0The Ashes isitshaNgisesikhundleni an universe kushintshane?

Ngingahlola nje kabili abafundi bethu - I-England ayizange iwine uMlotha 3–0 ekhaya ehlobo lokhu akunjalo??  Anginamathele endaweni ehlukile lapho iNgilandi yagqashelwa khona?  Ngizoqhubeka ngicabanga ukuthi empeleni ngikhona endaweni yonke njengabo bonke abanye, nokuthi i-England iphumelele, lapho kufanele ngithathe ukuthi isigaba esikhulu sabezindaba, includ­ing the BBC are the ones in an altern­ate universe.

In the ngesonto eledlule, amongst oth­er sim­il­ar examples, I’ve read that Eng­land are “unloved” and I’ve seen a play­er rank­ings which clearly shows that Aus­tralia were by far the bet­ter team. Not long before we had the storm-in-a-tea­cup where ex cap­tain (futhi legend) Michael Vaughan and cur­rent top guy Stu­art Broad had a little dis­agree­ment on twit­ter, with neither bring­ing any glory to them­selves. And before that we had some non­sense about Eng­land “los­ing the momentum”. As I’ve men­tioned before, one of the things I try really hard to do when writ­ing about crick­et is to write about the pos­it­ives, because to do so is rep­res­ent­at­ive — most of the things avail­able to write about are very pos­it­ive — crick­et is of course a won­der­ful game. Sadly the same can­not be said about large parts of the press in the UK, but the BBC’s crick­et cov­er­age is usu­ally reas­on­ably pos­it­ive, so the art­icles in ques­tion were par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing to read. Let’s address them both so we can get back to being pos­it­ive about the game, futhi mayelana England!

engathandwa England (ngokusho Jonathan Agnew)

Before I deal with the art­icle in par­tic­u­lar I want to make a pub­lic appeal to Aggers. Gen­er­ally speak­ing Aggers man­ages a good bal­ance of pos­it­ive atti­tude with appro­pri­ate scep­ti­cism. Some­times though, he has a tend­ency to get into a bit of a neg­at­ive rut as he seems to have done this sum­mer. We’ve had all sorts of (unjus­ti­fied) cri­ti­cism of DRS tech­no­logy, cri­ti­cism of both teams being over­done (isb. Aus­trali­a’s use of DRS and England’s slow bat­ting), and the post-series neg­at­iv­ity about the way Eng­land played. If you did­n’t know the res­ult of the series you’d nev­er know Eng­land had won it, let alone won 3–0. Aggers had a sim­il­ar “neg­at­ive peri­od” like this in the past when Angus Frazer joined the TMS team. Frazer was a very dreary whinger on the radio and Aggers was drawn into it. Thank­fully Frazer moved to pas­tures new and Aggers had until this sum­mer been much more cheery. Let’s hope that the Aus­trali­an sum­mer brings back the hap­pi­er Aggers this winter.

Ngakho, ungene the art­icleThe “unloved” label belongs ori­gin­ally to Matt Pri­or, but he meant the team did­n’t care if the oppos­i­tion did­n’t find them friendly. Agnew took it and used it to talk about uncon­vin­cing per­form­ances, slow over rates etc. Eng­land bat­ted very slowly in 1 day of the entire series which seems to have promp­ted much of the neg­at­iv­ity. The irony is, many TMS com­ment­at­ors (eg Geof­frey Boy­cott) have been call­ing for Eng­land to do exactly this for a long time. The play­ers play­ing slowly were out of form and were try­ing to bat them­selves into form, and also to ensure Eng­land could­n’t lose the match. As for slow over rates they’re hardly a prob­lem unique to Eng­land. Agnew also talks up Shane Wat­son and Steve Smith — both play­ers who would­n’t get any­where near the Eng­land start­ing 11. As far as I’m con­cerned the art­icle seems to be writ­ten to fill a space (or a con­tract) — if this is the case, surely a man of so much exper­i­ence could have used it to write about some­thing more pos­it­ive — the suc­cess of the Eng­land women, noma (ngaleso sikhathi) upcom­ing game between Eng­land and Ireland.

izilinganiso Player (ngokusho Alec Stewart noJim Maxwell)

Alec Stew­art and Jim Max­well have giv­en their play­er rat­ingsAs you might expect the Eng­lish­man has been under­stated and pess­im­ist­ic, whilst the Aus­sie has been over-con­fid­ent and assert­ive. What they don’t seem to real­ise is that this looks ridicu­lous after a series has been so com­pre­hens­ively won by Eng­land. If these are the rat­ings after Eng­land win 3–0 what would they have been in the 1990’s when Eng­land were thrashed?

Over­all Stew­art has giv­en Eng­land 6.45÷10 whilst Jim Max­well has giv­en Aus­tralia 6.53÷10. That does­n’t sound like a huge dif­fer­ence, but Max­well has rated 13 play­ers, some of whom clearly wont be lin­ing up for Aus­tralia in the test arena for some time. If we drop the low­est 2 (Phil Hughes and James Pattin­son) the Aus­sie aver­age jumps up to 6.81. You’d think Aus­tralia had won when you com­pare this to the Eng­land ratings.

Ukuze sibe fair, at least both have got some intern­al con­sist­ency, and their com­bined “best side” (based on their rat­ings) akuyona omubi, although it includes Smith and Wat­son who would­n’t get any­where near mine.

Sicela usithumelele imicabango yakho ngokuphendula ngezansi! Uma ungathanda ukuba ubhalise sicela usebenzise ubhalisele isixhumanisi on the imenyu at ilungelo phezulu. Ungase futhi wabelane le nabangani bakho ngokusebenzisa links social ngezansi. cheers.

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