The Ashes: First Test Day Three Preview

After yesterday’s unbelievable scenes at the Gabba, Australian fans have woken to realize that yesterday did actually happen and it was not a dream. The sky’s are overcast in Brisbane and the forecast is for shower which present as an opportunity for the English to push for a draw.

Today is a big day for:

Alastair Cook

Michael Clarke has captained his side brilliantly so far, almost in spite of his bad back, whereas Cook seemed to let the game meander away from the English both on day 1 when Australia was 6/135 and even yesterday when he turned to Swann and Root in the shadows of stumps. The captain must find a way to extract 10 Australian wickets today for no more than 150 runs today to have a chance and can only do so with all out attack backed by quality plans.

Graeme Swann

While Nathan Lyon played a strangling role whilst Mitchell Johnson ran amok, Graeme Swann has thus far looked bereft of answers to the Australian’s attacking him. Wicketless to date and leaking runs like a sieve but now bowling on a wearing wicket today is the day that Swann must either return to his wicket taking ways or at least hold up an end whilst the Anderson and Broad attack.

David Warner

I have been one of the most negative about Warner’s place in the team and his need to score runs in first class cricket. I have also stated that Australia needs a long innings from him spread out over a day but not at a run a ball so that he can show his mettle under tough conditions. Today is the day for Warner: the conditions will be difficult today with much humidity in the air. If he is still in at tea he will be 150 and Australia will be in the box seat. Most importantly for Warner he will have gone a long way to gain the respect of those who historically have not rated him.

Brisbane fans

Thursday and Friday saw crowds at headquarters of 34,000 and 33,000. Today’s crowd needs to replicate those numbers to keep the naysayers, who posit that Brisbane did not deserve to keep the first test next year because of waning crowd numbers, quiet.

Day 3 is moving day in golf parlance but today at the Gabba it could either be the day England rest back the advantage from Australia or Australia makes its knockout blow. Either way it will be another fascinating day of cricket. Play commences at 10am.

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