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The good news is that Australia has bounced back in emphatic fashion by passing there first innings total of 60 in Trent Bridge with the loss of just four wickets in their tour match.
Both the captain and vice-captain decided to give everyone else a bat, which was nice of them, combining for a grand total of six runs. Even better is that both decided not to waste too many balls of the other batsmen’s innings using just 18 between them, also very unselfish.
The bowling, on what was technically day two of the tour match against a Northampton Second XI, took some stick. What was to be an audition for all bowlers to get a crack at the English in the fifth test at The Oval, ended in some pretty average, if not embarrassing figures.
As the senior statesmen, Siddle would have love to take a huge bag of wickets to show the selectors just how wrong they got the team for Trent Bridge. Instead he decided to get smacked about and show Cummins how to about not getting picked.
Cummins did have a chance dropped in the 15th over, and ended up with three of his own wickets. They were probably too little too late, being all tail-ender’s, to really push the selectors. In the light of the performance of both of these ‘spearheads’ it’s probably fair to assume that the Australian bowling line up will remain unchanged for the eighth consecutive test dating back to the last test against India at the SCG.
Mitch Marsh has again shown his value, chipping in with four wickets. Taking the points against his elder, Shane Watson by also outscoring him with the bat. I certainly wouldn’t blame Watson for not given two you-know-what’s considering he is effectively just filling in spots so the other players can have a rest.
The real success was probably Nathan Lyon, taking three of the top six wickets once again before copping a bit towards the end of his overs to finish with 3/93 off 20 overs. Unfortunately Fawed Ahmed couldn’t show his class getting pummelled to only be trusted with six overs and finishing with 0/48. The real shame is that he is a quality bowler and will be suffering a big low in his confidence after not having an impact in the tour matches. I’m not sure he will get an invite to Bangladesh, but maybe with the expected turn of the wickets, there is room for an extended spinning selection.
It will be really interesting to see which Australian team turns up come Trent Bridge. It is important that they put their best foot forward, but as we have seen so many times in the past when a team has been on tour for a long time and the series is lost, the wheels can really fall off. It is hard to imagine the wheels getting looser after the last two performances, but I’m hoping that for Michael Clarke’s sake that the whole team man’s up and has a huge crack. It is much nicer looking back at the history books seeing a 3-2 loss as opposed to 4-1….. But at least it’s not 5-0.