So, another day of exceptionally entertaining Test cricket is over, and the second test match is well and truly under way. Pleasingly today hasn’t been marred by any poor decisions (by umpires or players), but I was disgusted by the mistaken booing of Jimmy Anderson. I’ll talk a little more about that later, but first some predictions (admittedly a day late)… Read Full Article
WOW!! What a match. Granted the shocking umpiring decisions (when you include 3rd umpires) perhaps made it a little closer than it should have been (although both sides suffered) but what a fantastic advert YET AGAIN for test match cricket.
Going into this series it looked like it was going to be hard going for Australia. On paper only three players, at best, would make it into the England starting XI from the Australian squad – Clarke, Watson and Siddle. Few people gave them a chance. But through some heroic displays they proved that, when it comes to the Ashes at least, as a team they are greater than the sum of their individual parts.… Read Full Article
So, the intriguing 1st Ashes Test at Trent Bridge continues to be exciting with no clear winner emerging as yet. However I want to look back to a potentially key moment of the game — the “not out” decision given to Australia’s Agar. Let me be clear — no fault can be laid on any of the players or on-field umpires — only on the DRS system and the umpire managing it. There have been several wrong decisions in this Test match and in the recent champions trophy, lets look at each of them in turn.… Read Full Article
I was so incensed last night at England’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to bowl a debut 19 year old number 11 rabbit out (helped by an appalling umpiring decision) and then their perfect following of the script by losing two cricket wickets in reply (note again – appalling decision) that I was unable to put keyboard to laptop.
It looked that today might a have been a second day of radio silence but England managed to dig deep and locate some so far as of yet reserves of guts and bottle (Anderson aside). Well played to Cook and to KP for some decent contributions but especially to Ian Bell. I’ve been one of his harshest critics of late – but only because he hasn’t been weighing in with decent scores when they matter. But today it was time to step up to the plate and he did so, ably assisted by Broad at the other end.… Read Full Article
All I can say after the first day of this summer’s Ashes is that I’m hugely disappointed. Intriguing test match cricket at its best yes, but a strong marker put down by a dominant England against an average test team, no.
Aged 33 I am used to England folding against far superior Aussie teams but this time round it was meant to be different.
On paper England should wallop this lot. The bowlers are far superior and the batsmen for the most part better than theirs.… Read Full Article
So, the biggest sporting event of 2013 is finally upon us, which means it’s time for me to stick my neck out and predict a result. I’ll start by confidently predicting an England victory. I’m not so confident of the margin of victory but I think it will be at least 2, but as I don’t think England will ever have a better chance I’m going to really risk the “commentators curse” and suggest England could manage a 5 0 whitewash.
I’m not convinced that Australia have an experienced enough bowling attack to exploit the England weaknesses. I am sure the Australian batting line up is going to be given a rough time by the England seamers and the 6 left handers are going to struggle on dry wickets against Graeme Swan. Unless weather or injuries intervene I don’t see how the Aussies can outscore England consistently.
If England can make 350+ in the first innings (having won the toss) I expect them to win the first test. I’ll guess the scores will be about 400, 350, 300, 200 which will give England a 150 run victory around lunch on day 5. Let’s find out how silly I look by Sunday afternoon…
A couple of nights back I went to Sheffield City Hall with a few of the family to see Henry Blofeld and Peter Baxter doing what they do best — telling stories and revealing some of what goes on in the TMS box. Unlike many “performers” they started on time at 7:30 and carried on (with a short interval) until past 10pm. If they’re coming to a place near you and you have a free evening I really recommend getting a ticket and going down — it was one of the best evenings of entertainment a cricket fan could ask for… Read Full Article
Australian coach Mickey Arthur has given an interview in which he said that he thinks the current Australian bowling attack is the best in the world! I’m taking this in the spirit of the traditional “Glenn McGrath” pre-ashes wind up speech, but Arthur didn’t say they were just better than the England bowling attack (dubious enough in itself) but better than all the others in the world too. So should England really be quaking in their boots?… Read Full Article
Regular readers of my witterings will know that Test Cricket holds sway for me. It’s what makes cricket great.
So the Champions Trophy currently being played in England has got me thinking…what is the best XI for England in recent times?
The first question, of course, is how do you define ‘recent’? Well for the purposes of this article I have decided on the debut test of middle order left handed batsman Graham Thorpe.
Thorpe made his debut in the drawn third Ashes test of 1993 held between 1 and 6 July. Thorpe made a ton on debut. Good lad.
So we’re only x days into the ICC champions trophy and there have been 2 very disappointing incidents involving players in the tournament, one on the pitch and one off. Whilst cricket has had issue with gambling related corruption (e.g. Hansie Cronje or the Spot-Fixing scandal from 2011) the game has a reputation for good spirit and honest play between players. Are these recent events a sign that times are changing, or are they merely an unfortunate blip?
… Read Full Article