Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd day November 22, 2013

Australian mayhem orchestrated backstage

Their bowling display has been a feather in the cap for the hard work of coaches Craig McDermott and John Davison
27

As Australia's bowlers gorged themselves on England, the stands encircling the Gabba were in tumult. Each wicket drew a bloodcurdling roar, every near miss an equally visceral "ooooh". In a session that accounted for six England batsmen, such sounds were legion.

Whether it was Australians whooping in delight or Englishmen chilled to their bones, not a soul could be unmoved by this episode, the kind of Test match passage so exhilarating for the fact a five-day contest's course was being decided in a matter of minutes.

At the instant of this thrilling, runaway momentum taking hold of the Test, the pace bowling coach Craig McDermott and the spin coach John Davison sat side by side in the Australian team viewing area, an island of calm in a perfect storm.

Smiles grew on their faces as each Englishman trudged back to the players' area below them. They expanded into beaming grins when the bowlers returned to the dressing rooms at tea, a match and perhaps a series now tilted towards the hosts. Neither man has been around the national team much in recent times, but their presence in Brisbane was a significant factor in orchestrating the mayhem of the second afternoon.

McDermott's return to the national team after an 18-month absence had been engineered only weeks before the series began. His 291 Test wickets, empathy for the struggles of fast bowlers, and preference for simple tactical and technical advice had been highly influential during an earlier stint in 2011-12, most pointedly in encouraging Australia's pacemen to pursue a fuller length and bring their slips cordon into play. He established strong relationships with many of Australia's bowlers, and remained in touch with them during his time away.

Davison, meanwhile, has worked quietly with Australian spin bowlers in his role at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane. His playing days are best known for a star batting turn for Canada at the 2003 World Cup, but he also experienced the difficult life of slow bowling down under, battling the defensive tactical whims of captains and coaches as much as the more obvious opposition provided by aggressive batsmen and unresponsive pitches. That grounding has helped build a strong alliance with Nathan Lyon, who pushed successfully to have Davison work with the team more closely this summer.

At Allan Border Field, McDermott and Davison had worked assiduously with their pupils well in advance of the full team's arrival in Brisbane on Sunday. Their work centred on honing the plans concocted for each England batsman, either tightening what had been attempted in England or tweaking it slightly to accommodate the greater bounce on offer in Australia. Both men were impressed by what they had seen: Mitchell Johnson was fast, Ryan Harris precise, Peter Siddle persistent, and Lyon gaining notable loop and spin.

But when Australia's innings concluded at 295, a total delivered by Brad Haddin's combination of elegant technique and gritty countenance, McDermott and Davison had to let their bowlers go. Initially the signs were not overly encouraging. Harris was a little too short and straight, Johnson was completely unpredictable, and Siddle flat. Alastair Cook's outside edge was a reward for Harris' self-improvement across the morning, while Jonathan Trott's leg glance after a panicky stay conveyed the jumpiness that exists in England's batting when confronted by high pace.

Promising as a lunchtime score of 2 for 55 appeared, the lunch break afforded the opportunity for further counselling. As Haddin attested, McDermott's message to the pacemen was typically blunt, decrying the amount of short stuff directed at the hips of the touring batsmen; "pitch it up" was his directive. He has used these words countless times before, as have many bowling coaches, but like David Saker with England, McDermott's gift appears to be the fact that the bowlers under his direction believe and follow his instructions.

John Davison has worked tirelessly to build Lyon's confidence, eschewing the instructions he could recall from his earlier years with Victoria.

Elsewhere Davison sat with Lyon and reinforced the positive messages that all spinners need to hear at times. Dropped twice this year despite not really doing anything to deserve such a fate, Lyon was the last man picked for this match, New South Wales being informed he would not be available for Sheffield Shield duty less than two hours before the first ball of the Test. Nonetheless his enthusiasm for the team is unmatched, and Davison has worked tirelessly to build his confidence, eschewing the "don't do this, don't do that" instructions Lyon could recall from his earlier years with Victoria. A moment would arrive for Lyon, and he was good enough to seize it.

What followed was a bowling attack working in near perfect harmony, each man contributing to the destruction in a way that vindicated much of McDermott and Davison's work. Befitting his standing, it was Harris who started the roll for the hosts, capitalising on a tight bowling partnership with Siddle by tempting Kevin Pietersen to flick a catch to short midwicket. The previous over, Lyon had joined the attack, and immediately created doubt by spinning his offbreaks past the otherwise sturdy Michael Carberry. Johnson was brought back to replace Harris, and from around the wicket widened the breach by finding Carberry's edge.

At times Lyon has been questioned about his ability to make a decisive difference to a match - it is the source of recurring doubt for the selectors that he is yet to bowl a team out on the final day of a Test. This time his spinning fingers would twirl a decisive brace. Bowling around the wicket, Lyon extracted turn but importantly bounce, of the kind Shane Warne so loved in Brisbane. It was this that did for Ian Bell, the man of the series in England. A gentle attempt to flick to leg brought a deflection and a catch to short leg, the nimble Steve Smith. Next ball, Matt Prior did more or less the same thing, Smith diving headlong to take the catch, then convincing Clarke of the need to refer Aleem Dar's unfavourable verdict.

Though a hat-trick was averted, England were now tender prey, and Johnson turned the Gabba into a cricket Colosseum by hunting down Joe Root and Graeme Swann. Root fell to a ball pitched up and angled across him, while Swann squeezed a lifter to short leg in an act of self-preservation. Six wickets had fallen for nine runs.

It was in these moments that Johnson stole the headlines for tomorrow, gaining recompense for previous indignities suffered at English hands. But Australia's domination had been achieved through forces combined and sights recalibrated, plans executed and persevered with. All the bowlers deserved credit for a triumphant scoreboard. Nudging each other happily in the team viewing area, McDermott and Davison knew that more than anyone.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 22, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    This Test has shown obvious flaws in the English Batting techniques. Carberry, Trott don't like short stuff aimed at the body (remember Perth & Melbourne still to come). Cook & Root are suspect outside off stump (all of these were already exposed in England on dead wickets - now add Carberry), which leaves Bell who is an excellent batsman (in England its best by a long way). Forget '10-'11, Mc Dermott worked with the Australian bowlers against India in '11-'12 and they were a revelation, not enough has been made of this fact but the results are on show. Warner has improved as his early domestic season has shown. Rogers has been the rock. Clarke has some work to do, as does Watson, but Smith is a vastly improved batsman. Bailey does not have the technique for test cricket but the tail are vastly superior to England's. Prior is struggling (another "confidence" player like Johnson although less crucial) but the bowlers struggle (Johnson has a 100 vs SA)

  • on November 22, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    They say the best coaches are ex-players who were not particularly brilliant but had to work hard on their game. They are able to pass this work ethic and thoughtfulness onto others. In McDermott the bowlers have a coach who started off as a fast bowling prodigy, but then got dropped and had earn his way back into the team to become of one of our most consistent strike bowlers in Aust's rise to the top under Border. This group of bowlers are in the position to do the same - to bowl Aust back to being a top team. McDermott can be a major player once again.

  • Insult_2_Injury on November 27, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Funny stuff Wefinishthis! It's precisely because Johnson doesn't put the ball in exactly the same spot twice that the Pommy bats are at risk. At his pace they are premeditating and it shows they don't have the aptitude to cope. If you go to the player stats pages on this site, you'll notice something very interesting. Mitchell Johnson - 214 Test wkts @ 30.11 Econony rate 3.34 StrikeRate - 54 James Anderson - 331 Test wkts @30.35 Economy rate 3.09 StrikeRate - 58.8

    Will Johnson go for plenty later in the series? Who knows, but there is more chance of him getting wickets conducive to his pace, than Anderson getting conditions to hoop it around. Either way with a strikerate at nearly an over better, he can give away the extra point three of a run and still contribute greatly to a 380 run win. By the way, that's not even taking into account the runs he makes.

    Funny thing perception, isn't it? If he was terrible and took 9fa, your boys are in for a long tour when he isn't terrible.

  • ScottStevo on November 24, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    @WeFinishThis, Clearly, my friend, you watch matches rather differently to most of us. Your team selections are generally rubbish and ill considered, and now you've stooped to mocking the bowler who just ripped the opposition apart. I'm not really certain why it is you think we care if MJ goes for 6 an over. If Harris is so great, and Siddle and Lyon also economical, then MJ taking big wickets can go for 20 an over and he'd still be useful. So much more so than someone like Faulkner who would be bowling 80mph on a deck like this and would be as threatening as a marshmallow.

  • hhillbumper on November 23, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    The English batting has not been that good since India last year.it is strange that every time England make a break through they then seem to atrophy. England need to find some form

  • andrew-schulz on November 23, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    A lot of us actually watched the match, we finish this, and you appear to be the only one who thinks Johnson was terrible. You are just wrong. A well-executed plan to get rid of Trott, brilliant sustained hostility which no one else in the game is capable of to dispose of Carberry, and all over Root and Swann. He is first pick at the moment, and it's got to be a lack f knowledge of fast bowling that brings forth your tirade.

  • DickCam on November 23, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Absolutely spot on Jason Bray.

  • on November 22, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Steve gregory I'm with you..much as I was elated that aust won the battle of first innings there is a long way to go ! Let's stop celebrating and get our heads down! the problem is how many are enough runs when we are only going into the third day..we have seen Eng stay in for long periods and be very tough to get out they will be hoping for a declaration if aust don't get bowled out and clarke is always up to the challenge(which I like) but weather is fickle and rain is not always predictable. I would hate to see the poms have two days to accumulate runs !! good luck boys!!

  • Wefinishthis on November 22, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    If you actually saw the match, Mitchell Johnson was terrible, especially at the start. He couldn't bowl two deliveries in the same spot and every second delivery went down leg side in his first two spells, gifting fours everywhere. His wickets came from mindless batting in unfamiliar conditions. Ryan Harris is up there with Dale Steyn and Philander as the best 3 bowlers in the world, but even he started off poorly, bowling everything down leg side too. I don't know if the English purposely played badly to Johnson to ensure that the selectors keep persisting with him yet again, but it doesn't bode well for Australia that Johnson is now getting more chances as he'll go for plenty of runs later on in the series, especially Adelaide but except perhaps Perth. Siddle was economical, but not threatening. I'll agree with the article on Lyon though - some of his best ever bowling in that he strangled the flow of runs from one end with 3 maidens on an unhelpful pitch and threatened as well.

  • The_other_side on November 22, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Sir, this article should be ideally written if things are going Aussies way at the end of fourth test... At present it may be too much to soon! It may also indicate Australian desperation for heroes. Good article but may be too much too soon.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on November 22, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    This Test has shown obvious flaws in the English Batting techniques. Carberry, Trott don't like short stuff aimed at the body (remember Perth & Melbourne still to come). Cook & Root are suspect outside off stump (all of these were already exposed in England on dead wickets - now add Carberry), which leaves Bell who is an excellent batsman (in England its best by a long way). Forget '10-'11, Mc Dermott worked with the Australian bowlers against India in '11-'12 and they were a revelation, not enough has been made of this fact but the results are on show. Warner has improved as his early domestic season has shown. Rogers has been the rock. Clarke has some work to do, as does Watson, but Smith is a vastly improved batsman. Bailey does not have the technique for test cricket but the tail are vastly superior to England's. Prior is struggling (another "confidence" player like Johnson although less crucial) but the bowlers struggle (Johnson has a 100 vs SA)

  • on November 22, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    They say the best coaches are ex-players who were not particularly brilliant but had to work hard on their game. They are able to pass this work ethic and thoughtfulness onto others. In McDermott the bowlers have a coach who started off as a fast bowling prodigy, but then got dropped and had earn his way back into the team to become of one of our most consistent strike bowlers in Aust's rise to the top under Border. This group of bowlers are in the position to do the same - to bowl Aust back to being a top team. McDermott can be a major player once again.

  • Insult_2_Injury on November 27, 2013, 2:32 GMT

    Funny stuff Wefinishthis! It's precisely because Johnson doesn't put the ball in exactly the same spot twice that the Pommy bats are at risk. At his pace they are premeditating and it shows they don't have the aptitude to cope. If you go to the player stats pages on this site, you'll notice something very interesting. Mitchell Johnson - 214 Test wkts @ 30.11 Econony rate 3.34 StrikeRate - 54 James Anderson - 331 Test wkts @30.35 Economy rate 3.09 StrikeRate - 58.8

    Will Johnson go for plenty later in the series? Who knows, but there is more chance of him getting wickets conducive to his pace, than Anderson getting conditions to hoop it around. Either way with a strikerate at nearly an over better, he can give away the extra point three of a run and still contribute greatly to a 380 run win. By the way, that's not even taking into account the runs he makes.

    Funny thing perception, isn't it? If he was terrible and took 9fa, your boys are in for a long tour when he isn't terrible.

  • ScottStevo on November 24, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    @WeFinishThis, Clearly, my friend, you watch matches rather differently to most of us. Your team selections are generally rubbish and ill considered, and now you've stooped to mocking the bowler who just ripped the opposition apart. I'm not really certain why it is you think we care if MJ goes for 6 an over. If Harris is so great, and Siddle and Lyon also economical, then MJ taking big wickets can go for 20 an over and he'd still be useful. So much more so than someone like Faulkner who would be bowling 80mph on a deck like this and would be as threatening as a marshmallow.

  • hhillbumper on November 23, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    The English batting has not been that good since India last year.it is strange that every time England make a break through they then seem to atrophy. England need to find some form

  • andrew-schulz on November 23, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    A lot of us actually watched the match, we finish this, and you appear to be the only one who thinks Johnson was terrible. You are just wrong. A well-executed plan to get rid of Trott, brilliant sustained hostility which no one else in the game is capable of to dispose of Carberry, and all over Root and Swann. He is first pick at the moment, and it's got to be a lack f knowledge of fast bowling that brings forth your tirade.

  • DickCam on November 23, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Absolutely spot on Jason Bray.

  • on November 22, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    Steve gregory I'm with you..much as I was elated that aust won the battle of first innings there is a long way to go ! Let's stop celebrating and get our heads down! the problem is how many are enough runs when we are only going into the third day..we have seen Eng stay in for long periods and be very tough to get out they will be hoping for a declaration if aust don't get bowled out and clarke is always up to the challenge(which I like) but weather is fickle and rain is not always predictable. I would hate to see the poms have two days to accumulate runs !! good luck boys!!

  • Wefinishthis on November 22, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    If you actually saw the match, Mitchell Johnson was terrible, especially at the start. He couldn't bowl two deliveries in the same spot and every second delivery went down leg side in his first two spells, gifting fours everywhere. His wickets came from mindless batting in unfamiliar conditions. Ryan Harris is up there with Dale Steyn and Philander as the best 3 bowlers in the world, but even he started off poorly, bowling everything down leg side too. I don't know if the English purposely played badly to Johnson to ensure that the selectors keep persisting with him yet again, but it doesn't bode well for Australia that Johnson is now getting more chances as he'll go for plenty of runs later on in the series, especially Adelaide but except perhaps Perth. Siddle was economical, but not threatening. I'll agree with the article on Lyon though - some of his best ever bowling in that he strangled the flow of runs from one end with 3 maidens on an unhelpful pitch and threatened as well.

  • The_other_side on November 22, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    Sir, this article should be ideally written if things are going Aussies way at the end of fourth test... At present it may be too much to soon! It may also indicate Australian desperation for heroes. Good article but may be too much too soon.

  • Sigismund on November 22, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Hilarious article. Half an hour of awfulness from England, and suddenly Australia have won the match, the series, and are once again the greatest and most brilliant geniuses in the cricketing universe. Calm down, Bill. A feeble first innings of the tour is pretty much a foregone conclusion for England these days. It doesn't tend to happen every time, whereas with the Australian batting line up...

  • on November 22, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    The world is a fickle place. One good day and we see Shakespearean tributes flowing all over. Keep calm and watch what happens.

  • on November 22, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    The English are going to get beaten and they're on toast and this article isn't criticizing them enough for my liking. The media are unbelievable how they are all over one team one night (Aus throwing wickets away) and refuse to eat their words the next (English out for 136). Wouldn't it be better if the media just kept quite to avoid their embarrassment the next day? Or started explaining the English collapse as they are so good at doing when Australia collapse. Keep an open mind and stop making yourselves look silly

  • on November 22, 2013, 16:21 GMT

    Aussie have not won it yet lets calm down until the last wicket falls shall we

  • swervin on November 22, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    I think australia has decided to play to their strengths - apart from warner, clarke and maybe rogers the batting team is quite weak but the bowlers are faster than england's. so why not at least intimidate them with some short pitched bowling - interestingly johnson was criticised for his first spell but it seems they had a plan to intimidate england and it worked - and once england was put under a bit of pressure they all tumbled. i still think (as an aussie fan) england have a better batting order and will do better but as india found out australia are difficult to beat at home...also you can't underestimate what difference the wicket makes in all crickets - if there is something in it for fast bowlers then australia will do well...

  • on November 22, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    The Gabba is a tricky wicket. Day 4 and 5 the ball can start to keep low from the "highs". But Australia needs at least 475 runs to put pressure on the English. The weather too can come into play at some stage though the drain system in Brisbane is one amongst the best. In short The Aussies need to perk up the run rateTomorrw. Both Warner and Clarke are going to be crucial for this.

  • jokerbala on November 22, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    One piece of advise for the Aussies- never let McDermott leave. This is the Aussie bowling performance one saw when they India a 4-0 drubbing in their backyard. I don't know what he does but such intent and consistency was rarely seen in the bowling attack with similar bowlers when he was missing.I take no credit away from the bowlers when I say that. England have their task cut out now.

  • flowersintherain on November 22, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    This article describes why test cricket, with its strategies and ebbs and flaws is so much more satisfying for the true cricket fan. If I can draw an analogy, it is like watching a great dramatic film like "Gone with the Wind" - slow at times, but ultimately very satisfying, versus the 30 minute entertaining, but soon forgotten sitcom that is T20 cricket.

  • swarzi on November 22, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Do cricket fans see what really makes the test match so much more valuable entertainment than 'slash-and-burn' T/20 cricket? We all can't wait to see tomorrow comes!

  • on November 22, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    In English summer too Australia's poor show was due to batsmen but not bowlers. Their bowling is their strength. In fact I anticipated this collapse of English batsmen. This time around it seems Australia has worked more on vulnerabilities and inadequacies of English batsmen technique than before. Testimony of that was Trot, Cook and Bell's dismissals. These batsmen once get going can be very dangerous and have to be removed early in their innings. That is exactly what Aussies did this time around. They never allowed anyone settle. Johnson bowling at this speed and good line and length can be even more dangerous than this. That means OZ this time around can give a better run to Englishmen for their money. Let us wait and see how this series is going to pan out. If OZ win the series convincingly we can think this is going to be their revival and we again can see a dominant Australian team. That bodes good for cricket. No one enjoys beating a depleted Australian team.Specially Indian fan

  • venkatesh018 on November 22, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Glad Aussies didn't self destruct by playing 4 pacemen. But the most crucial thing in the first two days has been the under performance of England's bowlers apart from Stuart Broad. Tremlett looks way short of Test level and Cook didn't attack enough with Swann in the first innings. An Aussie win which is looking highly probable, will be a real shocking start to this series.

  • couchpundit on November 22, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    @Jason Bray - Are you saying Craig McDermott was not a brilliant bowler in his days? Seriously have you ever seen him bowl in a test match or an ODI ? you need to go and check archives if you can get one...if he was not the best in his days i wonder who was? He was phenomenal bowler otherwise you dont get 293 wickets in Tests. well this is the problem with T20 generation

  • dongiri on November 22, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    England rely on Petersen to get runs in his own inimitable style and get the momentum for the team going. Then they ride in its wake, chip in, and create an image they are a formidable team. Which they are not. Just take Petersen out and they will be a pale shadow of the team that achieved those victories. Cook very well knew that and that's why during the India tour all the talks of being "team greater than individual" was swept under the carpet and he was drafted into the team again. Petersen will play minimum two innings in a series that would be match-impacting and seize the psychological initiative away from the opposition. He will yet again play those in this series as well. It is upto the Aussies to firmly establish their dominance by winning the first match and not take the foot off the pedal.

  • on November 22, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    It is vey evident the impact that people like Mcdermott had when they were focused on a specific role. I am still quite baffled why Mcdermott was let go by Australia 18 months ago. Australia although bowled well, i still felt the presence of Craig would have helped them bowl better.

    Jamie Siddons is somebody who comes to mind, he did a great job as Australian Batting Coach and under his guidance, Bangladesh Batting have improved significantly. Players like Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sakib Al Hasan are now technically so much better. I am not sure what effect someone like Justin Langer has on the technical side as he himself had a very unorthodox technique.

  • on November 22, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    I find the writer see sawing, waxing eloquent one day and down in the dumps the next. I have a lot of respect for Craig McDermott who was behind australia's wins in the west Indies, sri lanka and India in australia . Evidence of his influence was to be seen in England too, though australia lost 0-3 but the bowlers were not to blame. If anything they scored runs as well. I am glad Lyon came good. But it is important not to get carried away as Haddin kept saying it is day 2 of a five match series. Well done guys and keep at it . Ramanujam sridhar

  • satishchandar on November 22, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    McD makes a loads of difference to the bowling line up.. They were terrible before he came in.. Blossomed well under him.. Again retorted to being terrible when he went again.. Now, they did what they were doing him before..

    Only some coaches would be able to do it.. A couple of words will make the player feel awesome and put in extra focus.

    Coaches can make or break without entering the field itself. Even with 3-0 loss, Boof returned a positive impact for the team in England..

  • CustomKid on November 22, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    I've got to say I've not heard an Aussie crowd so loud for a long time. They were out for blood and the Englishman had nowhere to hide. That said there hasn't been much to cheer about in recent times. England are a quality unit and they haven't lost a test in a long time. They may get out of jail yet in this game. One massive concern however was their bowlers. Given they had little rest they looked dead tired. That is a concern on day 2 of potentially long hot 5 test series. Anyway it's all to do for Australia, they have forgotten how to win, can they turn the corner and cash in from here?

  • CustomKid on November 22, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    I've got to say I've not heard an Aussie crowd so loud for a long time. They were out for blood and the Englishman had nowhere to hide. That said there hasn't been much to cheer about in recent times. England are a quality unit and they haven't lost a test in a long time. They may get out of jail yet in this game. One massive concern however was their bowlers. Given they had little rest they looked dead tired. That is a concern on day 2 of potentially long hot 5 test series. Anyway it's all to do for Australia, they have forgotten how to win, can they turn the corner and cash in from here?

  • satishchandar on November 22, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    McD makes a loads of difference to the bowling line up.. They were terrible before he came in.. Blossomed well under him.. Again retorted to being terrible when he went again.. Now, they did what they were doing him before..

    Only some coaches would be able to do it.. A couple of words will make the player feel awesome and put in extra focus.

    Coaches can make or break without entering the field itself. Even with 3-0 loss, Boof returned a positive impact for the team in England..

  • on November 22, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    I find the writer see sawing, waxing eloquent one day and down in the dumps the next. I have a lot of respect for Craig McDermott who was behind australia's wins in the west Indies, sri lanka and India in australia . Evidence of his influence was to be seen in England too, though australia lost 0-3 but the bowlers were not to blame. If anything they scored runs as well. I am glad Lyon came good. But it is important not to get carried away as Haddin kept saying it is day 2 of a five match series. Well done guys and keep at it . Ramanujam sridhar

  • on November 22, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    It is vey evident the impact that people like Mcdermott had when they were focused on a specific role. I am still quite baffled why Mcdermott was let go by Australia 18 months ago. Australia although bowled well, i still felt the presence of Craig would have helped them bowl better.

    Jamie Siddons is somebody who comes to mind, he did a great job as Australian Batting Coach and under his guidance, Bangladesh Batting have improved significantly. Players like Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sakib Al Hasan are now technically so much better. I am not sure what effect someone like Justin Langer has on the technical side as he himself had a very unorthodox technique.

  • dongiri on November 22, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    England rely on Petersen to get runs in his own inimitable style and get the momentum for the team going. Then they ride in its wake, chip in, and create an image they are a formidable team. Which they are not. Just take Petersen out and they will be a pale shadow of the team that achieved those victories. Cook very well knew that and that's why during the India tour all the talks of being "team greater than individual" was swept under the carpet and he was drafted into the team again. Petersen will play minimum two innings in a series that would be match-impacting and seize the psychological initiative away from the opposition. He will yet again play those in this series as well. It is upto the Aussies to firmly establish their dominance by winning the first match and not take the foot off the pedal.

  • couchpundit on November 22, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    @Jason Bray - Are you saying Craig McDermott was not a brilliant bowler in his days? Seriously have you ever seen him bowl in a test match or an ODI ? you need to go and check archives if you can get one...if he was not the best in his days i wonder who was? He was phenomenal bowler otherwise you dont get 293 wickets in Tests. well this is the problem with T20 generation

  • venkatesh018 on November 22, 2013, 12:32 GMT

    Glad Aussies didn't self destruct by playing 4 pacemen. But the most crucial thing in the first two days has been the under performance of England's bowlers apart from Stuart Broad. Tremlett looks way short of Test level and Cook didn't attack enough with Swann in the first innings. An Aussie win which is looking highly probable, will be a real shocking start to this series.

  • on November 22, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    In English summer too Australia's poor show was due to batsmen but not bowlers. Their bowling is their strength. In fact I anticipated this collapse of English batsmen. This time around it seems Australia has worked more on vulnerabilities and inadequacies of English batsmen technique than before. Testimony of that was Trot, Cook and Bell's dismissals. These batsmen once get going can be very dangerous and have to be removed early in their innings. That is exactly what Aussies did this time around. They never allowed anyone settle. Johnson bowling at this speed and good line and length can be even more dangerous than this. That means OZ this time around can give a better run to Englishmen for their money. Let us wait and see how this series is going to pan out. If OZ win the series convincingly we can think this is going to be their revival and we again can see a dominant Australian team. That bodes good for cricket. No one enjoys beating a depleted Australian team.Specially Indian fan

  • swarzi on November 22, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Do cricket fans see what really makes the test match so much more valuable entertainment than 'slash-and-burn' T/20 cricket? We all can't wait to see tomorrow comes!

  • flowersintherain on November 22, 2013, 13:59 GMT

    This article describes why test cricket, with its strategies and ebbs and flaws is so much more satisfying for the true cricket fan. If I can draw an analogy, it is like watching a great dramatic film like "Gone with the Wind" - slow at times, but ultimately very satisfying, versus the 30 minute entertaining, but soon forgotten sitcom that is T20 cricket.