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Going for the jugular

Posted in England team blog

I'm looking forward to the Headingley Test especially as we know we can regain the Ashes if we win there.

We don't want to settle for what we have. We want to go 2-0 up rather than rest with what we have. We are confident of doing well.

We played well at Edgbaston but the weather played a massive part.

We had high hopes on the morning of the fifth day. If we could have taken three big wickets in the first session then we would have had a chance of bowling them out in the afternoon and setting up a chase in the evening. It just didn't happen.

By the end it was like we were bowling on a third day wicket - it was so flat. It became really hard to bowl on, there was hardly any swing, certainly not enough to trouble the Australian batsmen.

Michael Clarke and Marcus North played well to ensure the draw. They got stuck in and defended the ball. Our bowlers worked really hard to try and get them out but we couldn't make the breakthrough.

Clarke has played really well this series and got runs in all three Tests. He looks in really good form but I don't think the runs he scored in the last Test will count for anything once play starts on Friday.

I finally got the chance to have a bowl - I have been dropping hints to Straussy all summer, saying 'go on, give me a bowl - I'm a partnership breaker'.

Realistically, if the wicket is doing a bit then I'm not going to get a chance, but it was flat at Edgbaston so I got to roll my arm over. I might have got Clarke out twice were it not for a dropped catch and a no-ball. When you luck's not in those things don't go for you.

Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions bowled brilliantly in the last Test. They are different bowlers which works really well for us - Jimmy swings it both ways while Graham hits the pitch hard and bowls with good pace. They are both really effective.

They are hard to face in the nets, but batting against our bowlers in the nets is never easy at the best of times when you have Harmy, Stuart Broad, Jimmy and Graham Onions running in. Then there is Fred too.

Ravi Bopara

Driving against Australia at Cardiff - Ravi Bopara feels in good form and says a big score is just around the corner

If you have a good net against them then you have done well, but it's all about scoring runs in the middle.

I'm batting well at the moment. I am seeing and hitting the ball well but have not put a score on the board. I just need a bit of luck.

It's been a great series, a brilliant experience. All of the players will come out better from it and we will be a better team going forward. We are all learning, even the guys who have played 60 Tests.

I have not been surprised by the intensity of the series. Remembering what it was like in 2005, I knew this would be a big one. The crowd have really been getting behind us.

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