A flat deck and a flat England attack. There’s no denying the Sophia Gardens pitch has been batsmen friendly, but England made it look even easier to bat on with impatient bowling. Apart from the odd spell by Flintoff and Anderson, England have been ordinary.
Their decision to pick two spinners seemed reasonable, but Panesar and Swann couldn’t do the basics by stopping the runs and building pressure.
Dare I say it, but Ashley Giles would of done a better job.
While Ponting, Haddin, Katich, North and Clarke all batted fantastically well, I didn’t have the feeling that they had to work hard for their runs in key periods of the match. Stuart Broad was the main offender. The amount of leg side deliveries he bowled was a disgrace.
The mindset of the English team was shown by the hand shaking by the bowlers for conceding 100-runs.
Stuart MacGill made the valid point about what Ponting might say if his bowlers were smiling and shaking hands after conceding a ton. Everyone keeps harking back to 2005, but it’s hard not to. England had a line up that kept the pressure on. There was no let up.
Credit to Australia. They hardly gave England a sniff in piling up 600 overnight. When a wicket did fall the next partnership blossomed. It wasn’t that long ago that Brad Haddin had a question mark placed on him as a Test cricketer. Now he has a couple of centuries to his name and looks just as dangerous as Gilly.
Marcus North has again proved his worth. He is solid and doesn’t appear to have too many weaknesses. To only lose 6 wickets in 180 overs is a huge boost for the Aussies.
Grabbing two wickets before tea, both through the rare Cardiff dismissal of LBW, shows the value of momentum.
If England goes on to lose this match they only have themselves to blame. Letting the game drift and playing for rain or a draw is English in nature, but I thought they’d moved on from that.
The question now is how will England bat on the last day? The Aussies might just remind them about Adelaide and how amazing that was.