England still slight favourites

It is now game on, big time! The partnership between Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin has been nothing short of sensational – but I still make England the slight favourites.

There is still a lot of cricket left in this game, and just one wicket early on the last morning would push the game very much towards England.

But Australia’s counter attack from being 128 for 5 has been thrilling to watch – especially from an Australian viewpoint – and those two blokes have played out of their skins.

This has been a huge innings for Clarke, in terms of his career and as vice captain, but I do still think he has to convert a hundred into something near a double century if Australia are to win. He and Haddin still have a lot of work to do.

Should England have batted on at the start of day four? A lot of people might now say they should have done, but my view is that they definitely did the right thing in declaring overnight.

Look, England got wickets in that first session and then three more early in the afternoon so it was exactly right for them to plan to be bowling then.

If England got their tactics wrong at all, on this fourth day, it is that they went too defensive in the field too early.

Andrew Strauss put sweepers out on the boundary quite early, and that lets the batsmen pick up easy runs. They don’t have to play the big shot to pierce the infield.

England did let the game drift a little bit in the final session but all credit to Clarke and Haddin. It should be a classic final day.

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