Alastair Cook has transformed himself in a couple of months from a man who couldn't buy a run to an Ashes batting legend. Whilst England continue to cover themselves in glory though, some of the Australian team have brought shame on themselves by blatantly cheating.
Phillip Hughes, cheat
Cook, on 99, pushed a shot close to Philip Hughes, the ball bounced off the ground into Hughes' hands, Hughes then went up for an appeal that looked weak, so weak in fact that keeper Brad Haddin, who had a very clear view of the incident and had seen the ball bounce, didn't support Hughes in his appeal. Michael Beer the bowler joined in the appeal after a couple of moments, although he had good sight of the non catch as well, and then so did other players who were unsighted by their positions in the slips or just too far away to have noticed the close call.
Cook stood his ground, some Aus players looked nonplussed, and after a quick look at the replays Cook remained at the crease. A blatant attempt at cheating from Hughes which opened the way for further poor behaviour from a large section of the Australian team a few minutes later. Cook made his century, his third of the series, (he had been cleanly caught early in his innings but Michael Beer had overstepped the line and the ball was rightly given as a no-ball) the Barmy Army went nuts, the Australian fans applauded warmly, but many of the Australian players behaved in a childish and petulant manner and refused to acknowledge Cook's ton.
Bad Australian manners aside, Cook pushed on to 189 ably supported by Ian Bell's 115, then Matt Prior came in and decided the whole thing was too slow and chalked up a rapid 54 n.o. from 59 balls. When day 4 starts this evening Australia are yet again looking to perform heroics to even salvage a draw from the Sydney test, England yet again have played themselves into a match winning position.