here we go. A room full of eyes. England won the draw, allowing Australia to bat. Mark Wood will share the new ball with Stuart Broad. They were otherwise unchanged and Adam Lyth got another chance.
Australia lost Mitchell but kept their Marsh quotient by replacing Mitchell Marsh with Shaun Marsh. They gave up an all-rounder to improve the batting rate, Marsh would hit four and Michael Clarke dropped to five. Adam Voges, one lucky man, retained his spot.
This is the subject of all your comments and views throughout the day. Can England take advantage of the terms? How much will you miss Anderson? Will Clark step up when his team needs it most, tailoring a valuable inning for the captain?
I can’t help feeling that today has a special meaning for the ending of this series. If England wins the game across the board, it’s game over. But Australia’s dominance in three games will change the momentum again – without Anderson, it will be harder than before for England to regain the initiative.
At the start of the day, however, the fact remained that England only needed to win one of their next two Tests to pull off the most unexpected Ashes victory in decades. How do we feel about this?
In the past, it was an absolute no-brainer for most England fans. England win the Ashes – what’s not to like? The facts speak for themselves, don’t they? Let the happiness be unlimited. Beating Australia is beating Australia, it’s that simple.
For others, however, the reality is more complex and nuanced, and I am one of them. If you haven’t read it, I recommend checking out this epic work by Lord Canis Lupus on Being Outside Cricket. Whatever your stance, it’s something to ponder.
His phrase “patch the cracks” seemed to particularly resonate with me. Because if England wins the Ashes, that’s what will happen. Gray victory = confirmation and reason. Owning ashes = demanding perfection and fulfillment. Because it can be convenient to use urns as opium for the masses.
We are told that because England wins everything in the garden, all aspects of English cricket work well. We were dismissed as cynical and told that any criticism of the English cricket establishment was nullified by the photo of Alastair Cook with the ballot box. The county system, core funding, TV offerings, school cricket, casual games and the ECB’s overall culture and mentality – everything works as it should, evidenced in Terracotta.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy England’s victory – if it happens. But we must not allow it to be abused. When England win, it goes to the players and the fans, not the managers. We should argue that this is a starting point — an opportunity for progress and reform — not the end of all debate.
But that conversation was for another time. England certainly can’t win yet. Let’s see how things stand today.