Haddin and Pattison
Haddin and Pattison came to within 14 runs of victory for Australia, but above all they gave the side hope.

This Australian is still recovering from the last Test, and just as the daily routine is returning to normal we prepare for the second to begin tomorrow and a chance to get one up on a now slightly fragile-looking England side.

If you were looking for a reason to convince your Twenty20 fan friends why test cricket hasn't lost it's sparkle, the last week would have been the perfect example to build such an arguement. Five days created heroes, villains, drama and heartbreak, and left England feeling just as drained as an Australian side that was given little to no hope of winning in the run up to the start of the series.

Little Ashton Agar, the 19 year old who many admitted to not knowing the name of when he was selected, might have read those such admissions and thought 'well, I will show you who I am'. The teen smiled his way through 98 runs as the 11th man, breaking records left right and centre, and though he didn't make the perfect debut century he won over both his own nation and many Englishman who admitted it was strange but infectious to be cheering for the Aussie.

While he couldn't repeat the feat in his second innings it was once more the final batsmen, this time in the form of James Pattinson and Brad Haddin who drove Australia ever so close to victory. On the back of the controversy surrounding Stuart Broad's refusal to walk, which was as much Australia's misuse of the decision review system as it was the English's confirmation that the gentlemanly spirit of cricket is now officially dead, the Aussies came to within a sniff of victory and while it was heartbreaking to lose in such a way, it was equally encouraging.

We didn't want to fall for this whole 'hope' thing at the start, and by the end we were kicking ourselves for once again being sucked into the belief that our side would do the unthinkable and knock the cocky English off their perch. But with four tests to go, there is certainly a fresh feeling that Australia have a much better chance than some banked on of coming together, forgetting the controversies and whipping up some magic.

Mickey Arthur Adds Layer of Controversy for Australia

Mickey Arthur suing Cricket Australia for racial discrimination, and his comments that Watson is a 'cancer' in the team, should be more worrying than they have been. The amount of problems Australia dealt with before the first test, and then coming into within 14 runs of a win, has left the fans feeling that the team are clearly strong enough to come through the other side in time for Thursday.

Shane Watson and Michael Clarke
Shane Watson and Michael Clarke have shrugged off controversy surrounding their friendship off the field.

Malcom Conn wrote on the subject for the Daily Telegraph: "Certainly the arrival of (Darren) Lehmann as coach has revitalised a flagging side, which says as much about the worrying attitude of the players under Arthur as it did about the coach.

"Australia has played good cricket these past three weeks and seem a much happier, eager bunch.

"If there is any disunity they have kept it well hidden.

"The never-say-die attitude of the team during the first Test at Trent Bridge, when they seemed gone several times and almost snatched victory, suggests a bunch of cricketers playing for each other."

Team Spirit and DRS Handling the Key To A Win Next Time Around

If the Australians are indeed not bothered by Mickey Arthur's claims, the side will currently be concentrating on a win to level the Ashes series and put England on the back foot, a position they never planned to end up in.

Chloe Saltau from The Age insists that Michael Clarke's use of the video umpire, which was overdone too early in the test and resulted in the captain having nowhere to go when the umpire clearly got decisions wrong, will be key to a victory.

She said: "Michael Clarke admits England's superior use of the referral system played a role in Australia's agonising defeat in the first Test, but says his team has regained some respect with its gallant performance at Trent Bridge.

"The Australian captain asked his players to hold their heads high. Having been written off before the series, the team fought back from desperate positions to take the game down to the wire.

"Statistics on both teams' use of the Decision Review System show that the Australians were cavalier with their referrals while the home team used them sparingly and smartly."

As Michael Clarke called his teammates to the stage in a humorous dressing down at the formal function for the welcoming of the Ashes, Adam Gilchrist has argued that the squad have a better team spirit than that of the winning 2005 side.

"They were a happy, upbeat bunch of blokes," Gilchrist told Australian paper the Herald Sun. "They're really up for the second Test.

"All that Mickey Arthur stuff, I think they considered that old news.

"A line has been drawn with the appointment of Darren and it's been a fresh start for everyone. It's refocused everyone to the job at hand.

"They may have lost the first Test, all be it by 14 runs, but the rooms certainly didn't feel like 2005 when we were losing."

What They Say

Brad Haddin on the possible feuds off the field: "The Ashes is as good as it gets - all the other stuff is white noise.

"It has not affected the side. The Australian dressing room is fine. There is no feud."

Daren Lehmann on the improvements needed for the second Test: "We must bat better in the top order - it's a case of making more runs.

"We must bat for 120 overs-plus in the first innings. We missed a chance in our first innings at Trent Bridge.

"I know conditions were tough on the first evening but we had to get through because the second day was a lot easier. But we lost four early wickets.

"We picked Ed Cowan to do a role. He'll be disappointed with the two shots he played, so are we. But we're trying to learn and get better. The teams are closer than people give us credit for."