Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide, 2nd day December 4, 2010

Cook pushes hosts to melting point

At the end of another painful day in the field Australia looked close to breaking point as England's opener notched up another host of records
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You know that something tumultuous is afoot when Kevin Pietersen's long-awaited return to form comes as a footnote on a day of batting conquests. You know that the world is in the process of turning on its head when England's most charismatic batsman produces his most fluent innings for the best part of two years - at a pivotal juncture of an Ashes series, no less - and yet he hardly merits a mention in a wider tale of sporting dominance.

That was the extraordinary situation at the close of the second day in Adelaide - a day that ended, as has been the case on each of the last five days of Ashes combat, with Alastair Cook marching back to the pavilion with his wicket intact and his focus unyielding. The opener whom Australia assumed was their window of opportunity has not offered a crack of an opening for 17 unbeaten hours, and in that time their prospects of regaining the Ashes have melted almost to vanishing point.

Last week at the Gabba, Cook surpassed one of Don Bradman's innumerable records when he posted 235 not out, the highest Test score by any batsman at the ground. Today he drew level with the Don on another front, by racking up his 15th Test century before the age of 26, a tally that only Sachin Tendulkar (with 19) has surpassed. His back-to-back Ashes hundreds mean he's emulated Ken Barrington in 1965, while his tally of 371 runs without dismissal surpasses Wally Hammond. With every new minute that he endures, Australia's spirit sags exponentially.

As he paused for his latest intake of breath at the close of play, Cook's eyes looked exhausted but his body and mind were alert. He had arrived back in the dressing-room still wearing the same pair of batting gloves with which he had set out in the morning, and as Hot Spot's thermal-imaging camera confirmed in a split-screen that showed Pietersen's shirt drenched in sweat but Cook's still as crisp as a iceberg lettuce, had barely broken sweat despite the heat of an Ashes battle that had been exacerbated by 37-degree temperatures.

"It was physically quite hard after what happened last week, but it's better mentally than when you're not scoring runs," he said. "At tea I was quite tired, because 37 degrees is up there with one of the hottest days I've played in, but as Goochie said, you've got to cash in when you're in this sort of form. He said don't give it away, and so there was no chance of doing that.

"I'm quite lucky," he added, by way of explanation. "I'm kind of built in a way that I don't get too hot, I don't really sweat, so that was alright." It wasn't intended as a metaphor for England's dominance, but it might as well have been, for Australia's perspiration dripped from every facet of their game - the sweaty palms that dropped their eighth and ninth catches of the series, the beaten brows that telegraphed a troupe of cricketers whom Brad Haddin later described as "not at our perky best". Nothing and no-one could stand in England's way, certainly not once the threat of the new ball had been negated, and the energy levels of three of the most enthusiastic but least subtle pacemen ever to play in the same team had been drained.

Aside from a chaotic first day, during which England's passions were running too high even for their unparalleled preparation to temper, the inner sanctum of their batting has barely been breached

Doug Bollinger, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris deserved better, and should have had it when Jonathan Trott offered up two early lives in addition to Andrew Strauss's latest first-over aberration. But passion was the only weapon they could offer on a pitch as flat and true as anything that England have encountered in 12 months, and as soon as their morale wavered so much as a notch, Cook and Trott were ready to punish by stealth. Brutal, merciless, uncompromising accumulation was the upshot. Trott lifted his average up past 60, and briefly became No.2 to Bradman in terms of batsmen who've made more than 1000 Test runs, but even his formidable powers of concentration have been put in the shade by his colleague.

Cook has now been at the crease for more than 1000 minutes without being removed - Shivnarine Chanderpaul has managed the feat on four occasions and Nasser Hussain did it once on England's tour of South Africa in 1999-2000 - which is an extraordinary feat not only for Australians to digest, seeing as he had only twice passed fifty in his first ten Ashes contests, but also for anyone who watched his trials and tribulations in the English summer just gone, when he made 100 runs in seven innings against Bangladesh and Pakistan, and was ripe for the chop until a supremely gutsy hundred at The Oval.

"I can't put my finger on it," was Cook's first reaction when asked to explain his transformation, although by the time he'd finished speaking he'd summarised the reasons for the change. In short, England's batsmen have not had it this good for months. The combination of perfect flat pitches and uncomplicated opponents is a world away from the scything swing and seam that the 2010 batch of Dukes balls offered up to Pakistan's seamers in the summer, and even during the preceding tour of Bangladesh, on which Cook's iron will delivered him twin centuries in his one-off series as captain, the exhaustingly sluggish decks made run-scoring a chore rather than the pleasure it has evidently been since Brisbane.

And in Cook's estimation, nothing he's had to do in the past 22 hours has been anything like the personal challenge he was forced to surmount at The Oval back in August, when his second-innings 110 rescued his immediate career. "If you ever need a reminder of how quickly cricket changes, you only need to look at me last summer," he said. "It's always disappointing when you get criticised, but to be fair I deserved it, I scored 100 runs in seven knocks.

"That's part and parcel of playing professional sport, but how I dealt with it, by responding at The Oval has given me a lot of confidence," he added. "That when I really needed it most, I could deliver it, and coming to Australia when the side needed it most, I've managed to deliver so far. The art of batting is concentrating for long periods of time and not making a mistake, and you've got to constantly keep reminding yourself of that, and you do that almost every ball. But that knock at The Oval has given me a lot of confidence when the situation gets tough.

"I don't think I'm doing things differently, but sometimes you get your rewards when you put in the hard yards," he added. "You do have dark thoughts sometimes, but having Goochie on side, he knows what happens. The opening bowler is paid to get you out and some days he does get you out, and you have to stay very level to appreciate that. There are some excellent bowlers around the world and they are quite right to get you out. But when you get the conditions in your favour, it's important to cash in."

The net result has been extraordinary to behold. Aside from a chaotic first day, during which England's passions were running too high even for their unparalleled preparation to temper, the inner sanctum of their batting has barely been breached. Pietersen's desperation to get stuck in manifested itself in his ill-advised outburst at the groundstaff, but today translated into a pitch-perfect acceleration in the final session, while Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell - the pre-series dark horse for leading run-scorer - haven't since been required to reach for their pads in anger.

There are caveats aplenty - the Cardiff escape and last week's Brisbane turnaround to name but two - but right at this moment, no Australian team has looked as vulnerable in a quarter of a century of Ashes cricket. Nor has there been a day as jaw-droppingly one-sided as this since Allan Border's Aussies began stretching out their legs in the summer of 1989. There have been greater humiliations in the interim, of course - from the Warne-inflicted pandemonium of 1993 to his whitewash swansong on the last trip four years ago - but in each of those campaigns Australian dominance was pre-ordained, and even when England won in 2005 and 2009, they were rarely in less than a scrap. This, on the other hand, feels like an epoch on the turn.

Never mind what happened on this ground four years ago. If Australia regroup from here, it really will be a miracle.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • catalyst213 on December 5, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    @Simon Smith, agree with you that Ashes is very important for England and Oz, however i think its as important to World Cricket too, its a great historical contest and the oldest in cricketing world. A true cricket lover will always respect it no matter from which country. Im from India and watched every ball of it almost every series in last 30 years. Both teams are great, my choice have always been England. Good luck !!!

  • rohanbala on December 5, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    The difference between the two sides - England and Australia - "Patience, commitment and concentration". While the English batsmen showed these qualities to build a solid grip on the Adelaide test, the Australian batsmen treated it as a 50-over match. Shane Watson should learn a lesson or two from Alistair Cook.

  • on December 5, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    Australia are a very average side now.

  • tjsimonsen on December 4, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    @Marcio: In the four years from his debut to the 1989 Ashes series Steve Waugh's batting average was 30.52 and his bowling average was just shy of 40. So. I guess you consider him well below averages too?

    @TheHoneymonste: couldn't agree more. Let's see if India and SL can succeed next summer in English conditions (it may well be the case, but it is by no means certain).

  • PTtheAxis on December 4, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    no matter which way you look at it aussies are getting cook-ed ... force is not with them :) ... reason being the way they are when winning or losing ... no aussie umpires are there to save them either ... cricket only really started being played as an international sport once neutral umpires came into play

  • shanghaibatsman on December 4, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    Yeah this is good to see. Series let alone the match is not over yet though.Melbourne and Perth always hard for visitors and Englands bowlers are not that great,how would they hold up for the rest of the summer? Australia like some sides at the moments have too many Derek Zoolanders , you know what I mean.

  • SDHM on December 4, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Pacelover - couldn't agree more! There really isn't a truly dominant team at the moment, no matter what Arun Lal says :P. All the talk of the upcoming SA/India series putting the Ashes in the shade is optimistic I reckon - it can't match the intensity and history certainly, but I also think it'll be a run feast too, with both batting line ups being very strong but both sides lacking an important cog in the bowling; India's pacemen are far more average than Anderson for example, and South Africa lack any sort of spinner really. I suppose we'll see how good India and Sri Lanka are over in grey and miserable English conditions next summer!

  • on December 4, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Cook is a quiet introverted individual who's very humble! Thats a quality rarely seen in a cricketer these days!... it really impresses me he goes about his business in a quiet manner.. this is a cricketer I really admire.. good luck to him for the future.. England has a new star in its midst.

  • SDHM on December 4, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Marcio - Cook and Anderson's records are slightly better than average I'd say. They're certainly not world beating, but they're pretty good. There seems to be an attitude towards batsmen cashing in on flat pitches - surely if you're a good player, as Cook is, you're going to make even more runs on a flat deck than others? People talk about it as if the greats like Tendulkar only ever play on bowler friendly tracks, when he's definitely booked in on a few flatties in his time. This habit of belittling achievements is really beginning to annoy me. He's a good player. Get over it.

  • on December 4, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    I can't believe Australia has degraded thus far.. Trott keeps playing the onside drive and they kept bowling him on that line...spin bowling is non-existing.it'.s painstaking to see the successors of Mcgrath and Warne and the likes.. I guess lesson of life what goes around comes around..

  • catalyst213 on December 5, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    @Simon Smith, agree with you that Ashes is very important for England and Oz, however i think its as important to World Cricket too, its a great historical contest and the oldest in cricketing world. A true cricket lover will always respect it no matter from which country. Im from India and watched every ball of it almost every series in last 30 years. Both teams are great, my choice have always been England. Good luck !!!

  • rohanbala on December 5, 2010, 1:46 GMT

    The difference between the two sides - England and Australia - "Patience, commitment and concentration". While the English batsmen showed these qualities to build a solid grip on the Adelaide test, the Australian batsmen treated it as a 50-over match. Shane Watson should learn a lesson or two from Alistair Cook.

  • on December 5, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    Australia are a very average side now.

  • tjsimonsen on December 4, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    @Marcio: In the four years from his debut to the 1989 Ashes series Steve Waugh's batting average was 30.52 and his bowling average was just shy of 40. So. I guess you consider him well below averages too?

    @TheHoneymonste: couldn't agree more. Let's see if India and SL can succeed next summer in English conditions (it may well be the case, but it is by no means certain).

  • PTtheAxis on December 4, 2010, 23:43 GMT

    no matter which way you look at it aussies are getting cook-ed ... force is not with them :) ... reason being the way they are when winning or losing ... no aussie umpires are there to save them either ... cricket only really started being played as an international sport once neutral umpires came into play

  • shanghaibatsman on December 4, 2010, 23:10 GMT

    Yeah this is good to see. Series let alone the match is not over yet though.Melbourne and Perth always hard for visitors and Englands bowlers are not that great,how would they hold up for the rest of the summer? Australia like some sides at the moments have too many Derek Zoolanders , you know what I mean.

  • SDHM on December 4, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Pacelover - couldn't agree more! There really isn't a truly dominant team at the moment, no matter what Arun Lal says :P. All the talk of the upcoming SA/India series putting the Ashes in the shade is optimistic I reckon - it can't match the intensity and history certainly, but I also think it'll be a run feast too, with both batting line ups being very strong but both sides lacking an important cog in the bowling; India's pacemen are far more average than Anderson for example, and South Africa lack any sort of spinner really. I suppose we'll see how good India and Sri Lanka are over in grey and miserable English conditions next summer!

  • on December 4, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Cook is a quiet introverted individual who's very humble! Thats a quality rarely seen in a cricketer these days!... it really impresses me he goes about his business in a quiet manner.. this is a cricketer I really admire.. good luck to him for the future.. England has a new star in its midst.

  • SDHM on December 4, 2010, 20:30 GMT

    Marcio - Cook and Anderson's records are slightly better than average I'd say. They're certainly not world beating, but they're pretty good. There seems to be an attitude towards batsmen cashing in on flat pitches - surely if you're a good player, as Cook is, you're going to make even more runs on a flat deck than others? People talk about it as if the greats like Tendulkar only ever play on bowler friendly tracks, when he's definitely booked in on a few flatties in his time. This habit of belittling achievements is really beginning to annoy me. He's a good player. Get over it.

  • on December 4, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    I can't believe Australia has degraded thus far.. Trott keeps playing the onside drive and they kept bowling him on that line...spin bowling is non-existing.it'.s painstaking to see the successors of Mcgrath and Warne and the likes.. I guess lesson of life what goes around comes around..

  • on December 4, 2010, 20:09 GMT

    Too early to compare Cook with Don and Sachin. I hope he goes on to score a double and beat the Aussies to go up 1-0.

  • on December 4, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    What goes up comes down! We all watched the going up bit, now our turn to watch the other part!!

  • on December 4, 2010, 19:51 GMT

    @ Prbath The ashes is THE series in world cricket.....Always has been always will be...deal with it

  • on December 4, 2010, 19:50 GMT

    @Marcio

    "don't buy it" .. right, u can't. Can't buy anything when u go broke.

  • on December 4, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    Oh yes Prbath, is this the same India that produce only roads and don't have the bowling firepower to knock over New Zealand. I'm sure Pieterson and Cook would have really struggle in that test series. The simple fact is yes I completely agree that Ashes are overhyped contest between te 4th and 5th ranked teams in the world but also there isn't much seperating the top 5 in the world at the momment. No team right now has a especially good bowling attack apart from maybe South Africa with Steyn and Morkel. Also if it's boring and annoying you don't watch it. Don't complain about it. Ignore it. That goes for all of you moaning and posting put downs on forums. THe Ashes means a lot to us English and the Aussies so we overhype it because it's so important. If it means nothing to you and it's not entertaining don't watch it.

  • on December 4, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    If Cook can maintain this form, he can catch up with Tendulkar 10-11 years from now. I hope he gets a well-deserved consecutive double century too.

  • DazTaylor on December 4, 2010, 19:22 GMT

    Cook had a modest record states Marcio.

    Even before this series, only Sachin Tendulkar had scored this many runs quicker. He still averaged 43 prior to this series - one of the best in world cricket for an opener.

    Please, get your facts right before you embarrass yourself.

  • KiwiPom on December 4, 2010, 19:08 GMT

    I've always been a supporter of Alastair Cook - all he had to do was work on obvious weaknesses to become a top player because his talent was never in any doubt. However he IS a human being not a robot or a bionic man. He has concentrated for hours on end during a relatively short period of time in hot conditions. He must be mentally and physically drained. These days tests come around quickly. I hope like h*** he hasn't shot his bolt because we need him for the remainder of the series. You only need to be 5% down at this level and you have no chance. He needs careful managing on this tour from now on.

  • SettingSun on December 4, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    @Marcio - do you actually have any idea what you are talking about? Aside from Steyn, name a better seam bowler in the world than Anderson. Plus, Cook is practically 371 not out against AUSTRALIA and averages over 46. Modest record? Trot on.

  • victorjames on December 4, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    Australia need to search for alternatives. 4 out of first 6 batsmen are about 35 years of age and bowlers like Doherty and Harris are nowhere near the test standards. At this stage at least, this team does not look like a team capable of winning this series. About Clarke less said the better.

  • Jon1950 on December 4, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    Prbath Neranja, Once again we have subcontinental supporters banging on about how good India, Sri Lanka are and how bad everyone else is. Please remember that this series is ENGLAND Vs AUSTRALIA.

    There is cricket beyond the subcontinent and not everyone enjoys people like yourself droning on about your so called great Tendulkar or Murilithiran. Gavaskar was better than Tendulkar and Murilithiran was to put it bluntly a chucker and also remember that the earlier generations of players did not have the luxury of playing against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe.

    You said bring England over to Sri Lanka or India and see what happens the opposite is also true how would the Sri Lankans and Indians do in England.

    You also said who cares about the Ashes, Battle of the minnows you said, if this is so why the heck did you decide to comment on this series in the first place

  • Domzo on December 4, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    "Andrew Miller is talking English up to much for my liking, kevin Perterson is all hype, he is wild slogger, cook, well boring to watch to say the least, bring them over to sri lanka or india to see what going to happen to them , Ashes is Battle of the Minnows, who cares" -

    Cook actually has a pretty healthy average against India and Sri Lanka, particularly in the subcontinent. As to the comment about Anderson and Broad having modest international records, Broad perhaps - though he's still nowhere near his prime, but Anderson in particular has improved immesurably over the last couple of years.

  • on December 4, 2010, 18:00 GMT

    During the period of "Invincibility", aussies were outstanding, but that was not sustainable development. While McGrath, warne, Lee and Gillespie were donning the aussie bowling attack, they never cared to even try a new bowler n give him a long run, even against weak sides like bangladesh n zimbabwe. That has clearly backfired now. It shud be the seniors' responsibility to ensure the team doesnt slide after retirement, which is precisely what Sachin is doing now. He takes rests at regular intervals so that he also regains fitness, but more importantly the side can try new combinations. McGrath n warne lacked that responsibilty, while Lee eventually lost his way out of the side. Had de likes of Dougy n Siddle got a chance to bowl alongside Glenn, it wud hav been a great learnin experience for them. U cant keep winning all de times, aussies...!!!

  • WilliamFranklin on December 4, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    prbath,

    For a player who you say is just 'hype', to have a test average of 48 after that many games isn't bad is it.

    And to say The Ashes is the battle of the minnows, laughable to anyone with knowledge of the game.

  • Shan156 on December 4, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    "bring them over to sri lanka or india to see what going to happen to them"

    India, yes, is an excellent team. England is more likely to struggle there. But, Sri Lanka? I am sure you know that Vaas and Murali have retired from tests. The current crop of Lankan bowlers aren't any better than Windies' or Bangladesh'. They do not deserve their #3 rating and after a few series they will be put in their place which is #5 or even #6.

    "Ashes is Battle of the Minnows, who cares,"

    If you don't care, why do you bother to comment?

  • Pacelover on December 4, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    Test cricket is closer than it has been for ages. It's easy to write Australia off but have they really been all that bad recently? This time last year they were winning for fun (ok it was Wndies and Pakistan) And they should have won at least one test in India and were on top in both at some point. The ashes teams are officially 4th and 5th but the rankings are questionable. India rely on their batsmen in a big way because their bowling attack is ordinary at best they were fortunate to beat NZ. Sri Lanka's attack is looking toothless against the West Indies as well. South Africa like Australia lack a world beating spinner and England are solid but far from spectacular. Test cricket has 5 good teams but no great ones.

  • on December 4, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Interesting comments from Marcio - not sure why Broad, Cook and Anderson are thought to have modest records. In Broad's case he is a youngster - 24 only. He has test averages in bowling and batting the wrong sides of 30 - but he is maturing. He would have to wait 6 years to get into the Australian team! Cook, not yet 26 with 15 centuries? Anderson - a bowling average similar to Brett Lee (and 6 years to reduce it!)? MaturING class acts. Australian crickets either Matured class acts (e.g. Ponting) or over-ripe (a fast bowling squad the wrong side of 29!).

  • SPKay on December 4, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    Perspective, dear author - mediocre opposition, flattest of tracks, poor captaincy and fielding by Australia - and you go gaga over Cook's achievement. I wonder what you'd have said if Dravid, Laxman, Yousuf or Chanderpaul had done it.

  • ZeeshanH on December 4, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    The wheel has turning for the Aussies. But they shouldn't give up like the Windies or else the cricket will hardly remain a competitive international sport.

  • Trickstar on December 4, 2010, 17:01 GMT

    @Prbath Neranja Show a bit of class mate.Bring them over to India or Sri Lanks, mate India had all the trouble in the world getting past OZ, in their own back yard none the less. Don't worry those 2 teams are coming over to England next year and we'll see who are over hyped.

  • on December 4, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    its a golden chance for england to go 1-0 up in the series. a lead of 200 odd runs would be good for eng which is preety on from here.. australians r not that good at 2nd innings......

  • suresh_sksj on December 4, 2010, 16:56 GMT

    Ricky and Greg went up the hill to fetch a urn of ashes Ricky fell down and broke his crown And Greg came tumbling after.

  • Samdanh on December 4, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    While Gabba's story is an aberration, it is Aus batting that is very disturbing. None seems assured than Hussey and Haddin. It is a pity that Aus needs to depend only on these two. When a side batting first can wound itself up for 245 on a wicket like the one in Adelaide, its bowlers can't be blamed. This pitch may not turn a flat one like the Gabba. So do not except fightback from Aussies in their second essay. By the time Eng are all out or declare, Aus will be far behind that Eng will not need to bat again on a wearing pitch. It is surprising when 4 Aus batsmen failed in the first Test and most bowlers from both teams struggled, only the bowlers were changed and none among the batsmen was changed. Once again Aus bastmen have let the team down. Think Aus selectors..think and act soon..before it is too late! Best wishes, One of the rare Aus fans..from India

  • suresh_sksj on December 4, 2010, 16:48 GMT

    Andrew - Brewing the Ausies Cook - Cooking the Ausies Tortt - Trotting the Ausies Kevin - Levin the Ausies Paul - Maul the Ausies Bell - Felling the Ausies Prior - Trior the Ausies Broad - Road the Ausies Swann - Swam the Ausies Jammy - Clammy the Ausies Finn - Linn the Ausies

  • on December 4, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    are u sure, mr miller, that you want to predict another adelaide match again? after your prediction 4 years ago?

  • sweetspot on December 4, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    This is the England Australia wanted to intimidate? What a holler and a hoot!

  • on December 4, 2010, 16:17 GMT

    @Marcio wants to check out the recent results for Aus, the rankings, and the state of their team right now before any blithe predictions about things coming to rights. This is a 5th best team playing that way, and home or away the stuff that we are watching from Aus is just dire.

    @Prbath could do well to consider the Indian bowling attack before getting too carried away. India is a batting machine but faint-hearted and full of vanity. Sri Lanka is the real deal. I'd rather have England's bowlers than India's.

  • AncientAstronaut on December 4, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    It's unbelievable how England and Australia have switched roles. It'd be incredible if England neat Australia in Australia. If they do, they'll equal if not surpass their achievement in 2005. And they'll ensure that Ponting doesn't play another test match at least as captain again!

  • Bytheway on December 4, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Cookie impresses me as a human being. A rare quality in sportsmen today. I hope that one day he can truly take his place beside The Don and Tendulkar.

  • Marcio on December 4, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    Sorry, I don't buy it. 2 innings on super flat surfaces does not turn the world on its head. Aust can't possibly gift things to Eng like this for an entire series. Cook, Broad, Anderson all have very modest international records after years in the game, and have suddenly turned into world beaters. I'm afarid such abbberations cannot be sustained indefinitley in the face to awful oppistion performances and unbelievably favourable conditions. This game is England's, but it won't be long till things even out again. I still predict a 2-2 result in this series.

  • on December 4, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    Regroup always have to happen under new leadership....Ponting has too go and Clark is not the answer......I always felt Clark was a show dog....It would make sense to make Hussey who can play all three formats the captain.....unlike Clark who struggles in 20-20 and one dayers

  • ravithecricbuff on December 4, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    I am loving the smell of Kangaroo Soup..although I am a vegetarian, I will turn non-veg for one this time!!

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 4, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Hope he digs in for another few hours to complete the inquisition of the Aussie attack....

  • landl47 on December 4, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    Cook batted all day in 37 degree heat without giving a chance and only rarely playing a false stroke. That's an amazing achievement for anyone. Add that on to his Brisbane form and I haven't seen an English batsman ever bat so well for so long. Great effort.

  • on December 4, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    The first 7 days of this series has shows what lies ahead for the Aussies ahead this summer. Ponting faces a situation like Richards,Walsh , Ambrose & Lara to preside a declining team after being part of a winning combination for most part of his career. Ponting is still the only candidate to lead the team for some more time as no replacement seems to be around. Mcgrath and Warne have given way to mediocrity and the same applies to their batsmen also after the departure of their famed batting champs. Aussies, after a long time, are at the receiving end of their famous mental disintegration and this going to take more than Ponting to overcome. England have their best chance in two decades to win the Ashes in Australia , but do they believe they can do it?

  • Vindaliew on December 4, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    Goochie this, Goochie that... if he ever becomes close to the batsman Gooch was, he'll have an illustrious career ahead of him. I'm sure Gooch would be the first to wish that his protege breaks his England record and then some, and although I feel that someone else might beat him to Goochie's record, Cook will hopefully continue to serve England really well, and carve a name for himself in history.

  • on December 4, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Andrew Miller is talking English up to much for my liking, kevin Perterson is all hype, he is wild slogger, cook, well boring to watch to say the least, bring them over to sri lanka or india to see what going to happen to them , Ashes is Battle of the Minnows, who cares,

  • SUNDOS on December 4, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    At first it was a seemingly impatient Aussie media singing the "tune of the week":..'Off with their heads",should the test go the was everyone expects,the Australian public so used to dominating the rest of the world,will be adding many stanzas to what is becoming a dirge.Life goes on though,are there any new talents "good enough to play in the First Division sides' out there on the horizon?Is Rod Marsh still active?its time they put him in charge of the centre of excellence,Greg Chapell and Hilditch both need to be put to pasture.Bring ina new captain for his captaincy skills not because he is the best player in the side.Or else this once mighty Australian side is close to imploding.

  • on December 4, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    This really is music to my eyes, if you excuse the mixed metaphor. No amount of Aussie bluff can account for this kind of mauling. Keep it up, England.

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  • on December 4, 2010, 11:35 GMT

    This really is music to my eyes, if you excuse the mixed metaphor. No amount of Aussie bluff can account for this kind of mauling. Keep it up, England.

  • SUNDOS on December 4, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    At first it was a seemingly impatient Aussie media singing the "tune of the week":..'Off with their heads",should the test go the was everyone expects,the Australian public so used to dominating the rest of the world,will be adding many stanzas to what is becoming a dirge.Life goes on though,are there any new talents "good enough to play in the First Division sides' out there on the horizon?Is Rod Marsh still active?its time they put him in charge of the centre of excellence,Greg Chapell and Hilditch both need to be put to pasture.Bring ina new captain for his captaincy skills not because he is the best player in the side.Or else this once mighty Australian side is close to imploding.

  • on December 4, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Andrew Miller is talking English up to much for my liking, kevin Perterson is all hype, he is wild slogger, cook, well boring to watch to say the least, bring them over to sri lanka or india to see what going to happen to them , Ashes is Battle of the Minnows, who cares,

  • Vindaliew on December 4, 2010, 13:07 GMT

    Goochie this, Goochie that... if he ever becomes close to the batsman Gooch was, he'll have an illustrious career ahead of him. I'm sure Gooch would be the first to wish that his protege breaks his England record and then some, and although I feel that someone else might beat him to Goochie's record, Cook will hopefully continue to serve England really well, and carve a name for himself in history.

  • on December 4, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    The first 7 days of this series has shows what lies ahead for the Aussies ahead this summer. Ponting faces a situation like Richards,Walsh , Ambrose & Lara to preside a declining team after being part of a winning combination for most part of his career. Ponting is still the only candidate to lead the team for some more time as no replacement seems to be around. Mcgrath and Warne have given way to mediocrity and the same applies to their batsmen also after the departure of their famed batting champs. Aussies, after a long time, are at the receiving end of their famous mental disintegration and this going to take more than Ponting to overcome. England have their best chance in two decades to win the Ashes in Australia , but do they believe they can do it?

  • landl47 on December 4, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    Cook batted all day in 37 degree heat without giving a chance and only rarely playing a false stroke. That's an amazing achievement for anyone. Add that on to his Brisbane form and I haven't seen an English batsman ever bat so well for so long. Great effort.

  • 2.14istherunrate on December 4, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Hope he digs in for another few hours to complete the inquisition of the Aussie attack....

  • ravithecricbuff on December 4, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    I am loving the smell of Kangaroo Soup..although I am a vegetarian, I will turn non-veg for one this time!!

  • on December 4, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    Regroup always have to happen under new leadership....Ponting has too go and Clark is not the answer......I always felt Clark was a show dog....It would make sense to make Hussey who can play all three formats the captain.....unlike Clark who struggles in 20-20 and one dayers

  • Marcio on December 4, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    Sorry, I don't buy it. 2 innings on super flat surfaces does not turn the world on its head. Aust can't possibly gift things to Eng like this for an entire series. Cook, Broad, Anderson all have very modest international records after years in the game, and have suddenly turned into world beaters. I'm afarid such abbberations cannot be sustained indefinitley in the face to awful oppistion performances and unbelievably favourable conditions. This game is England's, but it won't be long till things even out again. I still predict a 2-2 result in this series.