Is there any other word to describe the feeling of the England fan today? The Pommies are on a high and not going to return to ground zero until the teams hit Perth on 16thDec.

I started watcing cricket in 91-92 and cannot recollect the last time the Aussies were decimated in such a clinical fashion by an opponent in their home ground. From Day 4 at the Gabba till today, England have been at top, dominated every second of play and showed who the better team was. They have so far done absolute justice to the faith that their media and fans have showed in them. They are on the right track to beat the Aussies in their background and retain the Urn.

Their top 4 batsmen have all got 100s, and the remaining 2 –Collingwood and Bell have looked good in their short innings, thereby giving an assurance that if in a crisis, they are set to put their hands up.

125587_2The one man for whom the entire nation was praying hard to strike form, struck gold after a period of 18 months. Pietersen had proved why he was special when he made his debut in Ashes 2005; in this match he has ensured that his name will be carved in gold when the Brit Cricket History for the 21st century is written.

The bowling looks perfect – Anderson and Swann were always going to be the key; and they finally came around in Adelaide to pull the plug on the Aussies. Anderson got the length perfect and the swing to match, that combination was unplayable; if you don’t agree with me, go watch Ponting’s wicket in the first innings and Haddin’s in the 2nd innings. He is making up for his disastrous Ashes campaign in 2006-07 and how well is he succeeding at it.

s-image-1-949197960Swann is a delight to watch – he is not afraid to flight the ball, not afraid to take that little risk , and not afraid to keep the batsmen guessing with his varied spin. Bhajji ought to watch Swann’s tapes. They are the same age; Swann hit the stage late (unfortunately for us fans) but still looks to be a far more complete bowler than Bhajji who has been around for a decade. A match-winner for England on all tracks. I can’t wait for England to tour India – it would be a great sight to see Swann bowl on the turners and the likes of Sehwag,Tendulkar, Dravid & Laxman tackle him – salivating with the thought already!

I’m trying to find a weak chunk in the English armour and I’m not able to find any as of yet. Even Broad’s injury is not going to hurt this team. This news did spoil a little bit of my happiness today. I have always liked Broad ever since he hit the scene. His recent brilliant all-round show against Pakistan made me look forward to the Ashes. I feel awful that the lad is missing out on what was probably one of the most important series of his career.

On the other hand Aussies have lost Katich and that is indeed a severe blow, further adding to their never-ending woes which began against Pakistan in Jul10. The Aussie haughtiness was caught by the scruff of the neck and thrown into the Pacific Ocean by the Poms, The Aussies did not even look like a pale shadow of their glorious past  – they looked ordinary, not even doing justice to their 4th place in the ICC test rankings. The grit, the defiance, the belief, the arrogance, the in-your-face attitude was no where to be found; neither in their captain nor in their best players. Hussey, Watson and Clarke put up a show of resistance and survival not that of confidence and the Aussie character. Something seemed amiss, else how do you explain this “apology” tweet from Clarke for not walking off when he was given out.

The Aussies are on a definite decline and England should leave no stone unturned to seal the series result in the next test by going for the kill. A win in Perth will ensure that the Urn stays with England even if Aussies bounce back in the last 2 tests.

The Brits are following a script similar to India’s tour of Aus in 2003-04 when India looked like the one team who could challenge the then great Aussie team in their own background. Draw at Gabba where India fought back, win at Adelaide, loss at Melbourne and an exciting draw at Sydney. But, the Poms have Perth in between and need to ensure that the rest of the script is not similar to that of India’s. This is one series they must win after a start like this.

From a cricket fan’s perspective I’m a bit miserable seeing the decline of Australia, I’ve adored and admired “Tugga’s” side for a decade now. No such affection for Ponting’s side but still hurts to see a tough customer lose without a fight, just as it is hurting to see NZ lose to Bangladesh and a 2nd string Indian side. What’s wrong with the teams from Down Under?

Is there a role reversal under process? As I take leave until the next Ashes test , here is a wonderful piece to read on that last thought  at The Top Spin by Lawrence Booth.

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