It's getting to be like 2005…

…only in a role reversal kind of way.

England tailenders hold out for a draw at Cardiff the way Australia did at Edgbaston back then. England thump the Aussies at Lord’s, they way they did four years back, and pretty much every fours years for over a century. And now a star man is out.

The last series on English soil it was Australian Glenn McGrath this time England player Kevin Pietersen.

There is a few differences though. The loss of Pietersen should be far less of a blow to England than McGrath’s loss was to Australia. The announcement that McGrath had gone over his ankle in a freak accident was met with joy throughout the land, forget this crap about wanting to face their best players this man had such a mental stranglehold on the English players it was a huge physiological boost.

Pietersen doesn’t hold that same position with the Australians. Yes on form he’s England’s best bat but he’s not on form, he’s averaging 38 this time round compared to over 50 four years ago. The injury has hampered him not only for this series but for this year. So with the knowledge that he had a dodgy Achilles why did he rush of to IPL and maybe, given that he is mainly concerned with himself above all, did the ECB allow him to go. With the most important test series round the corner might it not have been a good idea to get it sorted out and forget the Windies games and the Twenty20 claptrap?

So it’s not as a big a blow to England and though a lift for the Aussies who are struggling and so will cling to any hope it doesn’t match the boost England got back then. Now if Freddie pulled up lame it would be exactly the same as holds that position in the minds of Ponting and his men.

So Bell will probably get the call, The Sherminator, even without McGrath, Warne and Lee in the side – each having got Bell out five times in his 10 Ashes tests – that’ll be a lift for Australia. He really isn’t one to instill fear, even in an attack as dire as the one we’ve seen from down under so far in the series. Oh yes he’s scored plenty in the County game this season but that just kind of highlights what he is all about. Flat track bully in the soft English domestic game, much like Hick and Ramprakash before him, too weak in the mind for the step up. Gets 20 to 30 then out when the pressure to get big runs starts, scoring hundreds only after others in the side have done so, easy runs padding the average when the game is won or lost or going nowhere. No he isn’t going to give the Aussie bowlers sleepless nights. The only problem is who else is there?

One thing that that remains exactly the same as 2005 is the Australians indulging in their national pastime of whinging…

It showed England in England’s elaborate time-wasting tactics at the end of the first Test in Cardiff. At Lord’s England again have been the uglier team. Strauss claimed a catch that replays showed to be doubtful

Strauss’s England had revealed themselves to be competitive, but manipulative and petty - Whinging Australian newspaper

Yeah, on first viewing that catch looked looked good that’s why the batsman asked Strauss and then walked when he got the reply only to be stopped by Ponting. That’ll be the same Ponting who shouted, screamed and harassed the umpires at Cardiff for a catch that blatantly never was. Typical Australians, always accusing others and crying about things. Take a look at the so called “Bodyline” footage, most famous clip you’ll see the ball barely reached the height of the bails when it hit the batsman who ducked into it after taking his eyes of it, by christ didn’t they whinge about that at the time and they still are.

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