How good would a test match be if both teams bowling attacks fired for the same five days? It would be short and a low scoring affair, but it would be entertaining.
Alastair Cook would have been kicking himself very hard after his unlucky dismissal. To smash that straight into the only place it could be caught in an area the size of an Australian Beef Station, he can feel pretty hard done by. He was looking very dangerous.
I had a mate predict Australia would be 5/85 and Cook to put on a triple century….He claimed that he made a 21 piece chicken sacrifice to the gods to make it happen. I Stopped laughing when we were 5/84, then Cook came out and played basically a chanceless innings on a deck that was supposed to be challenging.
I felt Ian Bell was always chance of getting out. He could have gone at any time. He was pushing hard at the ball and playing his strokes, which looked good, but he had a few go uncontrolled, in the air through gully and if the rub of the green was with Australia any one of those would have gone to hand.
Australia meanwhile decided that every ball was a wicket taking option and lost their heads. It was straight back to Cardiff for these boys. Couldn’t maintain line and length, after getting a master class from Jimmy Anderson only a couple of hours before hand.
Despite bowling without luck, I’m not sure they deserved it. Josh Hazelwood had two stunning deliveries that beat everything only to fly over the top of off-stump. He found a spot on the wicket that did exactly what he wanted, but lacked control and got spanked for it.
Bell was going at a run rate of 105 and after 10 overs Hazelwood’s figures looked more like some of his worst ODI stats than test match figures. Mitch Marsh had been dispatched at will despite have a couple go past the bat, and I’m sure Watson fans are probably happy as at the moment.
It all came down to patience and consistency, and Australia lacked both.
How will it all eventuate for day two is the question? Everyone is well aware that Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson and Hazelwood can do quick damage, but this is more of a mental test than anything. It’s a shame that the bowlers are the only ones that can bring this game back after such poor batting performance. Hopefully Australia can get through them quick enough and the batsmen can start to redeem themselves. It certainly looks like there is runs in the pitch, but if the rain keeps the moisture up it could be all over by day 3.