Tuesday, July 14, 2009

By any means necessary

It may seem superfluous to say it, but England needed to save the first Test in Cardiff. Psychologically it was important; in terms of remaining in the series, it was imperative. Australia's funk at perceived English time-wasting may well become a significant corollary - and Ricky Ponting did well to play the incident down.

Can England take 20 wickets in a match from here? The signs certainly weren't encouraging. And if you examine the form of England's bowlers against Australian opposition in the last seven years (encompassing three Ashes series), the question appears to echo that bit more ominously. What would you give for Simon Jones (19 wickets @ 21, strike rate of 34) to be fit right now?

Still, it is thanks to two bowlers, Jimmy and Monty, that we endure. To Lord's, lads, and let's make a fight of this one.

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