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The Ashes


arwebb

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After the draw in Brisbane, a sensational start to the Second Test in Adelaide where Australia were reduced to 2 for 3 in the first 10 minutes. No wonder Eusebius didn't want to start the thread.

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Similar to Brisbane really - new ball offers a bit to the bowlers, otherwise batsmen should be able to fill their boots. Having said that, Australia cannot have another bad 20 minutes or so, particularly with the length of their tail.

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We've had enough bloody rain - at least in Sydney. Already the wettest start to Summer for us in yonks, and the farmers are shifting from drought whining to flood alerts.

Ashes? I've been following more closely the story of the US tweeter, @theashes, who's been getting a crash course in cricket!

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Rols, is the Sydney Morning Herald usually as grumpy as it appears to be today?

The 2nd test wash-up I suppose? I haven't looked through yet ... and would probably flick over the cricket coverage pages anyway. Who were they slanging off at - your mob or our own mob?

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The 2nd test wash-up I suppose? I haven't looked through yet ... and would probably flick over the cricket coverage pages anyway. Who were they slanging off at - your mob or our own mob?

Appears to be much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the performance of the Australian side. One writer wants Ricky Ponting (or George W Bush as I prefer to call him - likeness is alarming) sacked and Shane Warne brought back as captain.

:mellow: Hey was there a punch up involving one of the Chappell brothers and a former England player last night?

Allegedly so between Ian Chappell and Sir Ian Botham. They've hated each other since 1977.

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522194-michael-clarke.jpg

Reasons to be cheerful...

1. Our pie chuckers can bowl :lol:

2. James Anderson will no longer being mouthing off

3. Hussey is back to being Mr Cricket

4. Tony Grieg will no longer be mouthing off

5. Fans who delight in Australia's defeats and yet have never seen their country beat us here can get stuffed

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Hang on a second, one win's going to your head. A few points of response:

1. Your "pie chuckers" can bowl. Anyone with any sense has always known that. However, all this game has proved is the point Nasser Hussain made on Sky during the Adelaide Test - namely that Australia need there to be assistance from the pitch in order to take 20 wickets these days. They can't do it on their own as the great sides of the recent past used to do.

2. Australians complaining about mouth? Perhaps they ought to look at their captain and his lot whinging before they start on us.

3. The very idea that Hussey's place was in doubt before the Brisbane Test looks pretty ridiculous now. He has played beautifully. But I don't think you should allow that to mask the frailities of the Australian batting line-up as a whole. Only three of your top seven are in any sort of form. I felt before the Perth game that Hussey should actually go in first with Watson and I stand by that view. England's main issue going to Melbourne is whether to change the balance of the side to bring in a fifth bowler (almost certainly Tim Bresnan). Unless there looks like there is going to be little or nothing for the spinner, I would stick to the formula that has brought us success over the last 18 months or so.

4. Could be worse. You could play Boycott Bingo.

5. You're not the team you were. The very fact that teams are going to Australia and are revelling in beating you is a complement to how good those past sides were. You're back in the pack now. Get used to it.

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Hang on a second, one win's going to your head. A few points of response:

1. Your "pie chuckers" can bowl. Anyone with any sense has always known that. However, all this game has proved is the point Nasser Hussain made on Sky during the Adelaide Test - namely that Australia need there to be assistance from the pitch in order to take 20 wickets these days. They can't do it on their own as the great sides of the recent past used to do.

2. Australians complaining about mouth? Perhaps they ought to look at their captain and his lot whinging before they start on us.

3. The very idea that Hussey's place was in doubt before the Brisbane Test looks pretty ridiculous now. He has played beautifully. But I don't think you should allow that to mask the frailities of the Australian batting line-up as a whole. Only three of your top seven are in any sort of form. I felt before the Perth game that Hussey should actually go in first with Watson and I stand by that view. England's main issue going to Melbourne is whether to change the balance of the side to bring in a fifth bowler (almost certainly Tim Bresnan). Unless there looks like there is going to be little or nothing for the spinner, I would stick to the formula that has brought us success over the last 18 months or so.

4. Could be worse. You could play Boycott Bingo.

5. You're not the team you were. The very fact that teams are going to Australia and are revelling in beating you is a complement to how good those past sides were. You're back in the pack now. Get used to it.

:lol:

Now now arwebb, don't let that one loss go to your head.

Seriously (aside from enjoying the fruits of a well deserved victory and seeing how easy it is to bait the English) no one would argue about the issues with the Australian team. On the other hand it's about time that the English realise that just because they've had two almighty innings at the bat and one and a half with the ball doesn't mean that this is going to be a cake walk (which is how so many Barmy Army acolytes and their dare I say unfashionably collaborationist Aussie media pundits were shaping things up after Adelaide).

Yes the Australian team is not what it was (you don't need to be EE Swanton to work that out) but England is playing in Australia now, not back home against Bangladesh. And no matter how undermanned or arguably untalented the Australian team is they will always fight with tooth and nail in Australia. After all it's taken England over 22 years to be in serious contention to win the Ashes down under, and unlike then when half of Australia's top players were in South Africa right now we have the best dozen or so ready to represent us. They might not be in the league of the greats from 2-5 years ago but they are still better at home then so many people have given them credit.

Now as for James Anderson, he is a far better bowler than he was four years ago. But his mouthiness re Mitch Johnson has been returned with a mighty serve and so far I'd say it's at least 1-1 in their little grudge match. As an Aussie I'm proud to say that Johnson was chucking pies in the first test and he deserved to be booted. Thankfully he's responded in the best fashion possible. And as for your fantastical Hussey/Watson combination...ain't going to happen.

And by the way, the last of my points is not a reference to the Poms (who have actually come here and played well enough to beat us). It's a little homage to the efforts of certain posters here whose country has never beaten Australia at home.

Well old chap, game on :D

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:lol:

Now now arwebb, don't let that one loss go to your head.

It's not quite as crushing as Headingley '09, but it's still pretty comprehensive. Having said that, it doesn't actually alter the most fundamental nature of our task, i.e. win one of the remaining games and we retain the Ashes. All to play for, yes, but the bottom line hasn't changed.

Seriously (aside from enjoying the fruits of a well deserved victory and seeing how easy it is to bait the English) no one would argue about the issues with the Australian team. On the other hand it's about time that the English realise that just because they've had two almighty innings at the bat and one and a half with the ball doesn't mean that this is going to be a cake walk (which is how so many Barmy Army acolytes and their dare I say unfashionably collaborationist Aussie media pundits were shaping things up after Adelaide).

Yes the Australian team is not what it was (you don't need to be EE Swanton to work that out) but England is playing in Australia now, not back home against Bangladesh. And no matter how undermanned or arguably untalented the Australian team is they will always fight with tooth and nail in Australia. After all it's taken England over 22 years to be in serious contention to win the Ashes down under, and unlike then when half of Australia's top players were in South Africa right now we have the best dozen or so ready to represent us. They might not be in the league of the greats from 2-5 years ago but they are still better at home then so many people have given them credit.

That argument may well be a sound one, but, after Adelaide, it was difficult to see how Australia could fight back in the manner that they have done. Indeed, at 78-0 playing 268 all out on Friday, I suspect plenty of Australians will have feared a similar outcome to Adelaide. What changed matters was that Mitchell Johnson, for the first time against England, got it absolutely right and bowled a fabulous spell.

And even without the McGraths and Warnes of this world, I still don't think you've got your best side on the park.

Now as for James Anderson, he is a far better bowler than he was four years ago. But his mouthiness re Mitch Johnson has been returned with a mighty serve and so far I'd say it's at least 1-1 in their little grudge match. As an Aussie I'm proud to say that Johnson was chucking pies in the first test and he deserved to be booted. Thankfully he's responded in the best fashion possible.

Anderson, thankfully, has gone back to the natural delivery that saw him burst onto the scene at 20 or 21. He is a far better bowler than four years ago and, as the senior quickie in our line-up, perhaps feels he needs to take the fight to the opposition. He's a Lancastrian so he isn't going to be shy in voicing his opinions. What gets me, however, is when I hear Australians complain about English chirruping and all that sort of stuff. During the Adelaide game, I heard Ian Chappell chuntering about Matt Prior, as if no Australian wicket-keeper has ever hollered behind the stumps. For too long, we've gone to Australia to lay down and die. Thankfully, those days, hopefully, have gone for good.

As for Johnson, I thought it was a massive gamble to pick him again having given him no chance to play state cricket since Brisbane. It's paid off handsomely in this game, but will he fire again in this series?

And as for your fantastical Hussey/Watson combination...ain't going to happen.

Probably not, but, as I said earlier, I don't think you haven't got your best side on the park. To move Hussey up to open would make you that much stronger at the top and ease the pressure on the middle order, particularly if you bring a new player in. In the same way that I would swap Bell and Collingwood around in our middle order, I think you ought to swap Smith and Haddin around and what exactly has Nathan Hauritz got to do to get a game? Offer his wife to Andrew Hilditch?

And by the way, the last of my points is not a reference to the Poms (who have actually come here and played well enough to beat us). It's a little homage to the efforts of certain posters here whose country has never beaten Australia at home.

I'm not about to get involved in a trans-Tasman battle, but I'm sure the Kiwis have won a series on your patch before now. Haven't they?

Well old chap, game on :D

Too right it is. Drop of whiskey and the cricket. Should be a good end to my Christmas night.

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Looks like our Barmy Army friends may have a little less to cheer about on Boxing Day...

England's chances of securing the Ashes in the Boxing Day Test have taken a hit with the news that James Anderson is carrying a side injury

England coach Andy Flower confirmed his most experienced seamer had pulled up stiff following Australia's series-levelling win in the third Test in Perth.....

First Broad now possibly Anderson...not the best way to maintain pressure on an Australian batting line up with some members experiencing form slumps.

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