Yesterday marked the end of the Adelaide test match, which was all but over for England on the second day when the Aussies declared with over 500 runs on the board.
It was great to see us finally get passed the early wobbles, and while Warner holed out again, he was on fire. I love watching him bat, and he’s the type of batsman that either gets out early or goes on to get a big score, and no matter which it is, he’s entertaining to watch.
On the bowling side, it was hard to pick a stand-out. Johnson again played havoc with the English heads, bowling fast and mean. Siddle, Harris and Lyon all played their parts, even though they didn’t all get the wickets they deserved. Watson and Smith also played cameos with the ball, and did well to tie the English down while our pacemen had a break.
It seems the English batsmen just can’t cope with the pace and bounce of our pitches. I’m not entirely sure why they’re not taking a leaf out of our play book and doing the same thing to us. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our quicks go on the Perth pitch, which is traditionally fast and full of bounce.
One thing that bothered me about the commentary during the match was a comment about Watson not contributing to the team. At current, he looks like a man who feels like every one else thinks he’s over stayed his welcome, particularly when he gets out. He’s had a lean series so far with the bat, with his highest score of 51 coming in the first innings in this test. He hasn’t been used with the ball much but he had figures of 1 for 0 (1 wicket for no runs) off 3 overs in the first innings, and 0 for 6 off 6 overs in the second. His economy alone when he’s bowling is a fantastic contribution. That’s exactly what you need from a part-time bowler, which he’s become over the last few years. And since when was 51 runs not a contribution in any innings?
Even though I was excited that we’re that much closer to bringing the Ashes home after the Adelaide win, I’m a little disappointed that we can’t seem to keep our mouths shut. I’m all for banter on the field, and I know I said in my last wrap-up that England give as good as they get (especially Broad, Anderson and Prior), but when we were looking like winning late on the fourth day, I really don’t know why Johnson and Haddin felt like they had to rub it in.
I saw Broad go after Johnson at the close of play on day 4, and I think that was uncalled for, but I think we really should be concentrating on winning matches instead of stirring up the opposition when we’re so far ahead of them both technically and mentally.
I’ve read on some of the news blogs that the reporting of the Stokes/Johnson clash has embarrassed both camps, and I really hope we can all go to Perth with clear heads and better manners. By all means, banter away, but the players have to remember that they’re not playing in a bubble, and the cameras are everywhere.
Having said all of that, bring on Perth. If England found it hard to play against our quicks on a batting pitch like Adelaide, I can’t wait to see how they go on a bowling pitch like Perth.