Image by 6tee-zeven via Flickr
|England's victory in the last Ashes series in 2009|
means they are defending the Ashes in Australia
Notwithstanding Ian Botham’s supreme confidence that this English side will be the first since 1986/87 to retain the Ashes on Australian soil, my own expectations were for another Australian victory. Australia got off to a good start too, with Peter Siddle’s Hat-trick and Brad Haddin and Mike Hussey’s three-ton partnership in Brisbane, I was able to rattle off a gloating email to some colleagues in the UK.
“Doesn’t this seem familiar?”
But I spoke too soon! England fought back with a determination I don’t remember seeing in an England squad in Australia. After England finally managed to dispatch first Haddin and then Hussey they pulled themselves together and dismissed the rest of the team for 481 - this was after having reached 5/450 at the height of the Haddin/Hussey partnership. Even as my emails were traversing cyber-space I was blithely ignoring the ample evidence of English resolve.
The next day proved un-ignorable. England’s opening batsmen Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss together produced a century each. The day after, another two centuries, and only 1 wicket. Alistair Cook himself proved invincible to all the attacks of Australia’s bowlers. By the final day of the first test, far from thinking that this test was following a rather familiar pattern of the last two decades, I thought that England were being overly cautious in not putting Ponting’s men in to bat earlier and having a crack at winning the test.
Image via Wikipedia
|Australian Captain Ricky Ponting has been feeling|
the pressure in this Ashes series
Now this morning Australia are 4 for 238 and looking to the skies for rain to interrupt the game and save them from a defeat at the hands of the English.