I had a great Monday morning this week watching us knock over the five remaining Aussie wickets without much of a problem. Going one up in the test series was a must to keep the country positive that we can regain the Ashes, and it was mainly built around a great first innings with the bat and ball for us. Captain Strauss turned up with the bat and super Jimmy with the ball, but it was Freddie in the second innings who really captured the countries imagination, bowling with real intention all morning and making what could have been a tense day very enjoyable.
Yes, Ricky Ponting could argue certain things didn’t go their way but that’s test cricket and to give him his due he took it pretty well in the post match interviews. I’m sure that off camera though he wasn’t quite so begruding, and I reckon we’ll need to watch out as he’ll want to come out in the next test and really show what he and the Aussie team can do. It probably good for us that its at Edgbaston, a ground where the crowd really come to life so hopefully they won’t have a chance to settle.
There are a few injury doubts before the next test, but we still have another week to go which should give various members of the team a chance to rest and recover, as I’d like to go in with the same 11 and give them a real chance to take a two nil lead going into the final two tests. It won’t be easy and we’ll still have to play bloody well, but it is do-able and imagine the feel good factor around the country if we do it!
Edit – As I wrote the above I hadn’t heard about KP’s injury being as bad as it turned out and requiring surgery. He is now out for the rest of the series which is a huge blow as he is the sort of player who has the ability to put together a match winning innings, something I’m not sure we can say about those now in contention to replace him. As much as I moan when he gets out playing a stupid shot which isn’t in the best interests of the team, we still need him big style – but now is the time for someone else to step up to the plate… Michael Vaughan…. fancy coming out of retirement?!