A draw, not too bad but not good for Australia’s aspirations of grabbing the Ashes away from England with the latter plundering 517 runs in the second innings. Something really needs to change and Mitchell Johnson’s moustache isn’t one of them, Australia only took 11 wickets in this match and six of those was to Day one hero Peter Siddle with everyone besides Mitchell Johnson sharing the rest.
With the completion of the innings, Mitchell Johnson has gone wicket less in his last three and seems to have lost what made him such a dangerous weapon, his pace. This leaves Australia in an awkward state, do they stick with Johnson in the ain hope that he’ll eventually come good and rip through the English top order or will he just continue along being hammered and looking like a douche while doing it, I think the latter at the moment.
Mitchell would benefit with some time in Western Australia, getting back to the form that made him so dangerous, with either Doug Bollinger or Ryan Harris who have both have good records in limited test cricket matches. Johnson isn’t the only person who struggled in the Brisbane test, debutant Xavier Doherty struggled while taking two wickets but he might find some form in Adelaide. Ben Hilfenhaus hasn’t really improved from when he hit the scene, only taking the wicket of Strauss who tried to cut a ball which was too close to him, struggled with his line, straying straight too often and even first innings hero Peter Siddle was listless in the second dig.
This isn’t to say Johnson and the bowlers are the only thing that needs to be improved before the squad descends on Adelaide, the fielding was atrocious from an Australian point of view, they dropped several chances which would have been taken on another day, Mitchell Johnson’s dropped attempt off Alastair Cook allowed him to plunder a double century also Michael Clarke’s chance early on Day five confirmed that he either had a crook back which had detoriated or Australian fielding standards have slipped remarkably.
Those dropped chances plus being in the field would have weakened the Australians not only physically but mentally due to the pop gun attack and with the next test only a few days away, it will be interesting to see how they come out on Friday if by chance Andrew Strauss wins the toss and decides to bat, relegating Australia to another day in the field.
Everything isn’t doom and gloom for the Aussies though, the performances of Michael Hussey and Brad Haddin have vindicated the selections well mostly in Michael Hussey’s situation also the half century to secure the draw by Ricky Ponting showed glimpses of what may be to come in the following tests as he pulled several short balls from Steve Finn to the boundary also deposited Grahame Swann back over his head for six.
If the rest can bat along with these guys and the bowlers work to a plan, along with a line and length Australia is in with a good shot at the winning the second and the remaining tests left in the Ashes series, because Brisbane showed their isn’t much between the two sides.