Day 2 looks set to establish a firm leader in this low scoring Test match, with both sides having the potential to gain the upper hand.
The importance of Steven Smith’s innings cannot be underestimated. The Aussie number five went in overnight unbeaten on 38, set firmly to reach his fourth Test match fifty.
If he can rekindle his innings from yesterday, then he could set Australia up in a good position this morning.
However, England’s confidence would have been boosted this morning with the news that Stuart Broad has been bowling in practice ahead of the start of today’s play. The lacking of a third seamer was telling yesterday, with Anderson and Finn having to bowl two over spells after their initial burst as an attempt to reduce fatigue. Broad’s ability to swing the ball and his aggression will add to the woes of the Australian batting, potentially putting England in the driving seat.
Trailing by 140, on a pitch that is going to get more bowler-friendly is not a good start for this Australian side. Anderson’s ability to swing the ball early on yesterday caused more problems to the Australian top order than Mitchell Starc or James Pattinson could do to the England top order, and this gives a potential insight to how the rest of the series will pan out.
Pattinson’s final figures of 3-69, and Starc’s of 2-54 came after the workhorse Siddle claimed four of the English top five in his figures of 5-50. Siddle was unable to swing the ball, but used his experience in this form of the game to change the angle and pace he bowled, hitting the correct areas and evidently troubling the batsmen.
If England can manage to rattle the last few Australian wickets out with retaining a lead, then this Test match will be theirs to lose. Australia will not be looking forward to batting last on this pitch, which will help Graeme Swann more and more as the game goes on.
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