England v Australia, 4th Investec Ashes Test, Durham, 1st day August 9, 2013

Lyon leads strong Australia display

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England 238 for 9 (Cook 51, Lyon 4-42) v Australia
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

As he wheeled away through 38 quite exemplary overs at Old Trafford for the reward of one wicket and the loss of the Ashes, Nathan Lyon must have wondered when fortune would deign to smile on him and Australia. The answer was not long in coming at Chester-le-Street, on a day when Lyon's remarkably incisive contribution was central to England's sharp decline from 149 for 2 to 238 for 9.

Alastair Cook's men may have the urn in their keeping but any sense of superiority is steadily eroding. They were guilty of profligacy at some times and paralysis at others, never finding the right gear for a pitch that was slow and nibbly but far from treacherous. Ian Bell in particular will curse his maddening choice of shot in the first over after tea, while Australia's seamers ensured the blows applied to English confidence in Manchester were followed up in Durham.

Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson all contributed at various times, and Jackson Bird had a notable first day in Ashes matches, nagging away and capturing the prized wicket of Cook after England's captain had set himself for the kind of stony occupation he trademarked in Australia in 2010-11. But the major plaudits were reserved for Lyon, who won a significant battle with Kevin Pietersen and troubled every batsman with his flight, drop and changes of pace from around the wicket. His omission from the first two Tests of the series increasingly appears an error as grievous as that committed by Bell four balls into the evening session.

The early overs had lacked a certain energy, as Harris fought to relocate the rhythm and swing of Old Trafford, while Bird settled into a line and length that encouraged defensive dead bats but did not coax any edges into the Australian slips cordon. There was the merest hint of seam movement but the surface was otherwise slow, as was the outfield. Cook and Joe Root battled to find their timing, England's captain leaving plenty outside off stump while also coping with the full length Australia have forced him to deal with throughout the series.

Clarke again resorted to Watson before Peter Siddle, hoping for some new-ball movement, and after a somewhat wayward start it was the newly demoted allrounder - expected to bat at No. 6 in this match - who struck. Root was somewhat tardy getting forward to a ball sliding away from him, and the sound of the nick was clear to all except the umpire Tony Hill, who was soon crossing himself and raising his finger after Clarke's referral showed up a noise, a deflection and even a Hot Spot.

The wicket brought Trott to the crease, and he immediately showed signs of improved fluency after a poor third Test. His one boundary before the interval was an edge through the slips but there was also a more decisive flick through midwicket and a pair of confident strides out to drive. Clarke did not chance an over from Lyon during the morning, preferring to let his seamers push during a session that yielded them less than they might have hoped for.

Trott and Cook were largely unhurried and unfazed in the hour after lunch, and it was a shock to many when England's No. 3 squeezed a Lyon offbreak to short leg, where Usman Khawaja held a neat catch. Pietersen swung lustily at his very first ball and was fortunate to mistime it into the expanses beyond midwicket, but some better struck boundaries ensued and Lyon was withdrawn.

It was not until he returned that England were troubled again, a ball looped teasingly from around the wicket drawing an edge from Pietersen and a fine catch by Brad Haddin up to the stumps. If that wicket had altered proceedings, that of Cook's changed the complexion of the day completely, Bird finding just the right amount of seam movement to have the captain pinned in front of off stump with his bat never intended for use.

Cook had underestimated Bird's capacity to move the ball, and in the first over after tea Bell would pay for treating Lyon with contempt. Four balls into the evening, he advanced to drive at a flighted delivery, failing to get to the pitch and shelling a catch in the general vicinity of mid-off, where Harris clasped a sharp chance. It was a vainglorious stroke, and consigned Matt Prior and Jonny Bairstow to a major salvage task.

They started well enough, working the ball around, but as Clarke and his bowlers tightened up in response both batsmen were rendered near enough to shotless. Only 34 runs had been added in a union nearing 20 overs' duration when Prior was pinned in front of the stumps by Siddle. Aleem Dar declined the appeal, but Australia's referral showed the ball to be striking enough of leg stump for the decision to be overturned.

Bairstow fought desperately, denying his usual aggressive tendencies, but ultimately the pressure told. He went down on one knee to sweep Lyon from around the wicket and missed, Hill's finger was raised and Bairstow's anguished review showing the off break had straightened enough and would have clipped the top of the stumps. Stuart Broad soon followed, spooning Harris ineffectually to cover, and Graeme Swann picked out deep square leg.

Tim Bresnan and James Anderson played the day out comfortably, adding 24 from 20 balls. It was a sight that cheered the crowd but had to discomfort England, given their earlier wastefulness.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • cric_J on August 10, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    A highly intriguing day's play.

    England were initially well on top and finally dished out a solid and long due opening stand at 107/1 that would have been of much relief to all English fans. Trott looked like regaining some of his fluent touch and Cook, though unimpressive, grinded out in trademark style.

    What followed was extraordinary and very disappointing to watch being an England fan. KP, Bell and Broad, in particular, had been in good nick and they got themselves out with absolutely headless shots.

    The Aussie seamers bowled tightly and although I haven't seen Bird before this, he looked pretty decent, especially in the second session. IMO Lyon's figures were a touch flattering but it was probably only fair given he bowled much better than his figures suggested at OT.It was a sincere effort from him though not a spectacular one.

    Given that 300 is usually par at CLS for 1st inn. So England's 239-250 may be fine enough if they can bowl well by being full, patient and accurate.

  • on August 9, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Hats off to Aussie bowlers and whoever said Lyon should bowl round the wicket. But England collapsed due to some poor shots. It's not surprising that they have a let down after securing the Ashes -- not unusual at all. So mentally they're flat and that led to some of the bad decisions. The only batsmen who can genuinely feel they hadn't let the side down so far are Anderson and Bresnan because they're still at bat! (Maybe Swann for hitting them into a bit of confidence and getting them over 200). Having said all that, you never assess the future of a Test until both sides have batted once, so the jury will remain out. Another 30 runs in the morning and it starts to look like Brisbane 2010/2011 potential... we all know what happened there.

  • poms_have_short_memories on August 9, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Australia'a bowling attack is far and away their best strength. Ryan Harris is bowling very well and must be considered one of the best pace bowlers in the world, Siddle is superbly accurate as well as having the ability to move the ball of the seam and using angles from the crease, Lyon is improving all the time(whilst not yet in Swann's class) and should become an excellent offie.Bird, Starc, Cummins, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Fawad Ahmed, Steven O'Keefe, Gurinder Singh, the list goes on with the bowling, even Mitchell Johnson has been bowling better than ever lately. So, no worries with the bowling.Obviously the batting is the problem, Clarke has at best, maybe 4yrs left, hopefully Khawaja, Warner, Maddinson and Smith to name a few can reach their potential and become good test players.

  • H_Z_O on August 9, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    There's been a lot of talk about poor batting from England, but how about giving an excellent bowling attack some well-deserved credit?

    Bird was, as expected, very good, and as many have said before, questions have to be asked about why he wasn't picked sooner, especially at Lord's (a ground where a line bowler can really prosper because of the slope). Siddle and Harris have been a cut above every other seam bowler in this series bar Anderson at Trent Bridge (and since then they've even out-bowled him). Harris has an average and strike rate that few, other than the brilliant Steyn and Philander, can rival.

    Lyon bowled accurately and with some intelligence (around the wicket to create an angle), and where luck deserted him at Old Trafford, he prospered off the seamers' pressure here. No shame in that. Hindsight's 20-20 but how much must Aussie fans wish Bird and Lyon had played at Lords? At the time, I did say both should.

    The question is, can England bowl as well as Australia have?

  • Puffin on August 9, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    England's approach seems quite reasonable to me. There's no need or use handing Australia advantage by letting them win a test here, it would only give them a confidence boost for the return series.

    Plus Australia's seam attack is easily the best facet of their side. Let the top three wear them out, then let loose the strokeplay. It's worked before many times.

  • MartinC on August 9, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    @jb633 - England are unbeaten in 11 Test matches. Wearing down an attack and seeing off the new ball are critical in setting up a big first innings total. This is how Test cricket used to be played and there is nothing wrong with it, the results speak for themselves.

  • H_Z_O on August 10, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    @Greatest_Game no offence to Philander, and I'm not suggesting Bird's better, but I would say that ball was better than anything I saw Philander bowl last year. Bird's not quite as consistent as Philander, who's a human metronome, but he's also a lot less experienced (in terms of First Class cricket, at least).

    Of course, Philander offers a lot more with the bat than Bird too.

    That said, this performance from Australia did remind me of the way South Africa's bowlers choked England's batsmen last year by applying consistent and unrelenting pressure. There were a few bad balls, but they were incredibly rare and while there might be question marks over Watson's batting, his role with the ball has been very similar to Kallis'. He hasn't taken many wickets, but the fourth seamer's primary job is to keep the pressure up and give the quicks a rest, and he's done that).

    A fully fit Harris is the key, though. He elevates this Australian attack right up there with the South Africans.

  • whofriggincares on August 10, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    @2nd slip I noticed you didn't mention Siddle and Harris in your analysis of the aussie attack. You are right Watson is no Philander but Harris compares favourably with him. The bowlers have once again done the job for us now it's over to the batsmen. I guess with their recent history you just never know what you will get. Hopefully we can post 350-400 and make it really hard for the English. I suppose England have done what they have to do and concentrated on winning the ashes but they won't get back to number 1 playing this type of cricket. We will see how good of a coach Flower is over the next 12 months and whether he will be able to make changes in game style too take them to the next level. With Cook captaining I doubt it.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 10, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    bird is an incredibly good bowler, never mind jimmy, your laras and tendulkars would have struggled to bat some of the deliveries he sent down in that one over.

  • Shaggy076 on August 10, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I only managed to watch half the first days play, although Australia should be very happy to bowl England out for under 250, it is not going to be easy to get those runs. I dont think the pitch has been too difficult to stay in but the slowness of the surface has made scoring difficult. We will only find out how good it was after the Aussies bat.

  • cric_J on August 10, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    A highly intriguing day's play.

    England were initially well on top and finally dished out a solid and long due opening stand at 107/1 that would have been of much relief to all English fans. Trott looked like regaining some of his fluent touch and Cook, though unimpressive, grinded out in trademark style.

    What followed was extraordinary and very disappointing to watch being an England fan. KP, Bell and Broad, in particular, had been in good nick and they got themselves out with absolutely headless shots.

    The Aussie seamers bowled tightly and although I haven't seen Bird before this, he looked pretty decent, especially in the second session. IMO Lyon's figures were a touch flattering but it was probably only fair given he bowled much better than his figures suggested at OT.It was a sincere effort from him though not a spectacular one.

    Given that 300 is usually par at CLS for 1st inn. So England's 239-250 may be fine enough if they can bowl well by being full, patient and accurate.

  • on August 9, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Hats off to Aussie bowlers and whoever said Lyon should bowl round the wicket. But England collapsed due to some poor shots. It's not surprising that they have a let down after securing the Ashes -- not unusual at all. So mentally they're flat and that led to some of the bad decisions. The only batsmen who can genuinely feel they hadn't let the side down so far are Anderson and Bresnan because they're still at bat! (Maybe Swann for hitting them into a bit of confidence and getting them over 200). Having said all that, you never assess the future of a Test until both sides have batted once, so the jury will remain out. Another 30 runs in the morning and it starts to look like Brisbane 2010/2011 potential... we all know what happened there.

  • poms_have_short_memories on August 9, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    Australia'a bowling attack is far and away their best strength. Ryan Harris is bowling very well and must be considered one of the best pace bowlers in the world, Siddle is superbly accurate as well as having the ability to move the ball of the seam and using angles from the crease, Lyon is improving all the time(whilst not yet in Swann's class) and should become an excellent offie.Bird, Starc, Cummins, Pattinson, Hazlewood, Fawad Ahmed, Steven O'Keefe, Gurinder Singh, the list goes on with the bowling, even Mitchell Johnson has been bowling better than ever lately. So, no worries with the bowling.Obviously the batting is the problem, Clarke has at best, maybe 4yrs left, hopefully Khawaja, Warner, Maddinson and Smith to name a few can reach their potential and become good test players.

  • H_Z_O on August 9, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    There's been a lot of talk about poor batting from England, but how about giving an excellent bowling attack some well-deserved credit?

    Bird was, as expected, very good, and as many have said before, questions have to be asked about why he wasn't picked sooner, especially at Lord's (a ground where a line bowler can really prosper because of the slope). Siddle and Harris have been a cut above every other seam bowler in this series bar Anderson at Trent Bridge (and since then they've even out-bowled him). Harris has an average and strike rate that few, other than the brilliant Steyn and Philander, can rival.

    Lyon bowled accurately and with some intelligence (around the wicket to create an angle), and where luck deserted him at Old Trafford, he prospered off the seamers' pressure here. No shame in that. Hindsight's 20-20 but how much must Aussie fans wish Bird and Lyon had played at Lords? At the time, I did say both should.

    The question is, can England bowl as well as Australia have?

  • Puffin on August 9, 2013, 13:08 GMT

    England's approach seems quite reasonable to me. There's no need or use handing Australia advantage by letting them win a test here, it would only give them a confidence boost for the return series.

    Plus Australia's seam attack is easily the best facet of their side. Let the top three wear them out, then let loose the strokeplay. It's worked before many times.

  • MartinC on August 9, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    @jb633 - England are unbeaten in 11 Test matches. Wearing down an attack and seeing off the new ball are critical in setting up a big first innings total. This is how Test cricket used to be played and there is nothing wrong with it, the results speak for themselves.

  • H_Z_O on August 10, 2013, 18:42 GMT

    @Greatest_Game no offence to Philander, and I'm not suggesting Bird's better, but I would say that ball was better than anything I saw Philander bowl last year. Bird's not quite as consistent as Philander, who's a human metronome, but he's also a lot less experienced (in terms of First Class cricket, at least).

    Of course, Philander offers a lot more with the bat than Bird too.

    That said, this performance from Australia did remind me of the way South Africa's bowlers choked England's batsmen last year by applying consistent and unrelenting pressure. There were a few bad balls, but they were incredibly rare and while there might be question marks over Watson's batting, his role with the ball has been very similar to Kallis'. He hasn't taken many wickets, but the fourth seamer's primary job is to keep the pressure up and give the quicks a rest, and he's done that).

    A fully fit Harris is the key, though. He elevates this Australian attack right up there with the South Africans.

  • whofriggincares on August 10, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    @2nd slip I noticed you didn't mention Siddle and Harris in your analysis of the aussie attack. You are right Watson is no Philander but Harris compares favourably with him. The bowlers have once again done the job for us now it's over to the batsmen. I guess with their recent history you just never know what you will get. Hopefully we can post 350-400 and make it really hard for the English. I suppose England have done what they have to do and concentrated on winning the ashes but they won't get back to number 1 playing this type of cricket. We will see how good of a coach Flower is over the next 12 months and whether he will be able to make changes in game style too take them to the next level. With Cook captaining I doubt it.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 10, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    bird is an incredibly good bowler, never mind jimmy, your laras and tendulkars would have struggled to bat some of the deliveries he sent down in that one over.

  • Shaggy076 on August 10, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I only managed to watch half the first days play, although Australia should be very happy to bowl England out for under 250, it is not going to be easy to get those runs. I dont think the pitch has been too difficult to stay in but the slowness of the surface has made scoring difficult. We will only find out how good it was after the Aussies bat.

  • on August 10, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Well, I have to eat my words today. After posting criticism of Nathan Lyon's selection yesterday, he came out and bowled beautifully, very impressive troubling England's top order. Well done fella, made me look like an imbecile.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 10, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    Congratulations to Lyon - very well bowled, and once again excellent captaincy by Clarke to have the right people on at the right time, and wonderful field placements. I think it would be fitting for Lyon to pick up his 5-fer here today. 350 was a par score for here, and England are well short of that; they will need to bowl out of their skins and MUST silence Warner if he opens. Weather forecast fine, so should be another fantastic day of cricket.

  • Jaffa79 on August 10, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    A good day for the Aussie bowlers. They deserved their wickets by applying pressure and having patience. I would begrudgingly agree that England do, at times, play dull attritional cricket but that is Test cricket; on this occasion, the Aussie bowlers deserve credit as much as the England batters deserve derision. Let us not forget that this England team are unbeaten in 11 Tests and this Aussie team have probably forgotten the 'Under the Southern Cross' song, so let us not get carried away! England have missed a trick by not selecting Onions, who looks perfect for this wicket.

  • Sprstr7 on August 10, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    australia needs to stick with these new faces, they are the future

  • Mitty2 on August 10, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    Australia dominant again. Funny to see how people were suggesting the dropping of Lyon... One even said that I was the "odd man out" regarding support for Lyon. Hilarious to see FFL's bagging of Lyon over the last year, and even more hilarious to see his justification of Lyon's 4-40 now.

    Funny to see how people suggested that England's top 3 would have more "freedom" now that the Ashes are secure... Truly the most overrated batting line up in world cricket. When was the last time they collectively failed?

    Also to people suggesting that Eng's performance is justified with the County results (lol), the spinners have averaged 42 here this season. 42. What exactly does that make Lyon? His 4 for is just reward for his bowling at OT/reward for seamers' pressure.

    Now that it's established that we have the superior bowling attack regardless of what pace trio put up (our pace depth is so good), let's see if we can beat England's batsmen like we did at OT.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 10, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    it is a dead rubber yes, and so there is a fair bit of who cares about it, but even so, the averages still go in the book... and I see after his two small tons the one swallow has left bell's summer and he has reverted to type, with even the affable athers suggesting bell's as the worst shot of the day, which really is saying something when one sees the other aberrations.. and so the Eng bowlers have to bail the boring bats out yet again... gooch def not earning his expensive corn at the mo and what has he done to JB...?? this ''Eng style'' of batting certainly does not suit the young tyro...

  • on August 10, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    England could be behind in this series, Aus going to win this ,England only lucky blah blah blah the sad facts are the ashes are England's and they have been awful all the what ifs could have beens can't change this sad fact

  • 2nd_Slip on August 10, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    Really disappointed by England's batting display. Giving way too much respect to a bowling unit that doesn't quite deserve it(don't mean to be rude to Aus but lets face it Lyon is not the most threatening spinner around, Bird is inexperienced and Watson is no Vernon Philander) much like the NZ series Eng batting has proven to be one dimensional (exluding KP its the most boring batting line up of the top 3 test nations).In general I've been very disappointed by the standard of cricket that has been dished out in this series thus far. South Africa please play test cricket soon, tired of these overhyped no shows.!!!!

  • on August 10, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Lyon is doing same job like Warne, he work so hard in nets before and thats the result i was expecting from him what he did.Won a significant battle with Kevin Pietersen, his absence from first two test was the reason of 2-0 down Aussies.Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson bowl well.Jackson prized wicket of Cook wa the best one as far as contribution is concerned.

  • dunger.bob on August 10, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    What this game needs now is some theatrical contrast. Some light and shade. I recommend a jolly good Warnering. .. 160 off, say, 110 would be great but 180 off 95 would be even better. .. Just to add a bit of a counter-point to England's timid opening stand.

    Not that it's likely to happen up against Jimmy & Swanny and their support cast, but that's what this game needs.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    @popcorn i agree with your argument re lyon/agar, but starc was terrible at OT dude. he only had one good spell before stumps on day...3? i think. aside from that he sprayed it everywhere.

  • humdrum on August 10, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    If swann gets 10 in this match,the cow will jump over the moon. Apropos on the topic of the poor over rate by England in the last test match,Captain Cook was not suspended because Chris Broad was not the match referee.

  • Sprstr7 on August 10, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    i think australia will win this test match

  • milepost on August 10, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Actually @Front-Foot-Lunge, it wasn't poor decision making by the batsman against Lyon, it was poor execution of skill. He's not Swann but to disrespect him is merely antagonistic. I don't buy into any of the talk that England are cruising at 2-0 despite 'under performing' or not 'playing to potential'. They were outplayed at Old Trafford , won a very tight match at Trent Bridge and could well be behind in this series. In this match they have been not outplayed, but blown away by a very good bowling side led by a very good tactician in Clarke. They were patient and forced the batsman to find unusual ways to score though building pressure. There's a pattern emerging here, Australia have now strung together some pretty good days of test cricket and England aren't the irresistible force you'd have us believe they are. Performance is the only thing that matters, despite all your excuses.

  • DylanBrah on August 10, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Australia's top 7 will have to stand up and not rely on the tail to dig them out of trouble. Agar and Starc have been dropped, Pattinson injured.

  • SandipManjrekar on August 10, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    @ Bob Watson

    England won three tosses, batted 1st every time...but scored over 300 only once. It sums all.

    @ dabhand

    ENG Lucky to be unbeaten so far. Just remind their NZL tour. 3 draws could be ....... But didn't. What about last test? They were so near....... But still didn't. Don't count HARD WORK only.

    @ shan156

    Eng. look way short of their best. They haven't played to the best of their abilities in this series. Seriously?????

    Same way when ENG performs better against others, others aren't up to their best abilities. Actually ENG are not allowed to do their best by Oz bowlers up to some extent. It is the batting which let Oz down.

  • on August 10, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I totally agree with what Ian Chappel said in his comment before the series that Australian bowlers are capable of taking 20 wickets in the test matches but there batsmen need to score runs to win the test! Australia have shown what their batsmen are capable of in the OT test. I feel Australia have got back their famous fighting spirit and are now a settled unit who are well capable of beating their old foes, the Poms. Come on Aussies get geared up and show the cricket world what this young team can do!

  • abdulhanansharafat on August 10, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    well played by team australia and especialy lyon and watto hope that australia will both remaining games best wishes mr clark my favo

  • on August 10, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Australia probably can't even muster 200 on this pitch if england bowl well.

  • cricpanther on August 10, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Who will teach English player, how to play spiN??? It's been long long time, since cricket started!!! Why mind is missing to read the spin bowl??

  • pat_one_back on August 10, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    It takes a big man to admit when he's wrong, which explains why FFL has to turn to fiction to belittle Lyons superb demolition of Eng. Clever bowling on the back of great work from the seamers and too good for this opposition. The man that took 10 wickets in his second last test is well on his way again with a tidy bag on slow 1st day pitch offering no turn. Look forward to Swann trying to match those figures, of course when he doesn't it will inevitably be because FFL's imagination has turned the pitch into a road overnight, or steered Eng minds on to Brisbane, perhaps because Clarke hides hundreds in the middle order, bound to be some ridiculous deflection from an unfaceable truth.

  • DMPATT on August 10, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    I still feel England have the advantage, have Aus bowled them less than 200, they had a greater chance. Anderson/Bresnan did show a lot of character and if they extend it past 260-270 Aus will loose grip. Remember, this is the first time Eng is playing here.

  • on August 10, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    great effort by the aussie bowlers. the batsmen need to back this uo now with a decent 1st innings total. good to see lyon with some wickets along side his name. still a mystery why he did not play in the 1st test. warner 100 on day 2. thats my prediction.

  • popcorn on August 10, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Simply fail to understand this chip-chop that Boof is doing. First he drops Nathan Lyon from the the first two Tests discarding the 9 wickets that he took in the 4th Test at Delhi,and selects uncapped Rookie Ashton Agar, who did not perform well with the ball in the first two Tests. He dropped Agar, opted for Nathan Lyon who proved his worth, AS EXPECTED, in the Third Test as well as this one,the Fourth. He drops Mitchell Starc who was brilliant with the bat and ball in the Third Test, and selects Jackson Bird who was no great shakes yesterday. In contrast, England,even though they were thoroughly dominated by Australia in the Third Test named an unchanged squad for the fourth, despite the fact that Durham is Graham Onions home ground. Does Boof understand the word MORALE?

  • on August 10, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Well, as long as Bresnan and Anderson score maiden test centuries, we should post a decent total.......

  • ahilan9999 on August 10, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    I think Root should go back to middle order in place of Bairstow. He seems to be more comfortable there. Apart from the 180, he has not managed a good score and scoring very slowly. Even in the innings of 180, his first 25 runs took him about 80 balls, showing he seems uncomfortable opening but scores freely in the middle order. Bairstow has been averaging just over 25 and his strike rate is way too slow for a No.6 batsman.

  • gsingh7 on August 10, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    merv0--- india already number 2 in icc test rankings . england will surpass india slightly if they win comprehensively 4-0 in ashes.it looks highly unlikely though.i cud bet that lyon will prove to be best bowler from both teams when test is over. he bowled better as series progressed . he took 9 wickets in 4th test in india,although aus stilll lost test.i can see how unplayable he can be in england's second innings on crubling pitch. advantage australia,but may the best team win.

  • mondotv on August 10, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    England won another toss and that is always a big advantage at Test level. However if you'd said to Clarke after he loss the toss that he could have England 9- 239 after 90 overs I'd reckon he'd have jumped at that. Aus have to bat well but you do in every game - it is one of those pre-requisites for winning. When I went to bed Eng were 1 for 100 odd so the wickets not impossible. We'll see soon if Aus can do better. Lyon well done and good reward after OT

  • Greatest_Game on August 10, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    @ Mervo. Take a good look at the rankings table. You look a little silly predicting history!

  • Hammond on August 10, 2013, 2:59 GMT

    @Mervo- wow mate you are admitting that England are superior. Progress indeed. @Paul Rone-Clarke- actually mate you should look at that from another angle- even with no-one really firing in the England team they are still 2-0 in the series with only 2 to play. Why is that do you think?

  • Greatest_Game on August 10, 2013, 2:35 GMT

    @ Nimash Rodrigo. Many many observers have commented that Australia have bowled very well during this series, & cricinfo's S Rajesh today published a statistical analysis of the series bowling, showing Aus' superior pace returns. However, when you wrote " I won't be surprised if I find Siddle at the top of the rankings in a few months" I don't think you took into account what would be required for that to occur. Put it this way, you will be the only person, including Siddle, who will not be surprised. The rest of the world will be gobsmacked!

    In the light of that fantasy, the rest of your post takes a steep plunge down the credibility slope, and comes across not as a bang, but rather a whimper.

  • Hammond on August 10, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    England have enough runs. If Lyon can get 5, Swann can get 10.

  • landl47 on August 10, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Excellent bowling display by Australia, full kudos to them. Very little off line, good full lengths and some first-class fielding to back it up. England were pretty much becalmed the whole day waiting for bad balls which never came. Aus also picked their reviews very well and got two close decisions overturned.

    England grafted hard, with the exception of Bell who for some reason abandoned the approach which had served him so well in the first three tests and played a nothing shot to get out. However, they never got on top of the Aus attack and in the end, although they batted all day, they didn't have much to show for it.

    Never mind- remember Trent Bridge. If Bresnan and Anderson put on 163, we'll all be able to claim England played well!

  • Sugath on August 10, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    Anderson and Bresnan would probably get few more runs, but the story of second day would be how Aussies will face Swann. That will decide the outcome of this test. After a long time a wicket favoring spin in England.

  • jmcilhinney on August 10, 2013, 1:59 GMT

    I have to say, I don't really understand the way Matt Prior was playing. He was lauded for his hundred to save the match in NZ, even though the runs themselves were completely meaningless and all that mattered was balls faced. On that occasion, despite the match and the series being on the line, Prior continued to play his shots, even though many were quite high risk. He obviously believed that attack was his best form of defence. On this occasion, England were in trouble and a period of consolidation was in order, but Prior and Bairstow really allowed themselves to get becalmed and, when Prior did go, they had nothing to show for it. Maybe they were bent on getting to the new ball with two batsmen still at the crease but we've seen how that went. If Prior didn't trust his defence to do as good a job as attack to keep the ball out in NZ, I'm not quite sure why he thought that stone-walling was his best option in this case.

  • Greatest_Game on August 10, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    @ H_Z_O. In your comment on Birds dismissal of Cook you said "Philander would have been proud of that one." A very perceptive observation. When Cook went I thought immediately of the final innings of the Eng - SA series last year, when Philander trapped Cook with the 2nd ball of the 2nd over (his 1st - Morkel opened), & then trapped Strauss with the 5th ball of the 4th over. Cook did play a defensive post to Philander, but Strauss shouldered arms and watched the ball hit him plumb in front to somewhat ignominiously end his final test innings. I wonder if Bird watched any video of that?

  • jmcilhinney on August 10, 2013, 1:53 GMT

    Well, England have really got themselves in a pickle here. Their batting lineup is looking every bit as fragile as Australia's was reputed to be. It looked like things might be going pretty much to plan when Cook and KP were together but it was all downhill from there. Not for the first time, Root's footwork was indecisive and he he caught playing from the crease. While I supported his opening, the chances of it continuing beyond this series seem to be dwindling fast. Trott played a nothing shot to a nothing ball so can blame himself after looking good. KP got a good one from Lyon although a straighter bat wouldn't have hurt. Cook got a ripper that probably would have got anyone, playing a shot or not. I can't fault Bell's intent but maybe a few more balls after tea to settle in would have been in order. The last I saw was Prior, who may well have been better off playing more aggressively, if only to have more to show for his efforts when getting out to the same ball.

  • class9ryan on August 10, 2013, 1:52 GMT

    England do not have that merciless attitude that Australia had almost for 15 years. That's the reason even this team is not the no.1. I hope a good bowling performance from England. But these two tests are crucial for Australia b4 going into a sea of ODIs and the return Ashes in Oz.

  • pat_one_back on August 10, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Aust have a huge opportunity to take home all bar the ashes from here, once they got past the nightwatchman Cook the middle order had no-where to hide despite a lifeless pitch. Hopefully it quickens a little for Aust to mount a total, unlike Eng we have batsmen that can score at a good clip and a tail that won't mind a slowish ball coming on. We all know Cook has no plans once a batsmen has navigated Andersen and settled against Swan, Eng should be in the field for 2 days with Clarke very accustomed to this SCG paced track. Aussie bowlers have well and truly earned this, Starc was just giving too much relief trying to jag a wicket, Broad will likely be exposed for the very same.

  • humdrum on August 10, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    Barring Swann,England do not have the attack and the stamina in their bowling on these sort of wickets.County scores cannot and should not be compared to test match scores.England has won 4 test matches here,but those were against pretty poor opposition.In the Edgebaston test,the English attack looked a tired lot,and should Australia bat even half as decently in the 1st inns,they should get a crucial lead. Remamber,batting is not impossible,and the pitch is not a minefield(yet).It has been bad batting by England who show every sign of going back to the bad old days.

  • pat_one_back on August 10, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    First time I think I've seen the draw played for fromthe toss, this Eng team shows no respect for the game or it's fans. Thankfully Eng weren't good enough to stick to the plan in the face of a relentlessly strangling Sussie attack all bar void of free runs. Thank goodness, had Eng succeeded in boring us through a 160 run day, we'd be reading again about the impending demise of Test cricket. It's no wonder Eng frequently use night watchmen, they're Captain opens every innings as one.

  • Chris_P on August 10, 2013, 1:28 GMT

    @H_Z_O. Agree with that ball that got Cook. It would have got him even he played a shot so far did it nip back, Good effort by all the Aussie bowlers to date, but let's wait util we bat before bashing England's tactics, Cricket has a history of turning in not going to prediction. I got no problem with the batting rate, when the bowling is tight, you have to try to grit it out, you have to grind the bowlers out of the game & cash in if you get the chance. It doesn't always work, but this is how test cricket works, it is not T20 slap & run.

  • on August 10, 2013, 1:05 GMT

    What is amazing is Australia Can get 90 overs in, even with all those wickets and reviews, England couldnt do it last time time around 6 overs short, still Cook should of been Suspended but I guess doesnt happen these days

  • SaracensBob on August 10, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Well bowled again Australia! The Aussie bowling has been of a consistently high standard all series. The bowlers limited England to manageable totals in the first 2 tests only for the batsmen to let them down. When the batsmen decided to come to the party, at OT, the weather robbed them of a deserved victory. Question is will the Aussie batsman turn up for work tomorrow as they did at OT? Second question - why on earth wasn't Nathan Lyon playing in the first two tests?

  • heathrf1974 on August 10, 2013, 0:56 GMT

    Good day for Australia on a slow wicket. Great to see Lyon getting some wickets, what a relief! The Aussies have bowled well for most of this series which is a great change from the ordinary effort during the 2010/11 series. It will be interesting to see how Australia go when they bat, especially against Swann.

  • on August 10, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    What a change from a few days back when there was all this talk of doom and gloom of Australian Cricket. The pundits should know it is possible for a good team to have 3 or 4 losses in a row just like 3 or 4 heads in a row for a coin toss and it does not prove anything. As expected with the kind of talent Australia has, they were bound to come back and come back strong.

  • on August 10, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    England's 1-5 Batsman, + Michael Clarke and Australia's Bowlers (including haddin at 7) would be a scary prospect

  • on August 10, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    This is Chester Le Street. Australia have never played here and so wouldn't know what batting on this pitch is like. Of course Australia bowled well and the England batting let them down, but so were the past 5 scores of the county matches where no team made 300 in the first innings. So it is a bowlers deck and England have done well the make it through the first day at nine down. You expect Australia to make 500 declared again, I like to see that. If Nathan Lyon could do what he did imagine what Swann could do, when England bowl tomorrow. County scores have produced 250, 237, 259, 267 & 253. So England is on par. I really wonder if Australia can match or better that? They did lose wickets in pursuit of quick runs in the last test. Only if Australia bowled England out for less than 200, I'm yet to see that.

  • brusselslion on August 10, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    Fine bowling by Australia, esp. Bird and credit to Lyon for bowling with intelligence. Having sad that, England were masters of their own downfall. Bairstow, if not in the Last chance saloon must be just about to walk into it.

  • Lmaotsetung on August 10, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    239 is more than enough for a 30-40 first inning lead on this track :-)

  • on August 10, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    You England supporters are overly hard on your openers. Most Australians would be only too pleased to know that they had a Root in their future.

  • on August 10, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Another poor batting effort from England, although credit to the Australian bowlers. Will England's bowlers dig them out of the hole again?

  • naadnat on August 9, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    the accusation of silicon tapes r finally working.expect this match to end on day 4.and aus to level the test series 2-2.

  • dunger.bob on August 9, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    I'm really worried about this pitch, it's a bit of a pudding by the look of it. ..could be nasty by the 4th innings. Clarke really has to work on his toss winning skills lol.

    My record at predicting pitch behaviour is atrocious but I'll have another crack at it. There may be a possibility it will quicken up on days 2 and 3 before slowing down and cracking up on the last couple. If that happens, Australia are in the box seat. .. barring an Agar style revival by the final pair Australia will have given themselves a golden opportunity to grab the best of the batting conditions despite losing the toss.

    On the other hand, if the pitch just gets slower and slower from here on in, then Australia are still in a good position, just not as strong as it looks. .. Timing the ball on a slow pitch is not something most of our batsmen are much good at. .. Kwawaja is one to watch on a pitch like that though.

    C'mon boys, bat tough when it's your turn. Tough, tough, tough I tell you.

  • Mighty_Hawk on August 9, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    @jgathergood ummmmm that is county level, a far cry from international.

  • Arbaz on August 9, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    England have lacked the desire and ruthlessness to bury Australia when they were down. Great sides are ruthless and efficient it doesn't matter to them if the score is 0-0 or 2-0. The more confident australia get more trouble England is going to be down under. Just a decent team that's had a decent run.

  • Spofforth1877 on August 9, 2013, 23:47 GMT

    So @Surajdon9 are you saying it is a difficult wicket to bat on, or the difference in the quality of batsmen at English Test and County cricket levels is negligible? Did you also know that both Andy Caddick and Glenn McGrath bowled at 80mph? Stating stats provides no cover for the suddenly obvious docility in England's play.

    Two tests ago it seemed the gulf between England and Australia was about 8 years of dominance/pain depending on your perspective. Now I'm not so sure. A deep malaise opens the English batting. They labour to score with any urgency. With 80 overs gone today they were nudging 200, placing no pressure on the bowling but assuredly responsible for a costly number of dismissals. Australia is boring them out, and the poms are looking more and more brittle for the return series. Australians are already over the current series loss and licking their lips for November. This is not a 5 match series. Its 10.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 9, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    It seems finally the Aussies have gotten the measure of English batsmen. With some luck Australia could have easily won 1 test match by now and kept the series at 1-1. They have a very good chance to beat England here. However, we need to see how Australia bat on this pitch which seems to be a little slow with inconsistent bounce. If Australia mange anywhere close to 400, England will be in big trouble. But can they do it ? We will have to wait and see. From England's perspective, their batting has been pretty ordinary so far this series except individual performances from KP, Bell, and Root. Of course, they are all ageing and will eventually lose the form they had before. I honestly think Root's position as an opener isn't a long term one. Also, Bairstow has gotten enough chances already and he doesn't look like he belongs in test cricket. And can somebody tell me what has happened to Matt Prior these days ? He doesn't seem to score those attacking half centuries and 100s any more.

  • hhillbumper on August 9, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Well two things here.England made Lyon seem like a real bowler and even more suprisingly Bairstow was chosen over Taylor. Time to sort it out because the batting has not fired as a unit and yet we have more centuries than Australia.Go figure

  • on August 9, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    so now the aussies want to believe if they had selected lyon earlier they would have won the ashes...nice thought...but it`s over now....they can keep coming up with as many theories as they want.

  • Vishnu27 on August 9, 2013, 23:01 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge: any of your Lyon rubbishing has been officially consigned to the place that it belongs; the rubbish. "Slow mediums"? Please, spare us all of that drivel. He spins it as much as Swann, from the get go. Get over it. You were outplayed. Again. Time to put your hand up & acknowledge some obvious facts

  • on August 9, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    Its pain to see England struggling like this. Being a Die Hrt fan of cook, its disappointing to saw such an slow batting.

  • on August 9, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Two things came out of the day's play -

    1. England's batsmen are not nearly as good as they think they are - their inability to rotate the strike was noticeable and their shot selection was average to say the least - Cook, Bell and Broad being good examples.

    2. Australia's bowling attack again proved how effective they can be on a wicket not offering a whole lot.

    Conclusion - once England find themselves on pitches not designed for Swann, they will struggle.

  • RohanMarkJay on August 9, 2013, 22:34 GMT

    We've got two evenly matched teams, here. Australia has lost the ashes in England. But have the chance to redeem themselves in Australia at the end of the year.I think the Ashes in Australia will be extremely closely fought all five test matches. This can only be good for the Ashes and test cricket Because England have shown they are capable of trouncing Australia as they did at Lord's. Australia is actually decent team like the current England team.I never believed this Oz side is as bad as some people thought.So I expect no one sided contests in Australia.As both teams are equal in strength.I guess it will come down to who has the most bottle and England shown in the past that they are more likely to crumble under pressure than Australia.That said England are well capable of beating this assie team.I fully expect England to make life extremely tough for Aussie cricketers down under. Aussie supporters and media are prone to arrogance so England has a good chance to knock em over in Oz

  • Saeedcricky on August 9, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Nathan Lyon is being out standing in his bowling 20.0 overs 7 median 42 runs 4 wickets 2.10 economy <3 its really brilliant . Now lets see what Australia do !!!

  • on August 9, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    RandyOZ: It's been 6 years since Aus were on top. But we can all reminisce of a time long gone.

  • on August 9, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    England's bowlers are tired so Cooke hoped to win the toss to give his bowlers extra rest. Cooke also assumed the Aussie bowlers would be tired and that way they could slaughter our attack. Well we know what assuming does and the Aussies have all but pinned the tail on the donkey in this innings. If this bowling feat doesn't inspire the Aussie batters nothing will. The important thing so far is England didnt count on the guts and spirt of the Aussie bowlers.

  • on August 9, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    Let's see how the Oz batting measures up. Even if England is all out for 239 off the first ball tomorrow, can the Oz get a lead? Though I'm not saying they can't, it remains to be seen if their batsmen can do as well at CLS as they did at OT. Hope this is as lively a test as that one and the one at TB.

  • Mervo on August 9, 2013, 20:58 GMT

    I think England's 'superiority' is short lived. They will never have the dynasty that Australia had for 16 years or the WI for a similar time. England will be surpassed by India soon and be number 3, with an improving Australia.

  • Naresh28 on August 9, 2013, 20:38 GMT

    Well done Oz!!!! This should lift your spirits and you guys should look at some of your A-team players - Maddeston and Maxwell.

  • jgathergood on August 9, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    I wouldn't write-off England in this match yet. Chester-le-Street wickets are very hard to bat on, the pitch is mostly slow but has variable pace. England looked like they played some poor shots, but the problem was the timing of the shots not the shot selection (mostly) - typical on pitches with paces difficult to read.

    Consider this as well - Durham have played five county championship games at Chester-le-Street this season, batting first every time with an average first innings score of 253. They have only lost one of those games (to Yorkshire, who are top of the table), in the other games winning two and drawing two.

  • on August 9, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    Anderson and Swann have carried England. In Aus in 2009/10 Tremlett, Finn and even Bresnan made telling contributions. Broad has 3 wickets for the series (1 a match) Bresnan has bowled well in one innings and Finn was very out of sorts and only bowled one good spell (afternnon first day). Anderson looked tuckered out at the end of the last test. The rest need to stand up and DO SOMETHING. Aussies seam bowlers seem a lot better than Englands in this series. They are good anyway - but with half of Englands bowlers playing virtually no role so far (along with Prior, Cooke and Trott having very subdued series as well) this has not been a good England performance. If this is how good they are - then the Aussies are a fair bit better than they were credited, and Englands batting is not up to the high standards they claimed. 2-0 seems a little unfair score wise given how poorly England have played recently. Lucky England.

  • pulkit10 on August 9, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Australia bowled very well here. I can see Cook's point in batting first and wearing the attack down but apart from him and, up to an extent, Trott, the application required was severely lacking. Root wasn't confident enough, Pietersen tried too hard from the onset, Bell just gave it away and Bairstow & Prior succumbed to the pressure. The credit for this relies solely with how tight the Aussies bowled. The attack is gelling together very well and seems to have enough depth and variety in it to trouble the best batsmen. Bird, Harris, Siddle and Watson all have different strengths and are bowling well.

    I think even a half decent display of batting here will put Australia in a great position for this test...some top order contributions and a half decent effort by some of the middle order is all that is needed. Let's see that happen.

    Exciting first day!

  • Surajdon9 on August 9, 2013, 20:16 GMT

    The first innings scores in the 5 County Championship matches at Chester-le-Street so far this season have been 250, 237, 259, 267 & 253

  • IAS2009 on August 9, 2013, 20:07 GMT

    i think we need to see how Aussies bat in First inning before we make any judgement about England. Aussies are prone to fail and they did in first two tests with England no scoring 400 Plus runs, Swann could be handful here. Only Clarke and Smith can play Swann well, It could be a good test match.

  • PACERONE on August 9, 2013, 19:09 GMT

    So England has won back the Ashes.Then, maybe they should not be playing the remainder of the tests.Some of you make it sound like the remaining matches are useless.To show superiority,England should be trying to win the remaining matches.Australia is trying to prevent that.Australia are playing better cricket no matter what the English supporter say or think.

  • whoster on August 9, 2013, 19:05 GMT

    Credit to the Aussies for again bowling well. There were some tame dismissals, but the batsmen were put under pressure by a disciplined bowling performance with very few loose deliveries. Lyon's figures were a little flattering, but can't begrudge him that after bowling better than his figures suggested at Old Trafford.

    It's obvious from the first-innings totals made this year at Durham that this is no batsman's paradise, and that scoring is difficult when the bowlers bowl tightly. We'll need to wait until the Aussies have batted to see how well or badly England have done today, but my feeling is that a 240/250 total is by no means disastrous.

    A good old-fashioned day of attritional Test cricket with batsmen being made to work hard for their runs.

  • RandyOZ on August 9, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Australia again on top, like they belong. Poor cricket from England with only the weather saving them in the last test and getting lucky in the second.

  • BigINDFan on August 9, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    Average day for Eng, good day for Aus and a very important day for Test Cricket. Imagine if this was Day 5 at Old Trafford and the Ashes will be "game on mates". Apart from Lords this series has been closely fought due to poor batting from both sides.

    For Eng - they retained the Ashes but the remainder of the series will test their mental strength and focus.

    For Aus - having lost the Ashes they are playing freely and they can only go up from here.

    For those who question if Aus batting can survive - why not, they have nothing to lose? Maybe moving Warner up the order and pushing Watson down the order is all they needed to have a settled battling line up.

    The worst part of this series is not Aus or Eng batting but the umpires. Maybe they need coaches for umpires - LBW coach, Caught behind coach :-)

  • on August 9, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    This England side is so over rated. They flatter to deceive with the bat AND ball. They should have lost at Trent bridge and old Trafford against the WORST Australian side for 30 years. They aren't that good, pure and simple.

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 9, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Given that England will make about 250, Australia just need to make 450 declared from a little less than 5 sessions (about 130 overs) then declare before tea on day 3. As we have seen in the past its not wise to try and "demoralize" a team in a test match by leading by 400 or 500 runs, that only works with minnows and kills the match by only wasting valuable time needed to take 10 wickets especially if the opposition has not even the slightest chance to win. Chasing 200-230 is not as hard as many fans and commentators think. With quick scorers in Watson, Warner, Smith and Clarke in the team only one needs to carry on for a 80+ score with decent contributions for the top 6. England setting 250 is remotely possible as there is no way England is going to score 400 in the third innings. If Australia aren't willing to take 250 as a fourth innings target, its best they don't play test cricket.

  • on August 9, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    some people still don't concede how well Australia have bowled this series. Even the stats show Australia's fast bowling is superior to that of England. But then again Anderson is the only quality bowler that England have & Siddle has very & truly outbowled Anderson this series. I won't be surprised if I find Siddle at the top of the rankings in a few months. All Australia have to do is to get their batting fixed

  • on August 9, 2013, 18:48 GMT

    Australia looks better than England right now. It's unfortunate they have lost the ashes, having played so well in the first test and comprehensively outplayed England in the third test. England were very poor in their batting approach. Once the openers see off the new ball, it becomes important to keep the scoreboard ticking to prevent pressure building up. England was good in the first session but their overcautious approach (giving due credit to Aus bowling) led to their collapse. I would have loved to see this Aus team lift the Ashes.

  • Cricfever_PM on August 9, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    The 1st day of 4th Test belongs to Aussies, one has to believe this!! Aussies have played an exceptional cricket here, they lost the toss on the important wicket and couldn't get much break through till lunch still they come back and bowled well!! The credit goes to the bowlers especially the under rated bowler by England (the lyon) have picked 4 important wickets!! England also played some lose deliveries and got paid of it!!! overall Aussies has smiley face on Day 1!! Still lot more to come and i feel Aussies has 100 pc great chance to make it Win!!!

  • H_Z_O on August 9, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    @CapitalMarkets "Cook's dismissal was an awful piece of misjudgement "

    Err, how exactly? Did you see the ball? Did you see that it was the widest one Bird had bowled at Cook, and all the ones closer to the stumps went through harmlessly to the keeper? In fact, Cook even played at a couple that were closer to the stumps that he should have left (because they didn't seam back).

    That one just seamed a LONG way. It was almost outside the line of off stump (the ball was pitching just enough in-line to give it out) and came back so far that it was plumb in front. It was a very good delivery, and seamed more than pretty much any other delivery all day. Philander would've been proud of that one.

    Bell and Broad, I'll grant you, but Cook got out to a brilliant ball. If he'd played at it and it hadn't seamed, he'd have probably nicked behind and we'd all be saying that he should've left it. Sometimes you have to credit the bowler.

  • dabhand on August 9, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    @SandipManjrekar - someone once said the harder they worked at something the luckier they got - Aus worked hard today - England (with few exceptions) didn't.

    Luck has nothing to do with results over the long term - hard work and of course a measure of ability has and don't forget, England are still unbeaten for quite some time, especially in Ashes cricket. But the Aus team will rise again, whether that's in time for the winter tour, who knows, but if not - all the other test countries will need to up their game.

  • on August 9, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    I don't subscribe to the view that drs should not be used to judge lbws and that the Umpires word should be final. I don't that umpires can do better than the machines why limit use of technology. Further at least 3 appeals should be allowed. When drs was first started 3 appeals were allowed. increasing the number of Appeals will in no way slow down the game. test cricket is anyway slow. Also more appeals will make the system less of a Lottery than it is now

  • on August 9, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Australia are performing with the ball, their bat is still to be put to test. Anyways, the performance is coming a bit late in the series.

  • Bodders70 on August 9, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    Some of these comments are ridiculous, lambasting England for slow scoring and playing for the draw and then putting pressure on other batsmen due to that. They've not done it deliberately! New Zealand showed the way at the start of the season and Australia have continued it. Most of the English top order are very good at occupying the crease and defending but are limited in scoring shots so dry them up and get success. Tight bowling, a slow pitch and pressure led to today's (and previous low first innings scores) not some grand strategy to be boring and conservative. A very good day for Australia but let's see how they go when they bat, very similar to Trent Bridge day one after all and Australian batting collapsed there. I also predict Alistair Cook will have developed a very good cover drive by the end of the Australian series and become much less limited!

  • Shan156 on August 9, 2013, 17:59 GMT

    @SandipManjrekar, that's precisely the point. Though Aus. are playing to the best of their abilities and Eng. look way short of their best, it is still Eng. leading the series 2-0. Aus. fans and so-called neutrals can crow all they want but it is a fact that Eng. cannot lose this series now. England is a better side than Australia although they haven't played to the best of their abilities in this series.

  • CapitalMarkets on August 9, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    I thought Australia bowled tidily but England batted quite poorly. Cook's dismissal was an awful piece of misjudgement and Bell and Broad attacked too early. All we needed was a run out and we could have had two if Australia's fielding had been a bit sharper. Useful runs at the end from Jimmy Anderson but he shouldn't have been called to the wicket today. This was what Italy do at football; attempt to hold on to what they have ... and it didn't work at all. Only Swann and Anderson were entertaining ... the seven batsmen were fairly dire, to be honest. The sooner they get rid of Bairstow and give James Taylor a chance, the better. Hopefully this kind of ineptitude will result in a defeat and a rethink. Eight wickets lost for 100 odd runs! It felt like a return to the bad old days of panic and collapse.

  • Shan156 on August 9, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    Have to agree with @Greatest_Game. Cook is not known to think on his feet and if things don't go according to 'plan', he will have no clue what to do. It is clear that Flower is calling all the shots and plans everything to the T. Cook and the players merely execute it on the field (which is no easy thing to do, mind you). However, at times, plans will and do go awry and that is when the captain's value becomes so important. Cook is a fantastic batsman but not so great captain. Still, he has lost only 1 out of 14 tests as captain including one really tough series against India in India which Clarke duly lost 0-4 (ok 0-3 since he didn't play the last one). However, these are testing times for Cook and he and the bowlers have to do something special to get Eng. out of the hole that they have dug for themselves.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 9, 2013, 17:44 GMT

    Lyon's slow mediums (as Gooch put so eloquently after stumps) were rewarded by sloppy decision making that had a distinctive end-of-series feel to it. Pretty Poor and off the ball by England.

  • Greatest_Game on August 9, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    With Eng at 214 for 8 as I write, we know that the Aus batsmen are going to come out looking to attack hard. They have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Whether they will succeed remains to be seen, but if they really get going, based on prior performances, Cook will probably look like a deer in the headlights - transfixed & clueless, and that will slip the leash on the Aussie batsmen. Unless Cook uses his bowlers very intelligently, several of the Aus batsmen could hit their stride, & Eng will bleed runs.

    Oops…..it is now 214 for 9. Harris has 2, Lyon has 4. Cook is going to use Andersen and Swann as much as he can - seems logical, but f they don't take wickets regularly, and get well worked out by the batsmen, things could get tough for Eng. I'm not one for making predictions, but I have a nagging feeling that Aus is going to put Eng to the sword!

    P.S. Anderson wants something reasonable to defend - 4 fours in 8 balls. Last over - will Jimmy take to Lyon?

  • SandipManjrekar on August 9, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    @ Anil Kumar on (August 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

    You guess right. Though England are unbeaten in 11 Test matches but 5 of them were drawn Tests. This new look Oz looks far far better & intent than this English side. Luck seriously deprived them on this tour.

  • on August 9, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Great comeback of Australia and especially Lyon....Easily would have been dropped if Australia has option in Spin department after dismissal show in last match.Now its on Batsmen to Score not big but huge. Expecting big score from Warner and Watson.These 2 hold the key.Former to prove his selection (in all booing from Crowd ) and latter due since long to score. For England they have to show the character to prove themselves as a great team.They are a good team but still not a Great side or Champion side.Consider seriously on dropping Compton and pushing( wasting as well ) Root for sake of Johny Bairstow .

  • on August 9, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    @Clipped: Great call re: Lyon 5fer.

    re: Bird V Starc I genuinely hope Starc doesn't fade away. He could be a hell of an allrounder. The kind of player that changes selection for a decade and makes you feel like you are playing 12. But can't agree w/ consistency argument. Harris & Bird have shown you can walk in & be consistent. Older yes, well then what is wrong w/ Starc playing aust-eng-Aust fC seasons. Eschew the 2020 just for two years, bowl a lot of overs, make a mess of some teams and learn how to make batsmen play. Certainly not saying I don't rate him at all, I just don't see why all these bowlers need to learn their craft in the test side, like there is nowhere else to learn it. I would have been livid if I was Bird. Two tests in Sri Lanka getting 11 seamer wickets making people play. Some of Starcs opening overs have been genuinely amateur this series. Anyway. I do hope to see him back. But as an opening bowler on turf I hate seeing a new ball wasted.

  • coldcoffee123 on August 9, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    Human race has become slaves to technology. I could not enjoy Prior and Bairstow LBWs. The spontaneity of the game has been lost forever. Instead of celebrating (if you are an Aussie) or grieving (if you are Eng supporter) the moment, all you are left to do is look at the stupid hawkeye and listen to the dull commentary accompanying the hawkeye, hotspot, snicko replay. I have said this before and will say again: If there are no edges involved, NOBODY should be allowed to question on-field umpire's LBW call. Penalize teams that use DRS as TRS or GRS (tactical and Get-lucky Review System). Sick of it.

  • coldcoffee123 on August 9, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    Prior LBW is precisely the reason why I hate DRS usage. DRS is supposed to be used to avoid howlers. Instead, it is being used by teams as a TRS (tactical review system). Prior's middle stump was visible and the ball looked like abling down the leg. There was enough doubt, that is why Dar gave the benefit of the doubt to the batsman. Now, I do not understand what is the need to use technology in this case, and nail the batsman. Dar's decision was not a howler. It was a genuinely correct decision (in a non-technology world). That is what Watson was also concerned about. The benefit of the doubt is no longer part of the game. And this is not fair since a batsman only has one chance in an innings. On the other hand, the bowlers can always come back with a peach after getting hit all over the park. There was no need to invoke DRS in Prior's LBW case. Fielding side must not be allowed to question the on-field umpire's judgement of ball's trajectory. Use DRS only if edge is involved.

  • 2.14istherunrate on August 9, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    I thought England were very negative at Old Trafford and could easily have lost the match-bar rain, they would have. Yet this ghastly mind bnumbing approach has persisted here in the most pathetic and moribund display of batting one could imagine as they sit on their 2-0 like Emperor penguins in consertive mode. Unwatchable in the extreme. They are supposed to entertain us not kill us with boredom. What a load of rubbish! If this is what a 2-0 lead does to them then one must rethink one's attitude towards them.They should be celebrating that lead with inspiring batsmanship which displays their quality instead of quelling any impulse for free strokeplay.

  • on August 9, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Rise of the phoenix, Waiting for this moment Australian will rise...

  • Micky.Panda on August 9, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    Agree with Bon Wacket. Surely Bird is a chance to be the new "Glen McGrath". Annoy the batsmen out with consistency. Should have been selected for the first test over Starc, and probably would not have been dropped due to his consistency. Starc has never really demonstrated enough to be selected, same as Cowan never has. Hilfy can come back sometime and there are other better prospects than Starc really. So Starc is a lefty? So what? He is certainly not comparable to great Australian leftarm pace bowler Bruce Reid, and has there been any important lefty since Reid? I guess only Bollinger who had to earn his place more than Starc.

  • CustomKid on August 9, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    @SirViv1973-Lyon would always be in my side read my comments below. He's played bugger all cricket in all formats and is still learning his craft. They just need to stick with him along with a number of these guys finding their feet, and they'll develop into solid players. World beaters probably not but, consistent yes.

  • whofriggincares on August 9, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    @MartinC those foundations looking a little shakier at tea! You can say what you like about Cooks innings a bit like watching paint dry, but I think he is just terrified that England will be 3 for stuff all again and has basically thrown all his shots out the window. Bairstow won't last long cant for the life of me figure out why they keep playing him. Pressure goes very heavily onto Bell now. Looks like a pitch that the 2nd and 3rd day will be the time to bat maybe with a bit more pace in it after that it will be very hard to score again. Maybe it was a good toss to lose . Pieterson's innings was just weird if he had a cricket brain to go with his outrageous talent he would be talked about in the same sentence as Viv ,Sachin and Punter. Imagine a batsmen with his ability and Steve Waugh's mental strength now that would be scary.

  • SirViv1973 on August 9, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Can't believe how quickly this game has turned around. Less than an hour ago We were looking well set for 400 plus and now we are 155 -5. This has to be the inns where bairstow finally delivers other wise we are going to be way short of a par score. Fair play to the much maligned Lyon, the vast majorty of Aus posters on this site would not have had him in the side for this game.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    @Bon Wacket, I get what you're saying, man, I do. But it's hard to get any level of consistency when you're in, out, in, out, in, out, not just figuratively but literally. I think if he gets a bit of a run on his line and length will improve; you can't play well when you're always afraid of the tap on the shoulder. Plus he's only 23 - Bird is 26 and in his 3rd Test and desperately unlucky not to have played more. Starcy should come good sooner rather than later.

  • jmcilhinney on August 9, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    England continue to underestimate David Warner's fielding ability in the point region. Cook was lucky not to be run out by quite a long way there once and it's not the first time he's had an England batsman struggling to make his ground. They really need to be very aware of what's a run and what's not when he's there.

  • jmcilhinney on August 9, 2013, 14:53 GMT

    Well, Australia probably with their noses in front after the wicket of Cook. He looked a bit foolish in the end by leaving it but that ball seamed in so much that he probably would have been LBW even if he'd played at it. Lyon was perhaps a little fortunate to get Trott, who play a fairly poor shot, but deserved KP's wicket, although if KP had played with a straighter bat he may have done better. The good thing re Trott is, even though he didn't go on with it, looked far better than his last few innings, which bodes well for the rest of this series and onwards. While I thought that moving Root up to open was the right decision and still think it was the right decision, I'm quite prepared to admit that, despite his one big score, it's been a failure so far. They will, and should, leave him at the top for the rest of this series but, if he continues to fail, they will have to re-evaluate at the end of the series. Would they go back to Compton? Consider Robson? Look elsewhere?

  • on August 9, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    This must be a world record or at least a first in the world. As it has happened forever that a bird always gets cooked. But this time, a Bird tricked a particular Cook! Who would have thought! Sorry couldn't help it, bring on the bird jokes :D lol

  • on August 9, 2013, 14:42 GMT

    Now we see the consequences of scoring at a ridiculously slow rate. England should have been out of the woods by now but because of the overcautious approach they are still smack dab in the danger zone. All the sage talk of "end of day 300/2" and "Cook playing smart with an anchoring century" go right out the window. Now it's basically a bunch of out-of-formers under pressure to score trying to play against bowlers with their tails up. Now watch predictable England clam up for 20 overs.......

  • on August 9, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Starc? The argument of variety is terrible. The slow scoring has been a direct result of 4 seamers making the batsmen work for runs. Lyon's wickets are a direct result of that pressure. Starc has not broken through early in innings with any consistency. I rate his bowling in one dayers, but these are tests and his lacklustre line and length and total lack of consistency does not work. If he doesn't learn to bowl 6 ball overs of good, boring cricket he'll be stuck making millions in 2020 leagues in no time.

    As for O'Keefe his stats at FC level mean that I think he is intensely unlucky not to have had a good go during the Spinner craziness post warne. But two successive and very different panels have decided he just won't translate to Tests. There must be something missing.

    And there it is. Bird bowling full, straight, consistent. And bye bye Cook. Class is permanent, Starc won't be.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    @ScottStevo, great comment well said mate, fully behind you 100%

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Ahah KP 2-1 Lyon, 2nd wicket in a 5-fer hahahaha sucked in KP!

  • MartinC on August 9, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    So an hour into the second session and after all the spade work of the morning England are now up to 3 runs per over and 149-2. Foundation set for a good first innings score and yet people are still finding things to moan about in England's batting. Amazing.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @YorkshirePudding - Not even a look at the Test squad, that series against Pakistan over there aside, where he played T20. Phenomenal average in first class/T20 cricket (in the 24s!). Still not sure why he hasn't cracked it in Tests, being from NSW where 90% of the current Aus players hail from. Can anyone shed some more light on why Stevie O'Keefe hasn't cut it, despite his amazing averages?

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

    Watto 10 overs already today, clear evidence of a changed role in the side.

  • SaadRocx on August 9, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    I guess the big question that's on everyone's lips would be, when England are batting, what's the best movie to go and see?

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 14:12 GMT

    Congrats to KP on passing Mike Athertons Test match total, the next one in his sights is Boycs, 8114, just shy of another 400 runs.

  • SaadRocx on August 9, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    England going on at just over 2 runs per over...and Sir Alastair Cook is batting at Strike Rate of just over 20..Cook you're sooo boring...yawns..yet another draw on cards...

  • 2MikeGattings on August 9, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    KP in bulging-eye, throbbing-temple mode. Don't go anywhere.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Has anyone else noticed how close KP and cook are interms of thier international careers, yet one is classed as a great the other is overlooked.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    @2MikeGattings, I get the impression this could be payback for sections of the aussue media calling sullying his good reputation.....

  • ScottStevo on August 9, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    Big mistake today to leave out Starc. He adds such variety to our attack which after a session and a half of play we are sorely missing. Nothing against bird, really like the bloke/bowler, just think Harris and Siddle are basically the same type/style of bowler and three right arm over pace men with a fourth right armer just make it an all too similar experience for the English batsmen. Also, feel for Starc as he's one in, one out and never gets a chance to build rhythm/momentum. Same can be said for some of our batsmen too. It's a little ridiculous and we as a nation have little to no patience whatsoever. Look at our spinners for example. in fact, at present, if you can't make an instant impact and take 15 wickets in a test, or turn the ball at right angles, then you've got roughly a test or two before we start looking elsewhere! Sticking with a line up would be nice for a change - especially after we pretty much pasted Eng in the last test, I figured we'd start the same.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 9, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Awww, Clarke blinked. Round 2 to KP.

  • SaadRocx on August 9, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Look how cook is batting..36 from 141 balls...Watching him bad is only good for 1 thing... *Sleep*zzz

  • 2MikeGattings on August 9, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    KP off in a frenzy. Clarke should definitely keep Lyon on, this is box office.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 13:38 GMT

    @ClippedThroughMid-Wicket, where does S. O'keefe stand at the moment?

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    @Denno911, the last 10 overs england have been scoring at over 4 an over, thanks mainly to Trott whos really uped his scroing rate, shame hes gone now to a good take from Khawaja

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Lyons first wicket in a 5-fer there, wait and see folks!

  • 2MikeGattings on August 9, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    50 runs since lunch in 12.1 overs so I hope you're all happy now.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 9, 2013, 13:24 GMT

    Aus plans to restrict Trott's scoring, on a 1st day pitch with large boundaries and a slow outfield, do not seem to be having the desired effect. His SR is above 75.

  • CustomKid on August 9, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    What a toss to win, this deck is like a billiard table. Runs a plenty for eng here.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 9, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    The average run rates for England and Australia in the 2005 Ashes series were 3.85 and 3.87 respectively; this series, average run rates stand at 3.08 and 3.39 respectively. This includes the previous game where, in the last innings, Australia were obviously going for quick runs to try and force the win, whilst England were going for the draw. So ignoring these last two innings, that still leaves England with an average run rate of 2.87, and Australia 3.11.

    Are people seriously going to spend this entire match/series even, moaning about slow scoring rates, when in reality test cricket has always been like this?

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    @CustomKid, good call regards flighting it when attacked, I like that about Lyon too.

    Lyon will mature into the team very soon as he is our best spinner at the moment, I actually think Agar will go back to domestic cricket between the series and won't feature again in the Baggy Green for at least 2-3 years. Besides we all know spinners take longer to mature into the Test team, and that maturing will coincide with our rebuilding. All you bashers watch for him in the very near future. :)

  • Denno911 on August 9, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Is Cook going to bat for 6 sessions to amass a total of 150....?? sorry but this is just lazy cricket... The shine is gone off the ball and England are still scoring at 2.4 runs per over..

  • 2MikeGattings on August 9, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    As of the 33rd over, Clarke still protecting his spinner. Doesn't he trust him?

  • Deuce03 on August 9, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Not everyone can be an Amla or a Sehwag, and I don't think anyone's asking for more Smiths. While the retirement of Strauss has perhaps contributed to a slight loss of fluency at the top of the order, this style of patient accumulative batting is how England got to the #1 spot in the first place. As the innings goes on they go through the gears and tend to finish with a healthy rate - they are just rightfully cautious against the new ball (which is potent in England). The principal job of the openers is to see off the new ball, after all! I'd rather see England - or any team - batting well but slowly than trying to force the rate and precipitating a collapse.

  • Denno911 on August 9, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    Well my question is about Mr A Cook, England Captain. In this series including his glorious innings this morning. In 7 innings he has nit 170 run in a laughable 542 balls at an avg. of 24.28 at a strike rate of 31.36.. How is this man still opening for his side.

  • on August 9, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    @jayzuz no idea.

  • 5wombats on August 9, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    1/69 just after lunch. Chappelli and Healy talking about England needing to get a wiggle on. Why? Sure -it's slow, but it's Day one, session one!? Aus have bowled quite well and Cook/Root/Trott showing them a alot of respect. Pitch looks true but not much bounce. The outfield seems very slow so not too many boundaries. Good old school attritional cricket. Bird looks decent.

  • liz1558 on August 9, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @jb633 - thoroughly agree with your sentiment. The top three need more than one gear. and shouldn't rely on the middle order to provide some impetus. Vaughan and Tresco - even Strauss - could dominate an attack according to the circumstances; something that Cook just doesn't do. Because Cook is the captain, it looks like everyone else follows suit. It's possibly why Root is opening in the first place - because he's a stroke maker. 110/2 at lunch is a lot better than 50/1.

  • TomPrice on August 9, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    I can perfectly understand why Australians hate to watch Cook and Trott bat. They have had to do far too much of it over the years. O my darlings.

  • 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on August 9, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    the comments on here about the slow scoring rate simply demonstrate a total lack of understanding of what test cricket is all about by those posting them. from what i have seen, the ball is doing a bit. the job of the batsmen on the first morning is to see off the new ball, not loose early wickets and set up a platform for the rest of the innings. this is exactly what England have done. or would it have been better to go out and throw the bat at the ball and loose 3-4 wickets before lunch?

  • Jayzuz on August 9, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    The problem @MartinC is that this has been going on the entire series. The context is dull, dry wickets for all games, slow scoring rates in all innings regardless of the position of the game and time-wasting tactics to try to avoid defeat. This is what is annoying people. England is a fear-based team. The problem is that it has been repeatedly rewarded for its timidity. The only team playing attacking cricket in this series is trailing 2-0. Luck has played its part too in other series, such as saving the 2009 Ashes and recent series in NZ by one wicket both times (Cardif 2009 - time-wasting again rewarded), despite being the second best team in both series, IMHO.

  • on August 9, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    jb633: would you rather England bat like Aus and be 100 / 4 at lunch?

  • CustomKid on August 9, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    @cliipedthroughmidwicket - I'm with you man, Lyon is a ripper. His record is pretty impressive given how little cricket he has played in any format. I love the fact he gives it nice flight even when attacked. Give the guy some time to develop though.

    Look at swan, played some odi's in his early twenties got thrown on the scrap heap then came back as a crafty toiler in his trade at 29. His record is now very good probably the bestvoff spinner in the game at present and he has developed really nice variations on pretty much the standard offie and straight ball.

    I hope they stick with Lyon long term and let him develop.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    @Bon Wacket I had no idea Vettori's average was 34! I back Lyon in to improve with age and if he gets the chance to take 300 wickets for Australia, which could happen if we stick with him, he will be right up there as one of our best ever. If we stick with him he can play for another 10 years.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 9, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    If anyone's interested: Watson's bowling figures thus far in the Ashes series are: 68 overs, 35 maidens, 122 runs, 2 wickets. If my maths is correct, that leaves a remarkable economy of 1.79, but a rather ugly average of 61 runs per wicket and a strike rate of 1 wicket per 204 balls...

  • jb633 on August 9, 2013, 11:55 GMT

    This top 3 is simply appalling for test cricket. I am the biggest fan of Cook but this scoring rate has turned into a complete joke. I am really struggling to support my own side here I am getting more and more disilussioned with how we play the game. Beofre people starting say stick to T20 etc, I hate the stuff and ODI cricket. I love test cricket but loathe the way we play it at the minute. Of course there is room for accumlation but we are making this poor Aussie side look twice as good as they really are. The real test ie South Africa, we came up way short. These guys are the best team in the world and they do not bat like this. Cook and Trott can't be compared to Smith and Amla. They put pressure back on the bowlers and do not score their runs at under 2 rpo. It has not just been this innings but every game in the last 3 series we have batted like this. As soon as we play someone good our method will be exposed and our side beaten. We need to change this up.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    @Mitty2, cook looked very scratchy in 2010 agasint pakistan, then came seriously good, batsmen have cycles and I think cook is in a lull at the moment, following the 3 tons he scored in India, the fact hes in such bad form may be a bad omen for Australia in the return leg (I doubt it though!!!).....

  • SirViv1973 on August 9, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @glance_to_Leg, IMO the jury is very much out on the Cook/Root opening partnership, but I guees the selectors will have to decide at the end of the series whether they feel its worth persisting with or whether it would be more beneficial to have Root in at 6. I guess the decison will also depend some what on how Bairstow goes over the next 2 games. They have invested a lot in him so far, but if he dosen't manage a big score before the end of the series then you feel it would be difficult justify him starting the away series in the 6 position. The good thing is there are other options there with Taylor & Ballance in particular for the 6 role or if JR did go back to 6 Robson would now be an alternative to Compton at the top.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    @glance_to_leg, Why is Root not an opener? He opens for his county, and scored 2 big hundreds at the start of the season.

    Carberry has a very, very limited career life of maybe 2 years,and has done nothing in the CC2 this year (Avg 40!!), also he didnt exactly impress when he last played test cricket, where as the future is going to be Root.

    As for Bairstow, maybe, but I beleive hes been groomed to take over from Prior, though I would have loved to see Taylor batting here and at the oval.

  • on August 9, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    well said 'clipped', Lyon stats for a 24yr old offie playing on roads and against teams like sri lanka in sri lanka are exceptional. he averages the same as Starc, who has been selected ahead of Bird up til now. Bird has an avg half that of Starc. there is an issue. Lyon is fine. In fact compare his avg and strike rate to D.Vettori, then tell me you wouldn't love to have him in the side as a 24yr old.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    @Min2000, to be fair to Boyc's he could bat at a fair lick buit he also new how to shut up shop. I think Tavare holds the record for the slowest ever 50 in test cricket.

  • Mitty2 on August 9, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Well, I think England would be somewhat regretting the dropping of Compton for Bairstow in order to push Root to opening for some reason. Root was dropped in embarrassing fashion by Haddin in single figures for his only score of above 50 for this series. Even before this series every time against the second new ball he either seriously struggled or got out. His technique - which has been ridiculously glorified by many - is way too far on the back foot, and if someone has the stats, I reckon his strike rate opening is worse than Compton's. Thought it was stupid that they dropped Compton at the time, and considering both root's and bairstow's failures, the dropping if Compton is made even worse.

    Also, when was the last time Cook has been so scratchy? He certainly wasn't beaten anywhere near as much in the '10/11 series.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 9, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha (post on August 9, 2013, 11:10 GMT): that "dead, dry pitch" is full of seam/movement and together with the swing/drift on offer in these conditions, I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps England should have bowled first. The pitches to date have allowed spin and seam from day 1 and have lasted the full 5 days every game.

  • ClippedThroughMid-Wicket on August 9, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    @Anthony Dalton Lyon has played 22 tests for 76 wickets at 33, which is only 5 shy of Swann's average at 28 and Swann is 10 years older. How about we all stop bashing Lyon and give the young bloke a chance to establish himself. Any aspiring Test bowler would love to have 80-odd wickets after 22 tests. Siddle's average is only 5 better than Lyons and we all love Sids.

  • Mitty2 on August 9, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    The Root decision is EXACTLY why we need DRS. The problems have been with the third umpires as much as anything. I did the whole concept of needing foolproof technology ridiculous - even the KP lack of hotspot had a sound at the exact same time which showed he edged it.

    Bird tight as usual, can't really fault him, he beat the bat and was threatening, but this pitch really is great for batting. Watson - as much as I dislike him - has bowled very well this series and that wicket was deserved. Hard to believe his figures considering how well he's bowled. It'll be intriguing to see where he bats, for the sake of it I'd have him at six/five because of rest for his bowling.

  • 5wombats on August 9, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    @Anil Kumar (August 9, 2013, 10:45 GMT) We've read plenty of comments over the years - but this one has to be the best; "India were bit more relaxed after first test win and England took full advantage of that". So @Anil Kumar - England won in India because India relaxed.... Doesn't say much about India's attitude does it? And playing at home too - what a let down for all those India fans. And what, prey tell does England's historic victory in India have to do with this fourth Test match between England and Australia? Your reply, if any, should be short. Nothing. Please - let that series go @Anil - your team will have another chance to not relax again next year when they tour England....

  • glance_to_leg on August 9, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Root should NOT be opening the batting. Bring in Carberry and shove Root down, dropping Bairstow (who is not a test batsman), or shift Trott up the order, push Trott down (and bring in Taylor for Bairstow). Please. Trott doesn't look happy at the top of the order, and his confidence will be destroyed. The 180 was not the innings of an opener, because he should have been caught in single figures.

  • Min2000 on August 9, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @ YorkshirePudding - Boycott was just before my time but I definitely remember watching Chris Tavare bore the pants off everyone with his dazzling lack of stroke play.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 9, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Another dead, dry track. How DO the English do it - 4 tests in a row now? They must share the recipe. Or did they steal it from the Indians?

  • SirViv1973 on August 9, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    @Anil Kumar, Who mentioned anything about Eng being a great team? The vast majority of Eng fans will tell you will have a good team but certainly not a great one. I also think most Eng fans, certainly of my age are very happy that we have a good team as we remember back to the 90's when we were anything but a good team!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 9, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    @Ian Jones (post on August 9, 2013, 10:08 GMT): What are YOU on about - Siddle is there playing! Not even Aus. would be silly enough to drop their best bowler surely...

    @Lliam Flynn (post on August 9, 2013, 10:26 GMT): 6 runs off a Bird over, followed by 7 runs off a Harris over... that does not look defensive in test cricket to me at all. Also why pick KP/Bairstow over the likes of Compton if you want to be ultra defensive and play for draws?

  • SirViv1973 on August 9, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    @Anil Kumar, Surely we proved we are good enough in sub contienet conditions by winning in Ind only a few months ago? It wasn't just about the form of 2 batsman. Monty & Swann were both excellent, Monty in particualr. Anderson also bowled consitently well on unresponsive surfaces, which lead the indian captain to indentify him as one of the main differences between the 2 teams.

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    this is a 5 day test not a one dayer ... et em get themselves set and make big scores. grind these aussies into submissio early

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    @Min2000, Think about Boycott and Tavare batting, the two used to bore the bowlers, umpires and crowd, and make Cook, and Root look like Sehwag and Warner.

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Ian - One series with 2-1 win does not indicate that England is a great team .See what happened just after test in one day matches . Similar team were defeted by Pak 3-0 . Actually India were bit more relaxed after first test win and England took full advantage of that . But I do feel that apart from Cook there is no class player in England team.

  • Riz000 on August 9, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Guys mark my word Usman khawaa will score a big ton in this match and watto will also click

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Good to see Bird be given an opportunity, a shame it comes at the expense of Starc. Starc can be erratic but has the happy knack of bowling 2 or 3 memorable balls most innings that take wickets. I am a bit over Australia selecting blokes as a spin bowler, purely to say we have a spinner in the team and not because they are a decent spin bowler and worthy of their spot. Seriously Lyon has played 20 odd tests and other than one decent game in India, I can't recall him bowling a devastating spell, that got wickets or even troubled batsmen. It just seems odd.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @Posted by on (August 9, 2013, 10:26 GMT) , then dont watch it, alteratively they could go out like its a T20 and all be out before Lunch.

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    Oh God, this is like taking a Valium. Instead of playing to win they are playing not to lose from the first ball of the first day! England need to drop this entrenched defensive mindset to have any hope of regaining the #1 spot again.

  • Mitty2 on August 9, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    Well I don't want to put the mocker on him, but great news that Bird's finally playing. He and Harris would've been lovely to watch in tandem at Lord's, but I guess it doesn't matter now. Bird's record is ridiculously good, so let's hope he can prove it on the big stage!!

    Regarding England's selection, I'm a tad disappointed they haven't selected Onions. Although, it's working in our favor instead. Onions' recent record and performance is also very very good and surely on his home ground he'd be more threatening than a tired Anderson, or an underperforming Broad.

  • Garethewilliams on August 9, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    It seem the Australians don't like their bowlers outdoing their batsmen. If you are a bowler and do well you won't last (although Pattinson wasn't his fault!) Siddle beware, don't score runs.

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Anil - what a ludicrous comment! How will they get on in India with this team? They'll win the series 2-1 thats what will happen! Did you not watch over the winter?

  • Min2000 on August 9, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Was hoping Aussie would bat. Cook, Root and Trott... all very talented for sure, but is there a more boring top order to watch in world cricket?

  • cccrider on August 9, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Bird - there is a test match bowler, zeroing in on and around off stump. Good enough for McGrath. Not spraying Starc.

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Finn should be playing instead of Bresnan. He's a far better bowler. Australia have dropped their best bowler (and batsman) in Siddle, showing they're getting desperate and don't have a clue.

  • I-Like-Cricket on August 9, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    @122notoutWestByfleet1996 and Australia have missed a trick by playing Khawaja here.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 9, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Disappointed Onions hasn't been given a go. Shouldn't really be surprised as England are renowned for their stubbornness and "if it aint broke, don't meddle with it" attitude (for better or worse). Hopefully Broad can get amongst the wickets this game, and some runs from a few of the batsmen will reignite confidence and settle some doubters...

  • on August 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    This england team looks strong on paper but I do not know how they will fare in indian subcontiant condition. Enfland won in India due do the form of Cook and kevin.But were not upto the before that.

  • on August 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Aussies drawing straws to see who gets picked for each Test. They are a shambles!

  • on August 9, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Hoped Onions would see some action.

  • lankymanky on August 9, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    will someone let me know when it is 30 for 3 please, including an Alistair Cook wasting a review for a plum LBW. something which Watson is vilified for yet Cook has a knack for too.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    A Very good toss to lose, it could work out badly for England, its a shame Onions isnt playing on his home ground instead of Broad. A Tricky hour for England if Bird, Harris and Siddle able to extract some early movement.

  • 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on August 9, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    England have missed a trick not playing Onions here.

  • 122notoutWestByfleet1996 on August 9, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    England have missed a trick not playing Onions here.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 9, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    A Very good toss to lose, it could work out badly for England, its a shame Onions isnt playing on his home ground instead of Broad. A Tricky hour for England if Bird, Harris and Siddle able to extract some early movement.

  • lankymanky on August 9, 2013, 9:54 GMT

    will someone let me know when it is 30 for 3 please, including an Alistair Cook wasting a review for a plum LBW. something which Watson is vilified for yet Cook has a knack for too.

  • on August 9, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    Hoped Onions would see some action.

  • on August 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Aussies drawing straws to see who gets picked for each Test. They are a shambles!

  • on August 9, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    This england team looks strong on paper but I do not know how they will fare in indian subcontiant condition. Enfland won in India due do the form of Cook and kevin.But were not upto the before that.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 9, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Disappointed Onions hasn't been given a go. Shouldn't really be surprised as England are renowned for their stubbornness and "if it aint broke, don't meddle with it" attitude (for better or worse). Hopefully Broad can get amongst the wickets this game, and some runs from a few of the batsmen will reignite confidence and settle some doubters...

  • I-Like-Cricket on August 9, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    @122notoutWestByfleet1996 and Australia have missed a trick by playing Khawaja here.

  • on August 9, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Finn should be playing instead of Bresnan. He's a far better bowler. Australia have dropped their best bowler (and batsman) in Siddle, showing they're getting desperate and don't have a clue.

  • cccrider on August 9, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Bird - there is a test match bowler, zeroing in on and around off stump. Good enough for McGrath. Not spraying Starc.