I'd have done the same - Hauritz
Australia would have employed similar stalling tactics to England's final-wicket pairing in Cardiff had they been the team fighting for a draw, according to Nathan Hauritz. As Australia pressed for victory and England scrambled to save the match, the hosts sent 12th man Bilal Shafayat, and physiotherapist Steve McCaig out to the centre in the 102nd and 103rd overs in an apparent time-wasting tactic described by Ricky Ponting as "pretty ordinary".
Ponting suggested Jeff Crowe, the ICC match referee, should review England's final session tactics, however umpires Aleem Dar and Billy Doctrove have effectively ended the matter by not filing a code of conduct report. Hauritz, the Australian spinner, also sought to defuse the situation by stating that he would also have attempted to delay proceedings had he been in a similar situation to Anderson and Panesar.
"I wouldn't be facing up as quickly every ball," Hauritz said. "It's an extremely nervous situation and that one wicket determines the 1-0 or 0-0 scoreline. They did their job. If I'm in that situation and I call for gloves, they won't care."
Hauritz did not feel England breached the spirit of cricket guidelines. "Definitely not," he said. "At the end of the day they had to last, to survive for the last 60-odd balls and they faced out the overs. People could say we were rushing through our overs to get more at them. So I don't think anything has been made out of it by us, it's dead and buried."
There were a couple of heated exchanges on the final day, which started with Kevin Pietersen and Mitchell Johnson having a run-in during the warm-up. Stuart Broad, the England batsman, also bumped shoulders with Peter Siddle during the afternoon and there were more verbal exchanges between Ponting and Shafayat over his running out of batting gloves to Anderson and Panesar.
"I think it's fantastic," Hauritz said of the intensity of the first Test. "In 2005, Australia said they were too chummy with the English at times, and people said the English got under our skins. I think it's fantastic for the game to see the battle on the field. You're going out there to win the urn and it's an amazing adrenalin rush when you're in front of the crowd. It's great for the game. Those battles will continue through the series."
Michael Hussey, meanwhile, was undecided when asked whether he would have resorted to time-wasting tactics if placed in a similar situation to that which England found themselves on Sunday. "I hope not ... but strange things happen under pressure and in intense situations," Hussey said. "It's one of those things that just happens. At the start of an Ashes series, under immense pressure, certain things happen. From our point of view I think it's important we don't worry about it anymore; put it behind us and focus on Lord's."
England's chairman of selectors, Geoff Miller, on Monday launched a staunch defence of the spirit in which his team contested the first Test in Cardiff. "It wasn't a time waste at all," Miller said. "The overs situation was very difficult to actually work, so we had to keep delivering messages to our batters to let them know how long they were going to have to bat out there. Our discipline over the last two or three years has been fantastic. We've got a very good record from the ICC and we don't work along those lines at all. We just had to make sure that our batsmen knew what the job at hand was and consequently the messages went out.
"It's an international match. We're talking about Test cricket here. It was a very hard, strong match. We had to make sure that the batsmen knew excactly what the job at hand was. I have the greatest respect for Ricky Ponting as a player and every aspect. He knows it's a tough Ashes series."
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo