England still in driving seat

cricket blogs for Yahoo Cricket Columns

It was frustrating not to win the third Test at Edgbaston, but when you consider how much time was lost, it was always going to be a tough ask.


The groundsmen deserve a lot of credit for allowing so much play, but it would have been an amazing result to force victory in what was effectively three days' play.


The weather put paid to our hopes of getting a positive result, and it is pretty annoying to watch the rain fall knowing time is ticking away.


Everybody does different things during rain breaks, but we all try to relax and keep busy than sitting there getting nervous.


During the delays at Edgbaston the chips were out and there was some poker played. There was a bit of sleeping in the dressing room. If it's a long stoppage you can go to the gym or hit a ball in the indoor nets.


Steve Harmison left a dartboard for the boys; we're all as good as Phil Taylor now, we've had that much practice!


It can be tough to switch on and off when there are rain delays. We spoke to the psychologist about it going into the match.


You've got to get mentally prepared half an hour before play starts, but when you don't know when you're going out it can be tough. But it's something you get used to playing in England.


We had a sniff of a win on the final day, but the ball did not swing so it was not to be. It wasn't really playing like a day five pitch because so little cricket had been played on it.


We really had to bowl them out in 50 or 60 overs to win the game as they built up a bit of a lead, so it was always hard to force a result.


The good thing was we got on top, put Australia under pressure and if we continue doing that I'm sure we'll get the right result.


I don't think it's fair to compare Edgbaston with the first Test at Cardiff, where we got out of jail. At no point did we have this game down as a definite win, which Australia did at Cardiff, so I don't think there will be any change in momentum. We're still in a very strong position.


Although it was frustrating from our point of view, Michael Clarke and Marcus North played superbly under pressure to ensure the game ended in a draw.


They are very, very good batsmen and steadied the ship along with Mike Hussey. The two young lads came in and put up an important partnership so you have to give them credit.


I also have to pay tribute to our bowlers, who kept plugging away in conditions that were not that helpful, and gave their usual wholehearted effort.


We might not have got the result we wanted but we can move on to Headingley in good spirits, and full of confidence.


Courtesy: http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com