Credit should also be given to Peter Siddle and James Pattinson, who sussed out any zing from the Trent Bridge wicket early on to set English hearts fluttering. And under new coach Darren ‘Boof’ Lehmann, there seems to be an old-school swagger emerging from a decidedly new-school Australian line-up. Case in point? Step forward 19 year-old Ashton Agar, who broke records and hearts with his historic 98 run plunder in the first innings - the highest ever recorded for a number 11. He’ll certainly be one to watch as the series continues.
HotSpot on the spot
But Agar’s heroics weren’t the only talking points of the Test. No, they largely stem from the Decision Review System, and the powerful impact it had on the game. Introduced to eliminate the howlers that often see captains throwing their stumps out of their prams, the unpredictability of the DRS swung dramatically in favour of both sides throughout the test.
First to fall foul was MetLife maestro Jonathan Trott. While on-field umpire Aleem Dar deemed the English batsman to have survived the LBW cries of his opponents, third umpire Marais Erasmus overturned the decision, despite not having the HotSpot angle available to him. Ironically, it all came down to human error - the HotSpot operator failed to trigger the system to cater for delivery that befelledTrott.
Karma can be a real female canine, though. When the technology was needed the most, the Australians couldn’t call on it. Stuart Broad, on 38 runs and beginning to restore calm to the test, refused to march despite being caught off a thick edge in his second innings. With the Aussies using up all their reviews, technology couldn’t disrupt the game when they needed it, enabling England to set the impossible task that Australia couldn’t quite overcome.
The DRS has broad support among the players, and it certainly gets more right than wrong - hell, England may not be one-up without it. The advantage is that the technological shortcomings are now in the purview of both sides. And they know they’ll be able to use it cunningly as the mightiest of tests at Lord’s comes hurtling towards them.
Lord’s ‘the eighth wonder’
British sporting success, it seems, is all the more sweet when a hoodoo has been broken. Look, for example, to tennis ace Andy Murray’s historic win at Wimbledon just weeks ago - no longer does the shadow of Fred Perry hang over him for the SW19 battles to come. And England now rampage on to the second test with one of the biggest monkeys in international cricket well and truly off their backs.