Ball One 11.42pm – KP joins Colly in dropping Watson early on. The oldest cliche in cricket is that “catches win matches” – but no less true for it. Swanny failed to catch Hussey first ball in Brisbane and Hussey cashed in with 195. Watson couldn’t pull off the same trick, having got an absolute snorter from the impressive Tremlett. Part One of Strauss’ plan on inserting Aus completed.
Ball Two 11.59pm – There was much levity in Australia prompted by The Guardian’s mid-Perth Test poll asking if this is the worst Australian team in living memory. But there is something in that, notwithstanding results. Watching Hughes’ absurd technique and Punter’s panicky run to get off the mark, allied to the absence of a spinner worth picking, speak of a team winning despite themselves rather than because of themselves. This Australia team are not impressive, especially in comparison to those that have gone before.
Ball Three 12.30am – It is really very hard indeed to take Philip Hughes seriously as a Test cricketer – dangerous to say with a second innings to come, but really. How can a technique as poor as that have survived the fabled hard school of Grade cricket, never mind Shield cricket’s finishing school?
Ball Four 12.51am – Bowling captains should get three referrals and batsmen only one. Bowlers are backing their opinions against the umpires, but batsmen almost always know if they’ve edged on to the pad for an LBW and often if they’ve been hit in line too. Bowling referrals are much harder to manage than batting referrals and the system is yet another innovation loading up the advantage to the bat over the ball.
Ball Five 1.24am – The press, and the players too, have to talk about something between Tests and much of what’s spoken about concerns momentum. But momentum is balls really isn’t it?
Ball Six 2.11am – Bresnan is a better bowler than he is given credit for, not far off Ryan Harris’ pace and just as accurate. But his greatest strength is his ability to bowl as part of a partnership, something Steven Finn has failed to do for all his wicket-taking and potential. His captain will have asked Bresnan to keep it tight and steal a wicket – he did that and pleased both his captain and his fellow pacers bowling so beautifully at the other end.
The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at Testmatchsofa.com and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.