When Strauss declared, I didn't think he did the right thing. The pitch was flat and he posed a target of 297 in 40+ overs. But England's attitude assured me that from no way would England lose from such a situation. Throughout the Test, England did well, whether they were fielding, batting or bowling. Though 260 in the 1st innings was below par, a catch was dropped, overthrows were given during Australia's 2nd innings. England have certainly never been so good in Australia. They dominated the warm-ups, bowled superbly and came back after being 200-odd behind. Though the pitch should take most of the credit. Strauss, Cook (235*) and Trott (135*), Ponting (51* off 43) cashed in.
Man of the Match: Alastair Cook
You would rarely see such a Test where: the pitch helps bowling in the start and slowly becomes flat, one team rattles behind by 221, then declares at 517/1. By the way, this was only the 6th time in history when a team reached 500 with only one wicket down. The instances of 500/1 are listed below.
- West Indies against Pakistan, 1958
- Australia against West Indies, 1965
- Sri Lanka against India, 1997
- Sri Lanka against Zimbabwe, 2004
- South Africa against Bangladesh, 2008
- England against Australia, 2010
The 2nd Ashes Test starts on December 3 at Adelaide Oval at 00:00 GMT. Until next time, take care. Cheers.