Ball One 12.25am – Though using the UDRS tactically is somewhat distasteful, Andrew Strauss had to support Jimmy Anderson’s request to review when he hit Shane Watson’s front pad right in front. It wasn’t the kind of obvious error for which the UDRS is intended, but the chance of rocking Australia (11-3 at the time) still further was worth the risk. For the sake of two inches of bounce, Strauss almost had his reward.
Ball Two 12.45am – There is much talk of England bowlers adjusting lengths for the pitches of Australia, the better to deal with their greater bounce and carry. When it comes to the new ball, there is really only one length anywhere in the world – full. Easier to say than to do; as I suggest here.
Ball Three 2.45am – Like England in Brisbane, given first use of a blameless pitch, Australia are giving away top order wickets by being too aggressive too early. Shane Watson, having done so much hard work, went t00 hard too soon after the lunch break and was suckered out by Jimmy Anderson. Alastair Cook will confirm that occupation of the crease is plenty enough to garner runs.
Ball Four 3.20am – There is a thin line between positive footwork and exaggerated movements. Marcus North, possibly feeling some anxiety over his place and the scoreboard, is probably just overdoing the movement. Too many working parts means that there are too many things to go wrong – in batting as much as in bowling.
Ball Five 3.30am – Still only 21, Steven Finn has a great future in Test cricket, but very few men of his age can bowl consistently enough on good wickets to hold down a place in a four man attack across five Tests. So while it may appear foolish to rotate a man out of the side so soon after taking six wickets, if there was one venue to prefer Shahzad to Finn, it’s on Adelaide’s merciless road. The young man has a big job in front of him.
Ball Six 3.40am – Broad is bowling a disciplined line round the wicket just outside off stump to a 7-2 field, frustrating Hussey and North and, crucially, keeping England in the game. It’s not pretty to watch, but the ball won’t swing much and spin will come later, so it’s a smart plan, well executed. Test cricket has a lot of time that needs to be filled – if that time is not spent etching Ws in the scorebook, Ms are not a bad alternative.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.