IT was remarkable to see the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston finish so soon inside three days.
It was all a little bit frantic really, I thought. Clearly, the ball on the pitch did move around a bit and there was certainly movement there, particularly on the first day.
To be fair, England’s bowlers exploited it brilliantly and while James Anderson obviously took the headlines, the others backed him up and Steven Finn stole the show in the second innings.
But the tone was set on that first morning really and Australia never recovered. They looked equally as shell-shocked as we looked at Lord’s.
Clearly, they seem to have problems against the ball that moves sideways.
Looking at it in hindsight, it probably was a good toss to lose. Reports were that both sides were going to bat first and the way it turned out, it was definitely a good one to lose.
We will never know what would have happened if England had batted first but, certainly, the movement that Anderson got and the way he bowled really played into England’s favour. Maybe they had a little bit of fortune with the toss.
For Finn, with his outstanding performance on his Test return, it was a dream come true for him, given what he has had to go through in the past few years.
To come back to have such a success on his return is what dreams are made off.
He’s a good lad and he’s also got a great record in Test cricket, to be honest. His strike rate is as good as anybody’s.
It is great for him and England that he came back so well and, hopefully now, his performance at Edgbaston will re-start a long Test career for him.
Finn has had some good people around him. I heard him mention Richard Johnson, Kevin Shine and Angus Fraser and, obviously, they have all been seam bowlers themselves and will have empathised with him in terms of what he was going through.
They have obviously helped him along the way but, at the end of the day, it is Finn’s character and attitude that got him through. Fair play to him.
Looking at the game, it was really surprising how badly Australia batted, given the confidence they had going into the game from Lord’s.
They just looked really tentative and didn’t have that conviction to play the ball that was moving around. Your movements have to be really positive when the ball is moving around like it was. It was surprise to see players of that quality look so out of touch.
For England, I thought Alistair Cook played really well in the first innings until that freak dismissal, while Ian Bell played beautifully until a bit of a rush of blood, which sort of summed up the Test match really. Bell got out when England were really in control.
But the Moeen Ali-Stuart Broad partnership was the killer. That seized the momentum back England’s way because Australia had kind of fought their way back with the two wickets in one over from Mitchell Johnson early on in the second day. They were back in the game.
That partnership and an early wicket in Australia’s second innings really hurt Australia.
Jonny Bairstow got out to a snorter from Johnson and he’s not got to worry about that. It wouldn’t have mattered who it was; it was an unplayable ball.
He shouldn’t be too concerned with that and, hopefully, he can take confidence from playing in the game with a winning England team into the next Test. There was not much he could have done about that ball.
With our second innings, you could see the determination of Bell and Joe Root to get the job done.
There was the experience of Bell and then the competitiveness of Root which meant that he was not going to leave it to anyone else to make sure that England got over the line.
It was a pretty professional performance in the end from England and who knows what can happen now at Trent Bridge? This Ashes series is certainly great theatre, although technically it hasn’t all been very good cricket.
The only downer for England was the injury to Anderson. That kind of side injury tends to take six to eight weeks to recover from, so depending on the severity of the tear, I think he will struggle to play again in the series, to be honest. It’s a very awkward injury as unless it is 100 per cent right, it can go again.
With him being a fast bowler, they have got to make sure he is 100 per cent fit to even think about playing him.
The likelihood for me is that he will miss both Tests.