The final over of the day focuses on six balls that raise a particular talking point. It is not a summary of the day – plenty of those elsewhere!
12.01am Ball One – What happened to “Never cut before lunch”? Strauss falls to the classic dismissal that can see off many batsmen – a strength is fed and, in his anxiety to be positive early, he plays too expansively before he has the pace of the wicket and he’s gone.
12.24am Ball Two – With very little shape or swing with the new ball, it was less than a smart decision on the part of Punter to use one of his two referrals to a ball that the batsman (who is in a good position to see) played as if it was going down leg. The recent series concluded in India (which did not use the UDRS) showed that the balls that go on to hit the interior of the stumps (needed to overturn a Not Out decision) need to move in the air, otherwise the batsman has usually been hit outside the line or the ball is merely clipping leg.
1.10am Ball Three – At the moment, Drinks is the most dangerous bowler in world cricket – it is taking wickets faster than the young Waqar Younis or Brett Lee. Should batsmen practise re-starting in the nets? Sounds silly, but there’s a trend of such dismissals growing in world cricket and batsmen need to address it.
3.10am Ball Four – Reports were that the ‘Gabba was sold out for the first three days of the Test, but there appear to be thousands of empty seats. With a press that are not fulfilling their usual role as cheerleaders for Cricket Australia, I wonder if the Baggy Greens may feel their belief fading along with their public’s.
3.21am Ball Five – At 117-2, England have moved into favouritism with Sporting Index for the first time in the match. Possibly not because of the scoreboard which is balanced, but the sheer toothlessness of the Australian attack which is offering Punter neither a wicket-taking threat, nor control. (and at the moment I write that, the change brings a wicket for Siddle!!)
4.08am Ball Six – Every time I see him, Peter Siddle reminds me more and more of Craig McDermott. With an Australian press disappointed at the exclusion of Dougie Bollinger, Siddle must have felt a bit of pressure, but it didn’t show as he stuck to a simple game plan and executed it well. There must have been times when Punter wanted him on at both ends.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.