The Ashes 2013

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Botany Bay, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Very disappointed for Haddin, who despite my confident predictions didn't stuff up and who (for various reasons, not all cricket-related) deserves better. That was left to the blokes further up the order. No surprise whatsoever there - batting is our weakness and it's just another reiteration of that fact.

    Our bowling isn't anything to write home about, either. I don't go along with the viewpoint that we have (anything resembling) a world-class attack; they're all far too inconsistent and (Siddle in particular) tend(s) to waste far too much time pitching short and / or drifting into the pads. World-class bowlers don't do that. The potential is there but the performances aren't - yet.

    Clarke's owned up to his poor use of the DRS, but it doesn't alter the fact that it needs looking at when an edge as thick as the one Broad got can't be questioned by the third official. And on that note...here's an interesting article from last year which points up the hypocrisy players from all sides employ on the walking issue. Presumably Swann doesn't consider Broad a cheat.

    England, not surprisingly, in the box seat for the series, but somehow we contrived to make more of a contest of it than many expected.
     
  2. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Changes :
    AUS :
    Harris for Starc
    Khawaja for Cowan

    ENG :
    Bresnan for Finn

    Toss : ENG who will bat.

    I really like the selection of Harris for Australia. For England fans who may not have seen him, he is a very, very good bowler, who I think would have been our Dale Steyn if knee injuries hadn't ruined his career. There is no coincidence that he is rushed back into the baggy green every time he is fit - he is that good, but the danger, of course, is that he breaks down.

    I thought Jackson Bird was a bit unlucky not to get the nod for Lords, but three changes would have been a bit much, and it would be a bit dispiriting to drop Agar after he nearly won us a test with the bat at Trent Bridge.

    My heart goes out to Ed Cowan, my personal favourite Aussie cricketer, but he looked terrible in the first test, and a lone hundred in 18 tests is probably not good enough. Barring injuries, it looks as though his international career is over - what a long, depressing tour it will be for him. I will miss his thoughtful interviews and opinions. He played to the absolute maximum of his ability in his shortish career - well done, Ed.

    Not a surprising change for England to drop Finn, who went to pieces on the last day at Trent Bridge, and appeared to lose the confidence of his captain. Interesting Bresnan has come in. Word is he has lost a yard of pace. Interesting selection.

    I think Australia's bowlers will do well here. Big test ahead for Root and Bairstow, who may not enjoy Harris too much based on what I saw in the last test.

    Unfortunately the pitch looks very dry, and batsman friendly. This is such a big morning in the series. If England get 500 on the board first up, I think they Ashes are probably gone - a massive day ahead.
     
  3. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Pleasant start so far, but the day is young and the blokes currently at the crease can bat for days so it's just a start. From here, much depends on whether Harris can stay fit for more than a day and whether Pattinson can get a grip - he's every bit as wayward as Starc but always seems to get a pass whereas Starc, dropped yet again, doesn't.

    I remain completely unconvinced by Khawaja, but am willing to be proved wrong. Cowan simply hasn't done enough, but whether Khawaja is capable of doing any better is anyone's guess.

    I won't bother commenting on the latest ructions in Australian cricket; the ongoing farce is just laughable at this juncture so ignoring it strikes me as the way to go.
     
  4. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ENG 3/80, Lunch, Day 1.

    I think they had visions of the other left armed Mitch spraying them everywhere on the first morning in 2009 and seeing England sail to 0/130 at lunch, and decided to take no chances on the occasionally erratic Starc. No doubt he will be back this series.

    Pattinson did not bowl well this morning. In fact, after the first couple of overs I was thinking we were going to go around the park, but then Harris did his thing - swinging it both ways, full and at pace. Root was probably a touch unlucky, but Harris' first spell deserved two wickets.

    Another low score for Pietersen - when he got out I saw him think about sending an antique flying with his bat in the Long Room in front of the members, but thought the better of it :lol: Very happy to see him having a quiet series.

    They've got a real Prisoners' Dilemma thing going on with Clarke and Watson, haven't they? It's probably not going to end till both are out of the side, but it seems we will be treated to all the ugly details as Arthur's lawyers go for the big bucks. Unfortunately, at their best, they are our two best players. I will say one thing about Watson though, he is so handy as an all-rounder. As long as he bowls, his position is probably safe.

    So, Australia on top here, but as you say, it's not time to get excited till Trott goes. He is the prized wicket, he just bats and bats, and I would like to see him go soon. Maybe we missed a trick not getting Agar on at him early - I thought he didn't particularly enjoy facing him in the first test. Also, how good is Bell looking?
     
  5. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ENG 4/183, Bell 62, Bairstow 28.

    England's session, with the only wicket being the important one of Trott, who did something you won't see very often and spooned a ball on the leg side rather than caressing it away for four as he so often does there.

    One of the big moments of the test (and series?) was Siddle cleaning up Bairstow's stumps only to see the battling No. 6 recalled for a no-ball. If Bairstow goes on to make a hundred here, it will be a bitter blow. There certainly is nothing to stop him, the pitch looks very flat and the bowling has been a bit mixed. Pattinson needs to find his radar quickly. Agar hasn't looked threatening.

    It's a batting paradise out there, and England will want 400 plus to feel happy, but I can't help thinking the Ashes are slipping from our grasp here unless we rip through the tail tonight.
     
  6. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stumps Day 1 : Eng 289/7, Bresnan 7, Anderson 4.

    Some shocking last hour batting from England has opened the door for us a little, after Bell looked to have slammed it in our faces with his third century in as many Ashes matches.

    From 3/30, it was another sublime century under pressure, but when Agar went off injured and there were still a handful of overs till the new ball, Clarke, at last, threw the ball to Smith, who removed Bell with a perfect leg break.

    Soon after, both Bairstow (has to be on thin ice, surely?) and Prior gave their wickets away to Smith, and suddenly we are back in the game.

    Australia should be disappointed not to have knocked England over by stumps after having them 3/30. But again, not much in it - England will want to squeeze out 50 more tomorrow morning. Once again, twists and turns. Good stuff.
     
  7. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    That seems likely, on both counts. It's just odd that Pattinson seems to get a free pass while Starc's damned on little more basis, apparently, than being a lefty. Some of the crap Pattinson served up last night was as bad as anything I've seen from an Australian bowler in recent times, including that no-hoper Johnson.

    As for Siddle costing us yet another wicket with yet another (very, very marginal) no-ball...really. How hard can it possibly be to get something that basic right??

    The timing of the leaked legal papers was extraordinarily...convenient (or something) for a few of the parties involved. As for Watson, he's another who seems to get away with mediocre efforts others would be punted for. His Test batting record is very ordinary by most rational standards, and the fact his bitching was indulged and he was returned to the opener's slot he made it perfectly clear he considered his birthright still annoys me.

    As you say, though, we're stuck with him for the foreseeable future. Oh, well.

    Hope the last three wickets fall quickly tonight and the aforementioned Watson actually gets his batting act together for once.
     
  8. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lunch, Day 2
    England 361
    Australia 1/42

    Well I hope you're taking deep breaths and staying calm after the Watson dismissal OZ. Because I'm not :scream:

    A typical effort from (t)Watto, cruising to 30 on a flat deck, with the bowling at his mercy, then on the stroke of lunch, planting his front foot to play a lazy shot and getting out plumb LBW to Bresnan who looked totally ineffective till that point.

    Then, to ice the cake, he decides to review it :lol: Seriously, this guy is just lobotomised. Pietersen laughed in his face at the review, and rightly so. What a self-centered fool - frittering away his enormous talent like this. There was no excuse to get anything less than a ton out there after making a start in these conditions. Now Khawaja, in his comeback test has to come in under pressure. Just so frustrating.

    This was England's session - allowing them to put on 70-odd this morning was a poor effort, particularly since Harris got a wicket with the first ball of the day. Congratulations to Harris, getting 5/72 in his comeback match, and thank god he did.

    Seriously, there is no excuse for us not getting a lead on this wicket. If we can't, it will be pretty damning on our batsmen.
     
  9. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From 0/42 to 7/96 on a batsman's paradise.

    Speechless :borg:
     
  10. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Just came to check it as someone said that the Aussies had put on a completely gutless display and was just in time to see Harris sky one to Swan for the end of the Aust first innings.

    Without seeing any of the battling by Australia all out for 128 seems like a pathetic display. The utter flogging they deserved in the first game looks to be a sure thing in game two with England going into their second innings. They'll surely set a massive total and the Aussie batting will no doubt fall far too easily.
     
  11. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    England 3-31 thanks to three wickets to Siddle, lead Australia by 264 at Stumps on Day 2.

    Siddle's burst keeps us marginally in the game, but we don't deserve to be. Our batting today was just humiliating. The lunch-tea procession would have to be our worst session of Ashes cricket since the mid-80's.

    We would have to have the worst top six in international cricket. Unfortunately there's just nobody banging on the door to replace them. Really tough times - Australia looking very much like a rebuilding team in need of another rebuild.
     
  12. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    Why the hell did we not enforce the follow on :confused: We better not let AUS back in the game. Looks like Bell will have to carry on his man of the series performances and get us to a target close to 350-400 for you lot to chase.
     
  13. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Having to refund all the day 5 tickets probably has nothing to do with it......
     
  14. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Watson seems to be an unusual sort of person. Petulant and extraordinarily selfish, yet arrogant and egotistical as well. How else to explain his choice to review one of the most obviously out lbws any of us are ever going to see in our lifetimes? Smith's review wasn't a lot better but he doesn't have Watson's track record. Since he won't be dropped, even though he should be, Watson should have his head kicked in. His selfishness was probably the reason Rogers elected not to opt for the DRS when he had infinitely more reason to do so than his opening "partner".

    Pathetic stuff. Our inability to force the win in Cardiff in '09 effectively ended our series and the loss in Nottingham looks to have done the same. This series is only 7 days old but unless England do something extraordinarily stupid, or it pours rain for the next three days, it's over. There's no way in hell we're good enough to win three Tests in a row and that's more than likely what we'll be facing when this Test is over.

    Such is life. I'm not at a place in life just now to give as much of a damn about these things as I used to, but I had hoped for a bit better than this sort of display.
     
  15. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eng 3/114 (Root 63, Bresnan 32) lead Australia by 347 runs at Lunch on Day 3.

    Absolutely nothing in that session for Australia. Our bowlers look very sore and sorry - no surprise when they get a three hour between innings! Cook will keep us out there till tea tomorrow if he can, and crush our bowlers into the dust. We are heading towards a heavy defeat now, paying the price for yesterday's profligate batting. Let's hope it stings, and this is hopefully some sort of line in the sand moment.

    I agree with you OZ, cricket is small potatoes in the scheme of things, but this England team aren't invincible, and it's disappointing we are going to give up the series after 7 days of cricket, when Cook, Pietersen, Trott and Prior haven't even broken a sweat yet.
     
  16. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tea, Day 3 : ENG 4/171 (Root 97, Bell 16).

    England continue their mission to crush our spirits, digging in at a couple of runs an over, in complete control of the match and realising (unlike some of the Sky commentators) that there are still seven sessions left in this match.

    Root looks like he will get to his hundred. Sorry, but I still don't think he is that convincing. I know he has plundered the county attacks this summer, but he looks very streaky at test level, and should have been swallowed in the slips last night. Anyway, good luck to him. Unlike our top order he has decided to put a price on his wicket and should get his ton after a nervous tea break.
     
  17. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    I agree that Root is way too young to open and despite what looks like his century score, he's been dodgy as hell so far this series.
     
  18. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stumps, Day 3 : ENG 5/333 (Root 178, Bairstow 11).

    A truly abysmal session for Australia, with Clarke throwing up the white flag this session, allowing Agar and Smith to be plundered for two hours by Bell (a fine 74) and Root, who looks like being the main beneficiary of Australia's meek surrender to the tune of 200 runs.

    What were we thinking out there? Why wouldn't you take the new ball? Why allow the struggling Bairstow off the hook like that?

    Unfortunately Ashton Agar's bowling doesn't look up to it just yet. Looks like Lyon will have to be recalled for the third time.

    Another very tough day, and you get the feeling there will be a few more before this tour is over. Full credit to Root and England, who didn't miss the chance to twist the knife into the old enemy.
     
  19. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Must admit to finding it mind-boggling that the new ball wasn't taken.

    Probably bat until Lunch tomorrow, give Root the chance to get his double century and then declare with a 600+ lead.
     
  20. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    About two overs' worth of deliveries aside I didn't even bother last night, to be honest. It was pretty obvious how it would pan out, and it says a great deal about our "batsmen" that someone as ordinary-looking as Root will probably clock up 200 inside the first hour tonight. As BB indicated, our bowlers had pretty much zero rest and it sounds like it showed.

    Series over, basically. Unfortunate, but unsurprising. England aren't as good as some of their fans would like to believe (some of the crap in the comments sections of various newspapers has beggared belief, especially the clown who insisted this England team is the greatest side in the history of cricket :wtf:), but the class / talent gulf has been pretty evident so far. Cricket Australia's pursuit of the almighty dollar via its obsession with hit 'n' giggle rubbish (or 20/20, as everyone else calls it) has borne spectacularly rotten fruit. I don't see any way the damage done to the sport here can be undone - certainly not in the short term.

    Having said that... The wheel will (hopefully) turn eventually, as it always does, but it'll be pretty painful in the meantime.