At 364/6 at the end of Day 1, England know they have chucked away the chance to bat Australia out of contention of this 2nd Test. The tourists started awfully in the morning session giving England the early initiative with loose bowling either side of the wicket allowing England to get to lunch at 126 without loss.
After lunch it was more of the same for the 1st hour until Mitchell Johnson got a full straight one into Cook – similar to his Cardiff dismissal – breaking the partnership for a record stand of 196.
After that England wobbled, Pietersen and Bopara’s Twenty20 innings both didn’t last long, then with the match in a delicate position Cardiff batting stalwart Paul Collingwood played the worst shot of the day trying to heave part time spinner Michael Clarke over mid-on and getting caught there while there was two sweepers on either boundary offering easy singles.
For Australia despite picking up 2 wickets Mitchell Johnson was awful, in particular during the morning session where he sprayed the ball around all over the place allowing England to get off to the flyer they did.
From losing the toss and been in the position they were after 48 overs and with only 3 front line bowlers – one of which was Mitchell Johnson – Ricky Ponting will have been delighted with the way his team fought back.
As we keep hearing, they are number 1 in the world for a reason. Whether this is just down to Australia’s bowling is another thing. Hilfenhaus bowled well all day with little reward, while Siddle got better as the day went on and Johnson did start to swing the ball later on in the day delaying the taking of the new ball by a few overs.
On the whole though Australia were very ragged early on with eratic bowling along with overthrows and uncharacteristic misfields, their bowling did improve as the day went on but they were helped out by some poor batting by England’s lower and middle order of Bopara, Pietersen and Collingwood – they keep telling us they are going to learn from their mistakes. When?
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