What an amazing end to the first Ashes test with England claiming a draw which might as well be viewed as a win, when you take into consideration that they were staring humiliation in the face earlier today!
Having settled down to watch this morning's opening session, the early lose of a couple of England wickets made me start thinking:
'Here we go again'
Not only were we likely to lose, but lose in such a crushing fashion it would raise question marks over whether England would be truly competitive enough in this Test series. By mid afternoon I had to go out, and England were down to 5 wickets with Collingwood and Flintoff in at the crease. I thought if these 2 could stay in there's just the possibility of maybe saving the match but I didn't hold out too much hope.
After returning from my Sunday afternoon session of badminton, I got home around 6:00to find amazingly that we were still in bat, but with only 2 wickets remaining, and at least 12 overs to go before the end of play.
I thought now that I've got home we're bound to lose two wickets before the end of play! We lost another wicket whilst I had a quick shower which resulted in Monty Panesar joining Jimmy Anderson at the crease.
I found the whole thing hilarious as these two tail-enders managed to hold off the Aussie bowling attack, and carry England towards an unlikely draw!
The last half an hour reminded me why Test match cricket is so good! There's all this talk about 20/20 cricket and how it's the way forward. It seems to be promoted as a more exciting, sexier version of cricket, that will draw in the crowds, and popularise the sport in a way that Test cricket doesn't!
I do like a bit of 20/20 and enjoyed watching some of this year's World Cup, but for me if I was using a food analogy; 20/20 is like the McDonalds of cricket or maybe the equivalent of a ready made meal. It's instantly gratifying, it does a job, in that it satisfies an immediate craving!
Test match cricket on the other hand is like preparing your own meal from scratch. Yes you might have to slave away in the kitchen, chopping vegetables, sorting out the ingredients, and preparing everything for a couple of hours. But after all that time and effort, the taste and quality of the meal is so much satisfying than some ready made meal from Morrisons.
It leaves your with a more satisfying feeling knowing that it's a meal you've created. That's what Test cricket is all about! It's what made this test so good at the very end!
I thought the 2005 Ashes was a one off series that would never be repeated and it probably wont. But the signs are good for this series after this first game. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for 20/20 but lets not forget how good Test matches can be as well!