What a great win for England in the second Test. Not only has it broken the 75-year Ashes hoodoo at Lord’s but it has also set the series up really nicely from here on.
I was out in the field with Kent during our game against Glamorgan in Cardiff for some of the time when Andrew Flintoff was roaring in, and bowling fantastically well on that final morning, but we kept up to speed on Teletext and the radio when we had chance.
I watched the highlights afterwards and it all shows me that if England can get runs on the board – big runs - they can get themselves into a position whereby they put get the Aussies under pressure and bowl them out twice in games.
It means that going to Edgbaston this time around the roles are completely reversed from 2005, in as much that Australia now have it all to do.
A lot has been written and said about this touring side lacking the characters of old, like the Waughs, Warne and McGrath. That may be true because the side we played in 2005 and then again in 2006-07 had some big characters in it, some of the biggest names the game has ever seen.
Of course they now miss them and of course it makes a difference, but what it also means is that this touring side will learn to work together as a cohesive unit. They may not have the superstars, but they are likely to forge themselves into a very good team, and those sorts of teams can often be the most dangerous.
The 2005 Ashes series was tough cricket, but it was played in a very fair spirit and when I think back now there aren’t any verbal exchanges that really stand out to me. It was hard-fought on the field, but off it the teams gave each other a lot of respect.
It was very different went we went out to Australia over a year later, they’d clearly had a chat after losing the Ashes in 2005 and there was a lot more noise from behind you when you went out to bat over there.
I find it hard to believe that it’s four years since I played in the Birmingham Test and took the catch to win it. It seems like only yesterday.
That series will always be remembered because the cricket we played seemed to capture the nation, but this current England team can’t afford to keep looking back to it or using it as a marker to how they’re performing.
This is a new series between different teams, and this England side are ahead of where we were four years ago. So good luck to them because it’s a great position for them to be in.
As for our progress at Kent, we’re all pretty pleased with how the last couple of weeks have gone, what with the Championship win at Glamorgan which took us top of Division Two and the Twenty20 Cup quarter-final victory over Durham.
We had over 8,000 fans in for that game and as players it’s about time in our eyes that we started packing the ground out at Canterbury like that as we feel we’ve been playing good one-day cricket for a few years now.
It’s good to see that people are coming along to watch us and it felt like 7,500 of them were supporting Kent. Other teams don’t particularly like coming to St Lawrence because of our vocal home support, it made for an noisy night as the crowd got into the game early and got excited.
We’re hoping for similar support for finals day up in Birmingham on August 15.
The guys practiced hard in the three days building up to the quarter-final and got their minds on what was required. That’s important in Twenty20, because it means that when you go out there you already know the game plan in your head, so all you then have to concentrate on is the ball coming your way.