No match is decided on the first day. Last year at Lord’s Harmison and co. hammered Ponting and friends to within an inch of their life, the Punter still bears the scar. Yet Australia metted out an eventual drubbing.
England started in the worst possible way. Harmison infamous wide made England, and especially Steve-0, look like the pressure had well and truely got to them. For 2 overs is was pot luck every ball.
Flintoff had enough after 12 balls (not counting wides) and 17 runs. Yet changing him after 2 overs will have done much to shatter his already brittle confidence.
In could have been different and Flintoff must bear some of the blame – within 10 minutes I and thousands more were screaming for a second gully.
While there is nothing unorthodox about setting three slips and a gully, Justin Langer alwys opens the face of the bat and on a pacey Gabba pitch the ball is almost sure to go just fine of square.
Flintoff isn’t guilty of a howler but it is the sort of thing Vaughan would have caught right away and Langer would have been out for 15 odd and Harmy would have a smile on his face.
Much has been made of the Gabba and how it plays like Guildford in July; if you can’t swing the new ball you are done for. Neither Hoggard nor Anderson could and England suffered for it.
I am now a soul tortoured about the spinners – on the one had the dropping of Panesar is madness; there were times around 4.30 when I would have killed for him to be running in.
But Giles kept it tidy conceding only 51 from 18 overs and he took took Martyn for 29, a blessing given the state of the pitch.
Flintoff’s 2 wickets came from sheer guts and it was good to see him leading from the front. He is still our best bowler and could yet turn the match and the series England’s way.
Nothing is decided in the first day, or the first test.
Round one went to Ponting, but England could come out of their corner swinging. Flintoff’s captaincy has been hung on his ability to lead from the front and inspire the team to follow in kind, this is exactly what he needs to do.