No Rain Please, Melbourne

Well, I think it’s fair to say that the events of Day 1 at Melbourne have ensured that my last post about Paul Collingwood has become totally irrelevant, although I do believe that there is a problem there that needs addressing post Ashes.

When Sri Lanka arrive in May to play England in our next test series, Ian Bell cannot continue languishing down at Number 6. Also if the selectors are looking to build towards the 2013 Ashes, it might be the right time to give Eoin Morgan an extended run in the side.

Back to Melbourne and I thought that it was a very brave, but in hindsight, obvious decision, to put Australia in. Like myself and most England fans, I think Strauss liked the look of the Aussie batting line up with Steven Smith at No.6. Strauss clearly didn’t let the Perth performance influence his decision.

When watching the 1st half hour, I was thinking ‘Bloody Hell, we’re letting them off the hook here, Strauss could end up looking stupid by the end of play here.’

Thankfully England turned things around with plenty of help from the Aussie openers. I couldn’t believe the shots that both of them were playing, I know the Sky Sports commentators talked about Phil Hughes currently being a walking a wicket, but what was Shane Watson playing at?

Also at the start of the series, if anybody had told me that England would be bowling Australia out in Melbourne with a pace trio of Anderson, Tremlett and Bresnan, I would have thought they were mad. How things can change.

A year ago I didn’t see Bresnan as part of a 4 man attack, apart from against lesser opposition. Last night he bowled with pace – he was regularly in the high 80’s – and accuracy, he looks to have improved out of sight. Picking up on Michael Holding’s theory though, I do hope his selection wasn’t based on his batting. That would be negative and wrong in my view.

Chris Tremlett looks set to be a part of this side for years now, I can’t get over what a top class act he now looks and Jimmy Anderson continues to impress. I can honestly say that over the years I haven’t been Anderson’s biggest fan, I thought he was just a homer who could only bowl in English style conditions, but he has really looked the part in this series.

I went for a kip just after lunch thinking Australia would be bowled out for around 150 – 175, like Perth, I was of the view that if England could then bat properly and score 350 -375 in our 1st innings, then we would retain the Ashes.

When I got back up at about 6 and seen England at 60 odd for nought, with Australia having been bowled out for 98, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Australia are now 16/1 with Bet365 to win this test. The draw is 6/1 and England are 1/6 or 1/7 with most Bookmakers. I don’t want to jump the gun, (and I haven’t so far during this series) but I feel that the rain is all that can save Australia now.

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