Shall we unsticky the other one and have a review thread? This may be the best way to organise things during this ashes summer, so that things don't get to cumbersome. Anyways...
So England pull a draw out of the bag in the most dramatic fashion in Cardiff. The match had threatened to be a meh affair but lived up to the drama of 2005 in the end and was a great advert for test cricket (that last sentence copyright Sky Sports). Having said that, it should not be forgotten that England were pretty rubbish for the majority of the game, and that there are a few players who underperformed to an alarming level.
Here's an england review in order of performance:
Paul Collingwood proved his doubters (inc. me) wrong and was the only player who did the business throughout. His rearguard action yesterday was near-perfect until his horror dismissal.
Andrew FLintoff was ok with the ball for the most part and actually made a useful contribution with the bat, so he comes in second.
Jimmy Anderson was as toothless as ever when the ball wasn't swinging, but his batting in both innings was impressive, especially at the end, where his contribution was vital.
KP high scored in the first innings, which is what he's there for. Unfortunately his 2 dismissals were pathetic and, together with his 'i'm not changing for anyone' attitude, he's managed to p*ss a few people off.
Matt Prior kept wicket pretty well, which for him is worth noting. Similar to KP, his 1st innings batting was great until his stupid dismissal, whilst he should hang his head after his 2nd innings attempt.
Monty's bowling was worryingly average at best, but his second innings batting was something to behold.
Bopara, Broad, Swann were mainly rubbish, with glimpses of promise. Broad should never have been given the new ball, whilst swann's bwling was embarrassing at times, and his attempts at playing the short ball will surely have condemned him for the rest of the series.
Cook had a poor game
Strauss was poor to average witht he bat, but comes in last because of his poor captaincy and lack of sportsmanship. His choice of bowler was bewildering at times, whilst his field placings were not much better. The fannying around at the end with the 12th man and tubby physio, coupled with his awkward press conference was pathetic, and hopefully stuff will be said. Ponting's got some nerve questioning our playing of the game when he's been guilty of much worse, but he was right - what happened at the end was not nice to see. Strauss is so obviously not captain material but thanks to the inadequacies of the ECB, he's got no compeptition for the job.
So roll on Lords, and hopefully a much-changed bowling line-up (swann, panesar out, rashid, onions in).