Around this time yesterday, I had the mad thought of whizzing up to Birmingham for the day. So glad I didn't act on it!!!
my latest prophecy was 2-1 to whoever wins Lords. That would be England then. We need less rain and spicier pitches for the last 2 tests, or it could even be 1-0.
Addition of Lee and/or Clark will make Australian bowling more potent, but Harmy has to come in for Broad - you don't pick a fast bowler for his batting, and Strauss has clearly lost confidence in Broad. He'll be back, but needs something extra to make him a threat at this level. But, Harmison's feet are currently 'a bit of a mess', covered in blisters and pretty painful.
If Flintoff has to drop out, then it gets tricky: it's a long tail starting with Swann at 7, but I'd go with Sidebottom to replace Freddie.
top run scorer: Predicted - Cook & Michael Clarke
Cook now a long way behind Strauss, who is running away with it on the England side. Time for a big hundred lad. Clarke is the top Aussie batsman so far, shaping up well to be the next Ponting.
top wicket taker: Predicted - Anderson & Johnson
Not bad: Anderson is on top for Ingerlund with 12 wickets, and if Johnson can avoid getting dropped then he's still in with a shout, all 4 Aussie bowlers are in the 10-12 wickets range. That's until Siddle gets dropped for Stuart Clark and he rips through England in the remaining 2 tests. All depends on whether the Aussies want to bring both Clark and Lee in, or just 1 of them.
Crocks: Predicted - Lee or Stuart Clarke/Flintoff.
Lee may be back for Headlingly, and Freddie literally on his knees today after going over on his ankle. Great batting from the big man yesterday. Hadn't predicted the loss of Brad Haddin, or KP, and to be honest England didn't miss him a great deal, though a 2nd spinning option might have been handy. The rest will do him good.