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
English winters are a terrible thing. Cold and wet, the season also means no home cricket whatsoever.
Christmas is one shining light in the fog of the cold and to add to this the thought of an annual test match that starts on Boxing Day and usually held under blue skies and warm temperatures is one that stirs the imagination and one that I will raise a cold beer to.
Boxing Day tests have been held every year since 1980 (except 1989 when a one day match vs Sri Lanka was played instead (boo – ed) and at the Melbourne Cricket Club in Australia – aka the MCG). They have also been dominated by some massive crowds (which have approached six figures on occasion).… Read Full Article
Two days in and Australia certainly have the upper hand. But so what. The Ashes are won and won pretty convincingly at that. This is a dead-rubber match and is very reminiscent of Ashes series of old when England used to suddenly pull a decent performance out of the hat when the urn was in the possession of the Aussies. Players who time and time again let the team down would suddenly grab a five-for or score a century and their series average to the historic observer would look half-decent.… 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
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