England are 2-1 up in the Ashes series and people are just about starting to get their hopes up. Not only at England winning another Ashes series after some previous horrendous performances, but the fact that England might win anything in any sport, and any time at all.
Many who turned on Sky Sports Ashes today would have been welcomed by some fine cricketers plying their trade twenty years ago. Rain delay? Rather, England had tied up their second win of the series in emphatic fashion after just two and a half days.
Not bad for a team who should have been demoralised following their second test battering at Lords less than three weeks ago. A loss by 405 runs, which made even the heartiest of England fans fear that Australia had finally arrived in Britain, and were ready to turn on the afterburners.
However, Alistair Cook’s men turned out a terrific bowling performance – headlined by recalled Steven Finn – to take the lead in the Ashes once more. But, can they go on to win the series from this point?
The loss of James Anderson will hit the England team hard – even with an inform fast bowler in Finn ready to take up the reigns.
What Anderson has done for this team has been nothing short of extraordinary. With 413 test wickets, Anderson is already the most successful England bowler of all time, and his sort of absence is always a good thing for Australia.
He should be back by the fifth test, and England will be hoping that it is all over by then, but he will be a big miss in Nottingham.
Australia will also be out for revenge. Trevor Bayliss said after England won the first test that the Aussies will be back stronger and tougher, and he was proved right. Unfortunately the same will be said this time around.
The surface at Trent Bridge is sure to be fast, and perfectly aimed at bringing about higher scores. This is bad news for the Aussies whose batters have been far from fruitful in two out the three tests so far.
The rain is also forecast to come on day four of the fourth test, and that could make things very interesting for both sides.
A draw would suit England at this point. Allow them to go into the final match knowing that Australia need a win to draw the Ashes, and anything else would mean England regain the small, but mighty, Ashes trophy.
All in all, a fascinating match will ensue, and I for one am getting just slightly optimistic about England winning the 2015 Ashes.