I’m afraid I am a bad Dad. I insisted on watching the last hour of the Cardiff Test whilst my little girls begged me to switch over to Charlie and Lola.
Unfortunately for them their Dad is a cricket nut whose formative years were dominated by the heroics of Botham, Gower and Willis in the great Ashes series of 1981. It’s hard to believe it now but between 1981 and 1989 the Aussies were there for the taking, series after series. And then they took over and from 1989 to 2005 it was thrashing after thrashing for the hapless Poms until it got to the stage where serious Australian cricket commentators wondered if a 3 match series would be enough.
Then came 2005 and hope returned – only to be snuffed out 18 months later in a 5-0 thrashing down under. Since then however Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, who had put a whole generation of England batsmen to the sword, have retired and the new Aussie bowling attack looks decidedly ordinary. Their batting line-up is as good as ever.
The draw was a good result given the England bowling attack’s failure to apply any pressure to the Australians in their innings. However the entire team (Collingwood excepted) are going to have to improve at Lords, where the Australians always play well. It’s going to be an interesting series.