England would appear to have put themselves within one decent batting display of retaining the Ashes, despite my cautious approach to this series, that is where I believe we are now.
Equally, if we bat like a bunch of idiots (and lets be honest, pre Ashes we have plenty of form for that) then we let the Aussies back into the test and maybe the series.
So far this series I have reserved judgement on what a good 1st innings score is until both sides have batted, I’m not yet convinced that Australia are as under par as some commentators have suggested, so I am anxiously awaiting England’s reply.
At the start of the day I’m sure Strauss would have taken the current scorecard, but after having Australia at 69/5 he must have expected to be chasing a lesser score than he currently is. I thought that England slightly lost their way late on in the day and let Australia off the hook a bit.
In getting up to 268 the Aussies showed that they might be out of form, but they still have plenty of fight left in them. I can think of many a side who would have capitulated at 69/5 or 137/6. It just proves that England can take nothing for granted.
I also thought it was a brave decision from Strauss to put the Aussies in after winning the toss, it would have been easy for him to go with the general consensus and bat first.
Another decision that England got right was the inclusion of Chris Tremlett, he looked totally at ease and like he belongs in test cricket. I don’t want to sound like I’m getting carried away by one days bowling, but I believe Tremlett will be hard to dislodge from the England team now and when Stuart Broad returns, Steven Finn’s place will look vulnerable.
Thats no criticism of Finn, I believe he has done well and is a great prospect for the future, but at the moment Tremlett looks the more complete bowler. What a great position the selectors are in for fast bowlers at the moment.
So come on England, 4 to 5 sessions of batting and we can dare to dream.