Comments thread: day one at Trent Bridge

So here we go. Eyes down for a full house. England won the toss and put Australia into bat. Mark Wood will share the new ball with Stuart Broad. They are otherwise unchanged and Adam Lyth is given another chance.

Australia lose a Mitchell but retain their Marsh quotient by replacing Mitchell Marsh with Shaun Marsh. They’ve dropped an all-rounder to strengthen the batting, and Marsh will bat at four, with Michael Clarke dropping to five. Adam Voges, a lucky man, keeps his place.

This is the thread for all your comments and views as the day progresses. Can England exploit the conditions? How much will they miss Anderson? Will Clarke rise to the occasion and confect a priceless captain’s innings, just when his team needs it most?

You can’t help but feel that today has special significance for the outcome of this series. If England comprehensively win the day, it’s game over. But a dominant three sessions with the bat for Australia will change the dynamic once again – and without Anderson, England will find it harder than before to wrest back the initiative.

As the day begins, though, the fact remains that England need win only one of the next two tests to complete the most unexpected Ashes victory for decades. How do we all  feel about that?

In the past, and still for most England supporters, this would be a total no-brainer. England win the Ashes – what’s not to like? The fact speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Let joy be unconfined. Beating Australia is beating Australia, simple as.

For others though, and I am one, the reality is more complex and nuanced. If you’ve not already read it, I recommend taking a look at this epic piece by Lord Canis Lupus, at Being Outside Cricket. Whatever your stance, it’s certainly food for thought.

His phrase ‘papering over the cracks’ struck me as specially resonant. Because if England do win the Ashes, that will  happen. Ashes victory = validation and vindication.  Ashes ownership= a claim to perfection and contentment. Because it can be very convenient to use the urn as an opiate for the masses.

We will be told that because England won, everything in the garden is rosy and all aspects of English cricket work perfectly. We will be scolded for cynicism and instructed that every criticism of English cricket institutions is invalidated by the photo of Alastair Cook holding the urn. The county system, grass-roots funding, TV deals, schools cricket, the recreational game, and the whole culture and mentality of the ECB – everything is exactly as it should be, and the proof is in the terracotta.

None of which means you shouldn’t enjoy England’s victory – should it come to pass. But we mustn’t let it be misappropriated. If England win, the triumph belongs to the players and the supporters, not to administrators. And we should argue it’s a starting point – an opportunity for progress and reform – rather than the end to all debate.

But that conversation is for another time. England may yet not win. Let’s see how today goes first.


  • Maxie we’re wrong. The ECB are solely responsible for Cook winning the toss on a green pitch ;-)

    Brilliant start. Australia 10-3. No pressure Michael.

    Wood bowling quickly and swinging it.

    Erm, make that 15-4!!!!

  • Well I was hoping to go and watch the game in my lunch break, looks like it might be all over.

    Can we make the Aussies follow on, despite not having batted yet ourselves?

  • The thing I love about this is we’ll still have a lead of 140 if we get shot out for 200! Brilliant

    • Surely you’d be nervous if you had a lead of only 140?

      Or are you willing to go out on a limb and say England might win the series from here?

      • Nah i feel a big one coming from clarke, he has to play for his pride, it will be the last flash of burning light etc etc
        warner will get his second innings 50 for sure, rogers after his first duck in tests is bound to hang about throw in one more from smith or johnson Aussies have a game to save

          • yeah slighlty :D….so far so good now just need clarke to knuckle down and something speciall form neville and johnson set them 550 have a lead of 250 game on

  • Couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing!

    (btw has this site been loading and running considerably faster recently?)

    • It’s possible. The site went down a couple of days ago and the host reloaded/refreshed all the files. Is it usually a bit slow? We never really get any feedback about things like this

      • (James – yes, it used to take ages to load the shortcuts to the various articles. It seems to have been much quicker recently.)

        • Wow. Thanks for letting me know. It has always worked fine on my machines. Wonder whether a change of host might speeds thing up in the future? What kind of device do you use?

          Don’t hesitate to drop me and email if you have any problems or feedback.

  • What a remarkable day’s cricket. Even the team on TMS couldn’t believe what they were seeing. I cannot get my head around Australia playing so well at Lord’s (helped by the featherbead prepared at the behest of Andrew Stauss) and then slumping at Edgbaston(136 all out and 265 all out) and now self-destructing at Trent Bridge. Michael Clarke’s flail outside off stump today was an appalling shot. Rogers and Warner could at least say they were out to good deliveries. But some of the others seemed to be giving our
    boys slip catching practise. Watching the highlights later, you could see that Stuart Broad, during that amazing 8 for 15 spell, was almost embarrassed. Australia were so abject today that they made England’s meek capitulation at Lord’s look like a battling rearguard action, all 37 overs of it. They seemed to just throw their wickets away today, it was incredible really.
    I was delighted to see Broad lead the attack so well on his home ground. He has bowled well in this series without that much to show for it, today all the snicks went to hand.
    It was great to see all the catches being taken, the Ben Stokes effort being one of the best I have ever seen in over 40 years of following England on TMS and terrestial TV. Cook also took a good one over his head at first slip, and Root has become a very safe pair of hands.
    Finn and Wood looked threatening too, and I am sure they will pick up more wickets in the 2nd innings.
    Joe Root’s batting was sublime, he just seems a class above all his England colleagues at the moment. Such a good temperament, such a fine range of shots.
    Well done to Jonny Bairstow. I am so pleased to see him scoring runs, and he and Root came up with the sort of partnership they have often scored for Yorkshire. I would love him to have scored a century today, to get that monkey off his back.
    Ian Bell’s lbw looked very leg-sidey to me, one of those one’s where the Hawkeye images don’t seem to match what is seen with the naked eye.
    England lead by 214, with power to add. Even if they collapse tomorrow, with a lead of 300, say, then they will still be in a commanding position.
    Australia will probably bat better second innings, especially if it is sunny and the wicket has gone a bit flat. Ideally England won’t have to bat again, in reality there probably will be a fourth innings total to knock off, as at Edgbaston.
    You do wonder why Mitchell Marsh was dropped, thus giving the other bowlers a heavier workload. Clarke should have given Lyon more of a bowl today.
    I still can’t quite believe what I have heard and seen today.

    • I agree re: the Bell LBW. I thought it was a poor decision by Dar and I was surprised that Hawkeye showed it clipping the leg stump. The weird thing is that the predictive tracking had the ball straightening after it bounced. At first I thought this very odd and unfair, until someone pointed out that the movement was due to the ball changing direction after hitting Bell’s front pad.

      This actually raised an interesting issue. How is the LBW law worded? Is the umpire supposed to make a decision based on the initial impact on the pad (i.e. the trajectory of the ball when it first makes contact with the batsman) or where the ball is ultimately going to end up?

      In retrospect I didn’t think Bell was hard done by because the ball would’ve clattered into his stumps had his back leg not been in the way (because the ball changed direction after hitting his front pad). However, I’m not sure that’s why Dar gave him out. I think Dar thought the ball’s initial trajectory was hitting the stumps. Do you see what I’m getting at? What exactly is the law?


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