The Ashes: First Test Day Four Preview

If you had have told me at the start of this test that by Day 4 of this first test Australia would be in an impregnable position and the knifes would already be out for the English in their press and on social media I would have told you to go and have a long hard think about it. The fact is that no one expected either the Australians to play so well or England to allow them to play do well with their lack of form.

The equation is simple now: England has to bat for 2 days (noting that there is some inclement weather on the horizon) whilst Australia needs to take 8 wickets.

For England much rests on the shoulders of the men at the crease, Cook and Pietersen, and Bell who present as the only batters left for England who can bat for two days. The question will be whether, mentally, the batters who will be at the other end of Cook have the patience to stay with him.

For Australia today is all about executing on the plans they have for each batter just like they did on day 2. Complacency and cockiness are not traits that one associates with Darren Lehmann teams but this is a young team in some respects so there is a danger of some in the team (Warner I am looking at you) getting too far ahead of themselves. The pundits and selectors continue to have a question mark over N Lyon, bizarrely in my view, and today presents another opportunity for him to bowl Australia to victory.

Having had a bone rattling storm last night in Brisbane, players fans and pundits alike will have one eye on the radar today to track incoming inclemency which one expects is the only thing that can save the English.

It will be another fascinating day of cricket at the Gabba!

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