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July 25, 2005
David Graveney, the England chairman of selectors, refuses to panic despite England's 239-run capitulation at Lord's. He doesn't believe the defeat makes England a bad team overnight. "There are no excuses and it was a very poor performance but we are not going to be a bad side in one game."
"The task is formidable and nobody has ever shied away from that fact. We are going to have to work very hard. My prediction is 2-1 to England so I'm still on course for that."
The match had started well for England, as they dismissed Australia for 190, but were quickly plunged into trouble themselves at 21 for 5. A spate of dropped catches in Australia's second innings then handed over the advantage.
"It was a fluctuating day on the first day and everybody was elated that we bowled them out for 190," Graveney told BBC Radio Five Live. "I would have to say that we probably didn't bowl at our best, which was shown very quickly by the spell by Glenn McGrath. The bottom line is, we can't drop eight catches and we can't get bowled out for under 200 twice against the best team in the world."
Before the Test there was talk of Australia being past their best but Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne proved they are still two of the top bowlers in the world: "People saying they are over the hill is slightly premature," said Graveney, "But we have a good bunch of lads who aren't going to be a bad team in just one game.
"They are awesome bowlers, the best of a generation. McGrath, at 35, is the top-ranked bowler in both Test matches and one-dayers. And Warne is the best wrist-spinner there has ever been in the game."
But Graveney was also quick to pick out the positives for England and said he was pleased with Kevin Pietersen's debut performances and the bowling of Steve Harmison, who clearly had the Australians rattled on the first morning. "Pietersen showed what he can do and he can stand up to the Australians. He set an example that the other guys can follow. And Harmison has caused some problems."
Meanwhile, Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff are available for the Twenty20 finals day at The Oval on Saturday. Trescothick will line up for Somerset and Flintoff for Lancashire and there is a chance they will go head to head in the final as they find themselves in opposite semi-finals.
Michael Vaughan and Matthew Hoggard are available for Yorkshire's National League match against Kent, on Sunday, as are Ashley Giles and Ian Bell for Warwickshire's game, also against Kent, on Wednesday. Geraint Jones is available for Kent for that same game.
Pietersen can play against Worcestershire, on Tuesday, as can Chris Tremlett, who was left out of the first Test. Harmison, Simon Jones and Andrew Strauss have been rested ahead of the second Test, at Edgbaston, starting on August 4.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.