Ashes paper talk

England need four wickets for victory and Australia 137 runs as the first Test heads into a potentially thrilling fifth day at Trent Bridge.

Last Updated: 14/07/13 at 07:37 Post Comment

Mike Atherton says Ian Bell chose a prime moment to make his most significant As

Mike Atherton says Ian Bell chose a prime moment to make his most significant As

Paul Hayward - Daily Telegraph

This is the first Ashes Test with everything: a news-grabbing, fluctuating, nerve-stretching and morally tortured affirmation that five-day cricket between England and Australia can reach the parts no other rivalry involving bat and ball can hope to touch.

The best news of all, from an excitement point of view, is that this series will bring no easy extension of England's dominance from 2009 to 2011. Four days of mesmerising action have spilled over into a fifth day that appeared inconceivable when 14 wickets fell on Wednesday, and both sides seemed too nervous to make it more than a perfunctory affair

Mike Selvey - Guardian

England finally found themselves with the condition they had largely anticipated when Alastair Cook won the toss on Wednesday morning and opted to bat first under cloudy skies. The maxim is always look to the heavens as well as terrestrially, and had this been a normal Trent Bridge pitch he would have bowled first.

But in cricket, especially Test cricket played over five days, it is always best to see the wider picture and anticipate the endgame. Whatever it was they saw above, the pitch was parched and cracked. To the immediate side were two used pitches, devoid of grass for the most part, and potentially abrasive. Further away, four on either side, were practice strips, equally dry, equally sandpapery.

Mike Atherton - The Times

Ian Bell has always been known as a batsman with a pure sense of timing, and yesterday he chose a prime moment to make his most significant Ashes contribution in a home Test match. He finished the day five runs short of what would be his eighteenth Test hundred, and his best, pushing England into the ascendency for the first time since Ashton Agar changed the complexion of the game on the second day.

Greg Baum - The (Melbourne) Age

When the Australians review this first Test, form says they will botch it. Indiscriminate recourse to the decision review system contributed to, but did not cause, their imminent defeat. It would also behoove the ICC to review the system. Three of the six wickets that fatally undermined Australia's Quixotic bid for victory were processed through DRS. Obtaining a Test wicket has become something akin to negotiating terms of surrender. Reaching agreement on Michael Clarke's dismissal was as protracted business as Versailles.

It was as if a do-or-die penalty in a soccer match had to be retaken twice. In each of England's second innings and its own, Australia blew both its referrals before the fall of the fifth wicket. Infamously, it cost Australia the wicket of Stuart Broad on Friday at a time when it still would have made a difference. DRS promotes cynicism: you can be reasonably sure that Broad's obstinacy was because of a dressing room directive not to walk under any circumstances, knowing that Australia was helpless to protest. You can also be sure Australia would have been equally calculating if the roles were reversed.

Chloe Saltau - The (Melbourne) Age

Michael Clarke has defended trying his luck under the Decision Review System, which has taken on a life of its own in this Ashes contest, and promoted Ashton Agar in an attempt to manufacture a miracle at Trent Bridge. Intended to correct umpiring howlers, the system has become an influential player in the series. Just as Stuart Broad was within his rights to stand his ground when umpire Aleem Dar missed a blatant edge, players are using the technology as a get-out-of-jail card. The system's application at Trent Bridge has also reinforced inconsistencies in the system.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

European Qualifiers round-up: Holland and Italy held to draws

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's late header rescued a point for Holland against Turkey in European Qualifying, while Eder spared Italy's blushes in Bulgaria.

Israel 0-3 Wales: Gareth Bale's double sends Wales top of Group B

Gareth Bale scored two and set up another as Wales moved to the top of Group B with a 3-0 win over 10-man Israel in Haifa.

Raheem Sterling expects to be fit for Liverpool trip to Arsenal

Raheem Sterling expects to be fit for Liverpool's trip to Arsenal, despite pulling out of England's Turin date.

Mail Box

Where's The Love For Walcott?

Theo Walcott is wanted by neither Arsenal or Liverpool fans in the afternoon Mailbox. Also, some good points on the FA skewed priorities, and glorious geekery...

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company