As an Australian supporter you will feel a bit aggrieved at what has happened at the start of Day 4!
Simon Katich was caught off an apparent no-ball, and Phillip Hughes was sent on his way after Andrew Strauss claimed a catch at slip.
Now as i have said before, the speed of a ball flying low at you, and taken so close to the ground, the momentum of the ball being picked up so low would give you the impression the catch was taken. But as we saw in the series against the Proteas, referral system aside, the players from both teams were very honest in raising their hand saying the catch wasn't taken or there was doubt. The Umpires have their responsibility here too. It looked like the ball hit the ground and rolled into Strauss' hand. I don't think it was out, and Punter was right in making him stand his ground.
But this is Test cricket, and these incidents happen, and Punter is going along with aggressive intentions! Showing his toughness!
Mike Hussey has a great opportunity ahead for himself too.
As for the last 3 days! Rather dissapointing stuff from the guys.
I have been watching England's cricket very closely over the last 2 years, and I stress the importance again for them with that Cook/Strauss partnership! Those two get going, it can be very dangerous with regards to the bowling side! They got off to a flyer in the 1st innings, and taking that into serious consideration, it set the tone for things to come our way!
Mitchell Johnson did pick up his 100th wicket, but many will agree it wasn't in the best of circumstances. His bowling has been inconsistent, wayward, out of control and I will say it again, but something just doesn't seem right with his body language. I still reckon it is to do with off-field matters, and has possibly thrown him off track a bit.
Mitch is still our match winner, but it just seems his mind needs a bit of a cooling off session. If Brett Lee gets the nod for the 3rd Test, Mitch may find himself in hot water, as himself and Brett's roles are very similar. However, he still gets the break-throughs and has taken some big wickets with some eye-opening deliveries, but it hurts when your strike bowler is looking a bit off-colour.
The Cook/Strauss partnership aside, this game may have been in a much different place right now!
But we now face a monstrous climb needing 522!
A few mistakes have happened, but I am not concerned as England have not won this Test match, and there are 3 test to follow this one. Our team is highly capable of dominating England's line-up, but right now England are coming out on top.
This was a mild concern of mine after that drawn 1st Test.
Our batting performance didn't help the situation, where most of the guys played some rather eccentric shots to get out, notably some pull shots and instinctive twitches.
It was great to see Michael Hussey reach his half-century, but that was a brief celebration when he attempted to leave a delivery from Andrew Flintoff, which kept alot lower than many of us would have expected from Flintoff at line. Huss departed, and it didn't get much better!
One thing I have much better appreciation of, is tail-ender performances with the bat!
Glen McGrath showed this a few times, where he hung around to assist batsmen too reach their milestones. Fittingly, Mike Hussey is one of the blokes who come to mind with such an incident, when he reached a century against The Proteas, with Glen McGrath standing by him all the way!
Peter Siddle has proven that he can bat very well, and the batsmen should be able to have plenty confidence should they find themselves batting with him in the middle in any situation.
He made his highest score, and Ben Hilfenhaus, who has bowled exceptionally well given the circumstances, also made his first runs in the 1st innings for Aussie in a Test match. He got off the mark with a back-foot steer square of the wicket. Nathan Hauritz, along with Peter Siddle, came so close in helping our guys reach the follow on!
On that note of tail-enders, they are a bit of a thorn in our side, as once again we failed to knock over the last 2-3 wickets without leaking 50-100 odd runs.
We were short of the follow-on, England batted on, and drop catches, as well as below standard fielding didn't help our situation at all.
So, luck hasn't been on our side at all since arriving in England for the T20 Champions Trophy, and it continues to work against us, and we all know in Test cricket, that a bit luck can make the difference!
England have had it, and the dismissals of both Katto and Phillip, are plain and simply LUCKY!
A long way behind, but I will still support our guys to see it through, and with Punter and Huss at the wicket, I am not going too get hope till the game is concluded!