All to play for after Cardiff draw
Posted in England team blog
It was an amazing Test at Cardiff. We had to make sure we drew so that we went to Lord's level at nil-all.
It was my first Ashes Test but I was not nervous before hand, just really excited. I was looking forward to it.
We were not happy with scoring 435 in the first innings. We really should have got closer to 500. We had to rely on the tail to get 100 runs.
Day two and three were the easiest days to bat but it was still disappointing to let them get 650.
I would have liked a wicket that did a bit more. With the wicket the way it was, it always seemed a draw, even from the start. Hopefully Lord's will have a bit more pace and carry.
When you are bowling on a wicket like that you have to try different things otherwise you are going to be out there a long time. You need to bowl different angles and vary your pace, but we were basically waiting for the batsman to make a mistake.
There was no pace in the wicket so slip catches were taken out of the game. You had more chance of getting a catch in the infield.
It was hard work for the bowlers - you can tell by our figures that we all found it tough.
The Australian batsmen stuck to their game plan well, but of their four centurions Ricky Ponting impressed me the most.
He is a hard bloke to bowl at. You can't bowl anything between his waist and badge as he's so strong at the pull shot. He's been playing Ashes matches for 12 years now.
From an hour after lunch on the last day it was looking like we were heading for a loss. We lost three early wickets which made it hard, but credit to all our batsmen who dug in and used up as many balls as possible.
It was a fantastic effort from Paul Collingwood to bat for that length of time. He showed great concentration.
In a game like that you know you are going to have to do a job with the bat.
I'm normally quite relaxed before I go in. I normally get padded up, sit in my spot in the changing room and watch the game on the telly. I can see what the ball is doing better than if I was watching the game from the balcony.
We never have the commentary on though. Every five overs or so I get up and have a dance to get myself moving.
I was a lot more nervous after I had got out as I knew there was no way I could influence the game.
The bowlers have worked hard on their batting as we know how important it is for everyone to chip in with the bat. I did get worried when I saw there were nine overs left as I knew that was a lot of time for Jimmy and Monty to bat, especially with all the pressure and close fielders. They did so well to survive.
I'm really looking forward to Lord's. It's the sort of occasion you dream of. With the excitement of the last Test, everyone will be right behind us.
I felt some tightness in my calf but I've had some treatment on it and I will be ready. It should be a fantastic occasion.