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Chappell: England's bowling was of the highest quality
If England bowl the way they bowled at Lord's they will be unbeatable in the series (04:47)
July 20, 2009
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England v Australia, 2nd Test, Lord's, 5th day
Chappell: England's bowling was of the highest qualityJuly 20, 2009
Ian Chappell:The England bowling in the second innings was of the highest quality and I would include Graeme Swann in it with some terrific off-spin bowling. That's an indication of how well Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin batted and Australia got up to 400. Against that bowling it was an amazing performance to get that far.
Two spells from Flintoff stick out in my mind. The opening one where he pitched the ball up and I can't think of a single poor ball that he bowled in that spell. He then went on the rampage in the middle of the day trying to settle the batsmen with short-pitched stuff. Sure he troubled them a bit and in that sort of mode he is likely to get wickets for the guy at the other end and that's what he did. And again this morning he went back into the fuller length mode and boy, what a spell of bowling that was.
The first over that James Anderson bowled was absolutely magnificent. I'd have my nose out of joint a bit if I were Anderson because I think Andrew Strauss must have known that he would give Flintoff an extended spell at the Pavilion End, surely he had to give Anderson one more because the Nursery End is not Stuart Broad's end in my opinion and he did not look like troubling the batsmen at all. I thought he (Strauss) got Anderson out a bit quickly. His plan was probably to bring Anderson behind Flintoff.
When I installed England as favourites before the series stared that was the sort of bowling I was expecting from them. There was a pile of rubbish bowled at times in Cardiff but they certainly got it together at Lord's. The bowling throughout this Test was of high-quality.
AM: The one man who could have perhaps won the game for Australia was Michael Clarke but it was a magnificent delivery that got him from Swann…
IC: Yes, Swann made a big contribution in this innings and I thought it was terrific to finish off an historic win when you finish it off with a really good ball. That was a magnificent piece of off-spin bowling to get rid of Johnson who was looking dangerous. He got Clarke with a good one - he beat him in flight. Everyone will say he missed a full toss but he was beaten in the flight by a very good flight bowler. You contrast the bowling that we have seen from Swann here to Cardiff and you can't believe it was the same guy. He got a couple of left-handers out early and he has contributed greatly to this victory.
AM: It was an impressive rearguard innings from Johnson but I guess deep down he will know that he was the difference between the two sides…
IC: The Australians have got a huge dilemma. If Brett Lee comes back fit and shows some form in the next first-class game before the next Test, where do the Australians go? They can't drop Ben Hilfenhaus or Peter Siddle who are bowling very well. The one guy you can drop on form is Johnson but you can be rest assured the Australians don't want to drop him because if does happen to find form he is the sort of guy who can get you two or three wickets in a quick period. And then you have his batting. So, a real dilemma there.
Ricky Ponting has got two huge headaches. He has Johnson's lack of form with the ball and lack of runs from Philip Hughes at the top. It just shows you that not bringing a third opener - I am not suggesting for a moment that it is time to drop Hughes - was a ludicrous decision.
AM: This is the first time that England have gone 1-0 up in an Ashes series since 1997. They couldn't hold onto their lead then, can they hold on this time?
IC: Well if they bowl the way they bowled at Lord's, I can't see Australia beating them.
AM: Thanks Ian. You have been listening to Cricinfo Talk.
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