It’s a Test few in the Australian camp want to revisit, but Jimmy Anderson only has good memories of the 2009 Ashes opener.
England’s last-wicket pair of Anderson and Monty Panesar defied the visitors for 40 minutes and 69 balls to hold on for a draw in Cardiff.
“It was very good to get out of that game with a draw,” Anderson said on Monday, when he returned to the venue ahead of this week’s first Test.
The hosts’ 12th man and physiotherapist made a couple of trips to the middle during that thrilling finish, much to the chagrin of captain Ricky Ponting.
“It was pretty ordinary,” Ponting said of the time-wasting tactics after the match.
England skipper Andrew Strauss rejected the charge of gamesmanship at the time, but Anderson confirmed on Monday there was a determined go-slow from the tailenders.
“I remember there was very little expectation on myself and Monty and we just tried to do as best we could by wasting time and using all the tactics we could to escape,” he said.
Ponting was just as frustrated with his side’s inability to take a 10th wicket as the tailenders’ antics.
England went on to win the series 2-1.
“It was a painful Test match,” Brad Haddin said of the first Test held at Sophia Gardens.
“We thought we got ourselves into a position that we deserved that win, but as you see in Ashes campaigns – they’re never over.
“It’s different cricket and it brings out a lot of different emotions, and some odd batting talent that I didn’t think Monty Panesar had.”
Shane Watson suggested the gutting defeat sapped his side’s momentum leading into the second Test in London, where England enjoyed their first Lord’s victory over Australia since 1934.
“No doubt it dampens your spirits,” Watson said.
“That’s something we are certainly much better at now, closing out Test matches especially when it gets close.”
Pundits in England have questioned why the Ashes opener, which starts on Wednesday, is being hosted in Wales again.
Anderson believed it wouldn’t be an issue for the hosts.
“We have Ashes experience here and quite fond memories as well, so I don’t think it matters too much,” he said.
“We’ll have great support here, as we did in 2009.”