Can England buck the trend of recent


England have convincingly won the first test match of their last two series only to roll over and capitulate, after their 169 run victory in the Ashes opener can they stop the Aussies at Lord’s?

Almost a complete performance by England in Cardiff to win the opening match of the latest Ashes series, where they thoroughly outplayed Australia in all three disciplines.

Man of the match Joe Root excelled in all three, bar one blip with a not so costly dropped catch, oh and maybe almost getting out for a duck in the first innings which would have left his team 43 for 4. But in doing so he might have helped the cause, Haddin, so much a danger in the past – as all Aussie wicket-keepers seem to be, especially when they’re in trouble – might not be such a factor after that expensive drop.

Broad showed that the one day dropping has given him the kick up the arse required to play like we know he can and want him to. That is cut out the ineffectual short pitched rubbish that gets nobody out and just wastes everybody’s time.

Of the others dropped, well Cook’s captaincy looked all the better than it had previously, though what part his new vice-captain Root had to play I wonder. He was quick to assert his credentials bring on the spinner when Cook had to depart after taking a ball in the dress circle as Jim Maxwell expertly put it on the radio commentary. Also was it Root’s idea to stand so close at second slip?

Cook may have been helped out by the new coach maybe telling Broad and Anderson to bowl properly. Also when you’re on the up as a team captaincy gets easier.

Anderson, well he showed what Glenn McGrath said about him, when the conditions – ball, weather, pitch etc – are all in his favour he’s a good bowler, when they aren’t he’s nothing. When all in his favour he got three wickets in the first inning. But the conditions were in his favour in the second when he got nobody out and the usual guff came spewing about his economy and him making wickets for others. Bull, he bowled some good stuff early on but the economy was low as the Aussies didn’t have to play at a lot, that non-scoring didn’t create pressure, Broad’s bowling did that.

And Bell, well what a surprise after he bottled it in the first inning, as it looked like England were sinking, people started questioning his place? So what happens? Ah, yes what has happened every time, he finally bothers to put in the effort. It should be too little too late but he’ll be at Lord’s just don’t expect anything unless those above get a score, or people start asking the question.

Of the others, might have gone with Rashid over Ali, but the latter paid for himself, he’s capable with both ball and bat, a very handy number 8, and the Aussies think they can bully him out of the attack. It’s happened before but he looks like a bloke that’ll actually learn from his mistakes and take on new ideas.

Stokes can take the game away from the opposition with the bat, which Wood can do with the ball, he has got the look of the much missed Simon Jones about him – especially when giving it the long handle.

Ballance was both gritty and infuriating – first inning, second inning – Lyth with look more at home as things go on.

So England head into Lord’s on the up, which as stated at the beginning normally brings a bump from a great height. Aussies look cornered which normally brings the fight out in them. But what have they got, is Starc injured can they really play LBW (on review) Watson, does the captain trust his team?

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