When England squared up to Australia in the last Ashes series I, like many, thought the visitors would retain the urn during the five match series. It was always going to a tougher battle than the summer showdown but victory was expected.
Player for player England were just too strong, weren’t they? At the time, with the standout exception of middle-order maestro Michael Clarke, a combined XI of the two sides would have been dominated by the three lions. Other than skipper Clarke who would have made the combined side? Perhaps David Warner for Michael Carberry? A fit Ryan Harris in for either Chris Tremlett or Tim Bresnan? Certainly the former, probably the latter. A place for Shane Watson? Maybe – but who would he replace? On the face of it, however, England certainly appeared the stronger outfit.… Read Full Article
For what I am about to say may I be struck down from above…but I am glad that this Ashes series is at an end. Quite simply Australia have played far better than the sum of their individual parts and England have been, for the large part, absolutely diabolical.
As sure as night follows day the Aussies wrapped up a devastating 5–0 series win, yet again bowling England out for a pitiful total not worthy of an international line up. The visitors now need to go back, re-group and pick up the pieces from this potentially disastrous tour down-under.… Read Full Article
Amongst the wreckage of the Ashes tour comes another seismic bombshell — the best English spinner in a generation has handed his ticket in.
Yes it’s true — Graeme Swann has announced his immediate retirement. What a massive loss. Swann was a great player, competitor, fighter and all-round team man. He could even hold a bat the right way round.
Having taken 255 wickets in his test career at a shade under 30 a piece, his record is there for all to see and it’s going to be very hard to replace him. As always with England there’s hardly a queue of spinners banging down the door to take his place in the side. So does that mean we go back to the days of only ever picking a twirler when the pitch suits rather than a first choice?… Read Full Article
With a ruthless determination and a killer instinct worthy of a wolf chasing a wounded deer, Australia duly completed the rout of a demoralised England this morning.
England simply haven’t turned up this series and a rejuvenated Australia have preyed on every weakness and every failing to humiliate what is still a pretty good side.
Winning a fourth consecutive Ashes series was a pretty tall order and it was one that was beyond England. The urn now returns to Australia (figuratively speaking, anyway!) and we no doubt won’t hear the end of it from our cousins on the other side of the planet.
As Cook admitted in his post-match press conference, England have been outplayed in all areas and will, I suspect, claim a 5–0 triumph. It’s simply not their style to take their foot off the gas. The wolf has caught the prey, now he wants to finish every last tasty morsel.… Read Full Article
What has happened to England? In the last two tests they have been appalling. I can’t think of any positives to take out of either game.
The batting line up has been short of runs for some time now. The bowlers won the Ashes for England last time round, despite the best efforts of the much heralded batting line up to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (the wonderful Bell aside) and now, in Australian conditions, England are really up against it. The batsmen are continuing to struggle but what is most worrying is the way they are getting out – careless and lazy shots and a lack of application. You expect fireworks from Kevin Pieterson early on in an innings but not the others.… Read Full Article
I’ve been away on holiday for the past 2½ weeks and haven’t had chance to write about the cricket. During that time there have been 2 more Ashes test matches and England have extended their lead to 3–0. Having been away from all the talking heads I haven’t heard what they have to say, so here are some of my own thoughts, uninfluenced by the pundits.
… Read Full Article