The fourth test at Trentbridge went the way of England who managed to cross the finishing line despite the efforts of Warne and Lee. From the start, the Aussies were on the backfoot with no McGrath in the line-up after picking up an elbow injury. At last, Gillespie was put on the bench and Shaun Tait was given his first cap.
In many ways, the dismissal of Tait in the Aussie second innings typified the state of mind of the tourists. That was the last ball of the over and all of a sudden Tait goes to the wide of the off stump and tries to connect. The Harmison delivery is right on target and the Aussie innings are over leaving England plenty of time to score 129 runs. Michael Holding remarked that the batsman might have been stung by something. I am not saying that Tait would have scored runs or that Lee would have made a century. What I want to press here is the total lack of application from the batsmen. Of course, the English bowlers have been relentless and superb.
The outburst of Ponting over the use of a substitute fieldsman in place of the injured Simon Jones was unwarranted. Would the Aussie captain have complained if the run out did not took place ?
The summer is not quite turned out the way for the Aussies but one gentleman named Shane Warne who was in the news for all the wrong reasons before the tests can hold his high. He not only took wickets but also scored runs when people like Hayden, Martyn and Gilchrist found it extremely difficult to score.
The summer is turning out to be a fairy tale for Andrew Flintoff who seems to do everything right at the moment. A few other Englishmen like Trescothick have redeemed themselves after poor shows against the Aussies in the past.
The English, however, need to win the fifth test to recapture the Ashes after a long interval. The Aussies also need a win to level the series and retain the Ashes. It is the fear of losing the Ashes that may force the Aussies to come up with something special.