England really have to win this. Both because it’s not good enough to draw the series, and because to be so much in control of the game and not win it would be a psychological boost to the Aussies. With Australia batting for a draw, Gillespie is clearly the danger man.
I was (slightly) sad not to see Warne get his century.
6 replies on “Old Trafford test day 4”
Indeed, England must win – and must take early wickets. If either Langer or Hayden, or – dread to imagine – both of them make runs in the morning session, it will become difficult for England to raise their game. That’s just my gut feeling. It’s a fifth-day wicket, but was playing remarkably well today when England batted…they only lost their wickets through cavalier strokeplay.
I realised during this match that I hadn’t fully absorbed the idea that England might be good enough to win the Ashes. It was when the commentators started talking about enforcing the follow-on. That seemed like crazy talk – like getting 55 in an over at Lord’s.
I’m worried about tomorrow, but I believe we can do it. England made batting look easy – but then Ponting only trusts two of his bowlers, and they seem to have lost some of that psychological invincibility. Hopefully that Edgebaston game will be like Arsenal having their unbeaten run broken last year – something they have to recover from slowly.
BTW – the Corridor is fab. Congrats on the new job.
I think we’re all pinching ourselves, Harry! After Lord’s, where we were good, but were outdone by two geniuses (the likely lads, McGrath and Warne), I think we all felt that England could respond with heart, but it would take a monumental performance. And it did – Edgbaston 2005, by Andrew Flintoff. That aside, I’m still very nervous about tomorrow; it would be a more important win for England than the one at Edgbaston, in terms of the tide turning. I have no idea when England last came back from 1-0 to lead the series 2-1 – probably 1981 – but the significance of tomorrow cannot be underestimated. Having dominated the match so well, England would be gutted if they came away with a draw (or, Christ, a loss).
Oh and thanks for your congrats, glad you enjoy my mumblings. Only recently found yours, but am enjoying it.
They have to win to get rid of this England-are-rubbish stuff. If they score 400+ first innings, the Aussies will score 600. When the Aussies don’t, the lead is never enough. The second innings cushion isn’t enough. etc. etc. I couldn’t believe what I read and heard Saturday night: England with 150-run cushion and people are writing that Australia are in a good position for a draw or a win. Huh?
I agree. England are a very good team; but so are the Aussies. They are presumably going to have a few good days between now and the end of the series, and if one of those is today – well, batting out the day on a flat pitch shouldn’t be impossible for the second-best team in the world.
Well, that was gutting.