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Ashes: Justin Langer's column from Adelaide

By Justin Langer
Australia batting/leadership coach

Ricky Ponting
Australia captain Ricky Ponting absorbs the heavy defeat in Adelaide

England go 1-0 up in this Ashes series and deserve to be ahead at this point of the campaign.

A team who take all of their catches, buzz around the field, turn fifties into big hundreds and put pressure on the opposition batsmen with the ball will usually win most of their contests.

Conversely, when you drop catches, miss run-out opportunities, do not capitalise on good starts with the bat and then take only five wickets in an innings you cannot expect to be the team drinking champagne afterwards.

In the great teams I played in, one of the defining factors was that various players stood up and performed when the pressure was on.

Rarely did it come down to one superstar, but rather a group of players complementing each other and coming good when the team needed it the most. Because of this the great teams become intimidating because the opposition know they have to knock out all 11 opponents rather than just one or two of the best individuals.

In this Test we witnessed that from England. Short of runs for well over a year, Kevin Pietersen stood tall and played a dominating role in the game, just when his team needed him the most.

At the other end of the scale, questions have been raised about the impact off-spinner Graeme Swann would have in Australia. When his team needed him he stood tall and bowled his team to victory.

In the last two weeks the strength of England's assault has been in their ability to have every one of their players contributing with match-winning performances.

Australia know they are in a fight with 11 very good players rather than the one or two so called superstars of the past.

Because of this England are a much tougher proposition than before and that is why they are drinking the champagne, and dancing and singing in the rain in a sodden Adelaide.

From Adelaide, JL

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see also
England complete Adelaide triumph
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Injured Broad ruled out of Ashes
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Strauss confident of series win
07 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Ponting urges Aussie improvement
07 Dec 10 |  Australia
Katich set to miss rest of series
07 Dec 10 |  Australia
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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