England win in Adelaide
Things wound up in Adelaide with an emphatic win to England in the second Ashes Test. A magnificent innings from Kevin Pietersen saw him score a huge double century and he was ably backed by Alastair Cook who got a big century for the second test in succession. Trott and Bell both broke the 50 mark and Australia never looked like dismissing England. Andrew Strauss went cheaply on day 2 to an edge from Doug “the rug” Bollinger. But he was the only Englishman who did. Every other batsmen spent long periods at the crease, but scored quickly. England amassed the huge total of 620 for 5 declared, 375 runs ahead of the Australians first innings score.
The best Australia could hope for was to hold out for a draw, with the help of the wet weather in Adelaide. Simon Katich bravely opened the innings, despite a painful Achilles injury that will keep him out of the rest of the series. He managed 43 before being dismissed by Swann. Ricky Ponting failed again, caught by Collingwood off of a turner from Swann, for only 9 runs. Clarke overcame a difficult start to make 80 and hopefully has batted himself back into some sort of form. He was caught by Cook off a ball from Kevin Pietersen, of all people, who finished with bowling figures of 3 overs 1 for 10 to add to his 227 runs with the bat. Watson and Hussey both made half centuries, but no one else seriously troubled the scorer. Australia totaled 304 all out in the second innings to give England the win by an innings and 71 runs.
The Perth test starts on the 16th December, so the players have over a weeks rest. There will be enforced changes with Katich out for Australia and Broad has returned home to England for treatment on an abdominal injury. But what else will Australia do? I suspect Phil Hughes will come in for Katich and that could go either way. In his limited test career of 7 matches he has scored two centuries and two 50′s, but he struggled against England in the last Ashes series and was dropped. I don’t expect any other changes to the batting. North will probably be retained on his home ground. So Australia really need him and the skipper to step up from their current slumps and for Clarke to continue his recovery.
But it is the bowling that is the major problem. Although the speedsters looked dangerous at times in Adelaide, five wickets in two days is never going to win a test match. I don’t know if there will be any changes to the bowling, but confidence is very low, as can be seen by good fielders dropping their chances and they are not coming along too often. I doubt that there will be any rain in Perth, so a result is almost assured, probably the same one, unless some dramatic changes take place. See you at the WACA ground Thursday next week.