This is almost the first morning I have had time to sit down and really pay attention to a morning’s play in the Ashes. So far it has been pretty disastrous for England.
The last ball of the 20th over, Cook left a ball from Johnson that passed four inches outside his off stump. He is the only batsman who has shown any kind of judgement. Strauss, Bopara and Collingwood were all out playing at balls well outside the off stump which they should have left alone in the first few overs of a test match. That England’s top order should have some idea where their off stump is, seems to me not too much to ask of well paid professionals.
The Australian bowling has had the discipline which the English batting lacks. It has not been brilliant, and there has been little movement off the seam and little swing. The wicket looks like a belter and the skies are clearing completely. England should have been giving Australia’s four man attack a very hard day.
It is very difficult not to go into grumpy old man mode, and opine that an excess of childish cricket formats have lobotomised Test match temperament out of the English batsmen.
Cook has gone while I am typing. We have to hope that Stuart Broad’s career is going to follow the example of Bob Woolmer, who started as a bowler who could bat a bit, and ended up as a genuine Test opener.