Good, Bad & Ugly
Joe Drabble showers Alastair Cook with praise after he batted England into a winning position at the SCG
By Joe Drabble. Last Updated: 05/01/11 7:14am
Cook came to the boil again at the SCG
It was a case of the good, the bad and the ugly as England batted their win into a commanding position on day three at the SCG.
First we'll focus on the good - Alastair 'run machine' Cook. Is he not sick of scoring runs yet?! He has 766 in seven innings so far - the second most ever recorded by one Englishman in a series.
He was imperious yet again today, picking Australia off at will and keeping out the rare threatening ball that came his way. His brilliant innings of 189 has surely steered England to an outright series win?
He boasts an average of 127.66 Down Under and looks destined to pick up the man of the series award for his heroics.
Now to the bad - Ian Bell. Now, I'm not talking about his strokeplay, that was exceptional today, but how he had the audacity to stand his ground after edging Shane Watson to Brad Haddin is beyond me.
Everyone, himself included, knew he had nicked the ball through to Haddin, yet he took advantage of the inconclusive technology that is 'Hot-Spot' by challenging the call.
Replays of any heat on his bat were impeded by his pad, meaning the decision was reversed by TV umpire Tony Hill. 'Snicko' later confirmed the edge.
He was on 67 at that point and he went on to bring up a tainted first-ever Test century against Australia.
And now the ugly - Phil Hughes.
I'm not talking about his appearance, but outright cheating. If Bell was out of order challenging his caught behind, then Hughes should be charged for sense of humour failure.
If you've not seen his claimed catch with Cook on 99 then I suggest you do. Fielding at short leg, he clearly scooped the ball up on the half volley and had the audacity to claim a catch.
Cook, less than impressed, stood his ground as umpire Hill reviewed the TV footage. It took just two seconds for the original decision of 'not out' to be confirmed and Hughes was left red-faced.
That aside, it was another great day's Test cricket in Sydney. It was 'Jane McGrath Day' and the SCG was awash with pink as money was raised for her Breast Cancer charity.
I'll be in a better mood tomorrow.