Aussies given escape route

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The Independent Online
One of the main differences between England and Australia was perfectly illustrated late in the afternoon at Trent Bridge. Andy Caddick produced a beauty to Mark Taylor which swung in late and knocked his off stump out of the ground.

Australia were then 160 for 2 and there were still 25 minutes to go before tea. There were two new batsmen, Greg Blewett and Mark Waugh, at the crease and the ball which had been changed five overs before when the old one went out of shape, began to swing and bounce.

For five or six overs before the interval, Devon Malcolm and Caddick, who were bowling in tandem, should have been at Blewett and Waugh's throats. For the first time in the day the Australians were under a little bit of pressure.

Caddick beat Waugh outside the off stump with his first two balls before being driven beautifully through the covers off the third. Then it was Malcolm's turn after a leg bye had taken Waugh down to his end. Waugh only had to play one ball in the next over; one hit him high on the thigh and the other four went through harmlessly past the off stump.

Now, Caddick bowled to Blewett. The first ball was pushed back defensively, the second flew wide down the leg side, the third went even wider down the off side, the fourth was short and wide of the off stump and Blewett ran it down to third man for four.

The last two went harmlessly wide of the off stump and Blewett did not have to play at either of them.

The obvious truth is that you are not going to get a batsman out if he does not have to play at the ball and this sad pattern continued until tea. Another wicket then would have changed the whole situation. Contrast this with the bowling of Glenn McGrath or Jason Gillespie when they have got England in a corner.

The batsman is given no respite whatever. He seldom gets the chance to play no stroke and hardly ever is given a ball he can hit for four. There is a far greater and more impressive discipline about the Australians in all departments of the game. This is one of the main reasons why England are 2-1 down in the series and Australia are almost certain to retain the Ashes.