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Lloyd: England have been the aggressor

Good day for England, and they are in with an outside chance if the ball swings in the first session tomorrow (04:58)

August 2, 2009

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England v Australia, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day

Lloyd: England have been the aggressor

August 2, 2009

Ricky Ponting's crucial wicket has given England an outside chance © Getty Images

Andrew Miller: It looked like it was going to watery grave but David, it is alive and kicking and England are in a good position.

David Lloyd: Very good position, Australia are 88 for 2, they still trail by 25. Ricky Ponting's wicket was a golden wicket, and it was beautiful bowling by Graeme Swann. You always like to target the opposition captain, and when it is as good as Ricky Ponting, then it takes something special to dismiss him, it was an absolute beauty. Bowled through the gate, as he was lunging forward to the ball that spun, and it was a lovely over that he bowled with the fielders around the bat. So yes, England have an outside chance.

The interesting thing for everybody at the ground is that about 30 overs have been bowled, round about. And it was at that time in the first innings that the ball started to swing for England when the came in the morning after the curtailed start on day one, just that two overs. Only thirty overs were bowled on the first day and it swung, first thing in the morning next day, for Graham Onions and James Anderson. So we are actually in the same position, in the second innings, and it may swing tomorrow. It depends on what the weather will be like, and we are told that it's going to be decent weather, not red hot. So all waiting to see what happens tomorrow.

AM: England really kicked on in the morning, with the likes of Flintoff flying through their innings. Flintoff packed the kind of form he showed four years ago in 2005.

DL: And again, as soon as he walked to the crease. I don't know, you could just sense it that he looked as if he was relishing his innings. He was confident, he was good on his feet, shot selection was great and he looked as if he thoroughly enjoyed it. I think he likes playing here. There is good atmosphere around the ground. It is quite a raw place, Edgbaston, to play cricket and I think he feels at home.

AM: And he has hit something like 20 sixes here as well, it seems to be the ground that brings out the best.

DL: Yes, I think he is comfortable here. It's more for his batting here in this game than his bowling. He looked stiff as a board as a bowler but batting wise, he has enjoyed his innings, he has enjoyed his batting. When he was out, he was bit unlucky that the ball bounced out of the footmarks, he tried to leave it but it hits his glove and goes to slip. It looked as if he was on his way to a century but good 74.

AM: It was a really feisty performance from England, particularly with the bat. Stuart Broad having a bit of confrontation with Mitchell Johnson, it looked like real fighting spirit from both sides.

DL: Well, what I have seen in this series is that England have been taking the game to Australia. Australia have lost the snarl, they have always had a snarl and they have not had it in this game. It's been England who have been the aggressors.

Whether you call it sledging or whatever, I call it banter. I think there is room for it in the game, as long as it is not vindictive, not personal. Banter is a part of the game and Australia has been brilliant at it, through [Shane] Warne, [Glenn] McGrath and [Matthew] Hayden. These lads [the current team] don't seem to want to get into that confrontation. And I think it is harmless. I know you get people who would react to that, but as long as it's not vindictive, personal, nasty and cheap, you know it's gone since the game has been invented, in club and league cricket. I love to call it banter and I think there is place for it.

AM: What did you make of [Mitchell] Johnson's performance, it looked like he found a bit more tighter lines and more pace as well, as compared to previous performance.

DL: His pitch match was much better in this innings than it has been. And they have shown enormous patience with him, after that blunder burst scattergun approach at Cardiff and Lord's. There is evidence in this game that he has been a bit unlucky with a couple of lbws that should have gone his way, let's be honest about that. He has bowled with decent pace, and with his slingy action, a couple of times he swung the ball back into the right hander. But he has still gone for few and he would say that I still have a long way to go.

AM: So as you say, 25 behind, Ponting gone already. What's the state of play for tomorrow?

DL: Give that we get decent weather; Australia cannot afford a bad session. They have got to play three sessions quite normally and what they cannot have is a bad session, where they lose four wickets on a session. They cannot afford to that because of what they have got in the side.

So England are in a great position with this ball, will it swing or will it not. We will find out soon enough, but England have got the cards at the minute.

AM: Those were the thoughts of David Lloyd, on the fourth day of the Edgbaston Test. You've been listening to Cricinfo Talk.

Posted by Samdanh on (August 3, 2009, 6:49 GMT)

I watched only the first of the two appeals for lbw from Johnson that was turned down in favour of Ian Bell. In the first one that I saw I could notice that Ian Bell was trying to lift his bat finally ending up hoisiting the bat up with his left hand alone as if to indicate he inside edged that ball to his pads. Unfortunately perhaps Rudy was misled by that action. On that day I heard that Ian Bell in Twitter had termed himself lucky with that decision. Rather he should have said he was successful in eking out a favourable decision from the Umpire by his own guile. Even when he finally got out to a very identical delivery, he frantically moved to the left side to mislead the poor umpire, but was not lucky this time around. Bell, who was successful in his two earlier attempts to mislead the umpire into taking wrong decisions, miserably failed in his third attempt to mislead again. It is a shame such poor gamesmanship flourishes in a gentleman's game like Cricket.

Posted by Ilin on (August 3, 2009, 6:43 GMT)

Truly,a draw is more likely.its been sad to see that rain has spoiled all the fun,as england was the most fav.for the win from starting.kangaroos were never in the game at any time.once an australian has said that he hates the rain as it gives other team to save the game..... but now he would be most obbliged.

Posted by RaghuramanR on (August 3, 2009, 1:54 GMT)

Yes, England can hope day 5 is like day 2 and Anderson/Onions are fired up in the same way. As Lloyd says, yes an outside chance with draw more likely. The key is that England have a lead and remains to be seen how much that pays.

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