well done lads, nice work!!!
beating Australia in Australia is quite an achievement, no matter what they are saying of the current crop of Aussie players. to dominate them for 5 days, arguably the last 7 if you include the finale of the first Test, is something else!
there can be little surprise, despite further heroics from Alistar Cook and some sublime bowling from Jimmy Anderson and Swann, that only one man was spoken of in regards of the man of the match. welcome back, KP - it may very well have been a "difficult" year and a half since your last ton, but so what considering your dazzling display with the bat and, indeed, ball these last five days!
as delighted as i am with an England win, there's always my good Yorkshire pessimism to count on. this was an impressive win that was nearly turned into a worrying draw due to the ultra-conservative tactics of Mr Strauss, it has to be remembered. he batted far, far too long on the forth day, keeping the batsmen out for at least an hour or about 50 runs too much. a win by an innings and 71 runs speaks volumes of the extra amount he decided to let the team bat; the weather not two hours after England sealed the win showed how little real time he allowed his bowlers to do their job.
going on his conservative approach, i was beginning to fear England would have four draws going into Sydney and then have the Aussies destroy us within 3 days at the SCG! i guess that's not going to happen, at least!
as for is it England are that good or Australia that poor for this Ashes, a hard call. this is one of the best, most effective England teams ever, but the results Australia have posted over the last 12 months are less than inspiring reading. considering the famous encouragement and development of talent in Australia, why the team is so lacking of character at present is a bit of a mystery.
a big concern would be the seemingly unavoidable departure of one of the finest players of the game on a distinctly low note. Ricky Ponting has been an ambassador for the game and his country, respected around the world beyond the boundary ropes. at the moment, however, he's failing with the bat, falling short as a captain and is in the hitherto unthinkable position for an Aussie captain - if he lasts the series, he could well be the first Australian captain to lose three Ashes series. this is not a fate he deserves, as much of course as i want England to win.
going into the third Test, England have a major problem in the form of Broad being out for the remainder of the series. he may not have got the wickets in the first two Tests, but dear me has he put some astonishing pressure on the Aussie batsmen with some superb, disciplined bowling. i am not sure who England will draft in as a replacement - is Monty really worth another try - but we shall miss him as much as he shall miss not being a part of the remainder of the series.
anyway, concerns aside, time to celebrate a fine win, and what better way than with a pic of the man who seems to be the life and party of the series so far!
so, off to Perth we go, then. England have nothing to fear but being complacent, Australia need to hit back, to para-quote Tony Grieg, hard and fast. it should be fascinating, if very late night, viewing.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!