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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    So we've actually won a Test at last.

    I only saw bits and pieces of the day's play but it looked to be a combination of some half-decent, patient bowling and a few abysmal shots from batsmen who usually make life hell for us.

    Surely Lyon has now demonstrated with some finality that he is the only viable option in the spin department. Unless he's injured or has some sort of catastrophic form loss, he must now be among the first picked in every Test side we send out. He got the critical wickets again in the second innings and looked to be bowling particularly well to me.

    The worry is that we're depending on Harris (myriad fitness issues) and Johnson (who averages one half-decent Test per series) to get us through this series. If anything happens to Harris and when Johnson reverts to normal the cupboard is pretty bare, given the injuries to most of our supposedly outstanding young bowling brigade. The batting remains, to say the least, uninspiring. Watson's lack of preparation showed and Warner is hardly renowned for his consistency. Clarke and Haddin (who should have been player of the match, IMO) aside, the rest did little.

    Anderson's effort in this game reinforces why I don't rate him as a great bowler. Sure his record is impressive but when conditions don't suit he doesn't seem to have anything else to go to. Tremlett looked ordinary. Some of their batsmen need to have a bit of a look at themselves, too. Cook's captaincy was pretty ordinary; giving away singles to a bloke with 7000-plus runs and 20-plus centuries in Test cricket reeked of arrogance and ignorance. To some extent England deserved to lose on that basis alone.

    This is a nice start to the series but that's all it is. It would be a huge surprise if England didn't bounce back hard. I expect the next Test, at the now-hideous Adelaide Oval, to be quite different.
     
  2. ElimParra

    ElimParra Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That wouldn't be happening, as going home due to stress related illness. Not sure how to react to this.

    It was great to Australia win. It will be interesting to see how England return and if we can continuing like we did.
     
  3. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    The Graun is describing Trott's situation as a long-term thing, which doesn't sound too good. I hope all will be well with him sooner rather than later.

    Pretty laughable that Clarke's been fined for his fracas with Anderson - who from all accounts was hardly a shrinking violet himself during this Test. Seems as though Clarke's big crime was dropping an f-bomb into the...conversation, and if the Nine people had killed the audio from the stump mike as briskly as they usually do it would have been water under the bridge. But as ever the ICC are on top of the really big issues in the sport. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Best wishes to Jonathan Trott for a full recovery. A brave decision to take his battle into the public arena, but he has made the right choice. There are things more important than entertaining the masses, and Trott has made the right call.

    He was a classy bat who sealed England's 2009 Ashes win with a ton on debut. He struck me as a Kallis-type : completely unflappable, cool under fire, and very very dangerous. He confirmed this in 2010/11, making us chase leather for two months as he piled on the runs with a display of leg side stroke making that V.V.S. Laxman would have been proud of. Trott leaves a big hole in their top order, one that surely must be filled by Ian Bell. Bring Bairstow back in at 6, and suddenly that impressive batting line up has a few holes in it, particularly with the dangerous Prior wondering where his next run is going to come from.

    I have to say that while it was nice to see the team have a win, and Johnson unleash some fearsome fast bowling (who knows, perhaps this is, at last, the time when he does his talents justice), the manner of victory left a bit to be desired. I am going to just come right out and say it : I am not a fan of 'Davey' Warner. His comments about Trott were despicable, and someone of his intellect, temperament and level of talent would be wise to keep his thoughts to himself and enjoy the ride. Especially because :

    I agree 100%.

    As for the sledging, I didn't hear any. Sledging is clever, funny banter designed to get under the opponent's skin, and put them off their game. All I heard out there were thugs threatening to assault each other eg : Clarke, who, to my eyes looks like he is in a horrible place mentally as well. Maybe he should be having the same re-evaluation as Trott. Perhaps a series win here would be a good time for him to bow out as well - from his press conferences (which have gone from anodyne, confected, corporate spin and jibberish into the realms of the hilarious) to his spiteful outburst to Anderson, his mind looks in even worse shape than his body. I don't care if you don't like Anderson because he whacked you with a pad once and gets you out a lot - you are the captain of Australia and the million kids watching demand better than what you served up.

    We have a series threatening to explode into something very, very ugly, now. All the unpleasant incidents in these type of series usually come when everyone is worn out in the fifth test, but we are a long way from there. How you win is more important than the win itself. I sincerely hope the likes of Taylor and Gilchrist are being employed in some kind of mentoring role for our players. I would hate to see this series blacken the sport with a really regrettable incident on the field, but I am afraid that is the territory we are in. You get the feeling that one ill-advised remark from either side could seriously set this thing off.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  5. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Australia 273/5, Stumps Day 1.

    A very nicely poised game here. I think England may regret dropping three very catchable chances. Australia could have been easily bowled out today, which would have been a disaster on a wicket that looks like a bowlers' graveyard. Someone will end up with a very, very big score on this deck.

    The Haddin/Clarke partnership looms as vital. If Australia push on to 400 they should be safe, but 350ish will leave them vulnerable to some potential last innings pressure. Clarke looks like he's struggling with his back again, but his partnership with Bailey settled us when it looked like England were going to rip through us either side of tea.

    England could have stormed back into the series today, but they blew it. The most likely scenario is a draw, which would suit us fine. The biggest danger for us is Harris, Johnson, Watson and Siddle being bowled into the ground over the next few days and injuring themselves with only Lyon able to provide spin.

    So, the draw looks good here, but Australia's wobbly top order have made what looked like a potentially dull test into something quite interesting.
     
  6. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    You'll have to keep raving on about how Clarke's "mentally shot" (or "finished" or whatever), BB. He seems to bat pretty well whenever you spout stuff like that. :p

    Superficially we're in a decent position but there's a very long way to go on a pretty flat wicket and they're only one down, as opposed to the 3-4 that would have been ideal from an Australian standpoint. Here's hoping we can go on from here, but unless something completely ridiculous happens I reckon a draw is the likely result.
     
  7. ElimParra

    ElimParra Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    England all out for 172. Johnson takes 7 wickets. Australia decides to bat again, with a lead just under 400.
     
  8. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Well, that was unexpected. Who knew Johnson was even remotely capable of producing that sort of performance? At Adelaide, of all places? I'm amazed, but not unhappy.

    My reservations remain, however. Johnson has to keep producing these sorts of efforts to be taken seriously and the England lineup still contains people capable of batting for days. There's nothing to suggest they won't click in the second innings. Still, I'd rather be in our position than theirs.
     
  9. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I am pretty surprised, no...stunned at how this is all playing out so far.

    Johnson, who couldn't hit the pitch three summers ago has, seemingly overnight, become Wasim Akram meets Joel Garner with the mo of D.K.Lillee. He is bowling ferociously, and England have been found badly wanting against pace, which is pretty surprising - Tremlett, Finn and Broad aren't exactly medium pacers.

    If you were an England fan, you would be hoping, as holders, they could show some grit and fight for 2-2 and a retain, but, man, someone needs to score some runs, and I'm not sure who that is.

    I reckon this series has turned on two key moments, though. Both involve Brad Haddin. Firstly his partnership with Johnson in the first innings at the Gabba, and then here in the first innings with Clarke at Adelaide. Those partnerships turned both those games on their head. Well played old man.
     
  10. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Glad to see the biggest impact rain had on this match is that the start was delayed by about 10 minutes.

    It is a bit worrying that Haddin has had to perform these innings saving roles in both tests. There is still quite a bit of fragility in the Australian batting, but luckily England's has been worse.

    Also seeing too much 5-zip talk by "experts". The Ashes are still in play and as long as it is Australia 3-something that's all we should be dreaming of.
     
  11. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Didn't see any play today but needless to say I'm pleased with the result.

    Best to leave the whitewash predictions to that Botham fuckwit and simply hope we can sustain this quite unexpected momentum for at least one more Test.
     
  12. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    A decent sort of day for us, marred by some incredibly stupid shots from several individuals who are capable of much, much better. The batting remains pretty mediocre and if the England bowlers were performing at the levels they achieved a few years ago things would be very, very different. (South Africa would belt the crap out of us.)

    Surely Watson has to be ditched sooner rather than later, and Bailey demonstrated that his rather ordinary first-class record isn't a fluke.

    Every possible variety of kudos should be directed toward Steven Smith - one of the most derided cricketers in recent history has surely proved he's the real deal with that innings. Brilliant stuff.

    My mantra remains: There's a long way to go yet and the injury concerns around Harris before the game are a bit of a worry. But to be repetitive yet again, I'd rather be in our position than theirs.
     
  13. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stumps Day 1 :
    AUS 6/326; Johnson 39, Smith 103.

    The difference between this series and the previous bout in England is that in the clutch moments earlier in the year we would fold, but this time we will just not lie down.

    Today, for example when Bailey threw his wicket (and test career?) away with a dreadful hoik off Broad, Haddin joined Smith at the crease, and once again knuckled down to save our bacon and turn the game our way. That's three times he's done it now, and in my opinion is player of the series so far. How different could those first two tests have been if Haddin hadn't stood up. Even with the way Johnson is bowling, the sub-200 scores we were headed for would not have been enough.

    Today's partnership with Smith (who has probably cemented his spot today with his second test ton, and by far his best innings for Australia) absolutely broke England in that heat. They are done mentally after that. An amazing stat : Johnson now has scored more runs than any Englishman. Barring Pietersen going beserk and scoring a triple hundred or something, we can safely assume the Ashes are coming back home.
     
  14. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Steve Smith notched up his second test ton today in his 14th game. Watson has played 48, many of them as opener, and notched up...3. Not good enough, but what saves him is his bowling. Arguably he is a better bowler than batsman - he can really dry the runs up when needed and build pressure, and allows us to risk playing Harris three tests in a row.

    I reckon if we take the Ashes here (as appears likely), Melbourne looms as a big game for Watson. Phil Hughes has over 500 runs in Shield cricket this summer so far, and I think there will be irresistible pressure to get him into the side again in a dead rubber against a defeated England. As you rightly point out, the top order isn't delivering, and our side is quite old.

    It's amazing that we've gone down the path England tried in the 90's of recalling veterans and recycled players to try and beat the arch-enemy. It never worked for them, but it has worked spectacularly for us (so far). It will be interesting to see whether a few of our older players elect to go out on a high here and retire. If they don't I can see a couple of them being given a ruthless shove to try and get the age of the side down, and Watson is probably near the top of the list of contenders for an unpleasant chat with John Inverarity.
     
  15. Collingwood Nick

    Collingwood Nick Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So, we're winning?

    Good news.
     
  16. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    England crawl to stumps 200-odd behind in what seems to have been a more old-fashioned day's play. Our bowlers appear to have been reasonably patient for once and Clarke's changes reaped a crucial wicket on two or three occasions. Still, Bell can bat for days and Prior found a bit of form in Adelaide so no need for anyone to get carried away yet.

    Pietersen must be Warne's only competition for the status of the most colossally arrogant and egotistical cricketer of the modern era. His latest extraordinarily stupid shot - to a bowler who's dismissed him far more often than anyone else in Tests - just reeked of "I'm ever so much better than you and I'm going to prove it". What a prat.


    Agreed. He should have been player of the match in both previous games, IMO. Just outstanding - now he's rid of the elbow injury that pretty much destroyed his batting a few summers back and his off-field issues are much brighter (thank God), he's fully resumed the place he shouldn't have lost in the first place. Great to see.
     
  17. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stumps, Day 2 :
    ENG 4/180 Trail by 205.

    Really enjoyable day's play, perhaps the best of the series.

    Michael Carberry and Cook really looked set for big scores, but again Carberry had no luck, playing Harris on for 43. I felt for all money Cook was set to break the drought for English centuries, but he threw it away on 72, playing a loose cut to Lyon, who continues to get important wickets.

    Watson's dismissal of Root opened up the DRS controversy again. It was ridiculous to see him be given out in those circumstances, but alas, the rule for DRS is that the umpire gets the benefit of the doubt, and so the "correct" decision was made. Would love to see this overhauled, but I suppose we were due for one to go our way.

    Then Pietersen. What a ridiculous shot after all that gritty batting with Cook. All that effort and patience thrown away with a shot that will go down on the all time highlights reel for soft batting efforts.

    So at 4/146, England's innings sat at pretty much the same crossroads as ours did. We managed to rack up 385, but Bell and Stokes opted to play for stumps. I thought Clarke missed a trick not being more attacking with England shutting up shop with an hour to go. Oh well, it doesn't matter. You sense when Bell goes it will be a procession.
     
  18. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Well, that was quite pleasant from an Australian perspective. The England innings wrapped up, a fairly healthy lead already, two more days to hopefully knock them over... Quite pleasant.

    It would be better if Warner started scoring a few more runs in first innings but this will do for now.

    Little else to add, really, although the Root dismissal (which I forgot to mention last night) was just ridiculous. More DRS tinkering is required, although having said that it still didn't reach the levels of absolute ludicrousness of the Khawaja decision during the last series.

    Still pleased we're in our position rather than theirs.
     
  19. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    To quote the immortal RW Marsh: We've got the bastards back.

    All I wanted at the start of this series was a competitive series. It hasn't really been that, but not in the way I imagine pretty much everyone expected. This has been quite a turnaround, even though the 0-3 result in England didn't entirely reflect the reality of that series.

    This is a flawed Australian team and it isn't one that's going to be going around for long, but they've regained the Ashes and that will do nicely.

    All credit to Stokes (dare I mention he's yet another not-born-in-England Pom?) in particular for making it a contest. No credit whatever to England for failing to applaud Smith's century. And Watson has only proved yet again that he only performs when the pressure's off.

    Pleased for Clarke. Those who hate him will do so regardless of anything and everything he achieves but he deserves this. So do Haddin and Siddle.

    I'll backtrack a bit on an earlier post. 5-0 would be nice. But the real result is already achieved after 14 days of the series. I'm okay with that.
     
  20. ElimParra

    ElimParra Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ I saw a list of current English cricketers who weren't born there.

    Anyways, we have the Urn back. I think that this series will be the last for several of the current team. I'm looking forward to the Melbourne test. This should be the first time I've ever attended a test at the mighty ground.