I wrote at the start of this week in preview of the 1st test match at Adelaide that there were 5 key questions that would be answered during this test match and, in the aftermath of the match’s finish, it is worth considering the answers to said questions.
1. There is aggressive and then there is abuse: which will it be from Australia?
It took 4 days but eventually the hard edge to some of the Australian players came out. No one ought be surprised that it was David Warner who reacted to a send off and broke the truce, tacit or otherwise, that had been in place between the teams during the game to that point. Some habits obviously die hard.
2. Who will bowl the first bouncer and when will that be?
There was some obvious tentativeness from the bowlers in the first innings around the bowling of bouncers but the time arrived in the 17th minute of the game. The game goes on.
3. Can Chris Rogers find some runs and get to the Ashes in 2015?
This was not Rogers’ best test. He needs runs between now and the end of the 4th test to make the tour of the West Indies that follows. Ed Cowan is scoring runs by the bucketload in the Shield and is a ready replacement.
4. Will Nathan Lyon attack or revert to the usual plan?
What a test match for Nathan Lyon!!!! His best performance in an Australian cap and a worthy winner of the man of the match award. I remain firmly of the view that Clarke does not set great fields for him but his patience and persistence got him over the line almost despite that. Surely now the doubters, of which there have been many of you, will let this fine bowler go about his craft with support rather than doubt.
5. Is this Brad Haddin’s last stand?
He captained the team excellently and did his job with the gloves. I continue to worry about his batting. Time will tell.
All in all this was a fantastic test match; credit for which must go to both teams. One senses that today presented the best chance for the Indians to win a test match this series so I will be interesting to see how they bounce back from this defeat. The truncated schedule sees the next test commence at the Gabba in 3 days so they do not have much time to get back up off the canvas.
For the Australians there will obviously be changes: Clarke is out. I continue to question Siddle’s place in the team given his waning performance and I suspect Harris may struggle to back up after a big effort today.
The second test beckons …