Ball One 11.45pm – Hussey, given out LBW by Aleem Dar, is reprieved by the UDRS, since the ball is shown to pitch outside leg stump. Though I am a fan of the UDRS, I am not convinced that the ball covers as much of the turf as the system shows – surely a hard ball only kisses the turf and does not compress on impact to cover its circumference? Hence, this element of the system favours the bowler.
Ball Two 12.37am – The two Hs have struggled through as tough a first hour as they will get in their careers, but hold their wickets intact. Theirs is the kind of bloody-minded cricket, rooted in years of experience, on which Australia have built cricket teams since, what, 1877? They rode their luck, but it happens too frequently for such stands to be mere fortune.
Ball Three 2.05am – Some will say England have been unlucky, but luck has always been in the game (never more so than in 2005). It is what you do with the luck that defines greatness or otherwise. And Hussey and Haddin have played wonderful cricket in building one of the great stands in Ashes history.
Ball Four 3.00am – Three or so weeks ago, the Australian selectors had a number of big calls to make. With Michael Hussey out of form for a long time, they could have whistled up Calum Ferguson or Cameron White; having impressed with the gloves and bat during Haddin’s injury lay off, Tim Paine could have been retained (and withdrawn from the match that saw him injured); and Siddle could have got the reverse nod that went to Bollinger. Given those judgements, we can expect Doherty to finish off England with 8-34.
Ball Five 3.19am – As Hussey rescues his career and puts his team into an impregnable position, Swann must reflect on his decision to stand exactly where he did at second slip when Hussey faced his first ball. Had he stood a pace closer, matters may well look quite different now. All over the world, I feel slips stand at least a pace too deep – you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.
Ball Six 3.30am – The style may be different, but in shot selection, concentration and use of the crease, Michael Hussey has reminded me of Brian Lara. Does praise come any higher?
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.