Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day November 29, 2010

'The Gabbatoir' no more

England fear nothing about the challenge that awaits them on this tour. The only way they'll be beaten is on the field, not in the head
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Australia's formidable unbeaten run at the Gabba remains intact for another year, but that was one of just a handful of records that withstood England's flood of runs on the final day of the Brisbane Test. With Alastair Cook eclipsing Bradman as the highest individual scorer on the ground, and Australia's own triple-century stand being knocked off its perch by Cook's 329-run partnership with Jonathan Trott, England secured themselves a moral victory as invaluable, if not more so, than their last-ditch escape at Cardiff in 2009.

Cardiff was uplifting for England, without a shadow of a doubt, but the game still finished with questions in almost every department. The spinners had been ineffective, Andrew Flintoff's knee was a cause for concern, and while the elation of their last-ditch let-off was real, it could not disguise the fact that England's tenth-wicket pairing had been forced to save the day at a venue where Australia had themselves racked up 674 for 6, the highest total in post-war Ashes history.

Sixteen months later, and the scenario is very different. After conceding a scarcely credible 517 for 1 in the third innings of the match, Australia's immediate reaction to a day of deep humiliation was to call not one, but two fast bowlers into their squad for Adelaide. It was an instant admission that, for all the jubilation that surrounded Peter Siddle's hat-trick on an emotionally charged first afternoon, there was only one team in this match that ever looked capable of claiming 20 wickets.

"One for 500 is a pretty demanding scorecard," admitted Ricky Ponting at the close. "I felt I exhausted all options in terms of trying different things with the field, but we couldn't break their top three or four players. I thought they played exceptionally well against the new ball, and it was hard work for our boys. If we get another flat wicket in Adelaide, we've got to make sure we're a whole lot better than we were in this game."

Had this match been taking place in Ahmedabad or Lahore, the focus at the end would surely have been on the pitch - a dreadful slab of tarmac that got flatter as the match wore on, and later caused Ponting to remark that he'd never known it slower. And while inquests are to be encouraged, because such benign surfaces are a blight on Test cricket as a whole, the immense scale of England's achievement cannot be overlooked. This is the Ashes, the longest and most storied Test series in the game, and right at this moment, they're writing a major chapter.

England's captain, Andrew Strauss, was his usual cautious self after the match, as he sidestepped leading questions about "all this momentum chat", and settled for reiterating the deep well of confidence within the squad. But the contrast between the frazzled emotions of day one and the insolent contentment of their batting on the final day could scarcely have been more stark.

"At the end of day three it wasn't looking good, so to come back and draw [gives us] a lot of belief we can go on and win the series from here," said Strauss. "We'll have a spring in our step going to Adelaide, but we have to transfer that to the pitch. It's all very well strutting about in the hotel lobby feeling good about yourself. You need to make sure that turns into runs and wickets."

There's no doubt, however, that the Gabba experience will have emboldened the squad far more than he was letting on. Ashes openers are contests in which England have habitually been slaughtered. In 11 series spanning the past 21 years, they've succumbed to eight thumping defeats and two losing draws, and only once in that time, at home in 1997, did they manage to buck the trend with an astonishingly unlikely win. The team in those days was too fragmented to capitalise, however, and Australia roared back with three wins in the next four games.

Do the Australians of 2010 possess the necessary bouncebackability? It's hard to see how they can cultivate a winning feeling overnight, especially against an England side who've settled into their Australia tour with such ease that they were able to treat the last day of the Test match as an extension of their warm-up itinerary. After two wins and an impressive draw at Perth, Adelaide and Hobart, they were able to batter their Test opponents against an echoingly empty backdrop, before electing to have a two-hour bowling work-out, just to see what they could do. Not a whole lot, as it happens, but at such a late stage of a previously tumultuous game, that wasn't really the issue anymore.

What was far more relevant was the quashing of preconceptions, particularly those that abounded about the Gabba, a venue whose reputation had been built up so ferociously before a ball had been bowled, England might have been forgiven for thinking they were playing the Test in a mediaeval dungeon, with buckets of burning oil being poured down from the stands for good measure.

For the first day in particular, that really did seem the case, and the wall of sound that greeted Strauss's duck was incredible. But the final day echoed only to the chants of the Barmy Army, with English fans making up more than 80% of a paltry 7088 crowd. "I forgot where I was at one stage today, it was like being back at The Oval," said Ponting. He said it with a smile, but the grimace was hard to suppress. With the Melbourne and Sydney Tests sure to be similarly colonised, regardless of the weakness of the pound, this was Australia's banker venue, as it always has been. And between the performance and the support, they blew it.

Whatever happens in the remainder of the series, England will not be as racked with anxiety as they were in the opening stages of this match, a fact that Cook - whose first-innings 67 was arguably the most crucial of his twin contributions - was keen to point out. "The night before I was probably the most nervous I've been," he said. "The drive into the ground, the hype, the national anthems… it's a very nerve-racking time. I was very disappointed after getting out for 67, and I was ultra-determined to make it count if I got in again. But getting through the first couple of hours gave me a lot of confidence because I hadn't done it in an Ashes series."

On Tuesday the team relocate to Adelaide, a ground that harbours arguably the most painful Ashes memories of England's recent past, following the nature of their final-day capitulation back in 2006. As it happens, the fifth day at the Gabba had dawned with one or two references to that match, seeing as the lead at the start of play had been 88 with nine wickets standing, compared to the 97 and nine that ebbed away four years ago.

But the comparisons were shelved almost before they were raised. England fear nothing about the challenge that awaits them on this tour. The only way they'll be beaten is on the field, not in the head.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on December 1, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    @ Hoover - you just took up Mervo's bait too! @ Legster - wicked idea re: Uncovered pitches. Most batsmen playing at the moment do not have the skills to cope - but I like the idea. @ vichan - another one on Mervo's hook! @LourensGrobbelaar - LOL too! Didn't mention Joyce, McCague, Hollioake brothers or Eion Morgan though! @ Andrew Moreton - another on the hook! Little fishys - I loved the comments about Ozzys being of Brittish origins. If we go back far enough we could say we are all of African origins!!!! LOL!!!!!

  • Meety on December 1, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    @ brucief1980 - mate you seem to be the one with the chip on the shoulder, bigot? Narrow-minded? England has a long history of players from other countries playing Test & ODIs for them. The big difference between the "Oz" players you mentioned & the likes of Trott, Pietersen, Morgan & Joyce is that the Oz players have all played ALL their First class cricket in Oz, (Wessells being the only exception & at the time could not play for Sth Africa as they were banned!) Strauss was fairly young when he went to England - so its only worth mentioning to sledge people for a reaction. Well matey Mervo certainly got you on the hook - LOL! @ Clyde - please bear in mind that Brisbane (& the East Coast of Oz), is undergoing a once in forty year weather event. It has rained this much since 1974. I haven't put a toe in my swimming pool - last 2 years I start in September. So its cool & wet - not typical conditions.

  • __PK on November 30, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    Only by closing one eye can you get your facts 100% right and your conclusions so wrong. "there was only one team in this match that ever looked capable of claiming 20 wickets"? Oddly enough, that was NOT the team who were rolled for 260. As for comparing the Gabba to Ahmedabad or Lahore, don't forget that 15 wickets fell in the first 5 sessions, and the Gabba doesn't have the track record of Ahmedabad or Lahore. And the final day crowd? This match was very well supported for the first four days, with the new grandstands full to the brim. However, by the end of day four, when only one side was trying to win the game, the locals couldn't see the point of watching 1980's style English batting. I suspect the Barmy Army would have done the same if they hadn't already paid for their airfares, tickets and budgeted for their grog.

  • on November 30, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    With the Aussies under pressure, especially from some of their crazily overreacting media, their selectors look bemused and unsure of what to do. Surely Clarke should be rested. If he was fit he would have caught that slip catch off Trott, at the second attempt at least - he didn't even try. Out of loyalty the selectors appear keen to give North some more opportunities. England won't mind that. It is ludicrous that David Hussey is ignored. Ok, he's 33, but he's the finished article (first class career average 55). Again, England will be happy he's not there.

  • on November 30, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    May be the Indians have passed on some tips to the curator at GABBA, LOL. Hahaha its only in India where flat batting dust bowls are prepared. In tests 700+ totals are very normal and in ODIs it seems even 400+ is not a safe total. Ridiculous. Someone save GABBA and WACA before they become one Calcutta or Chennai and all bowlers would score double century in their bowling :P

  • on November 30, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    @SurajBulusu - "where have wicket-taking bowlers gone?" .. try n u'll find them buried deep under the same pitches they r bowling on these days .. only its not them that r bowling, only their lookalike mannequinns.

    So, I guess no aussie n english would henceforth moan about the sub-continental "flat-tracks" if they have any shame. Also, I would insist Indian curators make turning dust-bowls instead of flat tracks. Its as much a real test of batting as on green-tops or bouncier ones.

    GO INDIA .. u r the No.1 now .. undisputed, if I may add.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 30, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    On pitches like these you can really see the advatages of having either a leggie or Waqar type quick who does not need the wicket to help him. England may miss Adil Rashid before the tour is up- though no Warne I heard him referred to as the most talented player in England recently. Swann's spin may not be enough until we head back east.

  • mmeeran on November 30, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    I am very confused about Mitchel Johnson selection, he is such a good all rounder, he has clinched many thriller for Kangaroos. Failing in a match or two is not bad, bowlers like Wasim Akram & Curtly Ambrose were faced those time. Australia should immediately address into this.

  • on November 30, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    glad to see there's a lot more common sense in the reader comments than the article itself. yep, england batted well on days 4-5, but didn't do great one days 1-3. the aussies proved it was an easy wicket by storming to 1-100 odd. not saying they were guaranteed to get to 1-500, and that score will probably never again be achieved. but don't forget how many dropped catches there were in england's second innings, and the number of times the ball lobbed up and fell in between fielders - they benefited from a lot of luck, and a lot of poor play from the aussies. now i'm thinking probably a 1-0 result is the most likely for this series - haven't decided who the winner will be.

    only one more thing i will say - thank god it wasn't a timeless test, or we'd still be in brizzie on boxing day!

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 30, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Yes, if this pitch was given out to play in India, Ponting would have said what not. The Auzee media would have made enough fun of the pitch. Now that its in Auzee, no problems whatsoever. The old saying of A Captian is only as good as the Team" to - A TEAM IS ONLY AS GOOD AS IT'S CAPTIAN. And Ponting has started drowning the Team and before he retire he will succeed in the mission.

  • Meety on December 1, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    @ Hoover - you just took up Mervo's bait too! @ Legster - wicked idea re: Uncovered pitches. Most batsmen playing at the moment do not have the skills to cope - but I like the idea. @ vichan - another one on Mervo's hook! @LourensGrobbelaar - LOL too! Didn't mention Joyce, McCague, Hollioake brothers or Eion Morgan though! @ Andrew Moreton - another on the hook! Little fishys - I loved the comments about Ozzys being of Brittish origins. If we go back far enough we could say we are all of African origins!!!! LOL!!!!!

  • Meety on December 1, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    @ brucief1980 - mate you seem to be the one with the chip on the shoulder, bigot? Narrow-minded? England has a long history of players from other countries playing Test & ODIs for them. The big difference between the "Oz" players you mentioned & the likes of Trott, Pietersen, Morgan & Joyce is that the Oz players have all played ALL their First class cricket in Oz, (Wessells being the only exception & at the time could not play for Sth Africa as they were banned!) Strauss was fairly young when he went to England - so its only worth mentioning to sledge people for a reaction. Well matey Mervo certainly got you on the hook - LOL! @ Clyde - please bear in mind that Brisbane (& the East Coast of Oz), is undergoing a once in forty year weather event. It has rained this much since 1974. I haven't put a toe in my swimming pool - last 2 years I start in September. So its cool & wet - not typical conditions.

  • __PK on November 30, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    Only by closing one eye can you get your facts 100% right and your conclusions so wrong. "there was only one team in this match that ever looked capable of claiming 20 wickets"? Oddly enough, that was NOT the team who were rolled for 260. As for comparing the Gabba to Ahmedabad or Lahore, don't forget that 15 wickets fell in the first 5 sessions, and the Gabba doesn't have the track record of Ahmedabad or Lahore. And the final day crowd? This match was very well supported for the first four days, with the new grandstands full to the brim. However, by the end of day four, when only one side was trying to win the game, the locals couldn't see the point of watching 1980's style English batting. I suspect the Barmy Army would have done the same if they hadn't already paid for their airfares, tickets and budgeted for their grog.

  • on November 30, 2010, 20:36 GMT

    With the Aussies under pressure, especially from some of their crazily overreacting media, their selectors look bemused and unsure of what to do. Surely Clarke should be rested. If he was fit he would have caught that slip catch off Trott, at the second attempt at least - he didn't even try. Out of loyalty the selectors appear keen to give North some more opportunities. England won't mind that. It is ludicrous that David Hussey is ignored. Ok, he's 33, but he's the finished article (first class career average 55). Again, England will be happy he's not there.

  • on November 30, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    May be the Indians have passed on some tips to the curator at GABBA, LOL. Hahaha its only in India where flat batting dust bowls are prepared. In tests 700+ totals are very normal and in ODIs it seems even 400+ is not a safe total. Ridiculous. Someone save GABBA and WACA before they become one Calcutta or Chennai and all bowlers would score double century in their bowling :P

  • on November 30, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    @SurajBulusu - "where have wicket-taking bowlers gone?" .. try n u'll find them buried deep under the same pitches they r bowling on these days .. only its not them that r bowling, only their lookalike mannequinns.

    So, I guess no aussie n english would henceforth moan about the sub-continental "flat-tracks" if they have any shame. Also, I would insist Indian curators make turning dust-bowls instead of flat tracks. Its as much a real test of batting as on green-tops or bouncier ones.

    GO INDIA .. u r the No.1 now .. undisputed, if I may add.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 30, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    On pitches like these you can really see the advatages of having either a leggie or Waqar type quick who does not need the wicket to help him. England may miss Adil Rashid before the tour is up- though no Warne I heard him referred to as the most talented player in England recently. Swann's spin may not be enough until we head back east.

  • mmeeran on November 30, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    I am very confused about Mitchel Johnson selection, he is such a good all rounder, he has clinched many thriller for Kangaroos. Failing in a match or two is not bad, bowlers like Wasim Akram & Curtly Ambrose were faced those time. Australia should immediately address into this.

  • on November 30, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    glad to see there's a lot more common sense in the reader comments than the article itself. yep, england batted well on days 4-5, but didn't do great one days 1-3. the aussies proved it was an easy wicket by storming to 1-100 odd. not saying they were guaranteed to get to 1-500, and that score will probably never again be achieved. but don't forget how many dropped catches there were in england's second innings, and the number of times the ball lobbed up and fell in between fielders - they benefited from a lot of luck, and a lot of poor play from the aussies. now i'm thinking probably a 1-0 result is the most likely for this series - haven't decided who the winner will be.

    only one more thing i will say - thank god it wasn't a timeless test, or we'd still be in brizzie on boxing day!

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 30, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    Yes, if this pitch was given out to play in India, Ponting would have said what not. The Auzee media would have made enough fun of the pitch. Now that its in Auzee, no problems whatsoever. The old saying of A Captian is only as good as the Team" to - A TEAM IS ONLY AS GOOD AS IT'S CAPTIAN. And Ponting has started drowning the Team and before he retire he will succeed in the mission.

  • on November 30, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    Are you serious when you said it was only England which looked like take 20 wickets? Really dude you need to take a look at the fourth innings. AGAIN!

    If England really was capable of taking those wickets, declaration would have come have come lot early in the final day.

  • on November 30, 2010, 7:33 GMT

    Just 1 drawn match and people are doubting the capabilities of Australian & England Bowlers and the pitch off course. Why are you forgetting that on the same pitch England was bowled out for 260 & Australia was once 143-5 in the first innings. It's just that both teams batted amazingly well which can happen in Test Cricket. Why to make an issue out of it. We all want to see competitive cricket and certainly when its ashes interest becomes double but once a while we must accept the drawn test also.

  • Yakka-04 on November 30, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    It was a bad performance bowling wise by the aussies but at the end of the day it was a draw and Australia did not loose. Everybody is treating this as an England victory and Australian's loss. Cook and co played well but they were not trying to win the game but draw it. 1 for 500 is actually not as bad as it sounds (from the bowlers point of view) when all they are after is trying to draw the game. England can only boast like they are right now if they would have come back and won the game not draw it. After so long of domination, it is expected for the aussies to have a downer but beware england THE AUSSIES ARE HURTING.

  • A..B.. on November 30, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    There is a great deal being made of England's chances this Ashes. While there may be some truth to that, the statement, "This is the Ashes, the longest and most storied Test series in the game, and right at this moment, they're writing a major chapter." is a bit of a stretch. Batting on a highway to score 500 runs is in no way historic. Nor is this a great rearguard. Unfortunately, this Ashes is between 2 middling teams and that makes it all the more laughable when writers (especially on the English side) try to sell it a great deal. Here's hoping for a nail-biting finish at least at Perth.

  • andrew-schulz on November 30, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    Only England looked like taking 20 wickets, says this writer. Folks, this is the same bloke who said half way through the Adelaide Test on the last tour that Australia were in immense trouble. He also bragged about England's chances of winning the champions trophy semi-final just over a year ago at the innings break. A 5-0 Test series result and a smashing 9-wicket defeat later, he should be more cautious. But he's not alone. David 'we flippin murded them' Lloyd, and Ian 'Let Australia think they are favourites, they're not in my book' Botham (before the above 5-0 thrashing) have both stuck their necks out. Botham is becoming less and less relevant. 'It's anyone's game', he says when England are all out for 302 in reply to India's 453 at Mohali. 'England is bossing this game' he says during the fourth ODI before Australia stroll to a massive win. So now media on both sides think England will win, and so do the bookies. They are all going to look foolish.

  • IPLisdull on November 30, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    i must have missed the last session where england claimed the last 9 australian wickets, because i am sure when i turned the tv off it was a 0-0 draw and honours were shared (i think aus probably actually won 3 out of the 5 days to be honest). I will try and find the highlights so i can get as carried away as everyone else.

  • stormy16 on November 30, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    I wander on what basis its claimed only one team could get 20 wickets to win the game where both teams got 11 wickets (yes Eng also only got 11 wickets!!). Sure Eng had its day in the sun on a flat track and all credit for fighting it out for a draw!! The only team that really could have won this test was Aus who took a huge first innings lead. Granted Eng did well but it was a fight to avoid loosing and at no point in the test were Aus in a loosing position. Even Aus seems to have forgotten this with all the frenzy around Eng drawing a test on a flat track.

  • nkjakajack on November 30, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    I think all the talk of england being stronger mentally is overhyped. In my view, it comes down to the quality of players, Mcgrath and Warne would have run through this england side too without a question. Also, Ponting is the most defensive Australian captain ever due to wich they have failed to close numerous matches even from position of strength, laxman-ishant and duminy-steyn partnesrships being the prime examples.

  • beeran on November 30, 2010, 4:46 GMT

    why no complaints against the curator?probably the pitch was prepared by the soil brought from india...!?

  • SultanBaba on November 30, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    What are all these fuzzes and buzzes! Nothing to be so proud of, England. The fact that they take so much joy from a draw on a lifeless pitch is in itself a shame! Australia will come back hard, no doubt about that. So, be ready, England.

  • on November 30, 2010, 3:29 GMT

    It's not about the result, its the humiliation that comes with facing down a score of 517-1. Personally, I hope the whole Barmy Army go out and get T-shirts made. I'm going to! The once mightly Australians were just destroyed. Their only wicket was a throwaway to a part time spinner. I felt embarrassed for them, and that, more than the result is what will hurt.

  • MartoAus on November 30, 2010, 2:33 GMT

    What garbage. England did not come close to wining, the 'Gabbatoir' still stands. And how do you come to the conclusion that only one team can take 20 wickets? Were we watching the same Test match where both teams took 11 wickets each? Australia had a first inns lead in excess of 200 and you can read as much into 1/107 as you can into 1/517 on a road like this - bugger all. Based on those facts, neither AUS or ENG have any right to claim moral victory at this point. Perhaps the small Day-5 crowd showed the fact that the match was heading towards a boring, predicable draw rather than a hard-fought one.

  • nzcricket174 on November 30, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    I enjoy reading your bias articles Andrew. Did you not notice the pitch was different than it usually is? Did you even take that into account?

  • Valerio_DiBattista on November 30, 2010, 0:56 GMT

    A disgraceful featherbed of a wicket. An utter waste of everyone's time and such a disappointment as the opening instalment of an Ashes series. The last 2 days of cricket were as bad as I can ever recall. These pitches that are designed to last 5 days for commercial reasons are killing the game. This is not Test cricket. I agree completely with Laksh5153. Where is the criticism in the media of the curator? We all know the media are all cheerleaders for the games commercial interests, but how ridiculous is it going to get. And what about Strauss and Ponting, both saying it was an exciting game. Are they kidding? I would not like to sit through a dull match for these guys. A dark period for Test cricket continues and is getting deeper.

  • OutdoorMiner on November 30, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    @GlinnMgraw exactly. England lost 3 of the 5 days. Everyone is acting like Australia have already lost the ashes. The pitch was as flat, Ponting even managed to play some pull shots again.

  • valvolux on November 30, 2010, 0:01 GMT

    you have to be kidding me miller - you english reporters much watch a differnt match. that last innings australia wouldve belted a run a ball 800 given the time. a couple of changes if the aussie selectors finally grow some balls, and the aussie bowlers are a lot more capable of taking wickets than the english. this is out and out the worst english attack on australian soil since Nasser's days. this was the only wicket finna dn anderson are going to have any sort of luck - as it does not swing anywhere else. australia 3-0.

  • Humdingers on November 29, 2010, 23:01 GMT

    Strauss has batted Ponting back into form... watch out for a BIG score from him in Adelaide. England's bowlers are not much better than the current Aussie attack. Anderson can't swing it here. Broad is too over hyped. Swan is under pressure. Interesting contest that's for sure! A draw or an Aussie victory looks most likely.

  • CustomKid on November 29, 2010, 22:56 GMT

    @seniorgators you are spot on with your statement. The Aussies routed england for 260 in a day - England bowled well without luck in helpful conditions and still leaked 480 once the pitch became batsman friendly over two days. The rest is history with track becoming a billiard table from the end of day 3. Even last night the run rate was 4.5 and 1 down for 107.

    These are two very average attacks in conditions that don't assist bowlers. They don't posses anyone who can produce a match winning spell on a flat deck someone like Steyn for example. That is why they are ranked 4 and 5. The team that loses this series will be the one who loses concerntration at some stage basically handling the oppostion the win.

    The hilarious part is England talk about wanting to be the number 1 side in the world. With Broad, Anderson, and Swan (who's only beats up on minos) leading their attack, it make these comments instant Darwinian award winners.

  • redneck on November 29, 2010, 22:48 GMT

    miller what game were you watching? the poms took the same amount of wickets the aussies did! the pitch became flat from day 3 and its fair to say both teams bowlers went missing when that happened! its not like australia had to fight tooth and nail for a draw, ponting played like it was a training drill in the 4th. this is just like the poms south african tour last year they draw and go on like they won something! i agree with the guy on facebook about the Proteas knowing how to make a test pitch, the gabba was meant to be the most even between bat and ball in our country!? god knows how lifeless the rest will be???

  • Meety on November 29, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    I am looking forard to Adelaide - as I believe this pitch will not be as affected by rain as the Gabba, SCG & MCG. This pitch should be hard & fast - & WILL deteriorate on Day 4 & 5. The toss is crucial here.

  • Meety on November 29, 2010, 22:38 GMT

    @seniorgators - very true. Full credit to England for 1/517 - they could of scored 1000, but they also scored the lowest score of the match. Clearly the Pitch had 2 personalities. On the first 2 days we had a pitch that saw 15 wickets fall - which is very Gabba like. Day 3 onwards (after the opening 10 overs), the pitch turned into a batsmens paradise. Oz rattled along at over 4 an over in the 4th innings & I think could of scored 300+ on the 6th day alone. My big gripe with Oz has been the fielding - it has been in decline since Waughs days as captain. I am a Pup fan - but he is not a slips fielder, & should be removed from that role immediately. The best slippers are Punter, Watson & Katich - but Katich is the only Short Leg fielder. Huss is great in the gully. Sack the Yank - Young as fielding coach & bring in Mark Waugh. @ Laksh5153 - the pitch is normally a "result strip". Problem was the curator had no prep time due to it raining almost everyday since August!!!!!!!!!!

  • leggetinoz on November 29, 2010, 21:29 GMT

    Australia can not in their right mind go into Adelaide with the same bowlers. They need to drop johnson (for bollinger) and i would even go as far to try and get Harris in (harsh as it seems, i would replace him for Siddle) as long as he is fit.

    And for everyone, us aussies know that it will be difficult to win as consistently as we did without Warne, McGrath and co. We accepted that as soon as they retired, we don't need reminding that they are not there.

    As for Laksh5153, we are not making a big deal about the pitch as that would distract from the bigger picture which was that the bowlers struggled to get the basics right, it probably would not matter if it had branches on it if Mitchell johnson is sending them so wide that the only people who need to worry is the square leg umpire.

    I don't think the English Bowlers were much better however, they were a little bit better but were still dealt with ease as soon as Katich got out.

  • on November 29, 2010, 21:28 GMT

    I really am getting entirely fed up of these absolutely insanely biased articles which solely serve the purpose of glorifying the English team. Yes-they got 500-1, a great achievement by anyone's books. But "only one team looked capable of taking 20 wickets" ABSOLUTE RUBBISH. Remember only one team took 10 wickets in an innings properly without having to buy some and let the other get to 500. Can we have some neutral, unbiased fair writing which reflect the quality of the match, not the brilliance of England triumphing over the evil of the Australian scheming evil cricket team which is actually pathetic?

  • on November 29, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Agree with seniorgators and Something_Witty. Where have the wicket taking bowlers gone? Every test playing nation is facing the same problem these days and hence no team is actually dominating the cricket world. If flat pitches are the only reason, ICC and all its members should do something about it if they are serious about saving Test Cricket. Cricket fans not only like to see the batsmen score runs but also like to see the bowlers pose questions to the batsmen and take wickets. Such high scoring draws are good for nothing except for the records

  • SultanBaba on November 29, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    So much so about England's "great" performance and Australia's "poor" performance, blah, blah, blah. England as well as English fans sound as if they won the match. It's funny and pathetic that the English are expressing so much exuberance for a merely drawn match. They sound victory. That means they don't even dare to win against Australia in Australia, which is never impossible. The point is, the pitch was good for the bowlers in the beginning and England flopped while Australia did reasonably well. On the other hand, when the pitch was dead, England did very well and Australia also could have done well if they had to bat as long as England did, at least their second inning scorecard indicated so. So, no party should take pride from a futile match. If a best batting line overpowers a best bowling line or vice versa, that's where comes the real achievement or pride. Cook or Strauss or Tortt should not get away with their performances yet, because none was truly tasted.

  • SRT_GENIUS on November 29, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    I wish sachin would score a triple at Gabba next time!!

  • geminianrahul on November 29, 2010, 19:21 GMT

    @S Jude Perera: And India will show Perera and the ever crying Srilankans and the whole world how to maintain No.1 status in Test Cricket:)...smells like something is burning...lol....

  • on November 29, 2010, 19:12 GMT

    People are talking about flat tracks in sub continent... and sub continent batsman scoring centuries being called as FLAT Track Bullies... Whats going on with GABBA? AUSTRALIAN FLAT TRACK??? Ashes is Boring... really boring.... Watch out for India- SA series!!!!

  • on November 29, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    @Mervo - both Strauss & Trott have an English parent. Strauss moved to England when he was 6 and has schooled in both education & cricket solely in England. Boring, after all most Aussies are of British/Irish decent.

  • LourensGrobbelaar on November 29, 2010, 18:49 GMT

    @Mervo. It is time to stop this "half the England team is South African" nonsense. 1. Most Australians are from British descent, yet no one is calling Aus a team filled with Poms. If Usman Khawaja is selected for the next test will the same comments be made about Pakistan's endless supply of cricketers no suddenly defecting to Aus? And how many ex SA Rugby Union players from SA descent is playing in Super 14 and Aus union rugby (Vickerman etc.)? This is to be expected in professional era. 2. Andrew Strauss was born in SA, but moved to Eng before he was in primary school. He learnt to play cricket in Eng, not SA. 3. Many people imigrate to other countries for work opportunities without facing this sort of crap. Cricketers are professionals like anyone else.

    Oh, and by the way I am not British, but South African.

  • cricket_for_all on November 29, 2010, 18:29 GMT

    I will stop now blaming sub-continental pitches. Gabba seems to be flattest and one of the worse pitches compare to the recent drawn pitches ( India, SL or Dubai). AUS now better stop complaining about sub-continent pitches (Of course sub-continent pitches are flat). I think that ICC should investigate the pitches before the matches. We should have rules for baning the flat pitches as well (No body want to watch 5 days for draws). India Vs NZ (2 draws and one result), PAK Vs SA( 2 draws) and SL Vs WI (2 draws)..... what is going on the world (90% draw matches)?

  • couchpundit on November 29, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    Flat Track won the 1st Ashes test. @Richard Mellor - unbeleivable being a english fan - ABSOUTELY!!

    Have you seen Roshan Mahanama and Jayasuriya drub indians in similair Pitch and they played three days non stop.

    too bad Australia for all the big talk they used to do about sub-continent pitches now are having Dead Pitches in GABBA , i bet Ponting would not have thought he would see this day in his life time.

    funny thing is Eternal Whiners(ofcourse english players and FANS) are claiming that they were the side who looked to take 20 wickets. just because they score 500/1 in two plus days?-- Logic where art thou ?

  • Dixy109 on November 29, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    @Mervo- the jokes about the questionable origin of some of the English team are getting a little tired and repetitive now don't you think? I thought Allan Border was pretty pathetic when he tried (unsuccessfully, might I add) to spark up the old debate before the series was underway. The simple fact of the matter is the uninspiring Aussie attack failed to dislodge two batsmen who were playing at the top of the game. It's not like they had no chance to do so either... And besides, England's highest scorer attended Bedford, one of the oldest public schools in the country with a rich cricketing history that is consistently producing exceptionally talented young cricketers. Kudos to Cook and Trott, two players Australia underestimated at their peril, England definitely have the momentum going in to Adelaide.

  • on November 29, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    I don't understand everyone blaming the pitch. If that is the case, how were Warne and McGrath picking wickets on these same pitches for the last 15 yrs. I rather give credit to the English batsmen who batted brilliantly on Day 4 and 5. Blame the Aussie slip catchers.. Look at the dolly Clarke dropped at first slip of Trott when he was on 75.

    I wish Ponting can stop talking CRAP and focus on his game.... Everyone says he is the most successful captain in world cricket... I can say, even I could captain the side which has so many match winners as the Aussies for the last 15 years.. U don't need to tell Warne/McGrath to do this or that.. they will definitely get u wickets.. u dont have to tell Haydos to hit centuries or take brilliant slip catches, he does it ... gilly was amazing behind the wickets and also with the bat... The moment those players retired, Ponting lost his charm as the most successful captain in the History... I feel bad to say but he is most IDIOTIC captain in history

  • zakusa on November 29, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    Typical andrew miller article.i have predicted this yesterday in my comments.Andrew miller thinks that england are a great side and even in that lame draw they will draw psychological advantage.The fact is ENGLAND hardly looked like taking 20 wickets.graeme swann was an ordinary spinner who got thrashed around.All your comments are stolen out of ian chappell interviews and narrated stats.IF this was lahore pitch i am sure english media would have thrashed the curator.Instead they will now glorify england batsmen and look them like bradman. YOU ARE SUCH A SHAME ANDREW MILLER.a journalist needs to be neutral and not patriotic in his columns.like i said before go get some irish beer...chill out

  • 777aditya on November 29, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    To see Australia being humiliated one match after another really underlines the fact that this is the end of the era in which Aussies dominated one and all. The possible upcoming test nations would surely be SA, Ind, and Eng. One thing for sure, this WC aint going the Aussie way. The only saving grace would be that Aus wont suffer as bad a decline that WI in the past due to Cricket Aus's fiercely competitive domestic system.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 29, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    Just leaving the aptly named Gabbattoir intact for the series is an achievement worthy of note. Nowhere is Australia more Australia than in Queensland. It makes one think how good that '86/87 win there was. It would be good to make the Aussie fans as sick of the sight of our players as I was of theirs through the 90's and much of the last decade. Give them back the spirit of David Boon, someone!! I thought the absence of Aussies yesterday at the ground was indicative of a fanbase so used to winning that they cannot stomach the idea of losing. Time for the hard lessons to commence in earnest!!! Early Scroogemas and gruel for them.

  • vichan on November 29, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Mervo, if you knew anything about the England team you'd realise that Strauss was "recruited" as much as Khawaja... As for Trott, two names for you to consider: Brendon Julian and Andrew Symonds.

  • honestinjun on November 29, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    Can some locals tell me if this test was played inside the ground or on the flat road leading to the ground?!! Boycott's grandmum would definitely have scored a double century on this 'pitch' (and she's dead).

  • Rockyyyims on November 29, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    A Question for all, Sir!,Who you reckon is the biggest enemy of cricket? My answer- Traditionally, its always been the Rain,some would call match-fixing but nowadays its the CURATORS!!!! God!,why on earth they make such pitches,they all the same,be it in Ind-NZ series,SA-Pak one or for that matter the gabba one!! ICC plz do something about it!!

  • on November 29, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    Re Something_Witty's comment earlier I think this match showed that a drawn match can be as absorbing as a victory for either side, not that this one was particularly close compared to some where all 3 results were possible up to the last over. I do hope we get some pitches which allow a result however.

  • on November 29, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    Lol why is no one blaming the pitch now?

  • Legster on November 29, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Is it time that

    [1] Heavy rollers are banned, like they did in County cricket in England, which resulted in a higher proportion of results? [2]we go back to the era of uncovered pitches? [3] that boards must wake up to take note that profits from an extra day of play are not worth the future of test cricket?

    IMO, the answer should be yes to all three.

  • on November 29, 2010, 15:47 GMT

    Completely agree with both Laksh5153 and S Jude Perera here. Just because it was England and Australia, no one would say how poor the wicket or the quality of bowling was. I've got used to the hypocrisy whenever it comes to viewing or judging players or teams from the sub continent and elsewhere, numerous examples and well documented so wont go into the details right now. All the best to both the teams, hope someone wins a test match somewhere!!

  • DWP1 on November 29, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    Andrew, I really respect your opinions on Cricinfo, but "there was only one team in this match that ever looked capable of claiming 20 wickets." That's a little crazy - Both sides took wickets on the first two days (Aus 5 more than England) and after that both bowling sides had little or no answer. I'm a neutral for this game, and all you could say after the match is that both sides bowling have limitations, but above all: It would have been very difficult for any side to take 10 wickets on the last few days. Much like the SA - Pakistan games really. Don't become one of THOSE English journalists that are always raving with happiness or in the depths of despair after every match!

  • Hoover on November 29, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Mervo that is such a dull argument. You lot played Symonds who was born in England and you will play Khawaja at some point who was born in Pakistan. Not to mention Kepler Wessels who was South African. Strauss has lived in England practically all his life and went to school and university here. The fact that people migrate to work is no different in cricket to any other profession. If someone holds a British or Australian passport but lives abroad and decides to return their country of nationality then they are perfectly entitled to. It's called having a multicultural society... the fact that the Aussies are all moaning about it is ironic considering they can, have done in the past and would do exactly the same thing if they had suitably qualified players. If you want to take some sort of moral high ground I look forward to seeing your selectors refusing to pick Khawaja due to him not being born in Australia.

  • sawifan on November 29, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    @Laksh5153 People may blame Kevin Mitchell Jnr for the pitch, but nothing is going to happen to him because for many years he has prepared one of the best pitches in the world. He had very unseasonal wet weather to deal with which meant his preparation were far from ideal. Not trying to make excuses, but i'm sure he would be as disappointed as anyone. Unfortunately the same can't be said for the Adelaide Oval...

  • sskris1 on November 29, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    500 + runs for the loss of only one wicket. 4 centuries and 1 double century in a test match and all these years many have been blaming the pitches in the subcontinent. Where are those poeple now? Have the Aussies lost so much confidence that they don't want fast pitches any more or they just want punter to score more centuries.

  • ryanakajoey on November 29, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    do you really think that writing a page and a half of england positives deserves to be summed up with: The only way they'll be beaten is on the field not in the head? I for one hope they're beaten on the field cause you don't wins games by being strong in the head. Sure it helps but england don't possess a winning culture overseas...strauss declared too late today, surely the moral of the aussies must have been at rock bottom, strauss could've added another record to the book today by being positive and trying to force a result, instead he did what every other england captain has done before him...got the team (in fantastic fashion) into a position where they couldn't lose and then went about trying to win it by miracle and hope. Positive thinkin, heard of it? If england are looking to draw the series to retain the urn, be very aware!!

  • george204 on November 29, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    The way that pitch flattened out ("died" might be a more appropriate verb) was shocking & un-Brisbane-like, not to mention bad for Test Cricket. If "walking wicket" Cook can pile up a double century then you know it was a featherbed(although he was dropped on 103, characteristically dropping his guard after reaching a landmark). If this had been a timeless test, Strauss wouldn't have dreamed of declaring before tea on Wednesday (& I'm not convinced that even a target of 800 could have been defended!)

  • brucief1980 on November 29, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    Mervo, I recommend you get with times, globilisation is in full swing and has been for quite some time. Everyone of our recruited players as you put it has atleast one british parent. It seems to me that you are nothing more than a biggot with a chip on your sholuder, research your own past and present Australian squads. Kelper Wessels, Moises Henriques, Dirk Nannes, Usman Khawaja are only a few players which in your eyes you'd consider recruited. Similarily, plenty of your past and present players wouldve been able to play for other sides. Shane Warnes mother is German, Steve Smith's mother is English and Phil Jaques parents are both English. People as narrow minded as yourself are dying out, come join the real world!

  • on November 29, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    Test cricket s fast becoming boring again ... we need good contests with fair pitches 2 both bat and d ball ... like d pitches @ UAE where Pak and SA played ... hope 2 c a better and interesting next match between Aus n Eng ...

  • intcamd on November 29, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    So why are these flat wickets of Australia any better than the dust bowls of the subcontinent? At least the subcontinental wickets produce results, although not the kind to the liking of England and Australia. For years the Aussies bragged that the Gabba was the fastest wicket around, and now they can't even dismiss England twice in a test there.

  • WilliamFranklin on November 29, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    Where did all the aussies 'supporters' go? You have to stick with the side through thick and thin but they have obviously become too used to winning. Prime example of why the australian attempts to match the Barmy Army with the 'fanatics' etc will not succeed.

  • aaabenjwhite on November 29, 2010, 13:24 GMT

    Mervo, so Strauss was recruited then was he? I have to say the talent spotters in English cricket must be good because he was recruited aged 6.......I bet the Aussies wish they could spot talent like that........

  • Marcio on November 29, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Yeah Andrew Miller, Strauss was so confident in his bowlers taking 20 wickets that he waited till he was nearly 300 in front, and with 3 hours left to play before he declared. Seriously, what does that tell you about the English captain's belief in his bowlers? He actually believed that there was a danger in Australia scoring 250 plus in half a day's play if he'd declared half an hour earlier. Obviously Andrew Miller and Strauss weren't consulting out there today.

  • Clyde on November 29, 2010, 13:13 GMT

    It is pretty disgraceful when an Australian pitch doesn't have a enough grass growing in it to stop dust coming up and not enough resilience to make the ball bounce and react to the angle of its seam. The Kookaburra is not going to swing if there is no moisture in the air above the pitch, and the moisture depends on the existence of grass. This is elementary and it is remarkable that this major factor in the game is not analysed in the same way as a player's input is. There are obviously good reasons, but virtually none of them are being adduced. If writers don't battle with ground staff I don't see how pitches can improve or spectators can be interested. And pitches have got worse over the past four decades, as long as I have been a witness.

  • DaTBird187 on November 29, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Well said seniorgators. I always find the chat in Cricinfo to be almost tabloid in it's content. Rational thought is something not many people on here have a grasp of. In all honesty this match needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Both teams only took 11 wickets each and 1300 runs were scored. Big deal, drawn game, move on really. I can't see anybody getting anything out of that game. Australia probably would have score 500 in their second innings also. They didn't seem to be trouble much on a so called 5th day pitch.

  • on November 29, 2010, 13:10 GMT

    Cracking fightback from the England boys. Why declare though on such a flat pitch?Should have gone for 650 plus! Roll on Adelaide

  • sandy_bangalore on November 29, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Two observations from a neutral: 1) The pitches in the subcontinent are often criticised, and some batsmen from this part of the world are derided as flat track bullies. But what does one say of a pitch which was supposed to be a green monster or a so called sporting pitch, but just 2 wickets fell on the final day? And that has been the case the past few years in just about every centre around the world. Even Perth has lost its zip, and proof was when we saw duminy and co comfortably chase 400 plus 2 years back. 2) Its the best time ever in world cricket to be a batsman. The bowling standards are absolutely,without doubt, DISMAL. I can think of only Steyn,Zaheer and maybe Anderson who can be called world class. Most of them talk more than they deliver(Johnson,sreesanth,broad), but what we have these days is a host of journeyman seamers like martin,nehra,sammy,kulasekara etc who scare none, esp on these pitches.

  • on November 29, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    like I noted; glorification of England, pitch doesn't matter if Aus or England rack up 500+... let' hope the Proteas show y'all how to make a "Test" pitch.

  • Laksh5153 on November 29, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    If the same kind of event (pitch flattening out towards the end of game) happened in some other place the players might have fired instantly on the curator. See for eg. Drawn test @ Abu dhabi b/w Pak and SA, also Drawn test between India and NZ. Why is it not happening in Australia, Are Aussie curators defectless. Why is no one blaming curator for getting a draw @ gabba?

  • seniorgators on November 29, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Full credit to England for a sensational second innings but Andrew Miller are you serious when you write " there was only one team in this match that ever looked capable of claiming 20 wickets !!! Who was that Andrew ? Surely not England. Australia made 588 for the loss of 11 wickets batting for a bit over 2 days. At least whilst the wicket had some pace Australia took 10 wickets in a day. I repeat Englands secong innings albeit on a benign pitch was terrific but lets be careful about suggesting that Englands bowling attack showed any signs of taking 20 wickets. I predict a series with more draws than wins as BOTH sides struggle equally to take the 20 wickets required.

  • KingofRedLions on November 29, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    Did Australia lose? If not, then the record stands.

  • badgingarra on November 29, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Keep poking the mangy dog with the stick boys! Because we all know what happens after a while. I think Adelaide will show wounded Aussies are not what you want to take on. Sure you beat us at Lords after a century :( but we are at home now, and we will start to get right royally p'ed off after being sung out of our own stadiums. Good luck, but may the better team win !

  • on November 29, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Writing on the wall for Australia. Be ready to hand over Ashes to England again and accept the fact that it would be difficult to win consistently with out the likes of Warne, McGrath, Gilly, Hayden, Langer, Martin and Co. This was a core group responsible for Australia domination for over a decade ....

  • on November 29, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    unbelievable score 500 from 3 batsman

  • Mervo on November 29, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    Of the three batsmen, one was born in England, the other two recruited ....

  • Something_Witty on November 29, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    Neither team was capable of taking 20 wickets on that pitch. Neither will be capable in Adelaide unless it has changed significantly. I highly doubt that the featherbeds in Perth and Melbourne will produce results either. A sad thing for the series.

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  • Something_Witty on November 29, 2010, 10:56 GMT

    Neither team was capable of taking 20 wickets on that pitch. Neither will be capable in Adelaide unless it has changed significantly. I highly doubt that the featherbeds in Perth and Melbourne will produce results either. A sad thing for the series.

  • Mervo on November 29, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    Of the three batsmen, one was born in England, the other two recruited ....

  • on November 29, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    unbelievable score 500 from 3 batsman

  • on November 29, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    Writing on the wall for Australia. Be ready to hand over Ashes to England again and accept the fact that it would be difficult to win consistently with out the likes of Warne, McGrath, Gilly, Hayden, Langer, Martin and Co. This was a core group responsible for Australia domination for over a decade ....

  • badgingarra on November 29, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    Keep poking the mangy dog with the stick boys! Because we all know what happens after a while. I think Adelaide will show wounded Aussies are not what you want to take on. Sure you beat us at Lords after a century :( but we are at home now, and we will start to get right royally p'ed off after being sung out of our own stadiums. Good luck, but may the better team win !

  • KingofRedLions on November 29, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    Did Australia lose? If not, then the record stands.

  • seniorgators on November 29, 2010, 12:10 GMT

    Full credit to England for a sensational second innings but Andrew Miller are you serious when you write " there was only one team in this match that ever looked capable of claiming 20 wickets !!! Who was that Andrew ? Surely not England. Australia made 588 for the loss of 11 wickets batting for a bit over 2 days. At least whilst the wicket had some pace Australia took 10 wickets in a day. I repeat Englands secong innings albeit on a benign pitch was terrific but lets be careful about suggesting that Englands bowling attack showed any signs of taking 20 wickets. I predict a series with more draws than wins as BOTH sides struggle equally to take the 20 wickets required.

  • Laksh5153 on November 29, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    If the same kind of event (pitch flattening out towards the end of game) happened in some other place the players might have fired instantly on the curator. See for eg. Drawn test @ Abu dhabi b/w Pak and SA, also Drawn test between India and NZ. Why is it not happening in Australia, Are Aussie curators defectless. Why is no one blaming curator for getting a draw @ gabba?

  • on November 29, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    like I noted; glorification of England, pitch doesn't matter if Aus or England rack up 500+... let' hope the Proteas show y'all how to make a "Test" pitch.

  • sandy_bangalore on November 29, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Two observations from a neutral: 1) The pitches in the subcontinent are often criticised, and some batsmen from this part of the world are derided as flat track bullies. But what does one say of a pitch which was supposed to be a green monster or a so called sporting pitch, but just 2 wickets fell on the final day? And that has been the case the past few years in just about every centre around the world. Even Perth has lost its zip, and proof was when we saw duminy and co comfortably chase 400 plus 2 years back. 2) Its the best time ever in world cricket to be a batsman. The bowling standards are absolutely,without doubt, DISMAL. I can think of only Steyn,Zaheer and maybe Anderson who can be called world class. Most of them talk more than they deliver(Johnson,sreesanth,broad), but what we have these days is a host of journeyman seamers like martin,nehra,sammy,kulasekara etc who scare none, esp on these pitches.