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Justin Langer column

Fourth Ashes Test (day three, stumps):
Australia 98 & 169-6 v England 513
Venue: Melbourne Dates: 26-30 December Start: 2330 GMT (25-29 Dec)
Coverage: Live on Test Match Special on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW & online; TMS highlights online (UK only) and day's review on the TMS podcast; live text on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4
Match scorecard

Tim Bresnan celebrates removing Mike Hussey
England's bowlers were on top once again in Melbourne

By Justin Langer
Australia batting/leadership coach

One of the stunning parts of England's Ashes campaign has been the way their fringe players have stepped up and taken their opportunities.

Much has been said about the obvious cohesion of this England squad and this has been evident in their energetic body language throughout the summer; it is impossible to fake such camaraderie.

Another indication of this pack mentality has been the efforts of Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett, who started the tour as extras.

Neither were selected in the first XI for the first Test in Brisbane but both have had an impact on this series since then.

Tremlett is a giant of a man and his ability to generate extra bounce in Perth and Melbourne has troubled all of Australia's batsmen.

Bresnan on the other hand was selected here at the MCG to replace the tiring Stephen Finn and his experience has had a major contribution to England's dominance in this Test match.

TOM FORDYCE BLOG

Playing for Somerset, I always found Bresnan to be a handful. He is very strong, bowls a good bouncer and is able to swing the ball. Today he bowled splendidly and I am sure he will be enjoying every moment of his re-entry to Test cricket.

As for Australia, it was another disappointing day. Besides the outstanding effort of Peter Siddle in taking his second six-wicket haul of the series, the feeling within the Australian changing room is very flat.

Run outs are a cardinal sin in any form of the game, but in a Test match they are disastrous. When Phil Hughes was run out, he and Shane Watson had looked in great form, but in that moment of madness the momentum swung, once again, England's way.

Apart from Watson's half century, all of Australia's batsmen fought hard and batted for periods of time, but none were able to break the shackles.

The troubles of Australia's top order has been well documented but England's bowlers must take a lot of credit for their relatively poor returns. At no stage have England reduced the pressure on Australia, and coupled with their brilliant fielding, they have suffocated our batsmen innings in, innings out.

Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson will continue the struggle in the morning but with two full days left England will be swarming like hungry lions, just as they have all series.

From Melbourne,

JL

Listen to commentary highlights from the day three of the fourth Test (UK users only)

TMS podcast: Agnew and Boycott's review (available worldwide)



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see also
England close in on Ashes victory
28 Dec 10 |  England
Star Bresnan hails 'best feeling'
28 Dec 10 |  England
Fourth Ashes Test day three in photos
28 Dec 10 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
28 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Ponting regrets umpire argument
28 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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