Before the start of the 4th Ashes test in Melbourne I posed 5 questions that I thought the answers to would determine the ultimate winner of this game. They were:
1. How bad is the hangover?
2. Playing for careers, will England’s old guard fire?
3. How is Broad’s foot?
4. Can Monty succeed where Swann failed?
5. Will the Johnson bubble burst?
One didn’t need to be “Nostradamus” to know that the course of the game could hinge on the answers to these questions and, two days in, the evidence is already there to see why.
Mitchell Johnson again proved the doubters, me included, wrong with a withering spell of fast bowling in the last session of day 1 to rest the initiative gained away from England and then again in the morning of day 2 to knock them over. I remain concerned about the presence of a plan B when intimidation ceases to work but for now the Johnson caravan rolls on unabated.
I have written often about Jimmy Anderson’s form since Trent Bridge. Yesterday he showed Trent bridge like form for the first time since that test match and the Australian’s struggled for answers in reply. I have said before the class is permanent whilst form is temporary and Anderson’s class shone through again yesterday.
Stuart Broad’s foot, given that he coped another whack on it and bowled his swiftest spell of the summer yesterday is fine it would seem.
Australia had a bad day yesterday. Actually, Australia had 2 bad sessions yesterday. That was inevitable at some point in the series albeit many expected to see it sooner than now. Just as day 3 is the metaphorical moving day in golf parlance, the side hat wins day 3 today at the MCG will go a long to winning this game.
Play commences at 9:30am.