Ashes: England go toe to toe with Australia
It's honours even so far in the First Test in Cardiff.
England have spent the last two series with one eye on this Test. Any player would assure you that they are focussing on the game in hand and they play one Test at a time, and all of these clichés were rolled out at every press conference. However, every England player and every England supporter will know that each of the Tests against the West Indies and New Zealand were seen merely as an indicator of what was to come.
After the dismal World Cup showing, England supporters were fearful of the upcoming Ashes, a feeling which was barely alleviated after a soporific drawn series in the Caribbean. However, with the dismissal of Peter Moores and a couple of tweaks to the team, England were a team reborn against New Zealand. Not a force to be feared, but at least one to be reckoned with.
After two days in Cardiff, England have shown that they will be competitive and positive this summer. A few months ago that would have been enough for England supporters, but now with the First Test evenly poised, both players and supporters alike will want more. They will dare to dream.
So can England win this Test?
The Australian bowlers, particularly Mitchell Johnson, have looked out of sorts, which helped England reach 430 in the first innings. A pessimist would suggest that if they find their form or indeed a quicker pitch, they could blow England away. However, English cricket isn't full of pessimists anymore. Whilst a draw is the most likely result in this Test, a resurgent England have a good chance of coming out on top, not just in Cardiff but throughout this special summer.
Can either side secure a victory in Cardiff?