Aussies facing stiff challenge



WHO said Test cricket is boring?

During last summer there were many people claiming that Tests were too predictable and maybe, because Australia was too good, cricket would struggle to continue to attract interest.

The Australian side never thought that way.

Even last summer, when we didn't lose a Test, we were still getting challenged during games.

There were sessions when we would lose a few wickets and maybe we would lose the odd day.

Over here, this England outfit is brimming with confidence and fearlessness with the way they're playing their cricket.

Every session and every day they are giving us a challenge.

England probably should have won the Third Test.

They played the better cricket over the five days but once again we were able to tough it out, and this time get a draw.

The fact they played so well at Old Trafford and got nothing out of it is probably going to be a good result for us in the psychological battle.

Going into the last two Tests at one-all is not that bad a situation for us.

It means we only have to win one of those Tests to retain the Ashes, although we would love to do better than a drawn series.

We can sense a change of momentum.

The Australian team has now settled in for a couple of days of relaxation in Edinburgh before a two-day match against Northamptonshire.

John Buchanan has urged us to enjoy ourselves and treat this as the end of a phase of the tour and the start of the last one.

Being in Scotland has worked out beautifully.

Not only are we away from the badgering of England cricket followers, it's not only their cricketers but also the people in the street who have picked up some confidence we're also in a country where most of the residents hate England.

Obviously this weekend's match against Northants is a very important one for me.

Every time you bowl, you want to impress, but probably even more so this time.

My preparation here in Scotland leading up to that game is something that is just as important.

I have to make sure that everything is right for a good showing when I get the ball in my hands.

It would be a surprise if there are many changes to the Australian line-up.

We have never made many changes in the past and I don't think the selectors will go for wholesale ones this time if any.

It's the type of thing England has been renowned for in the past.

I saw somewhere the other day that in the 1993 Ashes series England brought in seven new faces after a Test loss.

There was a picture of captain Graham Gooch with the seven either side.

We can't do that, we don't have seven extras on tour..

Column written exclusively for Australian Provincial Newspapers by Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz.



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