Ten days ago, there were worrying signs in the Australian camp. Ricky Ponting was doubting his best fast bowler, young Mitchel Johnson, who was on the verge of being dropped. The English looked set for a far more comfortable repeat of their 2005 heroics.
A week is a long time in politics, and even longer in the age old game of cricket. With Michael Clarke and Marcus North defiant in saving the Third Test, once again proving that you cannot keep an Aussie down, our boys will be coming into tomorrow’s fourth encounter in a positive frame of mind. The hiccups in the batting have actually been relatively few throughout the series. All that’s needed is a lift in form from our fast bowling contingent to level the series.Despite having been outplayed for much of the last two tests, Australia are still only 1-0 down in the series, and one gets the feeling that Clarke’s heroics have flipped a switch in the team.The old self-confidence is back, and with word that Brad Haddin should return to action following his finger injury, as well as the news that seamer Stuart Clark may be making his (some would say belated) series debut in the match, we are in for a mighty interesting test.The English will be severely weakened by the loss of Freddie. As his replacement, it is rumoured the English selectors will overlook in-form paceman Steve Harmison in favor of relatively unknown batsman, Jonathan Trott who many pundits believe is not up to test level. His county average might be high, but the challenge of a strong Australian team should prove too much. Although Trott is also a South African native, one thing is for certain, Kevin Pietersen this man is not.Furthermore, there is more at stake here than just an Ashes victory. If we don’t win the Ashes, even if we draw the series, Australia be taken over on the ICC Test Championship ratings by South Africa. Having worked so hard to make sure that the Mace stayed in our possession by soundly destroying the South Africans at the beginning of the year, it will be the greatest injustice to see it disappear into those same hands without even playing another Test against them.All in all, it is looking good for us, and should we win this test, it will be difficult for the Poms to wrestle the momentum back once more for the final game at The Oval. This match is all about proving that the Aussies know how to fight back. And proven it shall be.
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