Well that was eventful wasn’t it? Not quite the match some envisioned. So much was written about the strength and pace of Australia’s bowling quartet coupled with the number of “unknown” England batsmen that to see the tourists almost had a first-innings lead was almost unthinkable. Glenn McGrath was quoted saying a 5-0 whitewash was on the cards, as he always is, and Mathew Hayden said he hadn’t heard of most of the England players. 

While that whitewash may still remain possible, England have shown there isn’t as big a difference between the two teams as some had predicted. There are some worries though. Cricket may be a team sport but there is no denying that this series rests on the success and failure of the “big players”.

If Alastair Cook and Joe Root don’t match David Warner and Steve Smith, this series is over. Again Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad are wonderful exponents of swing and seam but if there is neither swing nor seam, no Australians will be quaking in their boots.

In terms of skill, the Australian bowlers are a long way behind but it is pace, that can wrap up the tail and they have an advantage in that department.

For three days England were right in the hunt. At one stage I was even convinced they would end up with a lead at the halfway point of the match. But so often in Test cricket, a bad session can change it all. So near and yet so far. And in the end, to lose by ten wickets is basically a thrashing.

England wanted a draw…

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