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Ashes 2009 Test Series
Posted: 17 July 2009 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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So Phil Coorey can whinge like a Ponting.

Of course, it’s early days yet, and my money’s still on the Ockers to keep the urn.

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Posted: 18 July 2009 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]

My guess is it will rain; it generally does when England are doing well. Just enough to let the Aussies off the hook. Anyway I don’t trust the current English bowling attack at all—yesterday was freak atmospheric conditions.

Posted: 18 July 2009 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Afternoon session, Saturday: Ponting’s dropped a sitter; Botham, in the commentary box, is dwelling on Ponting’s situation with the crowd hooting at the Australian captain. You can hear the glee in Botham’s voice. What is it about Ponting that has so many Englishmen eagerly toasting his demise? I found Waugh more unpleasant.

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Posted: 18 July 2009 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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After Tea session, Lord’s, Saturday. Pietersen’s wicket came too soon after Bopara’s I think, in terms of the amount of runs scored. Is this the point where Australia begin to save the match?

The Sky commentators were upset about the scoring rate, but I’d be more concerned about the danger of getting out too fast through aggressive play. England need a mid-afternoon declaration tomorrow. It would be better for them if Australian batsmen thought they could win the match, because aggressive batting takes chances with wickets.

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Posted: 19 July 2009 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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After Lunch Session, Lord’s, Sunday. A sharp intake of breath from me when Ponting was dismissed. It wasn’t particularly remarkable, but that’s the third wicket, and the Australians are only on 78, with 522 to get. Par score at this stage is around 150, plus they need about 170 more overall, which is about another 60 runs shared out around the first three wickets.

England haven’t beaten Australia at Lord’s since 1934, which is why this is so important.

EDIT: Where is Phil Coorey, by the way? He was asking me about this series in a Game Chatter a while back.

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Posted: 19 July 2009 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Close of Play, Lord’s Sunday. Clarke and Haddin have evoked memories of this Test. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!

I’d bet on a draw now, and Australian confidence restored with three tests still to play.

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Posted: 19 July 2009 07:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]

The last thing Australians need is more confidence; that has not been a problem with their team since Allan Border took over in 1984.

A draw is unlikely unless it rains; I think the odds are about 60/40 on an Australian win. England canm’t bowl opponents out reliablyy, as usual. The last decent strike bowlers they had were Willis and the early Botham, and the last really good ones were Laker and Trueman.

England will never be any good until they bring back the MCC and amateur captains. What we need is Douglas Jardine!

Posted: 20 July 2009 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Morning session, Lord’s, Monday. I suggested a draw when I understood the forecast to be ‘sunny with showers’. Actually, going by the numbers, karlmagnus’ odds were about right overnight. But now, with Haddin gone, I’m not so sure. The Australians need to make another similar stand for one of the four remaining wickets to have a chance.

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Posted: 20 July 2009 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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England win! I was worried Flintoff was going to screw up the rest of the series by bowling himself too much. I still fear he may have done some bad damage. He’d better rest from now until Edgbaston.

Spare a thought for Onions. 3.72 economy plus wickets in the first inning. Consigned to sweeping the boundary with a 5.55 economy in the second. I don’t know why England can’t manage their bowlers better. They always ride the hot hand like somebody who’d never heard of Pitcher Abuse Points.

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Posted: 20 July 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]

The English cricket authorities have a hatred of proper analysis; they tend to be anti-intellectual in general—Fry, Jardine and Brearley, their great high-IQ captains, were all a long time ago. Still, they surprised me this time, mostly because Flintoff has been useless for 4 years but found a little of the old fire when needed. Abuse Points in general result from the current cricket schedule, esp. with all the one-day and 20/20 stuff. W.G. Grace was still playing test cricket at 50; one can’t expect that, but Flintoff is retiring at 31.

Posted: 22 July 2009 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]

Flintoff’s a drunk who no doubt poops his pants.

He should have more than three five-wicket hauls at his age. If choosing which bowler they’d like to face less, who would batsmen (and bowlers for that matter) choose? Not many are appreciably faster, he’s deadly accurate and bowls a heavy ball. I can’t remember ever seeing a spell as consistently quick and accurate as that one on Monday.

Posted: 22 July 2009 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]

KP’s out of the series!

Posted: 22 July 2009 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]

When do you stop being a rookie poster? At 50 or 100 posts?

Posted: 22 July 2009 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]

If BTF takes place in Furtado’s mother’s basement, how far below ground are we in the Forum?

Posted: 22 July 2009 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]

England’s top 6 now look somewhat lightweight. Openers are OK, then Bopara at 3? Bell at 4? Colly at 5 is probably about right, but Prior at 6 when England are in trouble is a problem. Then Fred and the bowlers. They’ll have to bowl well. I wonder if they need another batter now.

Posted: 23 July 2009 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]

The difference between this team and the 2005 one is that they have Broad at 8 and Swann at 9, both of whom are pretty major batsmen, while even Anderson is much improved (yet to get out for a Test duck in over 50 innings.) That makes 6-9 collectively a pretty tough nut, even if Prior is weakish at 6.

If they replace Flintoff or Broad with Harmison they will need an extra batsman, but hopefully Flintoff will stay fit and they will bring in Harmison, if they do, for Onions.

Posted: 24 July 2009 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I like Broad. He’s a good bat for a bowler, and he’s no slouch in the field, as far as I’ve heard. He may not take a lot of wickets, but he’s reasonably economical. I don’t like the eagerness of the commentariat to cast him aside for Harmison, who is too erratic for my taste.

Onions also strikes me as underrated. He had a bad second innings at Lord’s but his figures for the series so far are respectable.

All that said, I’d replace one of them with Harmison for Edgbaston, on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.

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Posted: 01 August 2009 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]

Harmison always looks better when he’s out of the team. He’s let England down too many times for me to want to rush him back.

I take your point about better lower-order batting, and versus Australia’s attack now that’s worth a lot more than it used to be. In the recent past, vs McGrath and Warne’s team, it didn’t matter whether you had Giles at 8 or Panesar. They’d get out cheaply regardless.

2005 vs 2009 batting:
Prior & Flintoff vs Flintoff & GJones. Well, I’d take Prior, however, he’s going to have to play well to match Geraint in 05.
Then at 8, Broad vs Giles. Broad is clearly better. Swann may be a better comparison for Giles and may even win the match-up.
Then you have Anderson vs Hoggard. Anderson gets this one too.
Onions/Panesar vs Harmison: hmm, not much in it really. Harmison probably edges it.

But England have Broad as an upgrade over SJones. Without Warne and McGrath, that’s worth a few runs.

However, England had Tres, Vaughan and Pietersen instead of Cook, Bopara and Collingwood. Does Broad make up the difference? I’m not sure he does. But without a top-notch attack to play against, maybe England can get away with a large number of capable batsmen but fewer top-level ones.

Posted: 06 August 2009 03:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I tried to get up early today thinking the Headingly test started. Thankfully, it didn’t quite work out as it starts tomorrow.

So should Sidebottom be in the side? In place of whom? And the Australians are hemming and hawing about Siddle.

I have no answers, only questions.

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Posted: 10 August 2009 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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What an atrocious Test. England threw away all the hard work they put into the first three. It’s not the defeat that matters, it’s the way they lost. Everybody’s pointing fingers now, which is even worse. The side was good enough for three of four tests. There’s no cause to panic, just analyse what went wrong and how to put it right.

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Posted: 16 August 2009 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]

Atrocious Test, absolutely. Headingley should be a home pitch as it is a unique ground and usually gets a result. England should know what team to play and which bowlers work. Last year they picked that Australian who was about 29 and had played a handful of first-class matches and they got hammered by South Africa. This year, they go with five bowlers, make their already shaky batting worse by replacing Flintoff with Harmison. Did they need Swann? Was Harmison the right bowler for that pitch? He always bowls short and the Headingley pitch, despite its bounce, demands a full length. Sigh.

So now Bell bats at 3? The way he’s played the last two Tests makes them want him to bat even higher? Why why why? Maybe the only answer is there’s nobody else. But that is hardly an adequate one. Bell has been the only batsman who’s been given a fair chance in the team and then been dropped. Not only does he get another chance, he gets bumped up the order? WTF. One wicket down becomes two. Then we have Collingwood who looked completely lost against Johnson or a debutant at 4, with the other at 5. If England’s openers don’t get a good start, they will lose and lose badly.

Posted: 24 August 2009 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I’m not sure how they did it, but my goodness it’s another welcome triumph at home over the Australians. I last heard action about 5 pm yesterday, with the Australians about 200 away from the total they were chasing, with five wickets in hand. I didn’t think England were by any means safe, but there it is.

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Posted: 17 May 2010 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]

A draw is unlikely unless it rains; I think the odds are about 60/40 on an Australian win. England canm’t bowl opponents out reliablyy, as usual. The last decent strike bowlers they had were Willis and the early Botham, and the last really good ones were Laker and Trueman.
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