With the long awaited 2010 Ashes series underway at last, England (underdogs in the Ashes odds) have already managed to expose the same old flaws that saw them crushed the last time they attempted to keep hold of the Ashes on Aussie soil.
Whilst Peter Siddle has found himself turned into a hero overnight after securing a hat-trick on his 26th birthday, the ease with which England’s batting order managed to achieve four ducks shows that, despite claims to the contrary, they are still not used to batting effectively on Aussie wickets.
With Andrew Strauss surviving only three balls, and Kevin Pietersen failing to up his game enough to chip in with an impressive score, the onus once again has fallen on the English attack to keep their side in the first Test.
However, with the likes of Swann still unproven on Aussie wickets, the destination of the Ashes could well be decided at the Gabba should the Australians grab the early initiative, as the current Ashes betting suggests they will do. Whilst this may seem like an overreaction to a slightly iffy English start, you only need to look at how important the start of recent Ashes series has been in recent years in determining the eventual destination of the famous urn.
This may be even more important given the obvious drop in confidence displayed by the England team after the first day of the Test, after previously talking up their chances of winning a series on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years. If they are to recreate this winning feeling, they are going to need to keep faith
in their own ability and hope that their bowlers really do hit the ground running.