With the series tied currently at 1-1, at first glance it would seem that this Ashes series was perfectly in the balance.
However, after the dominance of the Australians at Lord's, where they defeated England by 405 runs, they surely have the momentum leading into the 3rd test at Edgbaston.
They piled on the runs with the bat and blew England away with the ball, on a pitch where England struggled desperately to find wickets.
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In response to this, both Alastair Cook and Trevor Bayliss have stated that they would like to see a much more bowler-friendly pitch at Birmingham, in order to bring some joy for the England seamers.
However, Australia's form bowler over the past year, Mitchell Starc, has indicated that the England bowlers will not be the only ones enjoying a bowler friendly wicket.
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As reported by ESPN, he said "We'll be licking our lips, don't worry. They want to get their bowlers back in the game, but we've got the pace as well.
"So I think as Michael said, maybe last week, it doesn't matter what they dish up. We've got all bases covered."
This all indicates, that the momentum gained in the last test has given the Australians something of a mental edge. After all, as Starc alluded to, if the Aussie bowlers can dismiss England for 103 on a slow, dead pitch, then who knows what will happen on a wicket more conducive to their seam attack.
It seems that whatever kind of surface is prepared for the Edgbaston test, the Australian bowlers will be eager to tear through the English batting order.
The Australian bowlers have all the confidence and the English batsmen may well be quaking in their boots at the prospect of facing Johnson, Starc and Hazlewood on a green-top. Certainly Lyth and Bell, averaging 13 and 18 respectively, will be very low in confidence.
All in all, it looks as if the mental fight- a vital part of any Ashes series- is beginning to be won by the tourists. If England are to have any chance of regaining the Ashes urn, they must not lose a psychological war in which the Australians have been so strong historically.
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