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Lazarus and the Gimp
05-11-2010, 20:51:29
WELL DONE COOK! A batting surface described as "ideal for batting" and you strung out a whole five runs!

Yes, it's Ashes build-up time, and that means it's "wonder why the hell Cook is considered fit to face the Aussies" time again! Anyone prepared to bet on him or Bell ending the series with an Ashes average of over 30 runs?

Greg W
06-11-2010, 13:41:19
One thing I will predict is this will be a closer series than last time (last time in Oz that is). We have so many players out of form it's not funny. Your players will even have a better build up than ours. If we win this, I'll be surprised. :(

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-11-2010, 15:21:33
How could it possibly not be closer than last time? Half the team was injured, including our best bowler, our best batsman had a nervous breakdown, and our captain was bladdered. We got bummed, and rightly so.

I'm not convinced England will win. The lack of swing will reduce Anderson's effectiveness, and although Swann's good we're still short of spinners. And the fact that Cook and Bell are still seen as serious contenders tells all. Pietersen is a shadow of his former self. I think England's chances hinge on Strauss, Trott, Broad and Swann.

Funko
08-11-2010, 10:32:50
I think the bookies have it about right. Aussies are rightly favourites, but a lot closer than last time.

Greg W
08-11-2010, 14:58:24
I'm not so sure. Our lower middle order (North and Hussey) is crap and has been for a while. North either gets 0-10 or a big score and the latter is rare. Hussey has just been off the boil for a long time, I really can't understand how such a good player got so crap so quickly.

Our Openers are ok, though I'd take Strauss over either of them.

Ponting has been in a slow decline for a while now. Clarke has been pretty good the last few years, but not seemingly when it counts.

Haddin is good, wouldn't swap him.

Bowling wise we have Johnson, who cannot seem to come to grips with getting the ball upright. Been pretty average for a while now. Bollinger has been a revelation, but he's getting over a back injury. Siddle will bowl all day, but he does nothing at all with the ball. And Hauritz isn't a quality spinner.

Over the last few years scores of 400+ have been a rarity for Australia where they used to be the norm. We seem unable to chase even a semi decent 4th innings score. And our bowlers can go long periods without even looking like taking a wicket. We've fallen to 5th in the rankings, and for a good reason. We're not a shadow of the team we used to be, and only fragile confidence in foreign conditions can really undo England completely.

Funko
08-11-2010, 15:15:55
Home advantage is huge. In recent years our bowlers have not been able to do anything on Aussie wickets.

They probably seem worse to you in comparison to the monstrous team you had in the past, but they are still a decent side and with home advantage.

Greg W
09-11-2010, 04:44:00
Decent, sure. But as I pointed out, they're 5th in the world test rankings right now.
1. India
2. South Africa
3. Sri Lanka
4. England
5. Australia

And then there's a massive gulf down to:
6. Pakistan
7. West Indies
8. New Zealand
9. Bangladesh

Basically, of all the "decent" test playing nations, we're currently the worst. To be fair, England is only just ranked above us (110 to 112), but still, we're no longer a surety of winning test series at home. And having just lost 7 matches in a row (I think in all forms of the game), we're low on confidence as well.

Home advantage could make a difference, but it's not really that hard. The only real difference is the lack of reverse swing due to the differences between the kookaburra and duke balls. Oh, and the fact that chewing mints and rubbing the mix of saliva and the mint on the ball won't work. :p

If England can do well in the first test, they will likely beat us in the series. We're not playing well under pressure right now and finally England have realised that one warm up game isn't enough to acclimatise to Australian conditions. With 3 (I think) matches under your belt, you'll be much better prepared this time around.

Time shall tell, but I think this series will be undecided leading into the last test, with at most a 1 test lead to either side.

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-11-2010, 21:50:17
Depressing stats about Cook.

His average score in the warm-ups- 15.

Tests played since start of last summer- 10.

Highest score in those 10 tests- 110.

Second-highest score in those 10 tests- 29.

Lazarus and the Gimp
13-11-2010, 20:58:12
Bollocks. He got a century.

I propose a new definition for "cooking"- The act of sustaining a career of overall mediocrity through very occasional successes when it doesn't really matter.

Funko
15-11-2010, 09:00:16
:lol:

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-11-2010, 19:54:58
Shane Warne has accused England of making Kevin Pietersen feel like "an outcast" as he stepped up his verbal attacks ahead of the Ashes series.

Pietersen has made only one Test hundred since he was sacked from the England captaincy nearly two years ago after an ultimatum insisting that he could not work alongside the coach at the time, Peter Moores.

Warne, whose retirement as Australia's leg-spinner has coincided with their collapse down the Test rankings, told the Brisbane Courier Mail: "KP's lean trot has a lot to do with the way he has been treated by England. He was forced out as captain and sacked from the one-day side earlier this year.

"The way they have treated him is ordinary and he has been made to feel as if he is a bit of an outcast. KP might be the walking ego and can rub people up the wrong way. He does have an attitude. But he has to be made to feel important and like he is the man."

Andy Flower, the England coach, waved aside Warne's claims in Brisbane today, saying: "He's anything but an outcast. He's a good guy to have in the dressing room, a great player to have on your side, a very dangerous player that the opposition worry about.

"We expect great things from him and that he takes part in team dynamics like everyone else does, and that is what he does. We do have very good team unity and that is one of our strengths, but Kevin does like the big stage and that's one of the great things about him. He enjoys the pressure situations. He enjoys the chance to bat brilliantly while everyone's watching. It's part of what makes up a very fine competitor."

Pietersen was left out of England's one-day matches against Pakistan to enable him to rediscover his form in the longer form of the game in a brief loan spell at Surrey, a county that is about to confirm that he will join them next season.

His ego was ruffled as a message on Twitter, intended to be private and hastily withdrawn, soon indicated. "Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too. Its a f**k up!!," he posted.

The suggestion that he is an outcast in the England dressing room, however, bears no relation to reality. England's dressing room has learned how to accommodate the Pietersen ego, and Flower, who Pietersen also intimated was not up to the job, has been a constant source of support since he succeeded Moores as coach as he sought to make him feel valued and at ease despite his return to the ranks.

Pietersen has shown signs of his best form in Australia, although the return of his fallibility against slow left-armers against Australia A in Hobart, when Steven O'Keefe dismissed him with a straight ball, is disconcerting for England and might have played a part in Australia's decision to drop the off-spinner Nathan Hauritz in favour of Tasmania's uncapped left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty.

England's arrival in Australia three weeks ago coincided with another Twitter exchange in which Warne accused the former England captain Michael Vaughan of being "cocky" and asked: "What's with the English lip?"

Retired Ashes players are intent upon delivering the first blows off the field. Matthew Hayden, another former Australia great, has also been in gung-ho mood in The Australian newspaper as Australia look to defend their 22-year unbeaten record in Tests at The Gabba, Hayden's home ground.

"Beware the wounded cricketer," he said. "You can't hide at The Gabba when it's delivery day and Australia will be reformulated as a unit together. You are at the coalface of competitive battle."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/nov/22/kevin-pietersen-england-outcast-shane-warne

Whether Warney is right or not is up for debate, but Pietersen's form has taken one hell of a dive.

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-11-2010, 19:55:45
The Ashes A-Z.


Australian conditions n. adj

Parallel cricket dimension where nothing is quite the same: alien-strength sunshine, pitches made from concrete, flies the size of crows and humidity equivalent to living at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. No Englishman has ever mastered Australian conditions. To do so would be against nature.


Baggy green n

Tearfully revered badge of the Australian Test cricketer. Emblem of sporting nationalism. Piece of Ashes iconography. Also, slightly frumpy flat cap with amusing nobble on top.


Ball of the century n

Legendary Ashley Giles delivery to Damien Martyn during 2005 series that turned from leg to hit off, signalling start of period (18 months) of English dominance. Apparently there was a similar one in the last century too.


Barmy Army n

Supporters movement formed by backpacking England fans during 1994-95 series in Australia. Since co-opted into commercial juggernaut that provides a front for paunchy sunburnt drunken men with urge to conga everywhere.


Bodyline n. adj

Intimidatory leg-side fast bowling tactics employed by Douglas Jardine's England during 192-33 Ashes tour which, if Aussies were whingeing types, might have caused a great deal of whingeing in the intervening years.


Boot camp n

Aussie innovation involving pre‑series character-building tasks such as abseiling, bog-snorkelling and anything that involves being shouted at by a middle-aged man with a whistle. Comes complete with unprecedented opportunity to look extremely silly three months later.


Boxing Day Test n

Famous occasion in Australian calendar as hordes of slightly frazzled men escape their families in order to take up sacred festive duty of lolling around watching cricket for eight hours drinking fizzy lager.


Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field

Label attached to Mike Gatting's touring party of 1986-87. Gatting's team went on to win the Ashes because fortunately Australia also couldn't bat, field or bowl, as well as being unable to win the toss, warm up properly or tie their laces without getting muddled up.


"The Colossus" n

Fashionable Ashes wicket celebration pose, involving spreading arms and legs to demonstrate supreme 100% physical prowess. First employed by Andrew Flintoff. Then by Brett Lee. Both of whom have since retired from Tests due to injury.


Comfort break n

Brief retreat to pavilion employed with great frequency by England bowlers during 2005 series. One such rest stop coincided with Durham whippet sub fielder Gary Pratt decisively running out Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston. He seemed upset.


David Hasselhoff n

Swaggering, small-screen legend who, according to Shane Warne, Graeme Swann is going to be "walking around like" during the current series. Apparently a compliment.


"Doing a Harmy" vb

Moment of disastrous nervous implosion while delivering opening Ashes blow on That first morning in Brisbane (see below). A career-defining moment for any cricketer. Compensations include YouTube superstardom and lifelong tenure of boozy corporate speaking circuit.

Fanatics n

Laughably contrived Aussie imitation of the Barmy Army, complete with unfortunate, politically sensitive moniker.


5-0 whitewash n

Standard Glenn McGrath pre-series result prediction. Always an amusing diversion. Right up until the moment it actually happened.


Fremantle Doctor n

Fabled Perth-based wind possessing unusual qualities of swing-assistance. While the Doctor is blowing Australians are advised not to fly or drive due to risk of "doing a lot" or "getting off the straight" in favourable conditions.


Hill, The n

Notorious Sydney fans' section known for badinage with opposition, bottle-lobbing, V-signs, harmless banter etc. Previously a grassed liquid-picnic-spot-cum-urinal. Now the cheap seats.

Kookaburra n

Australian version of a cricket ball. Much-discussed due to enigmatic properties, difficulty in bowling with and specialist technical skills required. All of which essentially derive from the fact that it falls to bits after half an hour.


Lucky red hankie, Steve Waugh's n

Aussie cricket holy relic, famously kept poking out of former captain's trouser pocket throughout seven winning series. Employed for magical properties, intimidatory value and mopping tears of joy on accidentally catching glimpse of own baggy green while batting.


MBE n. abbrev

Part of Warne's infamous sledge of Paul Collingwood in 2006-07. Warne asked Collingwood, who played only one Test in 2005, if his resultant gong stood for Must Be Embarrassing. After Cardiff 2009, Collingwood could reply that it stands for Manages to Block Everything.


Reverse swing n

English method of cheating involving making the old ball swing by impregnating it with sugary saliva, voodoo or as-yet-unidentified unfair dinkum substance. So strong is the Aussie sense of outrage on this topic their bowlers have flatly refused to master the skill themselves.


Sherminator, The n

Ian Bell. Until he finally scores a match‑shaping 150 in Australian conditions (see previous).


Spirit of cricket n

Famous Australian-led principles of fair play. Makes up part of the world's tiniest box set when bundled together with Australian Rules Of Etiquette and The Australian Guide To Not Talking Too Loudly In Public Places.


Targeting n

Australian tradition whereby leading bowler "outs" English batsman he intends to install as personal whipping boy (usually captain, star man, or chief posho). Warning: only appears to work properly when employed by men with names like "Glenn McGrath" or "Shane Warne".


That first morning in Brisbane n

Famed moment of truth as Ashes series commences. Go hard, come to the party and step up to the plate. Alternatively, simply relax and Do a Harmy.


"Under the Southern Cross I Stand" n

Aussie dressing room victory song. May or may not still be in use. Hard to be completely sure these days.


Urn, The n

Small plastic tourist replica traditionally waved around vaguely by victors at end of Ashes series. Still perhaps the least photogenic major sporting trophy yet devised.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/nov/22/the-ashes-2010-a-z-duffers-guide

Funko
23-11-2010, 08:48:31
Reverse swing n

English method of cheating involving making the old ball swing by impregnating it with sugary saliva, voodoo or as-yet-unidentified unfair dinkum substance. So strong is the Aussie sense of outrage on this topic their bowlers have flatly refused to master the skill themselves.


:lol:

Spirit of cricket n

Famous Australian-led principles of fair play. Makes up part of the world's tiniest box set when bundled together with Australian Rules Of Etiquette and The Australian Guide To Not Talking Too Loudly In Public Places.

:lol:

Lazarus and the Gimp
25-11-2010, 06:06:09
OK, where did that Siddle spell come from?

Funko
25-11-2010, 08:52:12
Saw the hat-trick this morning. :beer:

67 from Cook too. :eek:

Greg W
25-11-2010, 12:52:05
A decent start from Australia. Or should I say, from Siddle. From the bits I saw or heard on the radio, Johnson was pretty awful and Hilfenhaus was bowling so wide he was called for wides. Doherty was solid, if nothing spectacular, as was Watson. Frankly, who knows how bad that may have been without Siddle...

Now let's see how our batsmen fare. :nervous:

Lazarus and the Gimp
25-11-2010, 19:10:21
It's not that disheartening for England. While Strauss and Trott disappointed, our two weakest links in the batting line-up got decent scores, and KP looked dangerous until they got him out.

Lazarus and the Gimp
26-11-2010, 06:13:49
Hussey seems to be remembering why they used to call him "Mr Cricket".

Ponting managed to blow his bragging rights over Strauss quite effectively there. Looks like Finn could prove a handful on the bouncier pitches.

Funko
26-11-2010, 09:05:34
Not looking too bad after day 2, if we can limit them to 300 or so we might have a chance.

Greg W
26-11-2010, 14:33:14
It's very much hinging on the current partnership. If we can get a big enough lead, it could prove a match winner. Or if wickets fall quickly, it could be disastrous for us needing to bat last. So far it's rather close.

Lazarus and the Gimp
26-11-2010, 17:58:33
In football terms, Australia are 2-1 up at half-time in a Champion's League match, with England muttering about their "crucial" away goal.

Greg W
27-11-2010, 07:33:34
Well, a big partnership has put us in the driving seat. Now just a question of getting wickets before England give us too big a 4th innings chase. :beer:

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-11-2010, 09:14:33
That's put us 1-0 down in the series.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-11-2010, 09:02:48
Ahahahahahaha. This is why I love cricket. No other sport is better for confounding expectations.

Well, Australia need to worry. With the exception of Siddle's brilliant first-day spell, their bowlers aren't looking as effective as England's. Strauss and Trott have both atoned for their first-innings sloppiness so their confidence should be good. Add that to Cook and Bell's form, and England actually look like having strength in depth in the batting line-up for the first time in ages.

Then again, Australia looked just like that after the first test in the last Ashes. Their batters looked unstoppable.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-11-2010, 09:08:31
The one point of comfort for Australia right now is that there isn't the merest hint of swing out there. No movement at all. Add to that the fact that the spinners aren't getting much joy either, and I really can't see ten Aussie wickets falling tomorrow.

In Strauss's position, I'd try using Finn and Broad to just batter them out, but I'd expect Australia to ride that out.

The Shaker
28-11-2010, 10:39:50
Disappointing. I set them a target of 200 before the first wicket fell.

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-11-2010, 14:11:51
Some wags are already suggesting England's man of the match should be Mitchell Johnson. Going into the final day having-

1- had 136 scored off your bowling;
2- taken no wickets;
3- scored no runs; and
4- dropped Strauss who went on to get a crucial ton

-means he's looking a forlorn little bunny right now.

Time to dig out the "Dude! He's twice your size!" least-convincing-hardman-act-in-Ashes-history photo again.

http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2009/08/flintoff-johnson-415x275.jpg

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-11-2010, 06:16:46
Aaaaaand, as the records tumble it's a draw.

Australia looking really ragged- a few dropped catches out there.

Funko
29-11-2010, 08:57:59
I didn't even bother checking the score this morning until I saw this thread!

Amazing stuff.

Cook is doing ok too eh?

Greg W
29-11-2010, 09:22:13
Well, I did say before the match that most of our attack was out of sorts. Proved to be true. Bollinger will hopefully be brought back for the 2nd test. Probably to replace Johnson, but then again, the selectors do seem to favour Mitch.

Adelaide is renowned for draws though, with very flat tracks that do very little until day 4 or 5. Could be 0-0 after two tests at this rate.

MOBIUS
29-11-2010, 16:55:14
Hey Laz, that Cook guy seems OK... :D

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-11-2010, 17:11:00
An average of 27 from two Ashes series up to this? We'll see.

Cort Haus
29-11-2010, 17:58:40
After all that ranting, Laz, you must be hoping for Cook to fail badly in the next test or you're in for a bit of an epic self-cunting.

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-11-2010, 19:29:16
I'd rather see him score a million and win the Ashes single-handedly. I'm not perverse about these things.

One thing for sure, though. If Trescothick could handle touring, I'd pick him over Cook without a second's hesitation.

Funko
30-11-2010, 09:04:26
I'd rather see him score a million and win the Ashes single-handedly.

Definitely.

Also, 517-1. Did we make enough of how humiliating that must have been for Australia's bowlers? We could probably have scored 1000 if we'd wanted.

MOBIUS
30-11-2010, 12:12:39
The Aussies don't like it up 'em!

I noticed all their spectators threw a strop and left the grounds... :bounce:

Funko
30-11-2010, 15:39:29
Aussies are the worst losers (and worst winners) in the world.

MOBIUS
30-11-2010, 16:27:56
Aussies are the worst losers (and worst whiners) in the world.

Fixed! :p

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-11-2010, 20:43:26
Well, be fair. They haven't had as much experience of losing as we have, so they've yet to reach the point of generally expecting it.

Greg W
01-12-2010, 00:55:21
I didn't see any of that, but I imagine it was out of disgust that our bowlers could only get one wicket. Despite a few dropped catches, that's still atrocious. I have said that we've been on a long downhill slide for a while now, and I think we're probably fairly rated at #5 in the world right now. Possibly even worse.

Though with the nature of the pitch, it's somewhat debatable that there could have ever been a result. The last three days there was very little in it for the bowlers. I imagine Adelaide will be similar.

As for the baiting, you're displaying the very characteristics you accuse us of. :p

Funko
01-12-2010, 09:18:55
We didn't win, or lose. We're bad drawers. :p

Fistandantilus
01-12-2010, 09:53:55
... I think we're probably fairly rated at #5 in the world right now. Possibly even worse.


Worse? You mean there are more than 5 nations playing cricket? :eek:

Funko
01-12-2010, 09:55:24
:lol:

Greg W
01-12-2010, 14:00:07
We didn't win, or lose. We're bad drawers. :pOh, coming back from that first innings was as good as a win. :pWorse? You mean there are more than 5 nations playing cricket? :eek:From Wiki:Today, the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), has 105 member countries.[3] With its greatest popularity in the Test playing countries, cricket is the world's second most popular sport after Association football.Even shocked me! :eek:

Cort Haus
01-12-2010, 16:58:23
cricket is the world's second most popular sport after Association football.

:lol:

They can only get away with a blatant lie like that in wiki because not enough people are actually interested enough in cricket to notice it.

Funko
01-12-2010, 17:16:24
It's not a lie. Well it is inaccurate, it should say "second most popular team sport".

There are a lot of people in the Indian subcontinent.

http://www.sportingo.com/all-sports/a11587_worlds-top-most-popular-team-sports

Lazarus and the Gimp
01-12-2010, 17:38:32
India. Pakistan. Bangladesh. That's huge populations, and they're all mental for it.

Fistandantilus
01-12-2010, 17:47:39
And better than Australia I discover.

Greg W
01-12-2010, 18:00:01
Well, Pakistan and Bangladesh aren't. But India sure is.

Greg W
03-12-2010, 00:06:39
May as well write the Ashes off now. Australia lose 2 wickets in the first 2 balls of the match. :(

Cort Haus
03-12-2010, 00:15:52
Three down! Two Runs!

Lazarus and the Gimp
03-12-2010, 06:46:29
Count yourself lucky that Mr Cricket was on form.

Greg W
03-12-2010, 07:09:40
Yep, it's Haddin and Hussey v England at the moment. :(

MOBIUS
03-12-2010, 11:58:35
And then it got worse... :D

I wonder how the sledging is going? :cute:

MOBIUS
03-12-2010, 16:44:03
Talking of Sledging (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/dec/03/england-jimmy-anderson-brad-haddin)

See, the Aussies don't like it up 'em! :D

Funko
03-12-2010, 17:09:20
If the Aussies are complaining about your sledging you know you must be doing a good job. That hypocritical leatherfaced fucktard.

How about that? Out for a duck? Tell your fucking story walking Ponting.

Is there a more hateable man in cricket now Warney has retired?

Lazarus and the Gimp
03-12-2010, 18:05:37
Warney was great. Not hateable in the slightest. Sledging is part and parcel of the game, and anyone moaning about it is a big jessie.

I've a suspicion Ponting will get a century next innings. We all know that he's about the best art bouncing back under pressure.

Cort Haus
03-12-2010, 23:29:58
I like both Warne and Ponting. Great cricketers, in their prime. Warne quit while he was ahead, while poor old Punter has a job ahead of him to avoid the dubious historical epithet of the guy who lost the Ashes three times. He can still win it though. Never underestimate the shackle-draggers.

Greg W
04-12-2010, 01:54:44
Bloody hell. Obviously some axes to grind here. :rolleyes:

Lazarus and the Gimp
04-12-2010, 07:43:17
I really should get paid to be Cook's coach. He doesn't need time in the nets- he just needs someone calling him a useless twat for four years.

Lazarus and the Gimp
04-12-2010, 07:44:42
I've a horrible feeling this match will be a draw. Australia could easly bat out six sessions on that pitch if they sort their heads out.

The Shaker
04-12-2010, 11:14:03
Yeah,
we'll dominate all the tests, draw 4, Aussies will get a win due to a massive England collapse and take the series. Easy peasy. Still who knows at the moment, nothings going the way expected it. When i woke at 6 to hear cook batting I assumed we were following on.

Greg W
04-12-2010, 13:43:41
Nope, have to disagree. Your bowlers and your batters are in better form than ours. And our selectors are panicking by dropping two bowlers (Johnson was vindicated I think, Hilfy not so sure about). And not just that but all the luck is going your way. You have the best spinner, so wearing pitches won't even win us anything. We're also carrying a crock in Clarke (with his back), a skipper in Ponting who isn't innovative enough when we get in trouble and a new spinner who's more noted for his one day form than 4 (or 5) day matches.

I can't see Australia winning this series, we're just playing too bad and frankly we don't have a thing going for us right now.

Funko
04-12-2010, 13:59:20
Warney was great. Not hateable in the slightest. Sledging is part and parcel of the game, and anyone moaning about it is a big jessie.

I've a suspicion Ponting will get a century next innings. We all know that he's about the best art bouncing back under pressure.

I mean hateable in a panto villain way.

Funko
04-12-2010, 14:00:56
I was in a strange mood yesterday.

Lazarus and the Gimp
05-12-2010, 08:25:10
Good to see KP getting his mojo back. He's been like a little lost puppy for nearly two years. That double century should perk him up.

I think England should have declared before stumps, though. Australia have got six sessions in them.

Greg W
05-12-2010, 22:26:12
I doubt it. We'll be 1 down after this test unless rain intervenes. :(

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-12-2010, 05:56:41
We batted too long. I think the weather's going to win this.

The Shaker
06-12-2010, 10:13:40
With Hussey and Haddin still there (or about to be there), reckon we'll get a draw. Typical crappy Aussie weather.

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-12-2010, 05:51:32
Well, that was emphatic. Australia need to get their heads sorted out, and fast.

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-12-2010, 06:00:18
Bugger. Broad's been ruled out for the rest of the series. He'll be missed.

Tremlett must be favourite to replace him.

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-12-2010, 06:05:37
Katich is out for the series too, though I think he was at risk of being dropped anyway.

Looks like Hughes is back in, picking up where he left off in the 2009 Ashes. If the kid's feeling like he's got something to prove it might perk up the Oz batters.

Funko
07-12-2010, 08:08:21
Emphatic is right. Brilliant stuff. Bad news on Broad though.

The Shaker
07-12-2010, 16:31:32
Looks like Hughes is back in, picking up where he left off in the 2009 Ashes. If the kid's feeling like he's got something to prove it might perk up the Oz batters.

What Merv?

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-12-2010, 17:47:56
It might as well be. They're pondering bringing back Warne. Surprised they haven't suggested recalling Bradman too.

MOBIUS
08-12-2010, 11:05:05
Zombie Cricket! :beer:

Greg W
09-12-2010, 00:57:59
And surprise, surprise, everything turns out as the pragmatic Aussie predicts, and not as the doom and gloom naysaying Pommie supporters predict. :(

You guys give way too much credence to the home ground advantage and get way too pessimistic about things suddenly turning around for us. This is not the same team with Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden, Langer, Lee, Gilespie and co. This is a much, much poorer team that's also in bad form at exactly the wrong time, bowlers especially.

Lazarus and the Gimp
09-12-2010, 06:11:04
Sorry- Australia's got too many good players to be playing that badly. Katich, Ponting, Clarke, North and Haddin were formidable batters in Ashes 2009, and while Hussey might have been in poor form in that series, he's too good to play down.

We had the better bowlers in 2009, but bowling in Australia is a different matter- it's not just lack of home advantage.

Greg W
09-12-2010, 10:47:17
They've been out of form for that long though that we've slipped to #5 in the world. Steve Waugh was also a great player, but I don't think we should go playing him in the Ashes. Unfortunately they're so badly out of form as a team that I wonder just how many of them can get back into form. And if they manage to do so in time to save the Ashes, I'll be very surprised.

Hussey, Haddin and to a lesser extent Siddle and Watson are the only ones putting up a fight. The rest of them may as well be the Australian under 16's side for all the good they're doing.

And the thing is that Anderson has learnt how to bowl in Australian conditions and the rest of the team is not far behind. I even watched Tremlett bowl in one of the lead up games, and if you pick him (I haven't checked) he won't let you down either. You now also have the best spin bowler in the world for the last 2 years. And almost your entire batting side is in form.

I fail to see many positives in the outlook for the rest of the series. We may win a match or maybe at the outside 2, but I can't really see it with the way we're playing now.

Funko
09-12-2010, 11:02:59
I think some of the England players are surprising us too. I didn't expect Australia to be a lot better than they have been, but I didn't expect England to be as good as they have been either.

Cook and Pieterson have both been in terrible form, and are now performing. Swann had struggled in the warm up games, but is now performing as we hoped before we went to Australia. Anderson is completely unrecognisable compared to how he bowled down under last time.

Funko
09-12-2010, 11:04:10
Anyway, stop trying to belittle our heroics!

Lazarus and the Gimp
10-12-2010, 16:49:56
Australia- changes for Perth.

Out- Katich (crocked), Bollinger (after one test? Harsh), North (not unexpected) and Doherty.

In- Hilfenhaus, Johnson (because he'll be great now, after missing one test, obviously), Hughes, Steve Smith (all-rounder, leg-spinner) and Michael Beer (who?).

Michael Beer? Me neither. Apparently he's only ever had five first-class appearances. Career figures of 16 wickets, but five of them were England wickets.

The Shaker
10-12-2010, 16:51:25
At least Johnson's return to form has got him a recall.

The Shaker
10-12-2010, 16:52:01
damn me and my really really slow XP

Greg W
11-12-2010, 06:05:23
I've never heard of Michael Beer either. :confused:

To be fair though, what a great surname! And he has his own smiley! :beer:

Not sure about (presumably) Stephen Smith for Marcus North. North is very much a batter who can bowl a little. Smith is a bit of both, but I don't think his batting is up to batting at 6. Though presumably he will bat 7 with Haddin at 6.

No idea about the Bolly/Hilfy/Johnson backflips. Totally bizarre. Our selectors go from sticking with people for too long to swapping people in and out of the side like it's musical chairs. :clueless:

I really can't see all this helping much. Why pick Doherty if he's going to get dumped after two tests? Same with bringing Bollinger back. This is all going to end horribly. :mad:

Lazarus and the Gimp
11-12-2010, 10:31:32
This Victoria match should cheer Australia up. Strauss took as many wickets as all three of the new seamers, and our leading wicket-taker was that noted specialist bowler, Collingwood.

Underwhelming.

Greg W
12-12-2010, 03:10:01
The way the match seems to be being played with contrived declarations and batting orders out of whack, I wouldn't read too much into that.

What really worries me though is now that I look at the line up more, we're a batter short. Presumable line-up will be:
Hughes
Watson
Ponting
Clarke
Hussey
Haddin
Smith
Johnson
Siddle
Hilfenhaus/McKay
Beer

The Beer selection really gets me, the more I look into it. He's 26 years old with 5 first class matches. 16 wickets at an average of almost 40, and a batting average of 3.5. The chairman of selectors comes out and states that he will play in Perth because that's his home ground, yet he has only played 3 matches there (first class anyway, no idea about club or state second XI cricket). :confused:

So we bat down to number 6 if we classify Haddin as worthy of being called a batsman. He averages around 40, so I think that's ok. But then we have two more bowlers who can maybe bat a little. All so we can have 6 bowlers. I know we're having problems bowling England out, but we're not scoring enough runs either. And now our batting is being weakened to supply an extra bowler, two of whom we've just recalled after dropping them because they were badly out of form and despite them doing nothing to demand re-inclusion in the side.

So we're saying both that we don't think they're good enough to bowl England out by dropping them, but then stating that maybe they are as we're bringing them back, but then stating that they're not good enough by picking 6 bowlers. WTF? :confused:

And that's not even mentioning the total backflip whereby we go from sticking with players for way too long, to the stage where players get brought back for one match then dropped and spinners get two matches on flat wickets, then get dropped.

Bloody shambles. I'm with Goughie on this one. I think we'll struggle to win a match this series. We have become England and England have become... well, maybe not us, but a lot better than they used to be anyway, and certainly a long way better than us at the moment. :(

Greg W
12-12-2010, 03:17:15
Personally, I would have brought in Usman Khawaja (first class ave of 50) or Callum Ferguson (first class ave 36, Int ODI ave of 47) to replace North so we still have 7 batsmen. No beer ( :( ) and keep Bollinger instead of Johnson. Johnson at his best is great, but right now he's struggling with what seem to be technical problems and he's not producing anything.

Bloody shambles I tell you, bloody shambles. :o

Lazarus and the Gimp
12-12-2010, 09:17:06
I'd be a bit more encouraged by the selection, because 6 bowlers is a statement of intent- they're out to get 20 wickets. And I think that the bowling needed more stiffening than the batting did.

Greg W
14-12-2010, 14:01:07
I disagree, but to each their own.

Looks now like it's a battle between Siddle and Hilfenhaus for the last remaining spot. Selectors are now stating that Johnson was "rested" from the 2nd test and was always going to be rested (which sounds odd when Johnson said he had to rediscover some form after he was "dropped"), as are other players during the series as we will end up playing 5 tests in 7 weeks. Sounds like they're trying to cover their arses to me. :brwncard:

Lazarus and the Gimp
14-12-2010, 19:52:21
Nathan Hauritz, the spin bowler who has been shunned by Australia, spent part of his weekend giving away some of his Test kit in an impromptu garage sale in Sydney. He told stunned onlookers that he did not play for his country any more.

More than 2,000 miles away in Perth Michael Beer, a shock selection for Thursday's third Test after five first-class matches, was collecting his kit for the first time after he had introduced himself to Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, the team manager, Steve Bernard, and several players who would not have recognised him if they had passed him in the street.

It was left to Xavier Doherty, the Tasmanian slow left-armer who has been discarded after two Tests, to provide the most succinct comment yet on one of the most extraordinary decisions in Australia's cricket history. "It looks to be a little bit of trial and error, I guess," Doherty said. "Given the selection of Michael Beer, that's definitely the case. I was expecting Hauritz to be the one to replace me. They're probably not sure who the next one is going to be."

What the selectors are sure about is that the next spinner will not be Hauritz. Having a garage sale in Coogee, a Sydney coastal suburb, and dumping recent Test sweaters alongside books by Viv Richards and Max Walker, is not the likeliest way to add to your 17 appearances. A record of 63 wickets at 34.98 apiece is one that now might stand for perpetuity.

So Hauritz, 29, is perceived as mentally fragile. Nobody in power in Australia cricket dare say so openly but the perception is being allowed to gain strength, which is dishonest in the extreme, an abdication of responsibility.

From the moment Hauritz was left out of the final Test at The Oval in 2009, when there was a series to be won, his reputation was in decline.

At the time Australia seemed obsessed with the idea of playing four fast bowlers. Now the suggestion is that Hauritz complained of niggling injuries and was not up for the challenge. There is some rewriting of history going on here and, as always, those in power get to rewrite it.

Beer is the 10th spinner to try to survive the post-Warne hurly-burly (Hurley-burly might be more appropriate if News of the World reports are to be believed) and, if he gives as little away against England's batsmen as he did in his first media conference at the Waca, then Australia will be content.

English observers perceived a nervous interview from an inexperienced spin bowler who has been asked to achieve the impossible. The most optimistic Australian onlookers concluded that his taciturn responses were a refreshing refusal to give the Poms anything, a stubborn statement that would serve him well on what will be the most stressful of Test debuts.

Beer, who played for Knowle CC in Bristol five years ago, said: "The main aim is to get the best out of me as a cricketer. Wherever that ends up, I'm not sure."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/dec/13/the-ashes-2010-nathan-hauritz-michael-beer

Turns out I might have seen Beer play- I've seen a couple of matches against Knowle around that time. Don't remember him, though.

Funko
15-12-2010, 11:04:15
That Hauritz story was brilliant.

MOBIUS
15-12-2010, 15:31:11
Those Aussies don't like it up 'em!

Cort Haus
16-12-2010, 02:42:44
Fuckin yeah, Tremlett!

More of that please.

Lazarus and the Gimp
16-12-2010, 06:10:29
Once again, Hussey and Haddin are required to save the day. They're both looking in good form.

Wonder what Hughes' confidence level is right now?

Funko
16-12-2010, 08:43:52
Did Ponting say that Anderson would be tired? :lol:

Greg W
16-12-2010, 10:49:44
I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. :(

Funko
16-12-2010, 11:08:34
Your team is awesome, we're just awesomer and playing heroic winning cricket.

Win this and the Ashes stay here. (which they always do anyway)

Greg W
16-12-2010, 11:17:20
Your team sucks donkey balls and is ranked #5 in the world, we're just awesomer and playing heroic winning cricket.Fixed!

Fistandantilus
16-12-2010, 13:11:56
I have no idea how cricket is played but it doesn't seem surprising to me someone is tired after playing week-long matches.

Funko
16-12-2010, 13:21:08
Fixed!

Oh come on, our rankings are almost identical!


Team Matches Points Rating
4 England 39 4355 112
5 Australia 37 4061 110

Greg W
17-12-2010, 04:04:18
Yeah, but we suck more.

Though Johnson seems to have found his mojo again! For this innings at least. :eek:

Funko
17-12-2010, 08:45:30
Really an interesting test now!

Funko
17-12-2010, 10:40:28
Really nicely poised at the end of Day 2. Hope to get up tomorrow early doors and watch the last couple of hours play.

Greg W
17-12-2010, 13:42:30
I simply cannot believe that we managed to get a first innings lead of 80 out of that! From what every batsman was calling a good pitch. Only thing really happening is some swing.

The Shaker
17-12-2010, 16:55:18
Normal service is resumed.
It's made the series interesting again. If only your batsmen could bat as well as the bowlers.

Cort Haus
17-12-2010, 18:42:14
I don't want interesting. I just want to win :cry:

The Shaker
18-12-2010, 08:40:26
oh FFS
cook ...you're fired again.
you too strauss.

The Shaker
18-12-2010, 08:40:50
Then again maybe due a colly innings....200 perhaps?

Lazarus and the Gimp
18-12-2010, 09:40:46
A run chase of nearly 400 with both openers and KP out isn't going to happen . It's 1-1.

The Shaker
18-12-2010, 10:04:16
Not while jimmy is still there :)

Lazarus and the Gimp
18-12-2010, 10:39:17
And to think Greg was berating England supporters for pessimism. Looks like we've got a contest on again.

Greg W
18-12-2010, 14:45:28
Well, well, well. No idea where we pulled this one from. After our first innings and with England 0 for 78 (from memory) in theirs, I thought it was a case of here we go again. And Johnson pulled our arses from the fire. Despite that though, we were lucky that we had Watson and Hussey in that 2nd innings. Without them, a pretty average batting effort from the rest of the team could have seen England chasing 200 to win rather than 400.

The amazing thing though is the swing that both teams have been getting. And the inability of almost everyone to cope with it.

Melbourne next for the Boxing Day test, then Sydney for the New Years test. Will Ponting get a score. At all in the series? Will our bowlers be able to cope with little swing in Melbourne and Sydney in comparison to Perth?

Lazarus and the Gimp
21-12-2010, 07:59:32
Latest speculation- Khawaja is on standby to replace Ponting, though I'm expecting Punter to do the hard-man routine and play through it.

There's hints that Finn will be "rested" with one of Bresnan or Shahzad coming in. That would involve sticking with the 4-bowler attack that got our arses kicked in Perth. If that didn't prove we need 5 bowlers, what would?

Lazarus and the Gimp
21-12-2010, 18:24:20
Interesting article on Mitchell Johnson's technique here-


Imagine a leg‑break bowler who cannot bowl a googly or top‑spinner. Or an off‑break bowler without a drifter. Then contemplate the lot of a left-arm pace bowler whose sole modus operandi is to fire the ball across the bows of the right‑handed batsman and hope he chases one and edges. Think in fact of Alan Mullally. There are few things batsmen like more than a predictable bowler who spins or swings it one way only.

For two years, since he destroyed South Africa in Durban, until he did the same to England at the Waca, that was the fortune of Mitchell Johnson. Fast of course when he got it right, but the more he tried to swing the ball into the right‑hander, the delivery that is fundamental to any left‑arm paceman of ambition, the more it seemed to want to do the opposite.

So batsmen were able to play him on the line. Anything on the stumps and bat could be put to ball while anything off target could be ignored secure in the knowledge that it was not going to boomerang back and make them look foolish. Then, last Friday, in one inspirational bowling spell, that whole perception changed. From here on in it may not actually matter if Johnson gets another ball from the straight, for the notion has been planted that he might, and the threat is often as potent as the deed.

Quite how Johnson manages to swing the ball at all is a mystery, probably as much to him as anyone. Certainly he does not conform to the normal physical laws of orthodox swing bowling, where the seam is upright and a loose wrist promotes backward rotation on the ball to maintain its stability, like a gyroscope. No teachers of swing would need to look further than the seam position maintained by Jimmy Anderson at his best.

But this is all delivered from a high arm action. Johnson's bowling arm is so low, a round‑arm slingshot, that the umpires will soon be required to wear hard hats. So low indeed that he cannot physically get his wrist into the upright position that can deliver a perfect seam. In fact it was perplexing to see the television super-slow motion, which showed the seam scrambling on the way down, which is to say revolving randomly. Unless very occasionally the seam actually scrambles itself into the correct position by chance, it is hard to understand how the ball then swerves.

Nor is it quite the same as the movement obtained by the Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, with whom Johnson is often compared. However, the difference is considerable, Johnson's bowling arm coming round between 10 and 11 on a clock face, while Malinga "The Slinger" would barely reach 10 o'clock. The swing Malinga gets is more akin to that which might be seen with a Frisbee, a skimming motion, where the rotation on the ball is almost in a horizontal plane: swerve rather than swing in other words.

Instead, leaving aside all the reports of remedial work done since he was dropped from the Adelaide Test (which seem to range from eulogising Troy Cooley's biomechanics to a 10‑minute session with Dennis Lillee) the strongest theory regarding Johnson's performance in Perth relates to nothing more than the wind. From the second day onwards, the wind blew consistently oven-hot from the east, a counterpoint to the prevailing Fremantle Doctor, the cooling south‑westerly sea breeze that comes up the Swan River virtually on a daily basis at some stage in the afternoon. This easterly, say those who know the Waca well, is the wind that promotes swing.

But an understanding of why it happened makes it no easier to play. In fact, it was the arbitrary nature of his spell that contributed to England's downfall, for alert batsmen can look for clues in the bowler, from the way he holds the ball, to spotting the shiny side. Quite clearly Johnson tried to bowl considerably more of the inswinging delivery but succeeded only in pushing the ball wide instead as it refused to change course. Leaving the ball in such circumstance becomes fraught, to which Paul Collingwood would testify, his decision to offer no stroke too far gone to be able to react sufficiently quickly when the ball ducked into his pads.

It will be a surprise if Johnson can repeat his trickery at the MCG. Fully enclosed grounds can create their own micro-climate, but as with the Gabba it is not renowned as a swinging ground but rather one that can seam while the ball is new, and perhaps reverse swings later. The danger for England's batsmen now, though, is that because of the potential, there will be a temptation to want to play deliveries that until now their gameplan has been to avoid. It is a mindset they will do well to avoid although one it will be hard to avoid.

As Andy Flower has said about Perth, although the destructive spell came when the Australians had had a chance to work on the ball, there were indications with the newish ball to England's pair of left‑handed openers that he was just shaping the ball a fraction away from them. Perhaps the biggest clue will come from Ben Hilfenhaus and Ryan Harris, both of whom can swing the new ball. If they fail to get any real movement then the chances are that Johnson will not either.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2010/dec/21/the-ashes-2010-mitchell-johnson-mcg

Greg W
22-12-2010, 01:45:46
That was bizarre watching him swign the ball into the right handers when the replays showed that the seam was scrambled. I have never seen that before, most bizarre. Will be interesting to see how he bowls without that easterly they got in Perth.

Lazarus and the Gimp
22-12-2010, 09:13:28
Still looks like England will stick to four bowlers in the next test. That's a mistake- I'd drop Collingwood and play five.

Funko
26-12-2010, 13:55:28
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Funko
26-12-2010, 13:55:48
What an amazing thing to wake up to.

Lazarus and the Gimp
26-12-2010, 20:15:04
Well, let's extend some charity to Australia. The weird weather going on there means it was very like a May match in middle England, not Oz midsummer.

Having said that, what a slaughter. What is wrong with Punter? I just can't understand how such a great batsman is misfiring so badly.

Lazarus and the Gimp
27-12-2010, 08:33:15
I hope Greg's not watching this test. The only consolation on offer is the continuing abject batting of Collingwood.

MOBIUS
27-12-2010, 18:56:28
Ponting 'leading by example', according to Siddle. :cute:

Lazarus and the Gimp
28-12-2010, 19:17:12
Had the word "117 runs for Ponting" been mentioned at the start of the series, I'd have said "Good innings from Punter there". Respectable total from a whole match, even. But as a total from eight innings?

Cort Haus
28-12-2010, 23:42:52
Here we go then ....just two to go now, with the Harris injury.

Lazarus and the Gimp
29-12-2010, 08:51:18
And the Ashes are retained despite surprising resilience from Siddle.

What are the odds on another bounce-back from the Aussies to square the series?

Cort Haus
29-12-2010, 13:50:26
The thought of them doing that is taking the shine off slightly. Must. Beat. Them.

Greg W
30-12-2010, 04:04:59
What an abysmal test match. I think that goes to show that the Perth result was just a fluke. Way too many players way too much out of form. Hilfenhaus has taken, what, 2 or so wickets for the 3 matches he has played? Our spinners are all seemingly incapable of taking a wicket, except Hauritz, who we drop.

Out of our batsmen, only really Hussey and Haddin can hold their heads up. Watson to a somewhat lesser extent.

Terribly bad series from us, and we deserve everything we have gotten so far. Won't surprise me in the slightest when we lose the last test and the series 3-1.

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2010, 10:00:25
Wonder if there will be a return for Hauritz, amid much grovelling?

Greg W
30-12-2010, 12:20:11
Apparently not. :(

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2010, 15:47:53
Ponting out due to injury, replaced by Khawaja. That neatly side-steps the issue of shunting him down the order.

Clarke will captain, despite being in equally bad form and not as well-respected within the team. Bollinger is recalled, despite being pretty useless before. The "anything but Hauritz" strategy continues relentlessly and bafflingly.

I really don't get the claims that Hauritz is a wimp. Granted, I've only seen a limited selection, but in the last Ashes series he bowled, fielded and batted with his finger hanging off and looking grey with agony. I awarded him the VC of the series- that's not wimp material.

Lazarus and the Gimp
30-12-2010, 15:59:45
16 bowlers have taken wickets in this series so far. With an average of 130 runs for each wicket taken, Bollinger is the worst of them all, lagging behind such greats as KP and Collingwood.

His recall is clear proof that Hauritz has cuckolded every single one of the selectors.

Lazarus and the Gimp
02-01-2011, 11:12:41
Rejoice and be thankful! Michael "Who?" Beer will be playing at Sydney!


Australia have handed debuts to batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Michael Beer for the fifth and final Ashes Test against England in Sydney.
Khawaja, 24, is set to bat number three and slow left-armer Beer, 26, was chosen ahead of seamer Doug Bollinger.
Michael Clarke is captain in place of the injured Ricky Ponting as Australia aim to level the series despite England having already retained the Ashes.


Squads for the fifth Test in Sydney:

England (from): Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wkt), Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Chris Tremlett, James Anderson, Ajmal Shahzad, Steven Finn.

Australia XI: Michael Clarke (captain), Philip Hughes, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja, Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin (wkt), Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Michael Beer.

Greg W
02-01-2011, 11:35:39
1-3. :(

Lazarus and the Gimp
02-01-2011, 15:14:27
How I rank the two sides, based on Ashes 2010/11 so far.


England:

Good- Cook, Trott, Prior, Swann, Anderson, Tremlett.

Average- Strauss, Pietersen, Bell, Bresnan (would be a better rating if he'd played more than one match), Finn.

Crap- Collingwood.

Unknown- Shahzad.

Australia:

Good- Hussey, Haddin.

Average- Watson, Smith, Siddle.

Baffling veering from Crap to Brilliant- Johnson.

Crap- Clarke, Hughes, Hilfenhaus.

Unknown- Khawaja, Beer.

Greg W
03-01-2011, 01:28:51
Don't forget to add Ponting to "crap"...

Greg W
03-01-2011, 05:36:26
Batting averages for Australia:
Hussey: 75
Haddin: 54
Watson: 49 (I'd put him in the "good" category, even if he hasn't scored a century yet)
And nobody else above 25. That's what's killing us.

Batting averages for England:
Cook: 115
Trott: 111
Pietersen: 64 (I'd put him in the "good" category)
Bell: 53 (Also put Bell in "good")
Strauss: 41 (Borderline "good")
Prior: 33

We also have 3 batsmen with 160 or more runs. England have 5.

Australian Bowling averages:
Harris: 11 wickets at 25
Siddle: 13 wickets at 28
Johnson: 11 wickets at 35
Our next best average is 73!

England bowling averages:
Bresnan: 8 wickets at 14 (may only be one match, but I'd rate "good")
Tremlett: 14 wickets at 20
Anderson: 17 wickets at 31
Finn: 14 wickets at 33 (would be borderline "good")
Swann: 13 wickets at 37

4 England bowlers with 13 wickets or more, compared to 1 for us. 5 bowlers averaging under 40 per wicket compared to 3 for us.

Lazarus and the Gimp
03-01-2011, 08:28:14
Australia's score so far broadly match my rating. Watson's was about what you'd expect for an opener- the rest not good enough.

Greg W
04-01-2011, 04:30:31
And once again, England come out and show us that the pitch is nowhere near as bad as our batsmen made it seem. Some of it is simply England bowling much better than us. The rest is just plain bad batting. With a little bit of bad luck thrown in, but that's not going to have made much of a difference at all, we'd still be by far the worst side.

Funko
04-01-2011, 08:13:21
This is still very much in the balance, couple of quick wickets early on could change everything.

Greg W
04-01-2011, 10:42:31
Only because you have a tail longer than Princess Diana's bridal train.

Lazarus and the Gimp
04-01-2011, 17:45:06
England's innings can really be defined by two errors. KP threw his wicket away (again), and Strauss's fielding strategy for the 9th wicket didn't work. It was so focussed on getting Hilfenhaus out that it let Johnson run riot.

It's all up for grabs. If England need a second innings run-chase of more than 160 they'll be very nervous.

Cort Haus
04-01-2011, 23:10:18
At 26 Ali Cook is the second youngest batsman in test cricket to reach 5,000 runs.

Lazarus and the Gimp
05-01-2011, 06:00:07
England firmly back in control now.

Greg W
05-01-2011, 06:14:44
Must have a go at the decision review system there. Bell gets a slight nick. I heard it on tele, the umpire heard it, and he was given out. We've seen before that hot spot doesn't detect small nicks, and yet after reviewing it, the umpire reverses his decision. As far as I know, the third umpire must have proof that the original decision was wrong. Yet with hot spot not showing small nicks (and being proven so), the lack of a spot on what was a small nick anyway is taken as proof. And why did they not listen to the live audio commentary, when we all heard a noise? You could tell his bat didn't hit his pad or anything else.

And then of course, 2 mins later when we get to see snicko (and it's the delay which is why the third umpire can't use snicko), there's a small nick, exactly as the umpire (and I) heard. That really needs to be looked at, cos Bell still should not have a test century against Australia. :bash:

Lazarus and the Gimp
05-01-2011, 06:39:49
The reviews system has honours even for catching Hughes' bout of cheekiness when claiming to have caught Cook earlier.

Greg W
05-01-2011, 07:00:36
Umpires could always do that prior to the DRS, so that doesn't count. And Hughes looked as if he wasn't sure anyway.

don't get me wrong, the DRS has been quite good this series. That's just one flaw...

Funko
05-01-2011, 08:17:13
I didn't see it happen, but if Bell's appeal did happen as Greg said it's a shame. Although these things do happen.

Funko
05-01-2011, 08:17:58
So, Cook, best batsman in the world? :D

Or should we wait to judge him against some good bowlers?

Greg W
05-01-2011, 09:32:42
He now has the second most runs by an Englishman in Australia. And he has spent the longest time at the crease by an Englishman in an Ashes series. Pretty impressive stuff I must say.

MOBIUS
05-01-2011, 11:16:49
I wonder what Laz thinks about that? :cute:

MOBIUS
05-01-2011, 13:24:06
Umpires could always do that prior to the DRS, so that doesn't count. And Hughes looked as if he wasn't sure anyway.

don't get me wrong, the DRS has been quite good this series. That's just one flaw...

Am I detecting Aussie Whingeing...? :cute:

Cort Haus
05-01-2011, 16:56:50
And Hughes looked as if he wasn't sure anyway.


If he wasn't sure, perhaps he should have just appealed rather than celebrating wildly.

Lazarus and the Gimp
05-01-2011, 17:12:07
I wonder what Laz thinks about that? :cute:


I think we'd still have retained the Ashes without Cook, but that's a argument I can have with all the people who were going "NO, NO, WE HAVE TO PICK COOK BECAUSE HE'S BRILLIANT" before the series started, who don't exist.

Greg W
05-01-2011, 22:34:53
Am I detecting Aussie Whingeing...? :cute:No, it's called making an logical argument. I can see where being surrounded by whingeing Poms, you'd only have heard of the former and not the latter though. :pIf he wasn't sure, perhaps he should have just appealed rather than celebrating wildly.:rolleyes:

I know the English are reserved, but if you call that wild celebrations, that's taking things too far. You could tell by the way he paused halfway through throwing his arms up that he wasn't sure. he then turned to Brad Haddin and shrugged as if to say "Um, I'm not sure if I did catch that..."

Cort Haus
06-01-2011, 01:09:44
I think we'd still have retained the Ashes without Cook, but that's a argument I can have with all the people who were going "NO, NO, WE HAVE TO PICK COOK BECAUSE HE'S BRILLIANT" before the series started, who don't exist.

Well, credit to you for sticking your neck out and being prepared to make an arse of yourself by being spectacularly wrong. :b:

Doesn't alter the fact that ... ;-)

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-01-2011, 05:56:23
If we weren't prepared to drop Cook before this series, when would we drop a player? Our selectors are not prophets, and it speaks volumes about their excessive preference for status quo- as demonstrated by their sticking with Collingwood in preference to the excellent Hildreth.

It isn't a good sign.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-01-2011, 05:58:29
Anyway, having racked up England's biggest innings in Australia, I think it's safe to say Australia are in trouble.

What's Smith for? They had him bowling out there, but I can't think why.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-01-2011, 05:59:42
Seriously- has the term "all-rounder" ever been attached to a worse bowler?

Greg W
06-01-2011, 06:25:22
Not saying that he's anywhere near the talent of Shane Warne, but if you saw him the first few times he bowled, you'd think he would never amount to anything. I think his first match he had figures of 1 for 200 odd?

Steve Smith needs some patience shown. He bowls pretty well in one dayers and T20s, he just needs experience and some good mentoring. Frankly, I thought Beer bowled worse than Smith did. Too many half volleys by far. And when Smith came on to bowl, England were looking to attack him. Never easy for a young spin bowler. He'll improve, don't worry.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-01-2011, 06:50:01
Johnson's been bummed. 168 runs off his bowling (20 in one over) and a golden duck.

Greg W
06-01-2011, 07:38:03
Yeah, but he also had the highest score in Australia's first innings. He also got 4 wickets in that innings and I didn't see anyone else lining up to get them. Strangely enough he also ended up our highest wicket taker for the series.

Frankly, the entire team just got "bummed".

Funko
06-01-2011, 08:21:07
It's a beautiful thing isn't it? We'd better enjoy it now in case it's another 25 years until it happens again.

Greg W
06-01-2011, 11:29:20
I doubt that somehow. We're probably going to get worse before we get better as I believe we're still on the decline. And you're building a side that will dominate us for a while yet, especially with players like Bresnan, Tremlett, Eoin Morgan (however you spell it) and god knows who else in the wings (Hildreth - who I have never heard of?).

Time shall tell I guess.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-01-2011, 17:21:39
Hildreth is Somerset's other big batsman, alongside Trescothick. Taunton is quite a tricky batting pitch, but he averages 40+ on it.

Being a Somerset man, I may be biased, but I think he should be in England's Test 11.

The Shaker
06-01-2011, 18:23:57
Must have a go at the decision review system there. Bell gets a slight nick. I heard it on tele, the umpire heard it, and he was given out. We've seen before that hot spot doesn't detect small nicks, and yet after reviewing it, the umpire reverses his decision. As far as I know, the third umpire must have proof that the original decision was wrong. Yet with hot spot not showing small nicks (and being proven so), the lack of a spot on what was a small nick anyway is taken as proof. And why did they not listen to the live audio commentary, when we all heard a noise? You could tell his bat didn't hit his pad or anything else.

And then of course, 2 mins later when we get to see snicko (and it's the delay which is why the third umpire can't use snicko), there's a small nick, exactly as the umpire (and I) heard. That really needs to be looked at, cos Bell still should not have a test century against Australia. :bash:

It was all a bit :o but you are taking two flawed systems, and saying one proves there is a nick and therefore the other is wrong, which makes no sense.
And imagine the scorn you get if you genuinely didn't get a nick and walked.


Think we'll get some changes to the system to hopefully improve things.
The umpire was funny referring Priors dismissal for a potential no-ball. Luckily all these things have happened in a one-sided match where the Aussies have been too appalling for it to matter.

Then again if beer/smith/harris do a bell/cook/anderson we'll get stuffed next time.

Lazarus and the Gimp
06-01-2011, 19:40:38
Nice to see Prior getting some overdue homage in the press. He's been outstanding- my pick for player of the series.

Cort Haus
07-01-2011, 18:53:10
What's Smith for? They had him bowling out there, but I can't think why.

His batting technique was fugly. He might do a job in T20 but I can't see him becoming a proper test player.

Cort Haus
07-01-2011, 18:57:53
If we weren't prepared to drop Cook before this series, when would we drop a player? Our selectors are not prophets, and it speaks volumes about their excessive preference for status quo- as demonstrated by their sticking with Collingwood in preference to the excellent Hildreth.

It isn't a good sign.

I won't disagree with you about Collingwood, but the thing about Cook is that the dip in form that made some doubt him doesn't mean he's not a good batsman, as has been shown. Sometimes you do need to stick with players and dropping them after a couple of bad scores is the sort of thing that led England to change their team too much back in the bad-old-days of losing everything.

Some commentators have said that chopping-and-changing is part of Australia's problem at the moment too.

Cort Haus
07-01-2011, 19:00:58
It's a beautiful thing isn't it? We'd better enjoy it now in case it's another 25 years until it happens again.

This set of players have at least another three-or-four Ashes series in them, while Australia are the ones having to rebuild. Add to this that Flower is clearly a bloody good coach and there is reason to think that this isn't just a one-off.

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-01-2011, 19:27:07
I won't disagree with you about Collingwood, but the thing about Cook is that the dip in form that made some doubt him doesn't mean he's not a good batsman, as has been shown. Sometimes you do need to stick with players and dropping them after a couple of bad scores


If it was a couple of bad scores, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It was the entire year of 2010 up until November, and two complete Ashes series prior to that.

Absolutely nobody would have complained if he hadn't have been picked for the Ashes, and as we'd probably have still won the series all would have been groovy.

Meanwhile, Bell demonstrates how dropping a player can do them good. It's only the fragile egos that would suffer from it, and one thing I will give credit to Cook for is the fact that he's level-headed.

Lazarus and the Gimp
07-01-2011, 19:38:44
Ian Chappell has said that when it comes to strength in depth, England has the best bowling line-up in the world. I'd agree with that.

The batting's not there yet. It's good, but not ready to take on India.

My new first-choice 11.

Strauss
Fucking Cook
Trott
Bell
KP (shunted down to 5 unless he sorts himself out)
Hildreth (filling the Colly role of a good batsman who'll take the odd wicket too)
Prior
Broad (excellent bowler who'll rack up runs too)
Anderson
Tremlett
Swann

Back-up batters-
Morgan
Carberry
Bopara (needs developing)

Back-up wicket-keeper

Kieswetter

Back-up bowlers

Onions
Panesar
Finn
Bresnan


That's a lot of decent options to pick from.

Greg W
07-01-2011, 23:22:52
Tremlett definitely looks class. With his height and ability to consistently hit the seam, not to mention a good line and length, he reminds me a lot of Glenn McGrath or possibly even Courtney Walsh. And personally, I don't care if he doesn't have the mongrel of Anderson, who I think takes things too far.

I agree with Chappell about your attack. I'd love to see a series between you and South Africa or India (who just drew a series) at the moment.

Lazarus and the Gimp
08-01-2011, 10:37:25
Here's the Guardian readers average ratings for the tour.

England team Average rating
James Anderson 9.09
Ian Bell 7.86
Tim Bresnan 7.84
Stuart Broad 6.32
Paul Collingwood 5.27
Alastair Cook 9.72
Steve Finn 6.96
Kevin Pietersen 6.99
Matt Prior 8.02
Andrew Strauss 8.20
Graeme Swann 7.45
Chris Tremlett 8.27
Jonathan Trott 8.44


Australia team

Michael Beer 4.20
Doug Bollinger 3.14
Michael Clarke 3.50
Xavier Doherty 2.38
Brad Haddin 6.62
Ryan Harris 5.58
Ben Hilfenhaus 4.25
Phillip Hughes 3.22
Mike Hussey 7.88
Mitchell Johnson 4.95
Simon Katich 4.52
Usman Khawaja 5.30
Marcus North 3.18
Ricky Ponting 2.95
Peter Siddle 6.41
Steven Smith 4.36
Shane Watson 6.11


Prior's score looks a bit low (averaging 50+ when batting 7th, and holding 23 out of 25 catches?). Broad deserves a higher score too- he was asked to do the economical thing, and did it perfectly until injured. Meanwhile, Strauss's score looks flatteringly high.