England didn’t have a great day on the opening day of the first Ashes Test, but neither is it as bad as some would have you believe.
Yes 260 is below par, but its perhaps 50-70 below par rather than 100-150. Runs on the board and all that…
My thought at the time was that it was a good toss to lose, and I think that’s proved to be the case. Both captains were dead set on batting first – largely due to well-documented errors of judgement in the past – but I suspect both wouldn’t have been too disappointed to have had first bowl on an unfamilair Gabba wicket. As it was, Ponting was the
man who’s mind was made up for him.
260 might be below par on a typical Gabba track, but we’ve been reminded time and again that this isn’t one of those.
Siddle bowled superbly, and a hat-trick is always going to rip the guts out of what was, at 197-4, a promising looking innings.
If he can perform well in conditions that bear more than a passing resemblance to something you might find on English shores (green-ish pitch with a bit in, cloud cover and, of course, several days of rain interrupting its preparation), there’s every reason to believe our bowlers will as well.
Our bowling is our strongest suit and our bowlers have a history of digging our batsmen out of trouble – which is as much a testament to the skills and guts of the bowlers as it is to the inconsistency of the batsmen.
England will have a chance to analyse where Australia had their successes (as if analysis were needed – bowl full to tempt the drive, bit of movement in the air and let it nibble about off the pitch) and I fully anticipate an England fightback.
We’ve got some – not as many as we’d have liked, granted – runs on the board and a decent track to have a bowl on, so this one is a long, long way from over.