England v Australia, 1st Investec Test, Trent Bridge July 15, 2013

Flower proud of England's nerve

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Andy Flower has praised the "resolve and resilience" of his team after England's narrow victory in the first Investec Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Flower, the England team director, also defended the DRS despite some controversial dismissals during the Test and expressed the belief that such an entertaining start to the series would prove beneficial to the game as a whole.

"It was a sensational game," Flower said. "I'm very proud of our team, obviously, for the resolve and the resilience they showed. They held their nerves under pressure. It was a tense game for five days. It's obviously great to come out on top and we can go to Lord's with real confidence. But I must say both teams provided an outstanding game of Test match cricket.

"We're in the business of winning, so to win is outstanding. They can take a lot of confidence from the way they held themselves, especially as our lead was whittled away. They were good in breaks, they were good in the middle.

"Alastair Cook led them well; he showed his strength and calmness as a captain again, not to mention his catching ability. Jimmy Anderson, particularly, with the ball showed again his skill and class. I must also make mention of Ian Bell's innings. He obviously showed real skill, but also, I think more importantly, a real determination and courage out there in the middle to bat like he did.

"It's not only meaningful for the players. We had full crowds here every day and I'm sure they'll be like that through the rest of the series. For those people to create such a great atmosphere for the competitors to play in, but also for everyone on TV and radio hearing what was an amazing game of cricket and a special atmosphere, it's really great for the game of cricket that we have games of this type."

While there were some issues with umpiring decisions during the game - Flower approached the match referee, Ranjan Madugalle, for clarification of ICC protocols after Aleem Dar's not out decision for an leg before appeal against Jonathan Trott was overruled by the TV umpire, Marais Erasmus, despite a user error denying him use of the side-on Hot Spot image - Flower defended the system and insisted it helped the officials "get more decisions right than wrong."

"I think that using the review system is the correct way for international cricket to go, because we get more decisions right using it," Flower said. "I think that's very simple and very clear. The protocol for making those decisions must be adhered to. Of course, we will never get everything right but at least using the system we get more decisions right than wrong."

Flower also defended Stuart Broad, who chose not to walk despite a thick edge that the umpire Aleem Dar did not see. "Stuart Broad, like every other batsman in international cricket, has the right to wait for the umpire to make his decision," Flower said. "The umpire's job is to make those decisions."

Accepting that the first Test would have drained the players of both sides, Flower expressed his confidence in the "fitness" and "resilience" of his players and his belief that those qualities would serve them well with the scheduling of back-to-back Tests allowing them little time to rest and recover from their exertions.

"It was a Test match full of tension, but it was great fun to be involved in as well. I think the players from both sides will reflect on a sensational match to have been involved in, but yes, it will have taken something out of all the players involved. That's why our guys work so hard on their fitness and they are mentally resilient - they have shown that. Over a number of our Test match campaigns, they have come out on top because of that resilience and I expect them to show that resilience at Lord's in the second Test.

"What I must say is we never for a moment thought that this match or the series would be a walkover. I know we hear the odd thing in the media predicting some funny results, but we always knew this would be a tough battle. This is a really good example of a tough battle and I'm sure it will be a tough fight for the remainder of the series."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jackiethepen on July 16, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge applauds the t20 innings of Agar in the summary of this match alongside Anderson's bowling. All credit to the lad. But isn't he missing something? That this is a Test match and Bell's match winning innings was the key - 6 and half hours at the crease with different partners. Magnificent stand with Broad. And the skills on show by Bell were impressive. Don't take my word for it. This is Flower in interview reported elsewhere.

    Flower picked out Ian Bell's controlled second-innings century and Anderson's "skill and determination" to bowl more than 50 overs and take 10 wickets as particular highlights of England's narrow, 14-run victory.

    "We played some excellent cricket, Ian Bell was outstanding, a really skilful innings. But more importantly I think it was an innings full of courage and guts and resilience," said Flower, who rated it perhaps Bell's best in an England shirt.

    Being dazzled by the youngster is one thing. But Bell proved he was a Pro.

  • jb633 on July 15, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Both sides need to be applauded for this game of cricket and my respect for Australia has increased due to the fight they showed. Although we do have our pitfalls (playing spin on the whole) the one thing we have got better at is holding our nerve in big games. It would have been a huge loss for us had we not been able to survive the last day in New Zeland, and despite an awful showing all round we managed to escape with a reputation still in tact. It would have been very easy for us to lose the first test of the home series against New Zeland but after we got our bit between the teeth we simply blew them away in the fourth innings. Against SA we simply never found a position by which we could throw the game away as we were never in front. I really hope we have another solid year here and get back to the standards we set from 2010-2011. I never felt we were the same side after the UAE debacle but hopefully we can sustain a spell of consistency for longer in the forthcoming period.

  • CapitalMarkets on July 16, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK ... I agree that Bresnan and Broad are not genuine all-rounders if we stay with the classic "batting average is higher than the bowling average" definition of the breed. But I would strongly argue that teams don't need all-rounders at seven and eight. The West Indians I saw at the Oval in 1984 didn't have an all-rounder (Sobers had retired). They played Grenidge, Haynes, Gomes, Richards and LLoyd as the batsmen, Jeff Dujon (wicketkeeper) at six and Baptiste, Marshall, Harper, Holding and Garner as the bowlers. England had Ian Botham at six, if memory serves. Baptist, Marshall and Harper could bat a bit but were bowlers first and foremost. The West Indies were bowled out cheaply in the first innings but still won comfortably courtesy of 125 from Desmond Haynes which took nearly six hours. The point is that it was an attacking selection and that the bowlers who didn't do so well in England's first innings (Garner and Holding) cam back and took nine wickets in the second.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 16, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    @CapitalMarkets (post on July 16, 2013, 10:15 GMT): again with the all-rounders, which England do not have! I do agree with your main points though, and love the interesting stats you've shared; I have commented several times during the last game (and previous series) that England vastly underuse their part-time bowlers like KP/Root/Bell/Trott when the conditions/circumstances allow for them and the frontline bowlers are struggling. But it seems England will NEVER try 5-1-5, and where are these 'all-rounders' you keep harping on about? There is no way England will swap a batsman or two for Broad/Bresnan-style players who are bowlers that once-in-a-blue-moon offer something with the bat (be that runs or simply blocking). Woakes is a potential, but his struggles against NZ did him/England's confidence no favours unfortunately.

  • CapitalMarkets on July 16, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    The facts say that the Autralian batsmen (top 7) scored 321-14 and England 569-14, yet Australia nearly won. The two busiest bowlers were Anderson and Swan (combined age 65) who sent down 119 overs (68% of England's total), whereas Pattinson and Starc (combined age 46) sent down 100 (48% of Australia's). That means that even when Australia's batsmen are failing, England are overbowling their senior bowlers. England have three part timers amongst the batsmen to Australia's two plus Watson, who is the only genuine all-rounder in either side. England need to recognise that they must act before 20 days of test cricket in just four weeks causes Anderson or Swan (or both) to break down. They need to think of playing Prior at six with two all-rounders and three more specialist bowlers. Bresnan at seven gives the opportunity to blood a genuine attacking fast bowler like Boyd Rankin or give Graham Onions the opportunity to show what he can do. And train bowlers to defend stoutly when batting.

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    @CustomKid- I don't wish to ignore anything. Just found it very interesting that you chose to ignore that this England side just defeated India at home. I think this is more indicative of your personal opinion of the English side than any indication of their quality in reality.

  • CustomKid on July 16, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    @hammond I don't recall referring to Australia as a champion side in fact this is the worst Australian side I've watched since the mid 80's. my point obviously hit home and home truths are something you wish to ignore so be it.

    Re read what I wrote and you'll actually see I said Jimmy Anderson is the man and that batting wise England from 1-7 with the exception of Clarke have better average in the range of 10-20 runs better which makes them superior, is that not positive recognition of the current English team?

    Again read things how you will, as much as I dislike England credit where credit is due, they are a good team, just not a champion team yet.

  • CustomKid on July 16, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    @hamond - not at all that was a stellar effort, they beat also beat or tied with Sri Lanka too, yet they lost 3 zip to Pakistan in the UAE, struggled to draw with the kiwis and got thrashed at home by ZA. I'm just highlighting that they're very inconsistent and champion sides don't do that. Are you disagreeing with this point or wearing the same glasses as FFL?

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @CustomKid- funny that you ignored Englands last test series. Let me remind you- they won in India, which Australia has only managed to do once in 40 years. Oh yeah, and this "champion" Australian side played the same team on the same pitches, and got whitewashed. Just funny that you ignored that "little" part of their recent test history.

  • Cyril_Knight on July 16, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Flower is spot on in his appraisal. Just think if it had been a normal Test match with fewer nerves on display, then those very rare big last wicket partnerships would never have happened. If you take away those two flukes England would have had Australia out for 120 and 220 and everyone would be saying ""Wow!" Instead people are overreacting and criticising when there is little need to.

    I'm very glad the people who matter are pleased with the performance, England bowled fantastically throughout the match and only two last wicket stands prevent that from being reflected on the scorecards.

    England will rightly be very confident of replicating this bowling at Lord's, without the last wicket stands and complete the job of bowling Australia out for even lower scores than they managed at Trent Bridge.

  • jackiethepen on July 16, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge applauds the t20 innings of Agar in the summary of this match alongside Anderson's bowling. All credit to the lad. But isn't he missing something? That this is a Test match and Bell's match winning innings was the key - 6 and half hours at the crease with different partners. Magnificent stand with Broad. And the skills on show by Bell were impressive. Don't take my word for it. This is Flower in interview reported elsewhere.

    Flower picked out Ian Bell's controlled second-innings century and Anderson's "skill and determination" to bowl more than 50 overs and take 10 wickets as particular highlights of England's narrow, 14-run victory.

    "We played some excellent cricket, Ian Bell was outstanding, a really skilful innings. But more importantly I think it was an innings full of courage and guts and resilience," said Flower, who rated it perhaps Bell's best in an England shirt.

    Being dazzled by the youngster is one thing. But Bell proved he was a Pro.

  • jb633 on July 15, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Both sides need to be applauded for this game of cricket and my respect for Australia has increased due to the fight they showed. Although we do have our pitfalls (playing spin on the whole) the one thing we have got better at is holding our nerve in big games. It would have been a huge loss for us had we not been able to survive the last day in New Zeland, and despite an awful showing all round we managed to escape with a reputation still in tact. It would have been very easy for us to lose the first test of the home series against New Zeland but after we got our bit between the teeth we simply blew them away in the fourth innings. Against SA we simply never found a position by which we could throw the game away as we were never in front. I really hope we have another solid year here and get back to the standards we set from 2010-2011. I never felt we were the same side after the UAE debacle but hopefully we can sustain a spell of consistency for longer in the forthcoming period.

  • CapitalMarkets on July 16, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK ... I agree that Bresnan and Broad are not genuine all-rounders if we stay with the classic "batting average is higher than the bowling average" definition of the breed. But I would strongly argue that teams don't need all-rounders at seven and eight. The West Indians I saw at the Oval in 1984 didn't have an all-rounder (Sobers had retired). They played Grenidge, Haynes, Gomes, Richards and LLoyd as the batsmen, Jeff Dujon (wicketkeeper) at six and Baptiste, Marshall, Harper, Holding and Garner as the bowlers. England had Ian Botham at six, if memory serves. Baptist, Marshall and Harper could bat a bit but were bowlers first and foremost. The West Indies were bowled out cheaply in the first innings but still won comfortably courtesy of 125 from Desmond Haynes which took nearly six hours. The point is that it was an attacking selection and that the bowlers who didn't do so well in England's first innings (Garner and Holding) cam back and took nine wickets in the second.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 16, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    @CapitalMarkets (post on July 16, 2013, 10:15 GMT): again with the all-rounders, which England do not have! I do agree with your main points though, and love the interesting stats you've shared; I have commented several times during the last game (and previous series) that England vastly underuse their part-time bowlers like KP/Root/Bell/Trott when the conditions/circumstances allow for them and the frontline bowlers are struggling. But it seems England will NEVER try 5-1-5, and where are these 'all-rounders' you keep harping on about? There is no way England will swap a batsman or two for Broad/Bresnan-style players who are bowlers that once-in-a-blue-moon offer something with the bat (be that runs or simply blocking). Woakes is a potential, but his struggles against NZ did him/England's confidence no favours unfortunately.

  • CapitalMarkets on July 16, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    The facts say that the Autralian batsmen (top 7) scored 321-14 and England 569-14, yet Australia nearly won. The two busiest bowlers were Anderson and Swan (combined age 65) who sent down 119 overs (68% of England's total), whereas Pattinson and Starc (combined age 46) sent down 100 (48% of Australia's). That means that even when Australia's batsmen are failing, England are overbowling their senior bowlers. England have three part timers amongst the batsmen to Australia's two plus Watson, who is the only genuine all-rounder in either side. England need to recognise that they must act before 20 days of test cricket in just four weeks causes Anderson or Swan (or both) to break down. They need to think of playing Prior at six with two all-rounders and three more specialist bowlers. Bresnan at seven gives the opportunity to blood a genuine attacking fast bowler like Boyd Rankin or give Graham Onions the opportunity to show what he can do. And train bowlers to defend stoutly when batting.

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    @CustomKid- I don't wish to ignore anything. Just found it very interesting that you chose to ignore that this England side just defeated India at home. I think this is more indicative of your personal opinion of the English side than any indication of their quality in reality.

  • CustomKid on July 16, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    @hammond I don't recall referring to Australia as a champion side in fact this is the worst Australian side I've watched since the mid 80's. my point obviously hit home and home truths are something you wish to ignore so be it.

    Re read what I wrote and you'll actually see I said Jimmy Anderson is the man and that batting wise England from 1-7 with the exception of Clarke have better average in the range of 10-20 runs better which makes them superior, is that not positive recognition of the current English team?

    Again read things how you will, as much as I dislike England credit where credit is due, they are a good team, just not a champion team yet.

  • CustomKid on July 16, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    @hamond - not at all that was a stellar effort, they beat also beat or tied with Sri Lanka too, yet they lost 3 zip to Pakistan in the UAE, struggled to draw with the kiwis and got thrashed at home by ZA. I'm just highlighting that they're very inconsistent and champion sides don't do that. Are you disagreeing with this point or wearing the same glasses as FFL?

  • Hammond on July 16, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @CustomKid- funny that you ignored Englands last test series. Let me remind you- they won in India, which Australia has only managed to do once in 40 years. Oh yeah, and this "champion" Australian side played the same team on the same pitches, and got whitewashed. Just funny that you ignored that "little" part of their recent test history.

  • Cyril_Knight on July 16, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Flower is spot on in his appraisal. Just think if it had been a normal Test match with fewer nerves on display, then those very rare big last wicket partnerships would never have happened. If you take away those two flukes England would have had Australia out for 120 and 220 and everyone would be saying ""Wow!" Instead people are overreacting and criticising when there is little need to.

    I'm very glad the people who matter are pleased with the performance, England bowled fantastically throughout the match and only two last wicket stands prevent that from being reflected on the scorecards.

    England will rightly be very confident of replicating this bowling at Lord's, without the last wicket stands and complete the job of bowling Australia out for even lower scores than they managed at Trent Bridge.

  • bonaku on July 16, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    I am wondering what would Andy Flower would have done, if opposition player did what Board did. Probably, he might have made a visit to Referee and opposition dressing room.

  • CustomKid on July 16, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    @ Front Foot Lunge - You sir make me laugh, those union jack coloured glasses you wear never disappoint. I'm not sure i'd describe ENG as champions. Tours of PAK, recent NZ away tour and being pantsed by SAF last year highlights their inconsistency - and champions don't do that.

    Jimmy Anderson is the man no question but Broad inconsistent at best, Swan doesn't really threaten the Australians unless it's turning square + bowler number 4 (all as average as each other) as group are on level pegging with the AUS bowlers for me. In friendly conditions they'll get as much out of the duke as ENG.

    The main difference and it was always going to be the main difference is the batting average per batsman in the top 7. In most spots bar Clarke ENG are superior by 10 - 20 runs per man and that is a game breaker. If AUS found a way to negate Anderson (very unlikely) I'd say they'd win this series.

  • CustomKid on July 16, 2013, 0:31 GMT

    @Darren Rickards comment: Spot on. There is no point saying if Broad had walked or if Agar was stumped. Fact is Broad didn't walk and Agar was judged not out. This game and it's results are about facts and not what if?

    I'm sick of reading Australia's tail saved them. Of course they saved them, is there any reason they might not save them in the next test too? Of course not, anyone can perform on any day, that is the beauty of this game. I'd prefer the top six to get the runs but if it's the tail then so be it.

    On the flip side I could say if only Anderson didn't get two five wicket hauls AUS would have won! Time for people to get it through their thick skulls, you're only as good as the performance you put on the park regardless of your record.

    Both teams took 20 wickets and only 14 runs separated them. ENG has a better top 6, but AUS didn't allow them to fire, its pretty simple. We are watching the #3&4 here, they're evenly matched and a lot closer than most want to accept.

  • Nutcutlet on July 15, 2013, 22:38 GMT

    As Broad has needed patching up & Finn's lost line, length & confidence & Jimmy has been bowled into the Trent Bridge dust & who knows how Swann's elbow is standing up, I wonder if Flower is looking at the Sussex vs Australians match to get another England bowler guesting for the squad -- possibly Onions -- to get some red-ball match practice. Of course, it would show the Ozzies what he can do, so it's a ticklish one, but the need to have bowlers with recent overs under their belts is a predicament that is caused by this mid-season hiatus for the FLt20 stuff. Durham's next fixture is away at Lord's v Middlesex beginning on 2/8, the second day of the 3rd Test. If Onions (or someone else, poss. Tremlett?) doesn't play in the Sx match, then he may well be under-cooked should he be required for Old Trafford. There are recent 'guesting' precedents (Strauss for Somerset; Compton for Worcs) & I'm just wondering if bowlers are also included in this practice. It'll be interesting to find out.

  • the_blue_android on July 15, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Anderson is no where close to Dale Steyn!

  • whatawicket on July 15, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    Nampally get a grip. both teams could have 10 revues per innings as long as each time they use it they use it correctly and its upheld, the problem arise when as batters waste its use. the aus skippers use when he used it to his caught behind was a complete waste. then some were down the line when they needed it they were used up.

  • 5wombats on July 15, 2013, 21:09 GMT

    @Nampally. A one-eyed analysis from you. You have ignored the Agar Stumped Out which was OUT, resoundingly so. Because of this Australia got a huge and statistically highly improbable last wicket partnership. Agar should have been given out with his score on 6. At that moment the score was 9/131. Australia should have been all out for 131. Agar went on to make 98 and Australia 280. In other words due to that mistake Australia got 149 runs more than they should have. Trott was then given out, mistakenly, on 0. If this game had been played in your beloved India Trott would have been Not Out, since the on-field Umpire did not raise his finger. Maybe Trott would have been out for zero anyway - who knows? According to me Englands winning margin should have been 149+14+Trotts Innings. Lets just settle for 163 shall we? If you want to subtract the whole of Broads 65 then the winning margin would be 98. Friend - this game looks close, but it was only close because the 3rd Umpire made it so.

  • BennieLovesCricket on July 15, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Had just about enough of the DRS shoutfest. If DRS was not in place the game would not have been a lot different. It's only the Broad incident that shone the spotlight on it and that was only because Australia didn't have a review left!

    Of 13 calls on DRS throughout the game 5 produced a reversal. There were 2 reversals in England's 2nd innings - Trott given and Bell reprieved. Arguably these evened each other out.

    In Australia's 2nd innings Rogers was reprieved whereas Hughes was dismissed. These also could be considered to even out.

    That does of course leave the biggie of Haddin's dismissal and I guess fans from both sides will argue that one til the cows come home. I'm English so obviously I know it was out but Aussies will find a way of knowing it was not out too. That's how brains work.

    Suffice it to say that, whereas in 2005 Billy Bowden without DRS gave Kasprowicz out when he was actually not out, in 2013 DRS gave Haddin out when he probably was. Either way it's a coin toss.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on July 15, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Flower should be proud of his team. Despite thinking they were batting on a great pitch they threw their wickets away on a slow low surface that negated seam and spin and free-slowing shot making, they still recovered like champions. They recovered despite being left with just 2 seamers, and effectively one in the absence of an off-colour Finn. There followed an innings not one to forget quickly, as Agar's innings, fortunate to start with and throughout, but mixed in with some quite beautiful T20 moments, took Aus from 117-9 to 280. That England managed to post almost 400 second innings after having lost Trott to the 'DRS moment historical footnote' on an awful playing surface reinforced their quality. And all we can say about James Anderson after one Ashes test is that he bowls faster than Pattison and is worth more than the entire Australia bowling attack combined.

  • on July 15, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    Its not England who hold there nerve, It's James Anderson who kept his cool and showed the class of his blowing. They totally depend on Jimmy which may end up in a big problem for England..

  • Baundele on July 15, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    I almost forgot about Flower in the English set up. Welcome back! DRS is not the problem; the man using it is the problem. If fair judgement is the issue, leave everything to the technology. Do not leave it to the mercy of umpires.

  • on July 15, 2013, 19:26 GMT

    Class interview with Andy Flower. Focused on the things that matter and praised Cook, Jimmy and Bell personally - rightly. There was too much extraneous noise during this match and some of the hype over DRS and the fatuous "Spirit of Cricket" we could have done without. The final day parallel with Edgbaston 2005 was almost spooky !

    To be at the ground was a privilege though I wish the ECB could get the message that they don't need to hype up The Ashes with their jingoistic #RISE promotion. It was tasteless, badly put together and insulting to the Aussies.

  • CapitalMarkets on July 15, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    @Sultan2007 ... I agree that the DRS needs to be used to support the umpires on the field. Run outs and stumpings could routinely go to the off-field umpire if they were marginal but situations which were cut and dried do not require the DRS. Keep the "two reviews" system but prevent injustices by allowing the third umpire to pro-actively support the on-field officials (to eliminate obvious injustices like the "Broad incident") without giving the public access to what is said. It's clearly necessary to remove the conflict of interest inherent in allowing broadcasters to be in charge of the equipment. Keep the principle of "don't meddle with on-field decisions which are marginal". That principle appears to have kept Agar and Trott on and send Broad off which would probably not change the result in the circumstances. Umpires have to be couragous enough to keep play going when the fielding side take their boots off and insist that bowlers are on the field at least 20 mins before bowling.

  • 2929paul on July 15, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Too many people are focusing on the umpiring and DRS controversies and not the match, which ebbed and flowed over four and a half fantastic days of cricket, played with great intensity by the two oldest rivals in cricket. What a series in prospect.

    Oh and by the way @Nampally, you have conveniently ignored the "what if" of the poor DRS of the Trott LBW. I reckon he would have scored 200 not out and England would have declared with a lead of 400, with Broad not even needed to bat. Forget it. Forget all of them. Remember Agar, Bell, Haddin, Anderson, the tension and the relief.

  • Nampally on July 15, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    It was a close & exciting finish to a fine & evenly fought game. Aussies nearly pulled it off. As was the case on 2 previous days, Umpires had the final say. Broad after being caught in the slips refused to leave & Umpire Dar, made one of the worst calls in not declaring Broad OUT. This decision alone may have cost England the match because Broad went on to score 60 odd runs - considering the final margin of victory was only 14 runs. Prior's caught behind was also debatable. The final decision ruled on some sound was inconclusive but Prior was still given out. This made Broad's caught in the slips decision look even worse. DRS should be extended to 5/innings to make it meaningful - since it costs so much to use it. In addition, inconclusive decisions should be ruled in favour of batsmen. Sadly England's victory was marred by poor umpiring decisions.

  • on July 15, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    If Agar had been given out stumped, Australia could have still won the game. If Broad had walked then who know's what will have happened? Maybe Swann would have scored a century? Maybe Australia would have chased down 400 or all out for 50? Every moment is connected to the previous one so you cannot say 'if this' or 'if that'. England are 1-0 up and we move on to the next test on Thursday.

  • on July 15, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    it was a great match that went down to the wire. Most of the out decisions were correct, along with DRS making a vital contribution. DRS is not really about the howler it is players taking the rules to the limits, Phil Hughes not out LWB was hardly a howler whereas Broad's caught behind was. The only DRS mistake was Trott's LBW, and that was due to a process failure, the stumping was an umpire referral, still wrong outcome mind you.

  • RohanMarkJay on July 15, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Australia has a better pace bowling attack than England. Thats a fact, they demolished the vaunted Sri Lankan batting line up at the Boxing day test match at the MCG. Granted it was a wicket suited to pace, only Sangakkara offering any resistance. England must hope Anderson doesn't get injured for the next 9 test matches. I do think however England bowlers will do better in England than when they go to Australia. As far as I can see if Aussie bats put runs on the board to back their excellent bowlers, I see Aussies having the upper hand. That said there is not much separating the teams. They are both of almost equal strength, a rarity in the last 20 years. Back in the 1990s the Ashes contests were too much in favour of Australia. England went the whole decade without a single ashes series win. Even though England in 1990s had pretty good individual cricketers, like Smith, Gooch, Malcolm, Fraser, Stewart, Tuffnell to name a few, they never got it right as a team.

  • on July 15, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    If the batsmen decide if they are out or not, (i.e. walk or not to walk) why do we need any umpires. Bowlers can decide if they bowled a no ball or not. The fielder can decide if he caught a ball or not!

  • Jaffa79 on July 15, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    The scary thing is that England played dreadfully (bar Bell and Anderson) and this is the worst we get. We also start series very poorly. On the other hand, that is the best the Aussies have played in ages and England still won! When Cook, Trott KP Root and Prior hit their stride it won't even be close.

  • LoveCric1975 on July 15, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Quote from article by mark nicholas on cricinfo regarding the Aussie 1st innings:"Because Australia were nine wickets down, lunch was delayed by half an hour - a new wheeze from the ICC that took us all by surprise. From that point on the match, and the series, was alive" unquote. Now my point is that Australia were again 9 down when they needed 20 to win and lunch was taken after broad's laughable antics with his boot. Why didn't they allow extra half hour before lunch like they did in Aussie first innings. Bob willis suggested on telly in The Ashes Verdict that had lunch been delayed by half hour, Aussies would have knocked off the 20 required as momentum was with them. Please somebody explain this. If OZ were 9 down again just before lunch was due in the 2nd innings why the double standard in allowing players to go lunching with haddin and patto staring at a chicken sandwich and stuffing it down their throats with potentially 3 and a half hit away from a famous win. FARCE

  • Sultan2007 on July 15, 2013, 16:00 GMT

    We can debate about which team played the better cricket and the answer may well be England. And I would also agree that Australia was against the ropes but for Agar in the first innings and they should never have been allowed to escape BUT when the puts and takes are added up, at the margin, the England win was enabled by their more effective use of the DRS and even that would not have been enough had it not been for Broad's own interpretation of fair play. Sad statement for a side that was lauded as a deserving No 1 not so long ago and which was expected to sweep this series (which it may still well do but likely with more stress). Looks like there is now a 4th dimension to the game of cricket - Batting/Bowling/Fielding AND DRS-ing. I say, the players should focus on the game and let the DRS be an aid solely to the umpires

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    I've siad it before, this is round one of a Heavy weight fight, neither team looks like it will give a quarter.

    First honours to england with 9 rounds to go, though aus just trailing on points probably scored 8-10 to england,

    The boxers are back in thier corner getting refreshed and advice from the manager, when the bell rings at lords its round 2.

    The only pity is that the overall agrgate of the two series are not taken into account to decide who wins the Ashes.

  • whatawicket on July 15, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    England won the game even though they were 65 behind on 1st innings. taking into account, as many seem to have, that the broad not walking was the reason the Aussies lost, but that the not out with the stumping seem to have counted so little to the England win. that not out counted big time to the value of the lead England actually got when they were bowled out in their 2nd innings. all things taking into account England should have had a lead of 450 plus and thus England a big win

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NIC, thanks for the clarifications, I agree they have a problem with tail enders, but thats mainly because they try too many things, rather than keeping the ball in the slot, like anderson did.

  • on July 15, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    England cannot depend on Anderson alone. I think Australia are still favorites :)

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 15, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding (post on July 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT): Sorry - I used wrong phrase. By death-bowling, I mean bowling out the tail-enders / non-specialist batsmen (as opposed to final overs of a short-format game). There is no doubt that Australia have one of the finest batting tails out there in test cricket at the moment. However, as I mentioned in an earlier article by George (something about England freezing when things don't go well), I still say England seem to have a problem bowling out 'tail-enders' and don't seem to have any plans, as if the wickets are simply inevitable and they don't have to work for them.

  • cloudmess on July 15, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Sriram Kamalapruram: one article about resilience in the England camp, and already you are "tired" of it. Give them a break. Did you ever see the all-conquering Aussies say after another easy Ashes victory "better tone down the celebrations a bit this time, lads, not a very good English side we've beaten?" You must also think England are one of the best sides in history if they really can just turn up for a home test and let the conditions do the rest. In any case, check out the scores when they last toured Australia and India...

  • Nutcutlet on July 15, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @Sriram Kamalapuram: your interepretation on Flower's comments are well wide of the mark. There's not a hint of 'gloating' & the choice of 'steely' is, again, your own. Neither is anyone 'going overboard with their celebrations'. I read your comments as quite prejudiced - wanting to stick something on the England team & management that is not warranted by the facts or the attitudes of Flower or Cook. Both are fully appreciative of the gutsy effort that Oz made to snatch the game away from England. I wonder why you should want to denegrate one side at the end of a tremendous Ashes encounter by looking for something that isn't there, but inventing it all the same. Yes, of course England is playing at home, but curiously the pitches are quite un-English (quite Indian, in fact) in what is turning out to be a rare dry & hot (for England) summer. As anyone who knows about cricket in England, you will always find an overwhelming majority of followers who are fair-minded & generous in spirit.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 15, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    One of the best things to come out of that was just Flower's expression at the end of the game. He looked chuffed to say the least.. On the basis that England will get better from now on the future looks bright certainly. But how one keeps one's nerve when the score drops below 20 required I do not know. I just clung on to the thought it would happen somehow out of nowhere! ..and it did! Cook we know as the master of sangue froid,but that was second to Edgbaston surely! One thing seems likely anyway is that in Ashes England usually win the close ones..

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    @Posted by on (July 15, 2013, 12:16 GMT) , did you forget that England and australia have pretty much similar conditions and the game at the weekend was more like being in Australia than England with the heat and humidity.

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK, actually the bowlers need to put thier feet up for the next couple of days, and death bowling only really comes into it in ODI and T20.

  • on July 15, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Getting a bit tired of all the gloating about steely nerves, resilience, etc from the English Camp. Did they forget that they are playing in their home conditions??

    Australia almost snatched victory from the jaws of Defeat and yet we see the English going overboard with their celebrations. While the victory was a good one, it came at home and it came as a huge relief. Remember, England were supposed to win this anyway.

    Cheers

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 15, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Well Andy Flower, that's all well and good, but I still say you need to get your bowlers into the nets practicing their yorkers and death-bowling much more/better. That is one of England's weaknesses. Is Malinga available for a brief call/Skype session before Thursday?

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 15, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Well Andy Flower, that's all well and good, but I still say you need to get your bowlers into the nets practicing their yorkers and death-bowling much more/better. That is one of England's weaknesses. Is Malinga available for a brief call/Skype session before Thursday?

  • on July 15, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Getting a bit tired of all the gloating about steely nerves, resilience, etc from the English Camp. Did they forget that they are playing in their home conditions??

    Australia almost snatched victory from the jaws of Defeat and yet we see the English going overboard with their celebrations. While the victory was a good one, it came at home and it came as a huge relief. Remember, England were supposed to win this anyway.

    Cheers

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    @Posted by on (July 15, 2013, 12:16 GMT) , did you forget that England and australia have pretty much similar conditions and the game at the weekend was more like being in Australia than England with the heat and humidity.

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK, actually the bowlers need to put thier feet up for the next couple of days, and death bowling only really comes into it in ODI and T20.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 15, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    One of the best things to come out of that was just Flower's expression at the end of the game. He looked chuffed to say the least.. On the basis that England will get better from now on the future looks bright certainly. But how one keeps one's nerve when the score drops below 20 required I do not know. I just clung on to the thought it would happen somehow out of nowhere! ..and it did! Cook we know as the master of sangue froid,but that was second to Edgbaston surely! One thing seems likely anyway is that in Ashes England usually win the close ones..

  • Nutcutlet on July 15, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    @Sriram Kamalapuram: your interepretation on Flower's comments are well wide of the mark. There's not a hint of 'gloating' & the choice of 'steely' is, again, your own. Neither is anyone 'going overboard with their celebrations'. I read your comments as quite prejudiced - wanting to stick something on the England team & management that is not warranted by the facts or the attitudes of Flower or Cook. Both are fully appreciative of the gutsy effort that Oz made to snatch the game away from England. I wonder why you should want to denegrate one side at the end of a tremendous Ashes encounter by looking for something that isn't there, but inventing it all the same. Yes, of course England is playing at home, but curiously the pitches are quite un-English (quite Indian, in fact) in what is turning out to be a rare dry & hot (for England) summer. As anyone who knows about cricket in England, you will always find an overwhelming majority of followers who are fair-minded & generous in spirit.

  • cloudmess on July 15, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Sriram Kamalapruram: one article about resilience in the England camp, and already you are "tired" of it. Give them a break. Did you ever see the all-conquering Aussies say after another easy Ashes victory "better tone down the celebrations a bit this time, lads, not a very good English side we've beaten?" You must also think England are one of the best sides in history if they really can just turn up for a home test and let the conditions do the rest. In any case, check out the scores when they last toured Australia and India...

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 15, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding (post on July 15, 2013, 13:21 GMT): Sorry - I used wrong phrase. By death-bowling, I mean bowling out the tail-enders / non-specialist batsmen (as opposed to final overs of a short-format game). There is no doubt that Australia have one of the finest batting tails out there in test cricket at the moment. However, as I mentioned in an earlier article by George (something about England freezing when things don't go well), I still say England seem to have a problem bowling out 'tail-enders' and don't seem to have any plans, as if the wickets are simply inevitable and they don't have to work for them.

  • on July 15, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    England cannot depend on Anderson alone. I think Australia are still favorites :)

  • YorkshirePudding on July 15, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NIC, thanks for the clarifications, I agree they have a problem with tail enders, but thats mainly because they try too many things, rather than keeping the ball in the slot, like anderson did.

  • whatawicket on July 15, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    England won the game even though they were 65 behind on 1st innings. taking into account, as many seem to have, that the broad not walking was the reason the Aussies lost, but that the not out with the stumping seem to have counted so little to the England win. that not out counted big time to the value of the lead England actually got when they were bowled out in their 2nd innings. all things taking into account England should have had a lead of 450 plus and thus England a big win