England v Australia, 3rd Investec Test, Old Trafford, 1st day August 1, 2013

England endure middling first day

It would be wrong to presume England suffered too bad a day, they bowled well for much of it as they came up against a batting line-up less obliging and feeble
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There will be those who look at the scoreboard from the first day of this game and presume it was the moment the Investec Ashes series turned.

It is true that Australia, batting with a skill and resilience that has been absent from much of this series to date, took full advantage of winning the toss on a fine pitch and an increasingly clear blue sky. It is true that, on a surface which is expected to provide more assistance for spin bowlers as the game progresses, they have established a fine platform that could define the game.

And it true, too, that there was a time, with the sun beating down, Stuart Broad off the pitch for treatment on his calf and Graeme Swann taking painkillers for a sore throat, when the flaws in England's strategy were apparent and they appeared devoid of ideas in the field. A four-man attack has served England well, but it is an approach that will always leave them just a little vulnerable in case of injury, illness or on the flattest of pitches.

But it would be wrong to read too much into this scoreline and it would be wrong to presume England endured too bad a day. On an excellent batting surface, Australia's best batsman complied an impressive century and won good support from two colleagues. It was, by some distance, Australia's best day of the series to date but, as Tim Bresnan put it: "I'm sure we would be in a similar position if we'd won the toss and batted. They've won the toss on a nice wicket with the sun out."

England actually bowled pretty well for much of the day. Swann, gaining surprising turn on a first day wicket, probably bowled better than at any time in the series, while Bresnan beat the outside edge on several occasions and Broad again bowled well without fortune. England might claim, with more than a little justification, some misfortune with at least three umpiring decisions, though they would have to admit an enormous slice of fortune with the wicket of Usman Khawaja.

Most of all, England came up against a highly motivated Michael Clarke who provided a master-class in the art of batting against spin bowling. It is no disgrace to come second best in such circumstances.

But this was not, by any means, a perfect performance from England. In searching for swing, the seamers were guilty of overpitching to Chris Rogers, in particular, while James Anderson, by his own high standards, was not at his best and conceded an uncharacteristic 13 fours in his 21 overs. In all England conceded 40 boundaries in the day's 90 overs, more than would leave them comfortable.

It wasn't that they bowled worse than they had at Lord's or Old Trafford. It was more that they came up against a batting line-up less obliging and feeble. As a consequence, there were times they looked a little flat and a little toothless.

But that has happened before. Usually, in such circumstances, England "bowl dry" - their expression for cutting off the batsmen's run-scoring options - and wear their opposition down with persistence and pressure. It was just that on this occasion they lacked the consistency to limit the run-scoring or build any pressure in quite the way they would have liked.

Might a second spinner or extra seamer have helped? Of course. The extra bounce of Chris Tremlett or the variety of Monty Panesar might well have provided an edge the attack lacked through much of the day.

But England's policy of playing six specialist batsmen and Matt Prior at No. 7 has served them well and may yet prove vital in this game. Until they are able to select a Test quality allrounder - in due course, perhaps, Ben Stokes - they will have days when the tactic is slightly exposed.

Both sides suffered with poor umpiring decisions during the day. While some may claim that the errors evened themselves out, such a laissez-faire attitude does not sit comfortably in the modern, professional game. Not only can individual's careers be defined by such moments - Khawaja was the victim of a particularly feeble piece of work from a TV umpire whose reputation has been ruined by this series - but it brings too strong an element of chaos and chance into a meritocratic contest. A strong argument could be made to suggest the ICC should not be appointing neutral umpires, but simply the best.

But England would be wise not hide behind such issues. While they may well have a point in claiming that Steve Smith, who could have been out half-a-dozen times before he reached 30, should have been given out caught behind off Anderson when on 18 and the subsequent loss of a review saw them denied the chance to overrule a clear leg before decision that went against them off the bowling of Broad when Smith had 24, they might also reflect that they have had the best of such decisions in the series to date. The truth is that both sides have suffered through poor umpiring.

They would also be wise not to hide behind some problems with the footholds. Broad and Anderson, in particular, were inconvenienced by the crater created on the popping crease by their front feet. While the pitch is hard, the landing area is surprisingly soft and has crumbled under impact, leaving the ground uneven and uncomfortable

But these things happen. Coping with them is part of the lot of professional bowlers and, as Bresnan suggested, "you've just got to adjust. You've got to come in front of it or wide of it or whatever. It plays around with your rhythm a bit, but you have to use your experience and try not to land in that massive hole that someone else has created. It doesn't affect you that much."

The best players don't search for excuses, they search for answers. And, as was the case at times in India, there were times when Broad seemed a little more preoccupied with the former than the latter.

Bresnan was content with England's bowling performance and credited Clarke, in particular, for Australia's success. "He played well," Bresnan said. "He's left the ball well. He's identified that it's a batting day - it's not done a lot out there - and he's got stuck in. The conditions were pretty good for batting.

"But we're quite pleased with the way we stuck in there. It's not like we didn't create chances. We passed the outside edge frequently and, on another day, those might have been nicks. Had the luck been with us, the plays and misses that we did get could have taken the outside edge and they could be six down.

"We were expecting a fight. Every time you play against Australia you expect them to fight hard. Their backs are against the wall so why wouldn't they push even harder back."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 1, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    It's advantage Australia, no doubt. Can't really fault England's bowlers; Rogers, Clarke and Smith have just batted well. Had Panesar played in this game as well, as much as I'd love to see Swann and Panesar bowl in tandem I don't think it would have made much difference to the days play. Likewise, I can't imagine Tredwell doing any better than what Bresnan has done. Cook underuses his part-time bowlers and is not imaginative enough with his field settings - that's all I will say.

  • SirViv1973 on August 2, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    To have got ourselves back in to this we really needed early wickets this morning and to have been able to limit Aus to around 400 & that dosen't look like it's going to happen. It now looks likley that Aus will go on & get 450+ so the last 3 & half days will just be about us trying to save the game. A lot will depend on how we bat 1st time round. It does look as if it was a good toss to win there should be a lot more cloud around over the next few days which should give the quicker bowlers some assistance. However having said that it's difficult to see the pitch itself detioriating too much it's looks a belter. The other factor which could come in to it is weather the early forecast for today suggested we could loose a lot of the evening session with more showers over the weekend & at the moment Monday dosen't look too good at all.

  • ScottStevo on August 2, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @HZO, very true, I thought Australia have played well in patches throughout, but today was definitely our best day of what I would call 'proper' test cricket. As you suggest, it's a job half done. If we can manage to bat the first hour or so this morning well, the ball looked a little ragged after 10 overs and it should be decent conditions for batting and we've got no excuses for not posting a healthy 1st innings total. Be good to see Aus bowlers work with something defensible for a change. @landl47, I think you'll find that was Smith rather than Clarke...@mike_b, as shown in the SA series, when England's bowlers aren't taking wickets at will (which they generally do at home) their heads drop very quickly and with a few 50/50 decisions against them, they were losing it out there. That's why this morning is so important, as if we can keep them quiet for an hour, we could see them fall away and we could post a big one that will give us a great chance at this.

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 2, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai - I remember Clarke edged one and was given not out, went on to get 329*, but as for the rest of your comment, 10-15 bad decisions, all against IND in the one test, what an utter load of rubbish and just more sour grapes. I take it the officials were neutral, and they were. Just more empty rhetoric and vitriol. OZ definitely got the 'rub of the green' regarding decisions in that series, but isn't that the case for most home series? You were smashed 4-0 by ENG and then by AUS (both away series for IND), and it was due to poor batting and average bowling, pure & simple. Just like when IND returned the favour to AUS earlier this year.

  • on August 2, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    For England to realise where they stand ,it is essential that Australia beats them in this test . If Australia manage a first innings score of around 450 , we can be sure that England will be hard pressed to save this test . After all , Australia also needs a bit of uplift and nobody would mind them recover against England. Umpiring standard in this series has been pathetic with the likes of Dharmasena and few other substandard umpires doing the duty . Abort the system of neutral umpires and select only the best umpires to officiate in test matches.

  • dmat on August 2, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Didn't see the Smith decision but it just goes to show the system doesn't work. Same story with Broad - except that decision cost Aus the first test. One wonders, if you hit the ball to cover and are caught but the umpire doesn't give it out, do you stand your ground. If the bowling team have used up their reviews, they are stuffed. System is broke - ICC need to fix it quick.

  • mondotv on August 2, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    All this angst about DRS and it seems like it is a game of one-up manship between fans on who has had the worst of the umpiring decisions. Wow - lets just appreciate the skills on display out there and remind ourselves this is an Ashes test and it looks like being a cracking game whether we've had a few bad decisions or not. Whats done is done and no amount of post angst analysis will change it. Lets just encourage the players and the umpires to have a great test from now on and perhaps even make a little history.

  • mondotv on August 2, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    All this angst about DRS and it seems like it is a game of one-up manship between fans on who has had the worst of the umpiring decisions. Wow - lets just appreciate the skills on display out there and remind ourselves this is an Ashes test and it looks like being a cracking game whether we've had a few bad decisions or not. Whats done is done and no amount of post angst analysis will change it. Lets just encourage the players and the umpires to have a great test from now on and perhaps even make a little history.

  • humdrum on August 2, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Here's hoping that today is a DRS controversy free day. Am sick and tired of the howlers in this series, made to look even worse by human bungling.

  • Srini_Indian on August 2, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    @PrasPunter: I'd like to watch the reactions from Australia when you have 10-15 decisions going against you like it did against India in Sydney. Don't forget that Agar was out stumped early which the umpires haven't given out and the Trott lbw decision. Aus also got a fair share of decisions going for them. You have no reasons to complain let alone accepting gracefully.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 1, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    It's advantage Australia, no doubt. Can't really fault England's bowlers; Rogers, Clarke and Smith have just batted well. Had Panesar played in this game as well, as much as I'd love to see Swann and Panesar bowl in tandem I don't think it would have made much difference to the days play. Likewise, I can't imagine Tredwell doing any better than what Bresnan has done. Cook underuses his part-time bowlers and is not imaginative enough with his field settings - that's all I will say.

  • SirViv1973 on August 2, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    To have got ourselves back in to this we really needed early wickets this morning and to have been able to limit Aus to around 400 & that dosen't look like it's going to happen. It now looks likley that Aus will go on & get 450+ so the last 3 & half days will just be about us trying to save the game. A lot will depend on how we bat 1st time round. It does look as if it was a good toss to win there should be a lot more cloud around over the next few days which should give the quicker bowlers some assistance. However having said that it's difficult to see the pitch itself detioriating too much it's looks a belter. The other factor which could come in to it is weather the early forecast for today suggested we could loose a lot of the evening session with more showers over the weekend & at the moment Monday dosen't look too good at all.

  • ScottStevo on August 2, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @HZO, very true, I thought Australia have played well in patches throughout, but today was definitely our best day of what I would call 'proper' test cricket. As you suggest, it's a job half done. If we can manage to bat the first hour or so this morning well, the ball looked a little ragged after 10 overs and it should be decent conditions for batting and we've got no excuses for not posting a healthy 1st innings total. Be good to see Aus bowlers work with something defensible for a change. @landl47, I think you'll find that was Smith rather than Clarke...@mike_b, as shown in the SA series, when England's bowlers aren't taking wickets at will (which they generally do at home) their heads drop very quickly and with a few 50/50 decisions against them, they were losing it out there. That's why this morning is so important, as if we can keep them quiet for an hour, we could see them fall away and we could post a big one that will give us a great chance at this.

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 2, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    @Srini_Chennai - I remember Clarke edged one and was given not out, went on to get 329*, but as for the rest of your comment, 10-15 bad decisions, all against IND in the one test, what an utter load of rubbish and just more sour grapes. I take it the officials were neutral, and they were. Just more empty rhetoric and vitriol. OZ definitely got the 'rub of the green' regarding decisions in that series, but isn't that the case for most home series? You were smashed 4-0 by ENG and then by AUS (both away series for IND), and it was due to poor batting and average bowling, pure & simple. Just like when IND returned the favour to AUS earlier this year.

  • on August 2, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    For England to realise where they stand ,it is essential that Australia beats them in this test . If Australia manage a first innings score of around 450 , we can be sure that England will be hard pressed to save this test . After all , Australia also needs a bit of uplift and nobody would mind them recover against England. Umpiring standard in this series has been pathetic with the likes of Dharmasena and few other substandard umpires doing the duty . Abort the system of neutral umpires and select only the best umpires to officiate in test matches.

  • dmat on August 2, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Didn't see the Smith decision but it just goes to show the system doesn't work. Same story with Broad - except that decision cost Aus the first test. One wonders, if you hit the ball to cover and are caught but the umpire doesn't give it out, do you stand your ground. If the bowling team have used up their reviews, they are stuffed. System is broke - ICC need to fix it quick.

  • mondotv on August 2, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    All this angst about DRS and it seems like it is a game of one-up manship between fans on who has had the worst of the umpiring decisions. Wow - lets just appreciate the skills on display out there and remind ourselves this is an Ashes test and it looks like being a cracking game whether we've had a few bad decisions or not. Whats done is done and no amount of post angst analysis will change it. Lets just encourage the players and the umpires to have a great test from now on and perhaps even make a little history.

  • mondotv on August 2, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    All this angst about DRS and it seems like it is a game of one-up manship between fans on who has had the worst of the umpiring decisions. Wow - lets just appreciate the skills on display out there and remind ourselves this is an Ashes test and it looks like being a cracking game whether we've had a few bad decisions or not. Whats done is done and no amount of post angst analysis will change it. Lets just encourage the players and the umpires to have a great test from now on and perhaps even make a little history.

  • humdrum on August 2, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Here's hoping that today is a DRS controversy free day. Am sick and tired of the howlers in this series, made to look even worse by human bungling.

  • Srini_Indian on August 2, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    @PrasPunter: I'd like to watch the reactions from Australia when you have 10-15 decisions going against you like it did against India in Sydney. Don't forget that Agar was out stumped early which the umpires haven't given out and the Trott lbw decision. Aus also got a fair share of decisions going for them. You have no reasons to complain let alone accepting gracefully.

  • Surajrises on August 2, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    England missed the trick by not picking Pansy in the team. I believe he could have troubled Aussies and may be they could have been 5 down at least..

  • jmcilhinney on August 2, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    I can't agree with George regarding Smith being caught behind either. It's a mystery where the noise came from but I saw zero evidence that Smith hit the ball. He might count himself a bit lucky because, if I was umpiring, I'd probably have given him out based on what was a rather loud noise and, given Khawaja's dismissal, that probably would not have been overturned on review. I'm 100% sure that the correct decision was made though. I didn't see the second LBW but, while I think that he was probably out to Swann, the decision was close enough that I can't blame the umpire for giving it not out and it was correctly not overturned based on the current rules of DRS. I understand why England reviewed both times but c'est la vie. No complaints.

  • PrasPunter on August 2, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    @IndiaNeedsBowlers , just pointed out how high-handed your team has been when dealing with bad-umpiring. And just see how we Aussies have gracefully accepted bad decisions throughout test #1, which could well have been won by us, if not for some shockers from the umpires !! Thats because we respect the game and firmly believe that we are servants of the game and that the game is bigger than a team.

  • dunger.bob on August 2, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    It does look to be a great batting deck. .. very Aussie-like actually. I agree that England bowled pretty well all day. Bresnan impressed me. He's got a heart the size of England and plows in all day. .. He bowled a beautiful line to the right handers and looked the man most likely in the first two sessions. .. well, along with Swann .. Jimmy was slightly off colour but if I was a coach I would take his first over, put it on DVD, then tell the kids 'that's how to bowl the opening over in any game of cricket, at any level'. . He still bowled beautifully, but didn't have that extra 1% we're used to. .. Broad was good as well. He bowled with and pace. The fastest bowler out there but controlled. He was unlucky as well.

    Clarke moving to four AND having someone playing nearly as fluently as he usually does (big raps for Rogers here) was the difference today. .. Clarke loves to feel bat on ball and rotate the strike. .. give him that and he can bat quite well you know.

  • Nutcutlet on August 2, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    It might just be me, but I thought that there was nothing special about the England's opening bowlers on this day1, batsmen-friendly track. I am not stating that Jimmy & Broad bowled badly, just that they weren't hitting their straps, although Broad had Smith pinned lbw but the umpires' confidence & competence are shot these days. Late on Broad had to leave the field, almost limping off. If he has to be nursed though the rest of this innings then I begin to fear for Jimmy's workload & the possible impact on his fitness for the rest of the series. Bresnan proved to be the reliable trooper he is & bowled better (and drier) than anyone. It's a tad ironic that he just might have been 'rested' for Tremlett when Broad would have been the better option on this showing. Now that the nature of the pitch has been revealed, Panesar's absence is likely to be felt. From the Australian POV, Lyon is going to have a marathon bowl & Smith & Clarke will need to bowl plenty of overs too.

  • IndiaNeedsBowlers on August 2, 2013, 7:02 GMT

    @Bugsy, @PrasPunter - it is good to blame Indian team and BCCI for having the Umpires removed. But have you noticed that even with DRS, the Umpiring hasn't improved or for that matter Howlers haven't been avoided. This vindicates the stand of BCCI, DRS should not be used, till it becomes stable. Also ever wondered why most DRS related controversies happen in England? The simple thing that it is the home broadcaster which controls the technology for DRS, makes it non transparent, even if all the people in the world call it transparent. I have always believed that Technology should be used for better decision making, but I am quickly moving towards Ian Chappel's idea, of having it made available to the Umpires, rather than the players.

  • Dashgar on August 2, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    With a dry England summer leading to dry pitches it is possible that all 5 matches be won by the team batting first. Perhaps England's current lead is just a case of good fortune at the toss.

  • landl47 on August 2, 2013, 5:34 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha: I make it two decisions that have gone Swann's way- the Khawaja one today and the Rogers decision in the first innings of the second test. The other 13 wickets he has taken have been pretty straightforward, and he should have got Michael Clarke's wicket today, with Clarke right back on his stumps and almost half the ball hitting the wicket. The 'umpire's call' in that instance was wrong and the review, though correctly decided according to the rules, was unable to correct that howler.

    Swann has very comfortably outbowled the Boy Wonder in the first two tests. We'll see how Lyon gets on when England bats.

  • SamRoy on August 2, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    I completely agree with @funkybluesman. The noise came long after the ball passed the bat. To make a suggestion it was a wrong decision actually is biased reporting rather than wrong decision by umpire. Anyway, the lbw was plumb and Smith was lucky to escape that one as England didn't have any reviews

  • landl47 on August 2, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Since this was umpire Dharmasena's first day as TV umpire, I'm not sure how his reputation has been ruined by this series, unless the author meant that statement generically of the three men who have done the job so far. In fact, Dharmasena, who was an on-field umpire for the first two tests, has been the best of the umpires to date.

    England bowled fairly well, Australia batted very well and the pitch played well and the end result is that Australia is in a strong position. However, it's day one and it's pointless to start jumping to conclusions at this stage of the game. Let's just see what tomorrow brings.

  • PrasPunter on August 2, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    @Buggsy , spot-on - ask Ashoka De Silva, Daryl Harper, Steve Bucknor - the heads that rolled because of a certain team.

  • browners76 on August 2, 2013, 3:44 GMT

    With the amount of turn on offer why did root only bowl 2 overs? Why wasn't KP given a bowl either. Would have meant not overworking Anderson in particular. Cook really has a lot to learn it seems.

  • Dangertroy on August 2, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Its not like there was nothing in it for the bowlers. The ball was moving a bit in the air, Swann was getting turn and the ball was reversing. England bowled really well. But Australia also showed up to bat this time. Yes they had some luck, yes there were some bad decisions (in both directions), but this is more a story of Australia playing well than England playing poorly. One thing that did show though was Cook and doesn't have too many plans for what to do when things aren't going their way. The body language of the bowlers as the day wore on was very telling. Cook isn't the most imaginative captain, and it will be interesting to see what he does when he can't just throw the bowl to Jimmy or Swann to bowl them out. Its a bit like Ponting when he lost Warne and McGrath. It will be interesting to see if they come up with a Plan B overnight.

  • Buggsy on August 2, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    With so many shocking howlers in less than three Tests, the umpires are going to be under more pressure and scrutiny than any of the players until the end of the series. I don't think it's made any difference to the actual result thus far as Australia deserve the position their in, but the officials really need to get this sorted. If this was an Indian team they'd be calling for the umpire's sacking.

  • humdrum on August 2, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    When the English are under the hammer, they wilt all right.Just go back to the home series against SA, pretty much the same situation.the Aussies will be smacking their lips at today' prospects- flog a tired attack for at least two sessions. now we shall see what Andy Flower dreams up. when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Over to Andy.

  • Dashgar on August 2, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Don't think England have anything to complain about with the Smith caught behind referral. There was no hot spot and no noise until after the ball passed the bat. Also no deviation or change to the seam position after the ball beat the bat. Yes there was a noise but snicko ruled out that it was caused by bat on ball. Any decision to the contrary would have been as bad as the Khawaja dismissal. As for the LBW, it would have been gone, they have to cop that after chasing the 50-50 on the Swann ball to Smith. Smith was hardly gonna walk with Broad bowling!

  • Belltower on August 2, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    George, what are you going on about. Watch the caught behind again, no deflection, no hot spot only a sound. The sound was after the ball went past and then muysteriously when some dirt on the pitch moved. Have a look at it again, just because anderson was adamant doesnt mean it is out. The lbws were both marginal. One could have hit him outside off stump and it showed just in line, umpire thought it hit outside, could have gone either way, the lbw in normal motion looked high and turning too much, both marginal calls could have gone either way. You also put too much trust in hawkeye tracking ability, too many balls hit tghe stumps for my liking the angle of impact rarely seems to be taking into account, anderson and swan going wide on the crease hits them on leg and it is still clipping leg, absolute rubbish. I think it also has a trouble with point of impact, I have seen a number of them where it says it has hit the pad in a certain spot and it is not even close

  • H_Z_O on August 2, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    @ScottStevo wouldn't say we had a bad day either, just think Australia had a better one. Not for the first time either. I felt Australia had the better of day 1 up at Trent Bridge too. As a captain if you lose the toss and the opposition choose to bat, you'd be very happy with bowling them out for 215, regardless of conditions.

    Even losing those four late wickets you'd have still fancied a first innings lead. That it took the last wicket partnership to do it was unexpected, but you still got there.

    It really only started to go wrong for you up there on day 3, the Broad incident, the Bell innings. Even at tea on day 4 you were in the game at 111-2. Then you lost the plot and lost 63-4 in a session. Part of me hopes tomorrow goes the same way, but I'm not particularly confident it will.

    This is a good pitch and 300-3 is really only job half done. I would expect Australia to be targeting at least 550 from here. If they get there, or better, we'll finally see what England are made of.

  • funkybluesman on August 1, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    I don't get how anyone can suggest Smith should have been out Caught Behind there either. Clearly not-out. The only thing they had to suggest an edge was a noise, and clearly the replays showed the noise came well after the ball passed the bat. (The showed snicko later on and the big noise came when the ball was only just in front of the stumps, a good metre past the bat). That was actually a really good decision by the on-field umpire, not letting some stray noise that wasn't bat on ball fool him into giving the batsman out when he didn't hit it.

    Australia need to really build on this though. They need to bat most of day 2 also. Clarke needs to make this another big double, and have some more contribution from Warner and Haddin to come to push this total well past the 500 mark. Something more like 600 preferably.

    If they suddenly crumble on the second morning and are bowled out for under 400, it's well and truly advantage England. So there is still a lot of work to do.

  • mike_b on August 1, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    @ScottStevo - really well said. I agree with everything there. Anderson had something to say on the field to the umpire when the Smith caught behind was given not out. I have noticed that the English team have taken things quite badly (Trott lbw then following complaint) when decisions go against them. They have undoubtedly copped a couple of bad ones (Smith clearly should have been given lbw) BUT overall the rub of the green has also clearly gone their way - including the toss winning! We win a toss and it's being mentioned as a bit of luck. Deal wih it!

  • 2MikeGattings on August 1, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Finally found: one Australian cricket team, having gone missing the last 4 days at Lord's. It's a turning point of sorts. Will the series will hinge on it? Well, the bookies still have England 1/100 on favourites to retain the Ashes, let's put it that way.

  • gtr800 on August 1, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Bresnan showed at the end of the day that he is a sporting cricketer. Which I haven't actually seen from any other of the England cricketers of late, especially Swann. Maybe success has gone to his head? Its nice to see that Australia win the toss for once. Cook had the better of the conditions in both tests, batting second is ALWAYS difficult, I don't think there has been a pitch which has produced a result and has gone flatter over due course. The decisions have predominately gone against Australia, & they could use all the luck they can get against this good England side. England have bowled well, its not that flat a wicket. They have beaten the bat alot. I somehow think the multidimensional Aussie bowling attack will be able to get alot more out of the surface than the one dimensional England attack which relies heavily on Anderson & Swann.

  • ScottStevo on August 1, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    England didn't have a bad day, 300-3 is a totally reasonable test match score for a wicket like this. Finally, Australia have batted somewhat to their potential. Not sure how you figure Smith could've been out half a dozen times, or that he should've been out ct behind either - there was nothing on hotspot - and don't even try to talk to us about lbw being called not out on field only to see the ball not hitting the stump enough - how many of those have gone against Aus in referrals in this series already? And, well, not being able to review a bad decision because you don't have any referrals left - seriously, I think Aus have already suffered this too! How was it put to us, don't waste reviews unless it's a howler...Like Bresnan most of the English side, good hard working bowler who seemingly goes under the radar but gets a job done with minimal fuss and talks reason at the end of the day without and bluster or ado.

  • ScottStevo on August 1, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    England didn't have a bad day, 300-3 is a totally reasonable test match score for a wicket like this. Finally, Australia have batted somewhat to their potential. Not sure how you figure Smith could've been out half a dozen times, or that he should've been out ct behind either - there was nothing on hotspot - and don't even try to talk to us about lbw being called not out on field only to see the ball not hitting the stump enough - how many of those have gone against Aus in referrals in this series already? And, well, not being able to review a bad decision because you don't have any referrals left - seriously, I think Aus have already suffered this too! How was it put to us, don't waste reviews unless it's a howler...Like Bresnan most of the English side, good hard working bowler who seemingly goes under the radar but gets a job done with minimal fuss and talks reason at the end of the day without and bluster or ado.

  • gtr800 on August 1, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    Bresnan showed at the end of the day that he is a sporting cricketer. Which I haven't actually seen from any other of the England cricketers of late, especially Swann. Maybe success has gone to his head? Its nice to see that Australia win the toss for once. Cook had the better of the conditions in both tests, batting second is ALWAYS difficult, I don't think there has been a pitch which has produced a result and has gone flatter over due course. The decisions have predominately gone against Australia, & they could use all the luck they can get against this good England side. England have bowled well, its not that flat a wicket. They have beaten the bat alot. I somehow think the multidimensional Aussie bowling attack will be able to get alot more out of the surface than the one dimensional England attack which relies heavily on Anderson & Swann.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 1, 2013, 22:48 GMT

    Finally found: one Australian cricket team, having gone missing the last 4 days at Lord's. It's a turning point of sorts. Will the series will hinge on it? Well, the bookies still have England 1/100 on favourites to retain the Ashes, let's put it that way.

  • mike_b on August 1, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    @ScottStevo - really well said. I agree with everything there. Anderson had something to say on the field to the umpire when the Smith caught behind was given not out. I have noticed that the English team have taken things quite badly (Trott lbw then following complaint) when decisions go against them. They have undoubtedly copped a couple of bad ones (Smith clearly should have been given lbw) BUT overall the rub of the green has also clearly gone their way - including the toss winning! We win a toss and it's being mentioned as a bit of luck. Deal wih it!

  • funkybluesman on August 1, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    I don't get how anyone can suggest Smith should have been out Caught Behind there either. Clearly not-out. The only thing they had to suggest an edge was a noise, and clearly the replays showed the noise came well after the ball passed the bat. (The showed snicko later on and the big noise came when the ball was only just in front of the stumps, a good metre past the bat). That was actually a really good decision by the on-field umpire, not letting some stray noise that wasn't bat on ball fool him into giving the batsman out when he didn't hit it.

    Australia need to really build on this though. They need to bat most of day 2 also. Clarke needs to make this another big double, and have some more contribution from Warner and Haddin to come to push this total well past the 500 mark. Something more like 600 preferably.

    If they suddenly crumble on the second morning and are bowled out for under 400, it's well and truly advantage England. So there is still a lot of work to do.

  • H_Z_O on August 2, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    @ScottStevo wouldn't say we had a bad day either, just think Australia had a better one. Not for the first time either. I felt Australia had the better of day 1 up at Trent Bridge too. As a captain if you lose the toss and the opposition choose to bat, you'd be very happy with bowling them out for 215, regardless of conditions.

    Even losing those four late wickets you'd have still fancied a first innings lead. That it took the last wicket partnership to do it was unexpected, but you still got there.

    It really only started to go wrong for you up there on day 3, the Broad incident, the Bell innings. Even at tea on day 4 you were in the game at 111-2. Then you lost the plot and lost 63-4 in a session. Part of me hopes tomorrow goes the same way, but I'm not particularly confident it will.

    This is a good pitch and 300-3 is really only job half done. I would expect Australia to be targeting at least 550 from here. If they get there, or better, we'll finally see what England are made of.

  • Belltower on August 2, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    George, what are you going on about. Watch the caught behind again, no deflection, no hot spot only a sound. The sound was after the ball went past and then muysteriously when some dirt on the pitch moved. Have a look at it again, just because anderson was adamant doesnt mean it is out. The lbws were both marginal. One could have hit him outside off stump and it showed just in line, umpire thought it hit outside, could have gone either way, the lbw in normal motion looked high and turning too much, both marginal calls could have gone either way. You also put too much trust in hawkeye tracking ability, too many balls hit tghe stumps for my liking the angle of impact rarely seems to be taking into account, anderson and swan going wide on the crease hits them on leg and it is still clipping leg, absolute rubbish. I think it also has a trouble with point of impact, I have seen a number of them where it says it has hit the pad in a certain spot and it is not even close

  • Dashgar on August 2, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Don't think England have anything to complain about with the Smith caught behind referral. There was no hot spot and no noise until after the ball passed the bat. Also no deviation or change to the seam position after the ball beat the bat. Yes there was a noise but snicko ruled out that it was caused by bat on ball. Any decision to the contrary would have been as bad as the Khawaja dismissal. As for the LBW, it would have been gone, they have to cop that after chasing the 50-50 on the Swann ball to Smith. Smith was hardly gonna walk with Broad bowling!

  • humdrum on August 2, 2013, 1:32 GMT

    When the English are under the hammer, they wilt all right.Just go back to the home series against SA, pretty much the same situation.the Aussies will be smacking their lips at today' prospects- flog a tired attack for at least two sessions. now we shall see what Andy Flower dreams up. when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Over to Andy.

  • Buggsy on August 2, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    With so many shocking howlers in less than three Tests, the umpires are going to be under more pressure and scrutiny than any of the players until the end of the series. I don't think it's made any difference to the actual result thus far as Australia deserve the position their in, but the officials really need to get this sorted. If this was an Indian team they'd be calling for the umpire's sacking.