet again fall short of the magical three figures. Sure enough, Chris Tremlett caught him in front for 95 and despite a desperate call for the review and a near flood of tears when the decision was upheld, Watson had to depart for his fourth ninety in test cricket. His conversion rate is worse than the ugliest of geeks with only two hundreds from 16 scores of 50 or more – only 12.5%.

Court Jester Smith rides his luck

Steve Smith is patently not a test number six, but he obviously picked the right fortune cookie last night if his innings today was anything to go by. He survived more appeals and reviews than Wikileaks head honcho Julian Assange, was nearly run out, hooked just short of fine-leg and even survived leaving his bat in the air while ducking a Tremlett bouncer and a top edge looped over the keeper and slips. When Smith said he was going to bring a bit of fun to the side, no-one realised that this would amount to playing the court jester in the middle too. The luckiest Australian since Liz Hurley invited Shane Warne in for a nightcap?

Time for the Review System to be reviewed?

For the most part, the dreaded UDRS has worked reasonably well in this series – whatever Aggers may say, but there is still room for significant improvement. A case in point was when Erasmus turned down a leg before decision against Smith when he had made 28. England sent for the review and it showed that the ball would have hit leg stump, but it was adjudged ‘Umpire’s Call’ and the decision was upheld. If the technology is there why not use it to ensure that the right decision is given for every referral, especially when England lost one of its two reviews as a result?

Player of the day

Michael Hussey – certainly Australia’s player of the series to date and now that he is the leading run scorer on both sides arguably the player of the series so far too. But Chris Tremlett deserves a mention too for his first test five for and eight wickets on his test comeback.

Zero of the day

Graeme Swann didn’t have a good day. Ignored for the whole morning session by Strauss, he proved expensive when he finally came on and then dropped Peter Siddle before tea, thus allowing Australia to further extend their lead.

What happens next?

It’s over already thanks to Hussey and more poor batting from England – it will be 1-1 going into Melbourne.


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