Sydney, 15 July
Profligate use of reviews ultimately cost Australia a heart-breaking first Test loss and has damaged their chances of regaining the Ashes, the nation’s newspapers said today.
England just held their nerve to win the first Test by 14 runs at Trent Bridge on Sunday amid continuing controversy over the umpires decision review system which ended Australia’s brave bid to stage a miraculous come-from-behind victory.
While conceding England were the better team over the five compelling days of the opening Test, Australia’s media said their team paid for their poor use of the UDRS at critical moments in the tense match.
“Had there been more diligent use of the umpire decision review system Australia would have had a review remaining late on day three when Stuart Broad was inexplicably given not out by umpire Aleem Dar when a thick edge flew from the gloves of Brad Haddin to Michael Clarke at slip,” the Sydney Daily Telegraph’s Malcolm Conn said.
“The thick edge that Broad survived is a complete contrast to the finest touch from Haddin’s bat which Dar and bowler Jimmy Anderson did not hear but which was awarded to England on review, ending the Test in such dramatic fashion. The UDRS was originally conceived to rid the game of the howler and will remain fundamentally flawed until that is achieved but it is the system both teams must use in this series and Clarke admits Australia must get better at it.”
The Melbourne Age lamented the below par contributions of Australia’s top-order batsmen in the post-mortem examination of the defeat. “It was this simple, and this impossible: England won the nine topmost wickets of this heart-stopping, heart-warming and heart-breaking Test match by 240 runs, and Australia won the last wicket by 226 runs,” The Age’s Greg Baum wrote. “For Australia, in the end, vastly too much was asked of miserably too few, who so nearly and miraculously delivered anyway. But England’s win was merited and meritorious,” Baum said. “The finishing note was both poetic and anti-climactic: an appeal, a not-out decision, a referral and an overturning.