Skipper's blog

England rise from the ashes, but can they win them?

Like Mark Twain's death, reports of England's demise have been greatly exaggerated

Following England's devastating 405 run defeat at Lords, England's earlier win at Cardiff in the First Test looked like a blip on the way to a summer of Australian dominance.

However England suddenly rediscovered a third world class seamer in Finn, with the subsequent disciplined attack dismissing the tourists for 136. A start they never really recovered from.

So who will win the 4th Test at Trent Bridge? It's impossible to predict. Both teams have brilliant players and players badly out of form.

Both teams are capable of scoring 400 in a day but also collapsing in two sessions. This unpredictability and inconsistency can be attributed to two sides in transition both playing as aggressively as possible. Each Test match is like watching Arsenal play, that combination of sublime skill and fragility under pressure. Great entertainment.

Just as England appeared to have gained the upper hand with the spectacular return to form of Finn they lose Anderson for at least one Test. The 33 year old Lancastrian has been the spearhead of England's bowling attack for almost a decade, not missing a game for three years. The batting line-up looks a little more settled with Bell's return to form, though Lyth appears to be keeping his place mainly for the lack of an alternative.

Australia has problems of its own. Captain Clarke is in awful form and Voges and Marsh aren't pulling up any trees either, It seems Voges will go, to be replaced by Shaun Marsh, with Clarke dropping down the order to protect him from the moving ball. A captain in hiding. Mitchell Starc is in erratic form too, though Peter Siddle seems like a step backwards.

So who will win? I can say with certainty, the spectators will. For this is entertainment.

Can England win the Ashes?



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