First to the plate is the Observer's Paul Hayward, on Andrew Flintoff:
'To them [Australia] Pietersen is an extravagant run-maker they need to get out pronto. A problem, yes, but not a whole rash of complex challenges, as Flintoff is. They know Pietersen is semi-detached in this England camp. He could never embody English cricket's ploughman spirit, nor hold the side together in adversity, except through weight of runs. Flintoff can do both. He is a country charging into bowl, a culture brandishing a bat. To attack him is to poke the beehive of his nature, which survives the ravages of injuries and calls to the night porter to keep on coming with the trays of drinks'.
A strong start from Hayward, you'll have to agree, but the summer is young. Let the space filling begin.
NB: The Best of the Sportswriters will be recorded here, with the winner receiving the entirely unofficial and arbitrary Old Batsman Phil Space Ashes Urn Award. Lets hope the series gets the prose it deserves...