It was a touch and go performance today for the boys, but with the highly consistent Simon Katich, along with Michael Hussey putting his name on that 1st Test list, we were dug out of a hole! I'm not too discouraged as all the batsmen, except Marcus North, have shown form in places.
Marcus North's place is unfortunately slipping into drinks man's den quite quickly.
His part-time spinning, and the reality that he could kick into run-hungry mode with the bat anytime is what is keeping his place in tact.
Things didn't start off too peachy with Phillip Hughes making 7, and Ricky Ponting going for just 1. Hughes I'm not worried about, but I still have those concerns for Punter. As I said some articles back I feel one really big inning's could set the confidence meter sky high and drag out some well needed performances from the front.
I wouldn't be too surprised if he pulls out some big innings', but he really needs it and that is just stating the facts, which our Skipper knows all to well.
But on that note of surprises, Michael Hussey treated us all with a very big relief as he approaches his 2nd Ashes. Some may find his unbeaten (still at the crease) inning's of 143* a surprise after his rather dismal time with the bat over the last 7 months, but I was expecting this!
I have followed Huss' International career with alot of focus and if any of us know how hard he works at his game and how he really can imprint his ability upon a game in either Test or ODI, well folks you shouldn't be surprised.
The important thing is this is a warm-up game and we will be eagerly hoping that Huss can make an impact on the Ashes as he looks to set the record straight again. But without raising too much expectation upon him, I really believe that this was that injection of confidence Huss needed.
The best part is he has time to get out there tomorrow and continue from where he left off.
Simon Katich can never be overlooked. Katto is a stealth batsman. He enters the ground, makes his entrance calmly yet seems almost distracted as he looks around the ground and monitors the scene. He shuffles nervously at times and, as his trademark style would indicate, looks to steer the ball around the ground into the gaps. You eventually wonder "when the heck is he going to actually get the runs flowing?" It doesn't take too long too find yourself then asking, "how the heck did he get to his fifty so damn quickly!"
Well that is Katto and that 95 was surely another inning's too watch closely.
Of course it is a pity he fell 5 short.
Mitchell Johnson departed in a similar frustration like Katto, except Mitch was 3 short of a half-century, but having not played in the previous game that is a great way to kick off for Mitch. I feel the late swing may work for his batting. Just a feeling.
I see he slowed down quite drastically as he neared his fifty, but maybe it was in an attempt too try see out the day or maybe it was just batting for a bit of time? Who knows, main thing is Mitch and Huss put together a great partnership that got us out the dumps. His bowling is where we need to be watching with greater interest!
The fact it was stated that he is swinging the Duke ball is a very exciting prospect.
It should also not be forgotten that Steve Harmisson was bowling in this game and he looked very, very dangerous and caused a fair bit of upset where he could. The man has been spoken of a fair bit as England's key bowler, so Mr. Harmisson is a man to watch! Graham Onions also gave his fair share too!
So day 1 complete and the score reads 337/8.
Have your say in the comments whenever you so desire, I always value my readers' input and it seems we do have plenty to chirp about at the moment!