Pessimism is the definitive trait of the English cricket follower.
That’s why we’ve been racking our brains for ways in which England could still lose this test match.
And I think we’ve found it. If Strauss declares overnight, and Australia bat robustly till sometime after lunch on the last day, their lead will be around 125 – just enough to then bowl us out in the 40 overs remaining.
Far fetched? Probably. Hopefully. But this match is at Adelaide, scene of England’s greatest horror, whose ghost continues to hang over us all.
A more pressing issue is when Strauss declares, which with plenty of rain forecast is a tough call. The pitch is so flat that wickets will not come easily. Our instinct (and it’s easy to say this from the armchair) is that we should bat for another hour or so, to take the lead near 400, and hopefully further erode the Australian batsmen’s concentration.
It’s a great shame we lost today’s final session to rain. At the rate KP was going, he might just have reached his triple century before stumps.
Pietersen is back. How wonderful it is to write those words, and how marvellously he played today. Realistically, KP is our best player, and my – how we’ve missed him. When Pietersen hits his groove, it’s like having twelfth player.
Both sides know how significant the result of this test match will be. If we win, Australia will need to win at least two of the remaining three tests to regain the Ashes. But if we draw, Ponting’s side will have the chance to reboot and start again at Perth, after a ten day break, with a clean slate.