Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The beat of a different drum

In the midst of the opprobrium being heaped on England's head, let me strike a slightly different note (not discordant, just different). Australia deserve to be 2-0 up, but they are vulnerable. They deserve to be 2-0 up because they have played better than England. In the first test, they simply blew England away (other than that fourth-day flicker of hope), and in the second test, when England presented them with an opportunity, they grabbed it (fine, England insisted they take it, but take it they did). But still. They are making one mistake from 2005 all over again. They are persisting with some selections that could still bite them in the proverbial backside. Hayden still looks dodgy; Martyn looks not so crash hot either. And their bowling is weaker than they'd like to admit. McGrath's first test figures were flattering and he followed up his first innings at Brisbane with three largely ineffectual innings. Its telling Ponting didn't go to him for the fifth-day push. McGrath will make it through this series but Australia could do worse than to start thinking of ways to bring in some of those new quicks they have waiting in the wings.

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