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August 8, 2005
While that might not be so surprising in the broadsheets, even the football-obsessed tabloids joined in. "Mr InFredible," roared the front page of The Mirror and the back page of The Sun (although which one came up with the headline first is unclear). The latter continued the punfest with another article referring to Steve Harmison's last-gasp wicket - "It's the salvation Harmy". "Geraint Jones, the same Geraint Jones who has been mocked for having gloves like cymbals, tumbled to his left and clung onto the ball," wrote John Etheridge.
"Such sweet agony," reported Christopher Martin-Jenkins in The Times. "The rowdier members of a crowd of 21,000 alternated between stunned silence and ritual chanting that sounded increasingly like whistling in the dark. One view of the Edgbaston result is that the gap so evident at Lord's has been closed only temporarily as a result of the injury to McGrath's right ankle shortly before the start of this game last Thursday. Another is that, for all the eleventh-hour stutter, it is the younger England side who have more room for improvement."
In The Guardian, Mike Selvey praised Brett Lee's performance with the bat despite suffering a series of painful blows. "Each time he rose to fight on, an awesome display of courage in the face of the most savage bombardment that an England attack can have delivered."
In the same paper, Gideon Haigh admitted that the tension even got to him. "Devotees of Ashes history will know of the famous team sheet of the original 1882 Oval Test match which features the names of the England XI in a scorer's hand apparently growing more fragmentary with the tension; the last name, Peate, is written so shakily that it looks like 'Geese'. When Kasprowicz faced that final trouser-filling over yesterday, my own scribblings attained an unintelligibility almost doctor-like. After 'Harmison - Pavilion End' the notation might as well have read 'take two after meals' or 'beware drowsiness'."
In The Daily Telegraph, Derek Pringle expressed his relief that the result "has kept the Ashes and the summer from football's greedy grasp," adding that the omens were good for this week's third Test. "England should take heart from Old Trafford's reputation as a place for reverse-swing. In this Test, Flintoff and Simon Jones used the skill far better than Australia did and should retain their edge in Manchester."
Geoff Boycott preferred to concentrate on the McGrathless Australian attack. "The Aussie seamers were ineffective in this match, apart from that one spell when Brett Lee took three wickets on Saturday morning. Jason Gillespie looks a shadow of himself and Michael Kasprowicz is straight up and down," he wrote. "Even Lee had only that one spell; for the rest of the time he gives you a lot of runs. He doesn't have the control of the great fast bowlers. If that is the best Australia have got without McGrath, England have nothing to fear from this seam attack."
"What a match! What a last hour!" enthused Peter Roebuck in The Independent. "The dictionary scarcely contains words sufficient to capture the drama of the occasion. Seldom even in the annals of Ashes cricket has any match been as tense, as utterly compelling from the first ball to the very last as this epic in white clothes. It was hard to believe it was happening, yet there it was before our very eyes."
"England's fielders and a partisan crowd went wild," reflected Angus Fraser. "Geraint Jones was ecstatic, and started gesturing to a section of Australian spectators who had been goading him, while the rest of the team ran around like headless chickens. The win keeps England's dreams of regaining the Ashes alive."
After the tragedy of Phillip Hughes' death, this match showed that cricket and life will continue to go on. This time Test cricket dug in and got through to tea.
Virat Kohli's innings on the final day transcended the conditions, the bowlers and his batting partners, and when it was all in vain, he displayed remarkable grace in defeat
Both batsmen seemingly have buckets of talent at their disposal and the backing of their captains, but soft dismissals relentlessly follow both around the Test arena
Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010
The new stand-in captain has the makings of a long-term leader, given his ability to stay ahead of the game
Turning your back on a system that the whole cricketing world wants a discussion on, refusing to discuss it because it is not 100%, is not good enough
The failed gamble of handing Karn Sharma a Test debut despite him having a moderate first-class record means India have to rethink who their spinner will be
After a long time we have seen an Indian team and captain enjoy the challenge of trying to overcome stronger opposition in an overseas Test