I am going to be sounding like a broken record soon but Day 3 was simply another fascinating day of test match cricket. It was England’s day to be sure and with 5 wickets remaining and a lead of 170 it is certainly arguable that they are in control of this game.
Here are my talking points from Day 3:
1. Opportunity missed by Australia
Day 3 dawned with the promise of a healthy lead for Australia so long as the batters in at the resumption stuck around. Both Rogers and Haddin fell though to seemingly innocuous balls from Graeme Swann early in proceedings and but for some lusty hitting from Ryan Harris Australia’s innings was done.
2. Ian Bell does it again
It is not that long ago that many cricket fans, particularly in opposition to England, would have breathed a sigh of relief seeing Ian Bell come to the crease in place of Cook or Trott but not anymore. Bell has been the glue that has held the English batting together in the face of rampant Australian bowling in this series and so it was again on Day 3 as he saved England with another fantastic hundred.
3. Where would Australia be without R Harris?
I know I have waxed lyrical about the form of Ryan Harris, both on this blog and on twitter, for some time and yet again last night he delivered for Australia. His opening salvo was up with anything bowled by an Australian bowler this series and when he came back for further spells he looked dangerous where others looked innocuous at best. Am I alone in having concerns already about his workload? Because Australia is simply a better team with him in it.
4. Another Watson injury
I am an unabashed fan of S Watson and to say I was gutted to see him limp off the field would be an understatement. It is a conundrum isn’t it: he is Australia’s best allrounder option but anytime his workload is extended from just being a change bowler he seems to end up injured. His tightness with the ball was missed by Australia late in the day on day 3 when pressure could have lead to more mistakes from the English batters. Fingers crossed this is only a niggle and one of the stress related injuries that have dogged his career.
5. From bad to worse for T Hill
Has there been a more overruled umpire in Test Cricket since the introduction of DRS than Tony Hill in this test match? More to the point, because I concede that human error is part of cricket, Tony Hill just seems bereft of confidence at the moment and it showed vividly on day 3. To not give out R Harris LBW when the ball was hitting the middle of middle stump is indicative of where he is at form wise at the moment.
Day 4 beckons with the equation similarly to that before day 3, only with the parties reversed, with England looking to press it’s advantage and expand its lead whilst Australia needs 5 quick wickets.
Can someone get me a six pack of red bull ASAFP? It is going to be another long night!