0Umlotha emlotheni, ENgilandi ukuze Dust

Ngoba lokho engizakukwenza ukukusho kungase I awiswe okuvela phezulu ... kodwa ngiyajabula ukuthi lezi zihloko Ashes isezingeni kuphele. Impela nje i-Australia idlale kangcono kakhulu kunesamba sezingxenye zabo kanye ne-England, ngoba ingxenye enkulu, abso­lutely diabolical.

Ngokuqinisekile njengoba nobusuku obulandelayo usuku ama-Aussies aqoqe umdlalo owucekela phansi ongu-5-0, siphinde siguqele iNgilandi ngesamba esibuhlungu esingafanelwe ukufakwa kumugqa wamazwe omhlaba. Izivakashi manje zidinga ukubuyela emuva, re-group and pick up the pieces from this poten­tially dis­astrous tour down-under.

‘Poten­tially’ is a word that is used with great care. Inquests have already star­ted into what went wrong and who must take the blame. It is import­ant of course to ‘learn les­sons’ but hope­fully this tour was but an aber­ra­tion for a once highly suc­cess­ful and cap­able team (yebo, ngempela!). Just as one swal­low does not make a sum­mer, one iqhwa izinhlayiya zeqhwa akumenzi ebusika. Fin­gers crossed it was just an unfor­tu­nate set of cir­cum­stances that all came togeth­er two wreak hav­oc on the vis­it­ing side. All bats­men lose form at one time or anoth­er – per­haps this was just the moment for every­one to slip up. Com­bine that with the best Eng­lish spin­ner for a gen­er­a­tion decid­ing to fin­ish on a low and you are already going to be strug­gling. Some play­ers have also clearly been in need of a rest – cap­tain­ing the side and open­ing the bat­ting is always a big ask and Alistair Cook has looked tired of late. Matt Pri­or and Jimmy Ander­son have for too long had too much respons­ib­il­ity laid on their admit­tedly broad shoulders. Then of course there was the unfor­tu­nate devel­op­ment in the case of Jonath­an Trott. Very sad and every­one wishes him well. It’s doubt­ful, Nokho, that he will play inter­na­tion­al crick­et again. Uma ikwenze ngeke kube ezingeni elifanayo. Some of the squad have also been at the start of their inter­na­tion­al careers – Joe Root has the neces­sary skills to make it at inter­na­tion­al level and is worth per­sever­ing with – but it will take time. Michael Car­berry will flour­ish at one day level but the test arena is a little above his skill set. Jonny Bair­stow is worth keep­ing on the fringes – although ques­tion marks remain about his abil­ity to deal with the short ball. Akayena choice Pick kuqala. Then of course Ben Stokes has stepped for­ward and grabbed his oppor­tun­ity with both hands. Runs and wick­ets when every­one else around you is los­ing their head is a fant­ast­ic accom­plish­ment. Def­in­itely one for the future and the one bright light to come gleam­ing out of the tour.

Kuyinto Yebo kulula kakhulu ukubheka lolu hambo uthi elahlekile zonke. It may well be – Eng­land might be a bus­ted flush – but there is hope yet as well.

Review of the tour – indi­vidu­al Eng­land and Aus­tralia play­ers and their series rat­ings (hhayi izikolo hhayi kabili ezomhlaba)

Alastair Cook - 246 iphelela, 3 half cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 72 - Okumaphakathi of 24.6

Cap­tain Cook led from the front and set the tone for the dis­mal show from the entire team. Poor bat­ting (albeit meas­ured against his incred­ibly high stand­ards) kanjalo. Eng­land expect and need him to lead from the front. Akazange 3

Michael Car­berry – 281 iphelela - 1 half cen­tury, amaphuzu phezulu 60 - Okumaphakathi of 28.1

lesibili esiphezulu run scorer yeNgilandi (nakuba esadlala test extra kuka Stokes nje ngemuva kwakhe ugijimela amaphuzu ikholomu) – reg­u­larly flattered to deceive and likely that age and poor shot selec­tion through­out the series will mean he doesn’t play at test level again. Can do a job at one day level 4

Kev­in Pietersen – 294 iphelela - 2 half cen­tur­ies – top score of 71 (okumaphakathi of 29.4)

Scored the most amount of runs in the Eng­land side but came in for sub­stan­tial cri­ti­cism. Pieterson is able to play the long and patient innings when he puts his mind to it – but rarely both­ers – even if it is what is needed. It is a major weak­ness of a bril­liant play­er but he won’t ever change so there is no point try­ing to make him – at least you know what you get with him 5

Ian Bell - 235 iphelela - 2 half cen­tur­ies – top score of 72 (okumaphakathi of 23.5)

Bell is becom­ing Mr Depend­able for Eng­land. Played a couple of use­ful innings includ­ing car­ry­ing his bat in one. Eng­land can’t keep rely­ing on him to res­cue the side 5

Joe Umsuka - 192 iphelela - 1 half cen­tury – top score of 87 (okumaphakathi of 24); 32 overs, 5 maid­ens, 98 iphelela, 0 ngamawikhedi

Dropped for the final game but clearly remains in England’s plans going for­ward. Has the tal­ent and the tem­pera­ment to suc­ceed and the man­age­ment need to decide where his best pos­i­tion is in the bat­ting order. Shame he couldn’t con­trib­ute more with the ball. 4.5

Matt Pri­or – 107 iphelela - 1 half cen­tury – top score of 69 (okumaphakathi of 17.83)

Anoth­er dis­mal series and the select­ors showed they are not afraid to drop a seni­or pro like him. If there was a ready made replace­ment it’s likely Prior’s days would be ser­i­ously numbered but at the moment no one is lay­ing down a ser­i­ous chal­lenge. He will be back in the sum­mer 4

Ben Stokes - 279 runs – 1 cen­tury – top score of 120 - (okumaphakathi of 34.87); 116.5 overs, 15 maid­ens, 492 iphelela, 15 ngamawikhedi (32.80 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Com­fort­ably England’s best play­er – third in the over­all runs scored list (hav­ing played a test less than the oth­ers) and second highest wick­et taker – the one shin­ing light in a very dark series for Eng­land. Still a little rough around the edges but Eng­land have a real dia­mond on their hands 8

Stu­art Broad – 155 iphelela - top score of 42 - (okumaphakathi of 15.5); 161.5 overs, 24 maid­ens, 578 iphelela, 21 ngamawikhedi (27.52 iphelela ngayinye tim)

It was always dif­fi­cult for England’s bowl­ing attack to make any real in-roads into a dom­in­ant and cock-sure Aus­trali­an side, espe­cially when their bats­men nev­er man­aged to apply any lever­age by scor­ing a decent total. Behind Stokes, Broad was England’s best play­er. Decent amount of wick­ets and a few runs 6.5

Jimmy Ander­son – 41 iphelela - top score of 13 not out — (okumaphakathi of 4.1) ; 190.3 overs, 43 maid­ens, 615 iphelela, 14 ngamawikhedi (43.92 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Like his fast bowl­ing part­ner, Ander­son suffered from no sup­port from the bat­ting line up and is clearly in need of a rest. England’s man­age­ment need to send him home and make sure his bat­ter­ies are re-charged for the home tests – he will still take plenty of wick­ets in Eng­lish con­di­tions 5

Graeme Swann - 36 iphelela - top score of 19 hhayi out (okumaphakathi of 6); 142 iphelela, 21 maid­ens, 560 iphelela, 7 ngamawikhedi (80 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Dis­ap­point­ing final series for the best Eng­lish spin­ner in a gen­er­a­tion and failed to con­trib­ute a mean­ing­ful score with the bat either. Swann must be remembered for his pre­vi­ous endeav­ours and not this final hur­rah 4

Tim Bresnan - 34 iphelela - top score of 21 (okumaphakathi of 8.5); 62.3 overs, 14 maid­ens, 206 iphelela, 5 ngamawikhedi (41.2 iphelela wicket ngayinye)

Just a couple of tests for Bresnan to prove him­self after a lengthy lay off. Con­trib­uted noth­ing with the bat but bowled eco­nom­ic­ally at times. Always looks good when oth­ers around him are play­ing well too but an un neces­sary lux­ury when the side is strug­gling. Amajaji namanje out on indawo yakhe ohlangothini - 4.5

Monty Pan­esar – 4 runs — top score of 2 (okumaphakathi of 1); 70.5 overs, 9 maid­ens, 257 iphelela, 3 ngamawikhedi (85.66 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Usu­al flood of runs from the bat of Monty! With Swann hav­ing closed the cur­tain on his inter­na­tion­al career it’s likely Monty will be the first name the select­ors turn to in the future giv­en the lack of ready-made options. Eng­land put a lot of faith in the play­er after his recent off-field issues but Aus­tralia decided to get after any twirler that came their way; Monty was no excep­tion. 3.5

Jonny Bair­stow – 49 iphelela - top score of 21 (okumaphakathi of 12.25)

Picked ahead of Pri­or for the final two tests but failed to put a mark­er down with either bat or gloves. Occa­sion­ally showed glimpses of hav­ing what it takes to suc­ceed at this level by counter-attack­ing against a rampant oppos­i­tion. Is likely to remain on the fringes of the side as a keep­er-bats­man simply because there are no stand out altern­at­ives. But the man­age­ment must stay awake at night pray­ing for Matt Pri­or to redis­cov­er his form of old. 4

One test izimangaliso:

Jonath­an Trott – 19 iphelela - top score of 10 (okumaphakathi of 9.5)

Tor­tured bat­ting dis­play in his one test – fol­lowed by announce­ment that he was depart­ing the tour. Eng­land missed the once rock of the side – fin­gers crossed he can comeback – but it’s a long road ahead

Gary Bal­lance – 25 iphelela - top score of 18 (okumaphakathi 12.5)

Very dif­fi­cult time to make his debut in a side (bat­ting line up espe­cially) devoid of any con­fid­ence. Must be giv­en a prop­er chance to succeed.

Chris Trem­lett – 15 iphelela - top score of 8 (okumaphakathi 7.5); 36 overs, 5 maid­ens, 120 iphelela, 4 ngamawikhedi (okumaphakathi of 30 iphelela wicket ngayinye)

Not bad bowl­ing stats hide the fact that he has lost a yard of pace since last on Aus­trali­an shores. With the emer­gence of Stokes to sup­port Ander­son and Broad in the bowl­ing unit and Onions chomp­ing at the bit back home his days would appear numbered.

Scott Borth­wick – 5 iphelela - top score of 4 - okumaphakathi 2.5; 13 overs, 0 maid­ens, 82 iphelela, 4 ngamawikhedi (20.50 iphelela ngayinye tim)

A brave decision by the select­ors to pick a leg-spin­ner (the first leg­gie since Ian Salis­bury played his last test in 2000 (ngokumelene Pakistan) – espe­cially giv­en the Aus­trali­ans’ determ­in­a­tion to get after any spin­ner presen­ted to them – Borth­wick at least claimed a few scalps. Eng­land must decide who their spin­ner is going to be (Monty; Ker­rigan or Borth­wick) nenduku nabo isamba ehloniphekile isikhathi ukubona onesifo yini edingekayo (uma ekhona). Borth­wick must play the next test if con­di­tions suit.

Boyd Rankin - 13 iphelela - top score of 13 (okumaphakathi of 6.5); 20.5 overs, 0 maid­ens, 81 iphelela, 1 wick­et (81 iphelela ngayinye tim).

Has so far suc­ceeded at one day level – needs more time to see if will devel­op into a main­stay of the side but will face con­sid­er­able oppos­i­tion when the side is back on home soil.

Manje ngenxa Australia!!!

Chris Rogers — 463 iphelela, 2 cen­tur­ies, 3 half cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 119 (okumaphakathi of 46.3)

Along with his open­ing part­ner Dav­id Warner Rogers time and time again got his side off to a good start with con­sist­ent per­form­ances – two tons and two half cen­tur­ies says it all 7.5

Dav­id Warner – 523 iphelela, 2 cen­tur­ies, 2 half cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 124 (okumaphakathi of 52.3)

Exactly the same as his part­ner Rogers, with only a few runs sep­ar­at­ing them. Has more than repaid the select­ors’ faith in him fol­low­ing the off-field antics 8

Shane Wat­son — 345 iphelela, 1 cen­tury, 2 half cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 103 (okumaphakathi of 34.5); 47.4 overs, 17 maid­ens, 122 iphelela, 4 ngamawikhedi (okumaphakathi ngayinye tim of 30.50)

Use­ful con­tri­bu­tion with the bat but able to bowl a few use­ful overs and keep the pres­sure up as well by tak­ing of wick­ets 7

Michael Clarke - 363 iphelela, 2 cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 148 (okumaphakathi of 36.3)

Two out­stand­ing and con­sec­ut­ive tons sur­roun­ded by mediocre totals; no mat­ter – he strained every last sinew out of his entire team to demol­ish and demor­al­ise Eng­land and claim a 5–0 white­wash 8.5

Steven Smith - 327 iphelela, 2 cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 115 (okumaphakathi of 36.33); 11 overs, 1 maid­en, 58 iphelela, 1 wick­et (avg per wick­et 58)

Her­al­ded as the series Smith came of age – are his runs down to his bril­liance or col­lect­ive ineptitude on England’s part. Kuyinto 50/50 call in my opin­ion – if he does the same when facing the South Afric­an pace bat­tery when over­seas then I’ll keep my trap shut 7

George Bailey — 183 iphelela, 1 half cen­tury, amaphuzu phezulu 53 (okumaphakathi of 22.87)

Obuthakathaka(ish) link in the Aus­trali­an side with a dis­ap­point­ing series over­all  5

Brad Had­din — 493 iphelela, 1 cen­tury, 5 half cen­tur­ies, amaphuzu phezulu 118 (okumaphakathi of 61.62)

Derided as a jour­ney man (ngokwam), Had­din was simply at the top of his game and knocked his crit­ics for imper­i­ous sixes. Eng­land simply had no answer to him. He was the joint top play­er of the series — 10

Mitchell John­son — 165 iphelela, 1 half cen­tury, amaphuzu phezulu 64 (okumaphakathi of 20.62); 188.4 overs, 51 maid­ens, 517 iphelela 37 ngamawikhedi (okumaphakathi of 13.97 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Simply out­stand­ing. Eng­land just couldn’t cope with his pace – although again this says as much about the oppos­i­tion than it does John­son. But you can only bowl at what you are presen­ted with and he lapped up the tasty morsels with great aplomb. More than one quarter of his overs was a maid­en too. Excel­lent effort for a quick. Joint top play­er for Aus­tralia and over­all 10

Ryan Har­ris – 117 iphelela, 1 half cen­tury, amaphuzu phezulu 55 (okumaphakathi of 19.5); 166.2 overs, 50 maid­ens; 425 iphelela, 22 ngamawikhedi (19.31 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Bril­liant Ginger to Johnson’s Fred, what his fel­low quick didn’t deal with Har­ris picked up. A per­fect foil for John­son and man­aged to stay fit as well. A few use­ful runs and again gave very few runs away with 50 maid­ens 9

Peter Siddle - 38 iphelela, amaphuzu phezulu 21 (okumaphakathi of 5.42); 156.4 overs, 48 maid­ens, 386 iphelela, 16 ngamawikhedi (okumaphakathi of 24.12)

Uma uFred Ginger naphakade wanquma ukuba siqashe i extra ke Siddle kwakuyobe kungenanjongo it. His bowl­ing danced around the pitch as his tar­gets dis­played the foot­work of club crick­eters. If John­son or Har­ris didn’t get you then Siddle would – a bril­liant triple act – leav­ing Eng­land with no chance 8

Nath­an Lyon – 60 iphelela - top score of 18 hhayi out (okumaphakathi of 10); 176.2 overs; 42 maid­ens; 558 iphelela, 19 ngamawikhedi (29.36 iphelela ngayinye tim)

Rather over-shad­owed by the pace trio Lyon still picked up 19 wick­ets and was an integ­ral part of the bowl­ing attack 8


shiya impendulo