England v Australia, 2nd npower Test, Lord's, 5th day July 20, 2009

We can regroup - Ponting

61

Ricky Ponting has blamed "fundamental skill errors" for Australia's second Test defeat but remains convinced his side can be patched up in time to hit back at Edgbaston next week. While Mitchell Johnson's bowling was the biggest concern of the 115-run loss, there are also serious worries over the opener Phillip Hughes and the decisions of the batsmen.

Australia were behind from the opening session, which began with Johnson spraying the ball, and were out of the match when they fell for 215 in their first innings amid a flurry of cross-batted dismissals. Michael Clarke improved their position in the second bat with 136 after the side dropped to 128 for 5 in their impossible victory pursuit of 522.

"There are fundamental skill errors that we have made in this game," Ponting said. "I'm not just talking about the bowling. We didn't bat very well either in our first innings. Two hundred-odd on that wicket was a long way short of what we needed to get.

"The first two days was where the game was decided. I was pretty happy with the way we stuck at things for the remainder of the game. It's just little skill errors that have cost us big time." Australia play a three-day match against Northamptonshire on Friday before the third Test in Birmingham starts on July 30.

Despite being 1-0 down after two fixtures, Ponting is certain his men can re-group and believes both teams are evenly matched. Australia dominated much of the opening game in Cardiff, which now feels as far away as 2005, but England quickly built on their thrilling draw to take a strong advantage.

"It's grabbing the momentum when you can and running with it for as long as you can that's going to decide this series," Ponting said. "If you look at this game, they grabbed the momentum on day one, ran with it, and we found it hard to wrest it back.

"A lot of Test matches are won with what happens in the first hour's play. We were a fair bit off at the start of this game and we have to make sure we're a whole lot better when we start the third one."

Ponting spoke calmly after the match and managed to laugh at his treatment from the usually polite Lord's crowd. They jeered him throughout the contest, starting with his dispute of an incorrect caught-behind dismissal on the second day and continuing when he missed a run-out of Kevin Pietersen and a catch off Ravi Bopara in England's second innings.

"They seemed to take great pleasure in me dropping that," Ponting said. He counted 15 big-screen replays of the drop in two overs.

"I got my first clap as I got off the stage from my post-game interview on the ground," he said. "It took me cracking a joke to get a laugh out of them. I'm not sure what all the animosity was there." He promised not to lose any sleep over the response, which comes from his spirit of the game pronouncements, treatment of umpires and gritty on-field behaviour. He is also Australia's most talented and recognisable player.

Clarke sat next to his captain and said his century became "irrelevant" with the defeat. He wished the performance had come in the first innings instead, when he flicked James Anderson to midwicket on 1.

"Our goal is to win the game," Clarke said. "I thought we played pretty well last night but it's irrelevant now because we didn't get the result we were after. We knew we had a big job to do today, especially in the first session, but unfortunately we didn't get the result. I think we can still take some confidence out of the way we performed with the bat in the second innings."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CharonTFm on July 22, 2009, 23:44 GMT

    The main difference here is that Aus did not cry foul when the umpiring decisions were bad, the Aus team accepted it. The indians did not.

    Now back to the cricket, it was a brilliant match and not too far off the 05 Series. England had played better in Lords and all Australian Supporters know that, and Aus themselves know that. That is why no excuses were made, the fault lie squarely on the Aus team, with each member needing to lift their game.

    The only way to make the game better is to remove dubious decisions. Every sports person in the world hates umpires because they feel it is them who have gave the game away. People should cut them some slack and let the technology catch up. However I hope the outcry of the world has shown ICC that technology is needed in the umpiring and that the third umpire has to step in when something is not right. As Rudi has said in his interview, no umpires like to make the wrong decision and any technology will help.

  • whits106 on July 22, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    bombersimon: I'm not sure if you were referring to my comment at all in your post. But I would like to clarify anyway. I'm Australian, and yes, there were "contentious calls", however I'd say that only the only clear cut incorrect decision was Ponting being given out caught, when he should have been given out LBW. Strauss depends which side of the fence you sit on, I say not out, but alot of people will say out. Either way you're definately correct in stating the truth about "spirit of the game" in relation to India and the way they reacted when in Australia - Although I don't particularly agree with your bashing of England. Strauss believe's he caught it, and the umpires agreed- How do you know if he was blatantly lying? The time wasting - any team, including our great Australia, would have done the same thing! And as for the substitute fielders, Flintoff and Onions were injured I believe and required physio work. As I stated earlier, we all need to get back on the topic of thearticle

  • bombersimon on July 22, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    Thanks Hedders99. You make a lot of sense. It's curious how so many folks are arguing that Australians are whining about the umpiring and blaming them for our loss. I see little evidence for that claim among the posts. Indeed, almost all Australia supporters, myself included, acknowledge England played a better brand of cricket throughout the match and deserve their victory. However, there is no doubt the umpiring was sub-standard (and, no, this is not the first time, and, yes, Australia got the rub against India in Sydney) and that the decisions rather sucked the air from the Australian batting effort. After the loss, Ponting said, what's happened has happened and we move on. In Sydney, India sat in their hotel and made noises about going home. Which approach contributes more to the spirit of cricket? Any suggestion that either India or England have done more for the spirit of the game is one I wish to refute. Strauss's 'catch', time wasting in Cardiff, substitute fielders....

  • observer67 on July 22, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    The current Aussie cricket team is just like the pathetic school bully, who just realized his classmates have outgrown him and cries foul when paid back with his own coin.

  • harry93 on July 21, 2009, 21:15 GMT

    The WI teams of the 70's & 80's r much loved all around the world? This may be an effect of time.

    I grew up in Oz during this period of WI dominance & I hated them! Not because of any unsportsman-like behaviour, but because they were too good! Now because they're no longer a world force I look back on those teams fondly. I expect the same will happen with these Aussie teams.

    So the WIs were gentlemen, how can you compare two totally different eras? Everything has changed since then. Movies, music, TV etc. r all a little more rough. What's acceptable has changed. If you want to make that argument then every team nowadays (and the WI teams of the past) would be considered unsportsman-like compared to, say, the WG Grace-led English teams of the late 1800's.

    I'm sure if they had stump mics in the 80's you'd have heard all sorts of stuff from the WI and, if they had web forums, likewise you would have heard the same garbage from opposing teams' fans as you do now about the Aussies.

  • harry93 on July 21, 2009, 20:53 GMT

    Does anyone even remember Cardiff? England were a wicket away from an almost innings defeat. They were the same two teams that played at Lord's, right? Teams have good Tests and bad Tests, just like players.

  • Hedders99 on July 21, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    Well done England- you deserved to win the match. However, I'm surprised and saddened by the number of posts from people who are still describing the Australians as bad sports that deserve all this "karma" etc. It's one thing to praise the victors, but to me, the people who say they enjoy seeing Australia lose are in no position to speak of good sportsmanship- these are hardly honourable comments. Many such comments have come from a country that actually burned effigies of umpires in 2007. I don't understand this level of hatred, and I'm kind of glad. Sure, some comments have been made about the umpiring at Lords, but no one has taken to the streets of Australia with Rudi or Doctrove ablaze. Can we put things into perspective?

  • miyer_cricinfo on July 21, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    When England declared, I was not sure it was the right juncture, since Australia has just scored over 600 runs in the Cardiff Test, and their batting line-up is not to be taken lightly. When the first 5 wickets fell cheaply, I stood corrected. Then, when Clarke and Haddin scored so freely and heavily and brought Australia conceivably within reach of the target, a small voice in my heart tooted "I told you so, England", but another -- saner? -- voice said, "Let us see what happens tomorrow. Just because I want to be proven right, I should not wish that England loses. May the best team win". And what a day and game it proved! Flintoff was like a man possessed, with Anderson and Swann contiributing significantly to the Australian batsmen's misery at the crease. Amazingly interesting games thus far in the Ashes. By the way, there are no saintly teams around. So, let us not get our undies in a bunch arguing about the spirit of the game. Pot, kettle .. all the same hue.

  • whits106 on July 21, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    I've noticed alot of people complaining about "suspect decisions" on the part of the umpires.

    I remember a test match against India in Sydney a few years ago, where Australia had the rub of the green and the call's going their way during that match.

    What goes around comes around. England outplayed Australia and were lucky to even be a chance to win the match in the end as I believe Strauss declard too early (however his decision has now been vindicated).

    I'm an Australian, and was disappointed with the decision, but we deserved to lose anyway. Just like we deserved a draw for failing to bowl england out in the first match.

    If people want to drop the umpires, why not drop players like Johnson or Hussey. Yes, Hussey got a 50 and Johnson got wickets, but they have both been terrible.

    And to be honest, as an Aussie, I was fine with all the decisions the umpires made.

    We need to get back to what this article is about: England had supremecy for 5 days of test cricket.

  • Sriram_Krishnamurthy on July 21, 2009, 12:16 GMT

    Just to respond to bombersimon, India did not threaten to call of the series because of the loss of three wickets in one over, but because Andrew Symonds was allowed to bat three times and Saurav and Dravid were not allowed to even complete their one innings. The 'sporting oz vice captain' pup took a grounded catch and ricky behaved like an umpire and handed the decision over to Saurav. Also, no one knows what happened between Bhajji and Roy. If Ozs believe Roy didnt do a thing wrong, we Indians are entitled to believe Bhajji was right in his place. Steve Waugh's Ozs commanded a lot of respect across the globe thanks to Steve Waugh and Shane Warne - tough guys but never crossed the line on the field. Ricky had always been on the other side of the line and thats precisely the reason why the whole world except the Ozs celebrate when the Ozs lose.

  • CharonTFm on July 22, 2009, 23:44 GMT

    The main difference here is that Aus did not cry foul when the umpiring decisions were bad, the Aus team accepted it. The indians did not.

    Now back to the cricket, it was a brilliant match and not too far off the 05 Series. England had played better in Lords and all Australian Supporters know that, and Aus themselves know that. That is why no excuses were made, the fault lie squarely on the Aus team, with each member needing to lift their game.

    The only way to make the game better is to remove dubious decisions. Every sports person in the world hates umpires because they feel it is them who have gave the game away. People should cut them some slack and let the technology catch up. However I hope the outcry of the world has shown ICC that technology is needed in the umpiring and that the third umpire has to step in when something is not right. As Rudi has said in his interview, no umpires like to make the wrong decision and any technology will help.

  • whits106 on July 22, 2009, 13:36 GMT

    bombersimon: I'm not sure if you were referring to my comment at all in your post. But I would like to clarify anyway. I'm Australian, and yes, there were "contentious calls", however I'd say that only the only clear cut incorrect decision was Ponting being given out caught, when he should have been given out LBW. Strauss depends which side of the fence you sit on, I say not out, but alot of people will say out. Either way you're definately correct in stating the truth about "spirit of the game" in relation to India and the way they reacted when in Australia - Although I don't particularly agree with your bashing of England. Strauss believe's he caught it, and the umpires agreed- How do you know if he was blatantly lying? The time wasting - any team, including our great Australia, would have done the same thing! And as for the substitute fielders, Flintoff and Onions were injured I believe and required physio work. As I stated earlier, we all need to get back on the topic of thearticle

  • bombersimon on July 22, 2009, 10:26 GMT

    Thanks Hedders99. You make a lot of sense. It's curious how so many folks are arguing that Australians are whining about the umpiring and blaming them for our loss. I see little evidence for that claim among the posts. Indeed, almost all Australia supporters, myself included, acknowledge England played a better brand of cricket throughout the match and deserve their victory. However, there is no doubt the umpiring was sub-standard (and, no, this is not the first time, and, yes, Australia got the rub against India in Sydney) and that the decisions rather sucked the air from the Australian batting effort. After the loss, Ponting said, what's happened has happened and we move on. In Sydney, India sat in their hotel and made noises about going home. Which approach contributes more to the spirit of cricket? Any suggestion that either India or England have done more for the spirit of the game is one I wish to refute. Strauss's 'catch', time wasting in Cardiff, substitute fielders....

  • observer67 on July 22, 2009, 5:25 GMT

    The current Aussie cricket team is just like the pathetic school bully, who just realized his classmates have outgrown him and cries foul when paid back with his own coin.

  • harry93 on July 21, 2009, 21:15 GMT

    The WI teams of the 70's & 80's r much loved all around the world? This may be an effect of time.

    I grew up in Oz during this period of WI dominance & I hated them! Not because of any unsportsman-like behaviour, but because they were too good! Now because they're no longer a world force I look back on those teams fondly. I expect the same will happen with these Aussie teams.

    So the WIs were gentlemen, how can you compare two totally different eras? Everything has changed since then. Movies, music, TV etc. r all a little more rough. What's acceptable has changed. If you want to make that argument then every team nowadays (and the WI teams of the past) would be considered unsportsman-like compared to, say, the WG Grace-led English teams of the late 1800's.

    I'm sure if they had stump mics in the 80's you'd have heard all sorts of stuff from the WI and, if they had web forums, likewise you would have heard the same garbage from opposing teams' fans as you do now about the Aussies.

  • harry93 on July 21, 2009, 20:53 GMT

    Does anyone even remember Cardiff? England were a wicket away from an almost innings defeat. They were the same two teams that played at Lord's, right? Teams have good Tests and bad Tests, just like players.

  • Hedders99 on July 21, 2009, 15:27 GMT

    Well done England- you deserved to win the match. However, I'm surprised and saddened by the number of posts from people who are still describing the Australians as bad sports that deserve all this "karma" etc. It's one thing to praise the victors, but to me, the people who say they enjoy seeing Australia lose are in no position to speak of good sportsmanship- these are hardly honourable comments. Many such comments have come from a country that actually burned effigies of umpires in 2007. I don't understand this level of hatred, and I'm kind of glad. Sure, some comments have been made about the umpiring at Lords, but no one has taken to the streets of Australia with Rudi or Doctrove ablaze. Can we put things into perspective?

  • miyer_cricinfo on July 21, 2009, 12:48 GMT

    When England declared, I was not sure it was the right juncture, since Australia has just scored over 600 runs in the Cardiff Test, and their batting line-up is not to be taken lightly. When the first 5 wickets fell cheaply, I stood corrected. Then, when Clarke and Haddin scored so freely and heavily and brought Australia conceivably within reach of the target, a small voice in my heart tooted "I told you so, England", but another -- saner? -- voice said, "Let us see what happens tomorrow. Just because I want to be proven right, I should not wish that England loses. May the best team win". And what a day and game it proved! Flintoff was like a man possessed, with Anderson and Swann contiributing significantly to the Australian batsmen's misery at the crease. Amazingly interesting games thus far in the Ashes. By the way, there are no saintly teams around. So, let us not get our undies in a bunch arguing about the spirit of the game. Pot, kettle .. all the same hue.

  • whits106 on July 21, 2009, 12:38 GMT

    I've noticed alot of people complaining about "suspect decisions" on the part of the umpires.

    I remember a test match against India in Sydney a few years ago, where Australia had the rub of the green and the call's going their way during that match.

    What goes around comes around. England outplayed Australia and were lucky to even be a chance to win the match in the end as I believe Strauss declard too early (however his decision has now been vindicated).

    I'm an Australian, and was disappointed with the decision, but we deserved to lose anyway. Just like we deserved a draw for failing to bowl england out in the first match.

    If people want to drop the umpires, why not drop players like Johnson or Hussey. Yes, Hussey got a 50 and Johnson got wickets, but they have both been terrible.

    And to be honest, as an Aussie, I was fine with all the decisions the umpires made.

    We need to get back to what this article is about: England had supremecy for 5 days of test cricket.

  • Sriram_Krishnamurthy on July 21, 2009, 12:16 GMT

    Just to respond to bombersimon, India did not threaten to call of the series because of the loss of three wickets in one over, but because Andrew Symonds was allowed to bat three times and Saurav and Dravid were not allowed to even complete their one innings. The 'sporting oz vice captain' pup took a grounded catch and ricky behaved like an umpire and handed the decision over to Saurav. Also, no one knows what happened between Bhajji and Roy. If Ozs believe Roy didnt do a thing wrong, we Indians are entitled to believe Bhajji was right in his place. Steve Waugh's Ozs commanded a lot of respect across the globe thanks to Steve Waugh and Shane Warne - tough guys but never crossed the line on the field. Ricky had always been on the other side of the line and thats precisely the reason why the whole world except the Ozs celebrate when the Ozs lose.

  • Lobs on July 21, 2009, 12:06 GMT

    There seem to be some short memories. Australia was all over England at Cardiff. Australia's batting is superior to England's-Ponting is the best in the world and Clarke and Haddin have shown what they can do. Australia's bowling was known to be weak--as it was in 2005 with Gillespie and Kastrovich as innaccurate as Johnson has been.No captain can place a field for such rubbish. Why Bracken isn't opening our bowling is beyond me. He is our most accurate bowler, He has height, bowls left arm and unlike our current attack, can swing the ball late. He would have been wonderful under the cloud at Lords. He should have been there in 2005 , he should be there now. It is not too late to get him on a plane for Edgbaston.

  • Graduated_Cheetah on July 21, 2009, 11:59 GMT

    I agree with bombersimon on (July 21 2009, 08:53 AM GMT). Aussies have really worked hard to make sure that Test Cricket remains the purest form of the game. They always put in something extra to make sure the game is fun to watch. Even being a Pakistani, i am more interested in Ashes than current Test Series b/w Sri Lanka n Pakistan ...

    I am pretty sure Aussies would rise up and make a strong comeback ...

  • RajivT on July 21, 2009, 10:55 GMT

    Bombersimon - you are spot on in all your comments. The aussies have taken the game to another level no doubt, and you could also argue that they have ensured the survival of the ultimate form of the game that is test cricket.

    I think people should also acknowledge the fact that even after losing soo many legends of the game, the aussies are still a force to be reckoned - this is a remarkable achievement given the fact that the exits of such legends leaves a massive hole in any sides.

  • zaragon on July 21, 2009, 10:22 GMT

    I think people are a too quick to write off Hughes. Both his dismissals at Lords were a bit unlucky and Aus only had one innings at Cardiff. He started positively there. He's scored a shed load of runs in his short career so far so I think he should get another chance. Ponting gets some credit in my book for not whining about the umpiring although some commenters here are excelling themselves! First innings was OK - Ponting was not out caught but he was out lbw - Jimmy was appealing for that before the catch was taken. So the umpire has made reciprocal errors there. England did have a bit of luck in the second innings but odds are they would have bowled Australia out for less than 522 in two days anyway. So to say that Aus lost because of the umpires is delusional. Can they regroup? Of course they can. If Lee is fit I think he will make a big difference.

  • mrgupta on July 21, 2009, 10:06 GMT

    Just to answer " bombersimon", First of all India never threatened to call of the series due to the fact that they lost because of Bad Umpiring. It was against the Racial charges that were put on against one of our players. We were upset though because of large number of pretty evident Umpiring errors and our then Captain Mr Kumble showed his disappointment too. Dont forget, we won the next match and Aussies have not been able to beat us in a test since that match. And as far as the Racial remarks goes, they were never proved. Indians have always pride themselves on being a secular country and way above any racism. I have never heard of any Racial discrimination by and Indian to foreigner but yes we have been a lot on the receiving End.

  • CrickSupp on July 21, 2009, 9:53 GMT

    @ Aus Cricket Supporters: Cricket is supposed to be a gentleman's game. i am not saying all other countries are displaying it. but Aus as a top team needs to show class. taking a dodgy catch and telling the umpire that it is a clean one is not the spirit of the game. knocking off the stumps with your glove and making it look like it was bowled is not the spirit of the game. appealing for a catch which was clearly shown in the video as being grounded is not the right spirit of the game either. now that the english are doing the same thing and aus is at the receiving end goes to only prove a point: "What goes around comes around". so rather than attacking each other, just realize that in spite of the fact that australia has clearly been the best team in the past decade, it has taken to very appallingly cheap tactics on the field. it is all just coming back. if everyone learns the lesson that nobody can get away, cricket will be fine...

  • TheCricketConnoiseur on July 21, 2009, 9:44 GMT

    I have been keeping track of the Ashes with great interest and supporting the Aussies and not England, simply because I hate the English media which creates unnecessary hype and hoopla over their team and players and makes them the "greatest ever" on the basis of a few good performances e.g. Flintoff, whose record betrays inconsistency and mediocrity. But, one has to concede that England was a FAR, FAR superior team in all aspects of the game in this test, and their bowling looks awesome.Aussies will have to play out of their skin if they want to recover in this Ashes and mantain top test spot. The Ashes has only become more interesting with this result, and those who say test cricket is dead are idiots!

  • bombersimon on July 21, 2009, 8:53 GMT

    Remarks about the spirit of the game emanating from supporters of India are a little hard to digest. Was it not the Indian team that threatened to abandon a series in Australia because the team could not accept they lost three wickets in an over and so lost a test match? Is it not the case that one bowler in that side has repeatedly used racial taunts? One can understand that after a long, dominant period Australia finds itself as the most important challenge for every other team (i.e. beat Australia). But it should be acknowledged that along with the West Indies, Australia revitalised test cricket with its compelling, aggressive, entertaining brand of cricket and eventually left all other test playing teams in its wake. Other teams, notably South Africa, are now catching up and that's great for the game. It's a long way to the top and once there is hard to stay there. Australian cricket is the model everyone else now emulates: there must be something good about it.

  • RajivT on July 21, 2009, 8:46 GMT

    I had my worries about our (Aus) bowling lineup since the tour game and even after Cardiff.We have historically gone in with 4 bowlers as we've had legends like warne and mcgrath.However,i think we need to play 5 bowlers,it may leave us thin in the batting but we'd have to bank on guys like johnson/lee/hauritz to make some runs in the lower order.

    For the tour game against northants, i'd rest Katich and ask North to open with Hughes.North opens for his state WA,and I would drop one of North or Hughes to make way for a 5th bowler. My team for the tour game would be:

    1.North 2.Hughes 3.punter 4.huss 5.clarke 6.haddin 7.johnson 8.lee 9.hauritz 10.clark 11.siddle

    hilfy and hauritz should be certain starters for edgbaston...the other 3 bowlers would come from clark,lee,siddle and johnson..and it should be a straight fight between lee and johnson depening on who bowls better against northants.

    what are everyone's views on playing the xtra bowler?

  • AJ_Tiger86 on July 21, 2009, 8:23 GMT

    England are in such a good position in the series right now. Now it all depends on their batsmen. If they can show a bit more patience than they did at Cardiff and Lord's, the series is in the bag. Australia, with their poor bowling attack, won't be able to force a result on flat batting wickets. Their batsmen will have to be overly aggressive and that will give English bowlers the chance to make inroads. Well, Glenn McGrath, it won't be 5-0 this time, but it may well be 4-0.

  • observer67 on July 21, 2009, 7:54 GMT

    Hats off to Flintoff for the stellar performance. And great that the monotony of Aussie domination is being crushed. I can't say the same for the erstwhile Windies teams of the 70s and 80s, I really miss the team that dominated world cricket for two decades; true gentlemen who upheld the spirit of the game and drew awe and admiration even when steam rolling their opponents

  • barneyawesome on July 21, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    @Robboy: "when Ponting was given out caught behind on the second day despite his bat not even being in the same district as the ball, Australia were already chasing in the second innings, were they?" - dude.. when this happens to India, you claim that its all a part of the game and when the same happens to Australia, it is conspiracy like, right? Grow up guys, don't just come up with lame excuses.. the truth is England was a better team over 5 days of cricket. It is tough for Australians to come understand the face that they are not outright best anymore.. but don't use such excuses to cover it up!

  • Hoggy_1989 on July 21, 2009, 6:45 GMT

    boris6491: I agree with everything you say; except for one small thing: I'd be dropping Johnson to accommodate Clark. Johnson took 3 wickets at 66.7 and Hauritz took 3 at 33.5 with a damaged finger. Then there was Johnson's brain fade right at the end to be softly dismissed by charging the spinner...there was no need to do that. Also, if you drop the spinner, you run into problems with over rates and the need to bowl part timers at crucial times..we all remember what happened the last time we did that (4th Test against India in India in 08) I think the selectors need to bite the bullet, replace Hughes with Phil Jaques (if he's fit), or Chris Rogers if Jaques is not fit and replace Johnson with Clark. And hopefully, that will fix our problems and we keep these Ashes.

  • SachinTondulkar on July 21, 2009, 6:18 GMT

    Rooboy: "It's hard to be popular when you make everyone else look pathetically inept for 10-15 years." Dude, you surely haven't heard of a team called West Indies from the 70s-80s. They steamrolled everyone, yet maintainted dignity and respect for others in their conduct, off-field and on-field. They were POPULAR winners, and I hope, if you try to be fair, you wouldn't question that. Courtney Walsh, Marshall, Holding, Garner, Richards, Greenidge, Haynes, Ambrose - all champion performers against all in all conditions, for years together - how often have u heard them being spoken of in poor light? How often have you heard any team being filled with disgust at their conduct, despite the sheer number of, margin of, and consistency of their victories? Just food for thought.

  • SachinTondulkar on July 21, 2009, 6:12 GMT

    Rooboy certainly seems to believe that jingoism is the best form of patriotism.May I let you know first up, that I have the highest regard for the cricking talent,skill and abilities of not all Australian teams and players,including the current crop.However, it is their attitude, condescending approach towards other teams which deserves being deplored and despised.Not because I am anti-Australia or pro-anyone, but because this is "not crcket"(Why do we not associate fair play, gentlemanly conduct with any other sport such as "not baseball, rugby, soccer, etc."?) and it would be just as bad if ANY other team behaves in this manner. No team or player has the right to do so.The Aussies cannot justify their outrageous sledging with mental disintegration or Aussie way of life.I am not against banter but to get personal, ugly and bitter in your words with abuses is surely not ethical.No team does it as much and as horribly as the Aussies.We dont grudge u ur talent or wins.But pls pls BEHAVE.

  • deanmg on July 21, 2009, 5:59 GMT

    Come on Aussies! pull this one back! This English win makes the remaining games very interesting! Watching with intent from the South of Africa

  • roofs on July 21, 2009, 5:39 GMT

    to popcorn: you are being extremely harsh on the umpires. in fact, i don't really see how three of the umpiring "blunders" you outline are mistakes at all.

    first - pontings dismissal in the first innings. he was dead plumb!! i realise that, in the end, he was given out caught at first slip, but the fact of the matter is he should have been out anyway. so, had rudi made the correct decision and adjudged ponting lbw, the game wouldn't have changd in the slightest.

    second - hughes in the first innings. you said "do you expect me to believe that Rudi Koertzen could see a featherhouch of his glove,22 yards away,at a ball flying at 90miles per hour?"... again, the fact of the matter is that the ball DID flick hughes' glove, so he SHOULD have been out and the correct decision WAS made!!

    thirdly - hussey in the second innings. correct me if i'm wrong, but didn't he walk? i acknowledge he shouldn't have been out, but if a batsman walks, surely the umpire must assume hes hit it?

  • johnnymc1 on July 21, 2009, 5:31 GMT

    To all Australians out there-this is Karma!! I am a Pom living in Melbourne and have watched Brian Lara given LBW to a ball missing a second set of stumps, Sangakarra almost single handedly beating Australia until caught behind off his shoulder, Andrew Strauss's first 4 dismissals in 07/08 included 3 caught at the wicket with Australia all up for catches when his bat was nowhere near and so on..... Home side always gets the calls.Its the same in Australia. Stop your whining.

  • RaghuramanR on July 21, 2009, 5:14 GMT

    Frankly too much fuss was made here over 'umpiring' decisions, which happen in any match. Nobody can dispute that England was a superior side atleast in the bowling department. Since Australia does not have a third opener and Phil Hughes is not doing well, I am not sure if it will be a big risk in trying out Haddin as opener. After all, they are 0-1 down and they have to take some risks to turn the tables. They know that their bowling, even with Lee, may be as good as England. So they can only 'out bat' England in the remaining tests. They can hope for a matchwinning performance from Lee, of course.

  • Rooboy on July 21, 2009, 4:33 GMT

    @GoodCricketWicket says 'a couple of decisions went against them .... By that time, Australia were already chasing 522'. So, GoodCricketWicket, when Ponting was given out caught behind on the second day despite his bat not even being in the same district as the ball, Australia were already chasing in the second innings, were they? Sums up the intelligence level of a lot of the comments here. And @Down_Under, the main reason Ponting and the Australian team has a bad name is because stooges like you choose to believe the media and the bitter statements from teams Australia have crushed. Australia are no angels but no worse than any other team. If Australia had have given anyone the vicious verbal assault SA gave to Hughes, a debtant, it would have been all over the media, but because Australia chose just to get on with it instead of whining like their opponents, it was barely mentioned. It's hard to be popular when you make everyone else look pathetically inept for 10-15 years.

  • thara2008 on July 21, 2009, 4:19 GMT

    I think the match was lost by Australia on day 2 itself. Aussies have been winning only on their aggressive on-field behavior. Too many new comers and their aggression is found wanting. If you compare the team that was 2 years ago, Australia can now only rely on Ponting and Clarke on batting and unfortunately none from their bowling department. For this ashes series, they have not done their homework on experience - like Shane Warne, Langer and Hayden would have been told to extend their career till this Summer. Opener Hughes is not aggressive too! Stuart Clarke absence is another notable ommission. To me, this series is already lost to England and I wont be surprised, if it reads 3-0 at the end of the series...and this also would mean the end of Aussies reign in world cricket

  • Rooboy on July 21, 2009, 4:19 GMT

    sadasivam1983 and mrmonty seem to want to have things each way. There are many parallels in this game to the Aus v india test in Sydney, ie one side lost due to disgraceful umpiring and dubious catches. Why is it that when this happened to india it was because of anti-india conspiracies, racism, or whatever other ridiculous excuses they came up with, and it was an absolute outrage, yet when Australia get the same treatment it is just 'their turn to suffer'? Are you guys capable of even a modicum of balance, apart from the chips on each shoulder? Look at the Australians response, basically not mentioning the umpiring or the catch and just complimenting england on their win. Contrast this with the absolute hysteria and ridiculous comments made by the indian team and media after Sydney. They say Aussies dish it out but can't take it, but it seems Aussies have accepted what happened, it is the subcontinent fans who then cry and moan when they dont get their way, and then criticise others!

  • boris6491 on July 21, 2009, 4:19 GMT

    Australia just weren't good enough. It was as simple as that. The men who were tipped to win the Ashes for them didn't fire at all. Johnson was being treated like a club standard bowler while Hughes has caused the Poms little or no trouble. I think we still put ourselves in a position to fight back after a late flurry of wickets on day one but the inept batting performance in the first innings cost us dearly. And for that matter, the second innings wasn't much better but for Clarke, Haddin and Johnson, all of whom I think could have taken the game closer. However, thats beside the point and the Aussies need to rethink their strategy. Wholesale changes are not the solution though. Johnson IS their strike bowler still, Siddle has worked hard and Hilfenhaus has been by far the top bowler. If anything, Hauritz can be dropped to accommodate Clark but Australia are unlikely to do that. They need to reestablish their fundamentals and come back hard in the next test. Hopefully we'll see better

  • Aspraso on July 21, 2009, 4:13 GMT

    Regarding all those "scooped" catches -- how dare Ponting still go around proclaiming his players only claim genuine catches? Let us not forget opposing captains have realized not to trust the Australians any more with a "fair catching pact" because the Aussies were blatantly misusing the generosity.

  • AashishK on July 21, 2009, 4:09 GMT

    Well Well Well , 100/100 goes to Ricky Ponting for blaming the umpiring decisions when he cant find another excuse . The truth is that Aussies have been outplayed by England in all departments of the game. Given the match situation , Aussies knew very well that they have lost LORDS from the word go on fourth day. I hope we can see Steve Harmison charging in to Aussie Line up at Edgebaston instead of G Onions

  • bombersimon on July 20, 2009, 22:39 GMT

    Along with most people here, I agree that Australia lost the Lords test because all disciplines were poor. It is as simple as that. So it is more than disappointing to see the England captain weighing in for the second time in a week or so with nonsense about his antics. No one, including the fairly partisan English media, is in any doubt that the late match tactics at Cardiff were any more than amateurish attempts at time-wasting. That he feels the need to raise the issue of his claiming a catch to dismiss Hughes is rather telling I think. As various media outlets have reported, neutral observers are universally agreed that he did not complete a clean catch as he almost certainly knew. One imagines he also knew that a referral to the third umpire would have led to a rather inconvenient not out decision. Along with the illict use of substitute fiielders to cover for two players who *went into* the match injured, there is a story here about Strauss's lack of integrity that needs telling

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on July 20, 2009, 22:31 GMT

    So ...it all comes down to a 3 Test series that Australia have to win. The selection blunders (no Hodge ? McDonald & Watson ...why?) mean there is nowhere to go with the batting. And big big decisions are needed on the bowling front. If Johnson cant shake the yips in training & at Northampton then he must go for his own good. Lee , if fit, has to play. Likewise Stuart Clark for mine. Nice to see the Indian fans out talking about Sydney again. They might note that Ponting was graceful enough to describe the umpiring blunders as 'irrelevant' and as far as i know Cricket Australia are yet to threaten to leave the tour or refuse to accept one of the umpires for future Tests.

  • Number_5 on July 20, 2009, 22:27 GMT

    Who said Test Cricket was dead! Lion hearted effort by Freddy, its amazing what you can do when you hit the deck hard AND bowl seam up (Mitchy take some notes.) Well played Poms, better team over the 5 days. Still 3 tests to go..cant wait!! Hats off to the Aussies for the mature and sportsman like way they handled the umpiring blunders...thats cricket... I do recall a couple of summers ago here in oz some contriversal umpiring decisons, a team threatening to go home, certain members of the press (albeit ex poms) calling for punters head..maybe teams could take a leaf out of the aussies book??

  • popcorn on July 20, 2009, 22:20 GMT

    It was very noble of Ricky Ponting to dismiss the poor umpiring as irrelevant. Rudi Koertzen has learnt nothing in 100 Tests that he has umpired.As for Billy Doctrove, thoroughly incompetent. Unfortunately, cricketers are expected to be schoolchildren and not complain about faulty umpiring because the Teachers will cane them by docking them their match fees or suspend them. Sic.Australia lost because 5 umpiring decisions went against them - 2 in the first innings - Ricky Ponting's bat on shoe,Philip Hughes (do you expect me to believe that Rudi Koertzen could see a featherhouch of his glove,22 yards away,at a ball flying at 90miles per hour?),and 3 in the second innings - Katich - no ball, Hughes - grassed catch,Hussey - no nick.Don't tell me these incidents don't change the momentum of a game.In contast, there were no incidents for England. No harm in referring EVERY doubtful decision to the third umpire.What is important - play the game fairly,or time lost in referrals?

  • peter239 on July 20, 2009, 21:36 GMT

    I hope I don't have to listen to Ian Chappell or anyone else say that the fielder always knows if he's taken the ball cleanly and that we should take his word for it. I'm sure Struass thought he'd taken the catch clearly and I've seen quite a few similar examples in recent years. The only reason that players of yesteryear reckon they knew when they'd caught it was that there wasn't any technology to prove otherwise. For all those (particularly on the sub continent) who think the Aussies are poor sports and whingers I'd remind them that India were refusing to play under an umpire who made one bad mistake in Sydney in 2007. Imagine if they'd had to endure this umpiring. Does anyone seriously think Australia will refuse to play under Koetzen and Doctrove?

  • Malx on July 20, 2009, 21:25 GMT

    the aussies will lose the ashes! We didn't pick a great team! When you have 2nd class morons like Merv, Boon, Cox etc who must of gone to the pub to pick this side! Where is Marsh, Rogers, Tait, Bollinger, Voges, Hodge etc?? Instead we get crock bowlers like Lee, Clark,Watson etc. What is Mcdonald doing there??? He is a complete loser! If England pick Harmy , then it will be a whitewash! The Aussies have HUGE probs. Hughes is not up to fast bowling, Johnson & Siddle have no brains. And Ponting looks completely gone! He knows the writing is on the walls!! If he loses the Ashes, GOODBYE PUNTER!! and so should these MORON BEER SWIRLING SELECTORS!!

  • Lahori_Munde on July 20, 2009, 21:23 GMT

    hehe@valvolux. Great Joke mate- "And great sportsmanship by Ricky not complaining about all the other things that went incredibly wrong for them. Strauss and the English team can learn a lot". Does Ricky even know what 'Sportsmanship' all about? Lets admit our team is known around the world as roudy bunch nowadays. The proof enough is the way both Umpires behaved in this test, they referred Hauritz's catch to third umpire and didn't see need to refere for Strauss' catch. They very much took Englands appealing as sort of confirmaton that Strauss took legit catch, where as they had no trust in Australian player's appeal and felt need to have it looked at by third umpire... This says a lot where we stand today.

  • WillGee on July 20, 2009, 21:04 GMT

    yes, we lost, yes, there were fundamental errors, yes, the umpires made mistakes but I thought 3 big ones in 1 day a bit much. However, I don't think we fielded the team with the best chance to win. Siddle over Clark? Mitchell needs to hit the nets and correct his bowling action because I believe he has the best chance of troubling the England batsmen consistantly.

  • OliverWebber on July 20, 2009, 21:03 GMT

    It's a pity about the umpiring errors, which take a little bit of shine off what was a fantastic England victory. But good for Ricky (whom we Poms love to hate, of course) for not blaming the loss on the umpires. Watching Flintoff bowl this morning was awe inspiring, and a wonderfully fitting way for the man to play his last test at Lords. The last time I saw bowling like that was at the Oval in 2005, when he and Hoggard reduced Australia from about 300 for 2 to 360-odd all out in a spectacular display of accuracy and ferocity. The accuracy is what has been missing from England's bowling attack in recent years - and that's what I thought was going to be the difference between the sides, having seen Johnson et al in action against SA, but Freddie has shown the way for England, while Johnson has lost the way. The question for the England selectors is, does Onions get another chance, or is it time to bring Harmison back? And no complacency, please - 3-1 is still possible after all!!

  • Lahori_Munde on July 20, 2009, 20:59 GMT

    "..comes from his spirit of the game pronouncements, treatment of umpires and gritty on-field behaviour." Sums up Ponting as captain very well. "He is also Australia's most talented and recognisable player, But he has never earned (never will) the admiration that has so often been reserved for Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara".

  • jammydravid on July 20, 2009, 20:50 GMT

    Final verdict is Australians are bad losers - looking further when was the last time Aussies won the series from being 1-0 down???? somebody please hep me with my memory!!!

  • whoster on July 20, 2009, 20:34 GMT

    Yes, there's no doubt that England had the rub of the green regarding umpiring decisions; though, as in all sports, the luck goes with the team or individual that's playing well. Australia have every right to feel aggrieved with the controversial catches - one for each team, but only one referred to the third umpire. That is inconsistent. However, Australia have only themselves to blame. They were inept with bat (1st innings) and ball. They can argue all they want about decisions going against them, but the fact of the matter is that England outplayed them.

  • vkarthik_2009 on July 20, 2009, 19:44 GMT

    This is kinda stating the obvious. But fact is England bowling is better than Australia's both on paper and on the ground. To restore this imbalance Australian batsmen are under huge pressure to deliver every single time they bat. To do that they have to adopt a conservative approach every single time when they bat which is going against their nature. But they have no choice until they find 2 genuine strike bowlers under all conditions. Their helter-skelter appraoch in the first innings cost them the match.

  • harry93 on July 20, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    I know it is only natural for other countries to be bitter towards the Aussies, an inevitable consequence of almost two decades of defeat (and at times humiliation), but really Mr Monty what are you on about? I can only assume that your post was in response to an entirely different article to this one. Nowhere in this article is the Strauss catch even mentioned let alone it containing a quote from one of the Australian players bemoaning the decision. It seems to me, good sir, that you are the one with the short memory as you must have forgotten what the article was about before you started to type.

  • aizad on July 20, 2009, 19:34 GMT

    I agree that the major problem with Australia is their lack of skill. An opening pair that plays pace bowling away from the body, a middle order that is at sea against reverse swing and the off-spinners arm ball. They will lose ashes this time around!

  • krik8crazy on July 20, 2009, 19:34 GMT

    There is still lots of cricket left in this series. Aussies are capable of rebounding. Even in this match, Clarke and Haddin staged a splendid fightback. Hughes and Johnson need to step up. Should Hussey be batting above Clarke? Also, is he the right Hussey to be playing in the team?

  • Pageio on July 20, 2009, 18:44 GMT

    I think Valvolux is seriously underestimating England's attack as a unit. Anderson bowled well in the second innings despite his figures suggesting otherwise; and lest you forget that Swann took 4 wickets in the 2nd innings too (even if Hussey was unlucky - although if you want to go down that route, I would suggest he was out lbw a few overs previous). Australia were poor - you have to accept that fact, regardless of the poor decisions that they suffered. As Warne said, the side who plays better usually gets the rub of the green, and what comes around goes around - I am sure the Aussies have had their fair share of luck over the years. I assume that if you think Strauss is lying over the catch, Hauritz was lying too? I agree regarding the sub fielders though. Anyway - I certainly think the Aussies can come back, but I'd suggest that 'pumping England by an innings' is somewhat fanciful thinking unless Johnson can bowl like he did in South Africa or is replaced by Lee.

  • squidhead on July 20, 2009, 17:58 GMT

    Australia had no luck in this test but that's not why they lost. I hope Ponting meant what he said at the presentation - if he did maybe they will be focusing on themselves after all and not the stuff that's out of their hands. It's not like luck has never gone their way in the past, especially at home. These things happen. I do think Strauss needs to pull his head in a bit though - his waffling after the Cardiff episode wouldn't have fooled many, and all he needs to say regarding the catches is that the umpires are there to do a job as they see fit. We all know what we saw. Having said all that, I'm not convinced this THIS Aussie team has the time or confidence to bring it back even if things start going their way. Lee and/or Clark have to step up big time and some hard decisions have to be made.

  • GoodCricketWicket on July 20, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    Forget the umpiring. This game was won and lost because Australia's supposed best bowler, who was meant to destroy England this summer, has got the yips, and because they batted badly in their 1st innings.

    Yes, a couple of decisions went against them, but that can happen in any test. By that time, Australia were already chasing 522, and it's unlikely they would have reached it anyway. If they had been in a position to win the match at that point, then fair enough. They weren't.

  • mrmonty on July 20, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    Wow... The aussies have such a short term memory. Remember the last Sydney test with Indians!! Gilchrist claiming catch of Dravid that wasn't there...Clarke taking bump catch of Ganguly in the slips and Ponting (Yes, the SAINT Ponting) pointing finger at Ganguly before the umpires could do it...Another sainthood aspirant Symonds unmoved nicking to the keeper.

    Well, what can I say? What goes around, comes around. No matter who wins, the most pleasurable thing to watch is the Aussies lose.

  • fairplayer on July 20, 2009, 17:25 GMT

    IT was a good game and great come back by Aussies. Hats off to Clarke for the extraordinary innings. Nice to see Punter as a good boy - smiling and not complaining about the umpiring [no use of that, they already lost the match].

    I am happy to see people are worried about the catches now - as things are against Aussies :D Good to see when t hey are hurt. Cheers!

  • vkarthik_2009 on July 20, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    This is kinda stating the obvious. But fact is England bowling is better than Australia's both on paper and on the ground. To restore this imbalance Australian batsmen are under huge pressure to deliver every single time they bat. To do that they have to adopt a conservative approach every single time when they bat which is going against their nature. But they have no choice until they find 2 genuine strike bowlers under all conditions. Their helter-skelter appraoch in the first innings cost them the match.

  • sadasivam1983 on July 20, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Yeah agreed about umpiring errors, but these are part of the game and it has happend in favour of australia in the past, so now its their turn to suffer!!

  • WilliamFranklin on July 20, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    The Umpires have been sub-standard in both tests. Shame as some Australians will probably use this as an excuse for defeat in a game they were outplayed in.

  • valvolux on July 20, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    Too right they can regroup - it was a heck of a toss to win - both teams faced dramatically different batting conditions of which Australia had the worst. England are only Flintoff in the bowling department - if we see the slightest bit of sunlight whilst batting we will hammer the others till the cows come home. And great sportsmanship by Ricky not complaining about all the other things that went incredibly wrong for them. Strauss and the English team can learn a lot, who still feel that they must push the boundaries of sportsmanship to beat Australia. Surely if KP and Freddy play in the next test they will NEVER be allowed to leave the field as they constantly did throughout this match - and Strauss needs to own up that he was nowhere near taking that catch. Anyways - we win the coin toss at the next game, we'll pump England by an innings.

  • Geraldine on July 20, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    There were no doubt fundamental skill errors on the part of the Australia players, but I don't think the fundamental skill errors on the part of the umpires should go unnoticed. Four top order wickets given incorrectly out would ruin any team's chances. Having watched the Strauss catch several times, it is clear that unless Strauss has a 10-inch middle-finger, the ball hit the ground regardless of what he believes. His right hand was behind his left hand, not behind the ball, and the fingers of his left hand were just touching the edge of the ball and were not long enough and the wrong position to hold it up when it hit the ground. The anti-technology argument is sometimes true, but the video of the Strauss catch is definitely conclusive. Applying those arguments in defense of Strauss amounts to nothing more than a chewbacca defense. I think Ponting is right, probably in more ways than he realizes when he speaks of the fundamental skill errors that cost Australia the game.

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  • Geraldine on July 20, 2009, 16:12 GMT

    There were no doubt fundamental skill errors on the part of the Australia players, but I don't think the fundamental skill errors on the part of the umpires should go unnoticed. Four top order wickets given incorrectly out would ruin any team's chances. Having watched the Strauss catch several times, it is clear that unless Strauss has a 10-inch middle-finger, the ball hit the ground regardless of what he believes. His right hand was behind his left hand, not behind the ball, and the fingers of his left hand were just touching the edge of the ball and were not long enough and the wrong position to hold it up when it hit the ground. The anti-technology argument is sometimes true, but the video of the Strauss catch is definitely conclusive. Applying those arguments in defense of Strauss amounts to nothing more than a chewbacca defense. I think Ponting is right, probably in more ways than he realizes when he speaks of the fundamental skill errors that cost Australia the game.

  • valvolux on July 20, 2009, 16:22 GMT

    Too right they can regroup - it was a heck of a toss to win - both teams faced dramatically different batting conditions of which Australia had the worst. England are only Flintoff in the bowling department - if we see the slightest bit of sunlight whilst batting we will hammer the others till the cows come home. And great sportsmanship by Ricky not complaining about all the other things that went incredibly wrong for them. Strauss and the English team can learn a lot, who still feel that they must push the boundaries of sportsmanship to beat Australia. Surely if KP and Freddy play in the next test they will NEVER be allowed to leave the field as they constantly did throughout this match - and Strauss needs to own up that he was nowhere near taking that catch. Anyways - we win the coin toss at the next game, we'll pump England by an innings.

  • WilliamFranklin on July 20, 2009, 16:35 GMT

    The Umpires have been sub-standard in both tests. Shame as some Australians will probably use this as an excuse for defeat in a game they were outplayed in.

  • sadasivam1983 on July 20, 2009, 16:49 GMT

    Yeah agreed about umpiring errors, but these are part of the game and it has happend in favour of australia in the past, so now its their turn to suffer!!

  • vkarthik_2009 on July 20, 2009, 17:13 GMT

    This is kinda stating the obvious. But fact is England bowling is better than Australia's both on paper and on the ground. To restore this imbalance Australian batsmen are under huge pressure to deliver every single time they bat. To do that they have to adopt a conservative approach every single time when they bat which is going against their nature. But they have no choice until they find 2 genuine strike bowlers under all conditions. Their helter-skelter appraoch in the first innings cost them the match.

  • fairplayer on July 20, 2009, 17:25 GMT

    IT was a good game and great come back by Aussies. Hats off to Clarke for the extraordinary innings. Nice to see Punter as a good boy - smiling and not complaining about the umpiring [no use of that, they already lost the match].

    I am happy to see people are worried about the catches now - as things are against Aussies :D Good to see when t hey are hurt. Cheers!

  • mrmonty on July 20, 2009, 17:41 GMT

    Wow... The aussies have such a short term memory. Remember the last Sydney test with Indians!! Gilchrist claiming catch of Dravid that wasn't there...Clarke taking bump catch of Ganguly in the slips and Ponting (Yes, the SAINT Ponting) pointing finger at Ganguly before the umpires could do it...Another sainthood aspirant Symonds unmoved nicking to the keeper.

    Well, what can I say? What goes around, comes around. No matter who wins, the most pleasurable thing to watch is the Aussies lose.

  • GoodCricketWicket on July 20, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    Forget the umpiring. This game was won and lost because Australia's supposed best bowler, who was meant to destroy England this summer, has got the yips, and because they batted badly in their 1st innings.

    Yes, a couple of decisions went against them, but that can happen in any test. By that time, Australia were already chasing 522, and it's unlikely they would have reached it anyway. If they had been in a position to win the match at that point, then fair enough. They weren't.

  • squidhead on July 20, 2009, 17:58 GMT

    Australia had no luck in this test but that's not why they lost. I hope Ponting meant what he said at the presentation - if he did maybe they will be focusing on themselves after all and not the stuff that's out of their hands. It's not like luck has never gone their way in the past, especially at home. These things happen. I do think Strauss needs to pull his head in a bit though - his waffling after the Cardiff episode wouldn't have fooled many, and all he needs to say regarding the catches is that the umpires are there to do a job as they see fit. We all know what we saw. Having said all that, I'm not convinced this THIS Aussie team has the time or confidence to bring it back even if things start going their way. Lee and/or Clark have to step up big time and some hard decisions have to be made.

  • Pageio on July 20, 2009, 18:44 GMT

    I think Valvolux is seriously underestimating England's attack as a unit. Anderson bowled well in the second innings despite his figures suggesting otherwise; and lest you forget that Swann took 4 wickets in the 2nd innings too (even if Hussey was unlucky - although if you want to go down that route, I would suggest he was out lbw a few overs previous). Australia were poor - you have to accept that fact, regardless of the poor decisions that they suffered. As Warne said, the side who plays better usually gets the rub of the green, and what comes around goes around - I am sure the Aussies have had their fair share of luck over the years. I assume that if you think Strauss is lying over the catch, Hauritz was lying too? I agree regarding the sub fielders though. Anyway - I certainly think the Aussies can come back, but I'd suggest that 'pumping England by an innings' is somewhat fanciful thinking unless Johnson can bowl like he did in South Africa or is replaced by Lee.