The first test match lived up to it’s hype and it was a typical test match where momentum kept swinging from one side to another and every session came up with a new twist. Australia came close to what could have been a dramatic win after many pundits predicted a 5-0 result against them, but James Anderson’s brilliance turned out to be too good for the Aussie lads.
Now, many are saying that Australia are looking like a good side but in my opinion, it’s a bit too early to say all this. Australia’s batting struggled big time in the test match and their highest run scorer in the game was their number 11 batsman, who was on a debut and was picked in the side purely because of his bowling (spinning) skills. Australia’s number 10 and 11 made more runs than their 3 and 4 in the match and most of their batsmen had no answer to the swinging cherry of James Anderson.
Australian bowling attack was a bit wayward too and the trio of Pattinson, Starc and Siddle bowled good and bad in patches. Apart from Siddle’s second spell in the first innings, no other bowler delivered a threatening spell. Ashton Agar bowled decently in his debut test match but dint cause too much trouble for the English batsmen on a track which was assisting spinners.
POSITIVES FROM THE FIRST MATCH
Rogers batted brilliantly in the second innings and showed a sound technique, which is very important to negotiate the new cherry in these swing-friendly conditions.
This 19 year old batsman, who is now known as an all rounder after his knock of 98 in the 1st innings. He showed good technique with bat and was pushed up at number 7 in the second innings. Although, he would have to lift his game as a spinner and adjust quickly to the English conditions.
Brad Haddin showed the value of experience and batted brilliantly with utmost responsibility in the second innings. He would have to continue batting like this and provide stability to the lower middle order.
Apart from these three, Hughes and Smith showed some resistance in the first innings and Hughes in particular batted brilliantly with the tail. But they did not last long in the second innings, where they had to bat under pressure. Phil Hughes looked clueless against Swann’s spin in his short stay of 8 balls and Smith also struggled against the spin, in the second innings.
PITCH REPORT FROM THE LORD’S
Reports are coming that there is a bit more green on the Lord’s pitch as compared to one in Trent Bridge and this will obviously support swing bowlers a lot more. England would again rely heavily on Jimmy Anderson for those early breaks with the new nut. Finn’s inconsistency with the ball in the first game might force a change in England’s set up.
There is a lot of hype around Bird but i don’t think any of the three Australian fast bowlers bowled that bad and they deserve at least a one more go. This will be a tough call and can go either way.
Australia did fight bravely in the first test match but this will be a tough battle for them as the ball will swing a lot more and Australia would require good contributions from their Captain and Vice captain. Clarke was not among the runs in the first match and he would have to lift his game to provide some kind of stability to this otherwise inexperienced middle order. Watson looked good in the second innings but he would need to convert his starts into big score and bat a bit more responsibly.