Posted by: tootingtrumpet | December 28, 2010

Fourth Ashes Test Day Three – Final Over of the Day

Ricky Ponting surrounded by his supporters

Ball One 11.50pm – Ryan Harris is a wholehearted cricketer who served his time in Shield matches before getting his chance in the Test and ODI XIs. His keeling over in his run up reminded older England fans of David “Syd” Lawrence’s hideous snapped knee and collapse that finished his career. One can hope that Harris’ less dramatic reaction speaks of a less serious injury, but at his age, he won’t limp from the field much more often, if at all.

Ball Two 1.15am – With England leading by 414, Jimmy Anderson walked out to bat. Why? England didn’t need any more runs and Hilfenhaus soon hit him on the hand, fortunately without injury. England probably should have declared when Swanny was out, giving Australia’s openers a rush to strap on the pads and an awkward ten minutes before lunch. As it is, Australia have the full forty minutes to compose themselves and prepare for seven sessions batting to save The Ashes.

Ball Three 3.40am – England have considered their referrals very carefully, knowing that the two they hold are precious and may prove crucial later in the Test. Close calls have already been closely considered, but temptation resisted. Very wise.

Ball Four 3.50am – Watson edges and the ball fails to carry to Prior. On most wickets, especially on a dying drop-in pitch, were I captain, I would wait until the ‘keeper and slips took up position, and then insist on everyone taking two steps forward. It’s worth the odd ball flying over the shoulder for the chance to catch the feathered, soft-handed edge. Too many catches have fallen short of England’s slips in this series.

Ball Five 4.45am – Was that really Ricky Ponting’s feet splayed all over the crease as the ball took the inside edge and clattered into the stumps? Of course he has much on his mind, but, after 73 balls, to make an error like that was terminal for his team’s slim hopes of surviving and may prove terminal to his own career as a successful captain and an all-time great batsman. Unless the selectors are sentimental and, if ever there was a case for sentiment, Sydney may be it.

Ball Six 5.00am – England will be ecstatic, not just at getting Mike Hussey out for 0, but in exactly the way they planned – caught at short extra cover, driving at a ball that wasn’t quite there. Tim Bresnan has justified the faith shown in him, not just with his discipline, but with his skill in extracting movement from reversing swinging the Kookaburra. It’s been a long time since England’s selectors were rewarded as handsomely as they have been by Trott, Tremlett and Bresnan, not to mention the faith shown in Cook, all of whom had their detractors before the Tour started, but have very few now.

The Tooting Trumpet, whom you can often find at and on Twitter at @garynaylor999 and @Fakeadil.




  1. Oz selectors will let Ponting captain in Sydney for they do not have a viable option. Plus, this will allow them to make the decision regarding test captaincy not for a while as their next test series is in August 2011. They will need Ponting in the ODI team as he has to shepherd the team in the world cup.

  2. Bit quiet around here tonight.

  3. Hmmm might head back out in to the desert today. Where there is no talk of the Ashes! There will be plenty of time to talk Aus re-build but l just wanted to say congrats Toots and other English supporters.

    This is a really fine side and l have enjoyed watching them play. It is certainly a notable achievement to smash Australia down under and the style and manner of their cricket has been full of class. l look forward to seeing them take on India and SF who are far better sides than us. Roebuck, whom l have barely bothered to read since his 2008 SCG related hysterics, (sententious as Gideon Haigh called it) wrote a good article this morning to that effect

  4. And thanks Toots for all your work and insight here. Always a pleasure regardless of the score, which is what it is all about.

  5. Thanks Japal – it’s been great for us after the nadir of 2006-7. The team are well-coached and led and have balanced individual skills and personalities within a collective ethos.

    Aus need to start re-building by getting their young players some county cricket experience to learn how to play on different wickets.

  6. I actually expected Oz to win here and for Eng to win at Sydney, making it 2-2.

    Now that Eng have won it at Melbourne, I expect them to at least be able to draw Sydney, if not win it.

    This is probably the best Eng batting lineup I have seen after the Gooch, Lamb, Gower, Gatting days. Bowling wise, the 2005 bowling unit is probably a bit ahead than this one. But all the investment in the coaching staff and high performance programme seems to have paid off handsomely, with back to back Ashes wins, and the T20 cup.

    Eng should definitely back themselves as a serious contender for the ODI world cup now.Who would have thought this in 2007?

    Re:Ponting-If he has a broken finger, how was he passed fit to play in this test?

    And about the captaincy, it is what we call in India the TINA factor (There Is No Alternative!).Haddin or Katich as stop gap till Aus finds their own version of Graeme Smith, is not such a bad idea. They are sure to bounce back at Sydney, but I am afraid their best is still not good enough against this Eng team now, unless Eng decides to throw it away !

    • England might struggle to raise their game again so soon, but I doubt it. Aus look like broken men.

      • We are done (for now!). l had the series going 2-1 to England and Sydney was one of the wins on the back of Anderson and Swann. 3-1 would be about right l reckon.

  7. Anyone think SAF can chase that total? Haven;t seen much of this test other than to note all the low scores.

  8. Oh yes i do think SA will win this match, series and the unofficial #1 ranking. India were lucky to get the Kallis runout and ABDv duck in the first inns.
    I dont see them taking these two early enough today to win the durban test match.
    It just doesnt feel right for india to be #1 with that bowling lineup
    Well, maybe if harby finds his mojo but i dont think india has a bowling attack that deserves this win otherwise.

  9. Laxman said at the end of Day 1 of this test that any score above 250 would be a good one on this pitch, because of the bounce it has. And he proved right – the closest the teams came to 250, was the 228 by India in the 3rd innings, courtesy a masterclass from Laxman.

    India lost the toss, and yet managed to take 20 wickets, and win by 87 runs. In a test with such low scores, this is a big victory margin indeed.

    Whether we are No.1 or not is not of much relevance. What can not be doubted is that India has been using its available resources as well as any team can be expected to. And it shows in the results.

    The problem of being poor starters in any test series remains.But today is the day for the average Indian fan, to sit back and savour the hard earned win.

    Happy New Year !

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