Thursday, 6 August 2009

What If...

Third Test, Edgbaston: Australia 263 & 375-5 drew with England 376

The biggest question to be posed at the end of this test was what if the rain hadn’t come, how would have panned out. Of course its all ifs and buts, which ignore the interesting shift which occurred in this match.

Before the match, England were on top, and Australia were in apparent disarray. However Australia look to be now working their way back into this series. Their bowling this test is an improvement on Lords, though Johnson is still perhaps leaking too many runs for Australia’s liking. HIlfenhaus though has been excellent, extracting swing. The session either side of lunch on the fourth day put a check on England’s scoring, at one point it was doubtful that England would overhaul the 263 Australia posted.

What is clear is that this is now an incredibly close contest, inconceivable 3 months ago when Australia demolished South Africa. Tomorrow the series moves on to the 4th Test, which will be held in Leeds. Headingley of course has a strong place in Ashes history, from Bradman’s 334 in 1930, 1981 and all that through to Mark Butchers match winning 173 not out in the last Ashes test played at Headingley, in 2001. Weather permitting, another chapter waits.

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