straws to clutch at

England are a better side than we saw at Lord’s. On another day, the top order will bat better, Hoggard and Jones will be more consistent, and the fielders will hold some catches. Australia will not always be as good. Even by Glenn McGrath’s standards, that was an exceptional bowling performance. He can’t possibly bowl that well for the whole series, and if he does – he’ll win them the Ashes and they’ll deserve it. If the right combination of circumstances comes together (England playing better, Australia playing worse, and a bit of luck), England could still have a good win in the next Test. Then the whole psychological balance could change, and I think the teams will suddenly seem a lot more closely matched.