Jones the 'rabbit' pulls six victims out of the hat
Monday 15 August 2005
Steeled against Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff, Australia found themselves undone by the second string. Yesterday, Jones doubled his share of Australian wickets to finish with 6-53, his best return in 13 Tests and the best by an Englishman against Australia at Old Trafford since Jim Laker took 19 wickets in the match in 1956.
Brought into the fold four years ago, when he was invited to spend a winter at the ECB academy in Adelaide, he made his debut against India at Lord's in the summer of 2002. It was his pace that excited England.
It was his misfortune to have his progressed twice checked by injuries, first by a persistently troublesome side strain in 2002 and then by the damaged knee ligaments that curtailed his 2002-03 Ashes tour after only one Test.
That suspended his Test career for 14 months but England were prepared to wait for him and since he was recalled to tour the West Indies in the spring of last year his performances have been characterised by sustained improvement.
His 11 wickets on the Caribbean tour enabled him to become the first Glamorgan player to be awarded a central contract and he has become England's principle exponent of reverse swing, which enables him to remain dangerous when the ball is old.
Question marks still hang over his temperament. During his most successful performance before yesterday, when he took 5-57 to bowl England to victory in Trinidad in March of last year, he was fined 50 per cent of his match fee for bellowing in the face of Ramnaresh Sarwan. He was penalised again during the current series, after pointing Matthew Hayden in the direction of the pavilion at Edgbaston.
Meanwhile, fire supposedly rages in the Australian dressing room. Reports of a shouting match between Shane Warne and the captain Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston were dismissed by a spokesman as "absolute nonsense", but with the Australian press now dipping their pens in vitriol, it is increasingly a camp under siege.
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