THE SERIES desperately needed a competitive edge and, after Australia had the better of the third Test, that has been reintroduced.
England might have retained the Ashes, but Andy Flower and the backroom team won’t have given them an easy time of it over the last few days and there will be no complacency in the fourth Test.
Australia got big runs on the board in the first innings at Old Trafford, that is the classic way to play Test cricket and in Michael Clarke they have a world class batsman, capable of another big score when we get underway at Chester-le-Street today.
The ball should move around a lot, which in theory should suit our guys better, but only if they put the ball in the right places.
The swing will suit James Anderson and Tim Bresnan, but Stuart Broad is not bowling at his best and I think there is a case for picking Graham Onions on his home pitch.
Both Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott are guys that set themselves very high standards and will be disappointed not to have made much impact on the series so far.
I know Jonathan from Warwickshire and he’s a very determined, very focused character. He will want a big score before the series ends that’s for sure.
Andy Lloyd is a former Test cricketer who has also been captain and chairman of Warwickshire.