4th Ashes Test - Melbourne

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 25 Dec 2013, 7:20 pm

First topic message reminder :

The Boxing Day test match is upon us people!

There are rumoured to be a few changes to the England side, one of course enforced with the retirement on Graeme Swann. There hasn't been too much about who will replace him, Panesar would be the obvious choice. The other all but confirmed move will be Jonny Bairstow taking Prior's place.


Australia:
CJL Rogers, DA Warner, SR Watson, MJ Clarke*, SPD Smith, GJ Bailey, BJ Haddin†, MG Johnson, PM Siddle, RJ Harris, NM Lyon

England:
AN Cook*, MA Carberry, JE Root, KP Pietersen, IR Bell, BA Stokes, JM Bairstow†, SCJ Broad, TT Bresnan, JM Anderson, MS Panesar


With the series already over, lets hope we just get to see some good cricket. From an English point of view, lets not lose 5-0!!

Now back to the Christmas pudding for me...
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 5:08 am

Thing is England didnt really take any of those wickets, they were all given.
Broads just taken another as I type and again a flash, although this time more can be assigned to the restricted scoring. This is how England play but it's yet to be enough to trouble aus for a whole innings

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 5:20 am

Another terrible shot, but it really does look like the tight bowling is working. Can England chuck it away from here or actually manage to get a first innings lead?
Medium pace trundling the way forward?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 5:45 am

Bailey gone for a duck. That restrictive bowling paying dividends for England. Australia now 122 for 6 and are now on top in the match.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 6:03 am

This Haddin and Johnson partnership is key. If they repeat their First Test stand then Australia will retake the upper hand. Australia 147 for 6.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 6:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 6:07 am

Anderson drops a dolly off Brean and Johnson survives.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 6:20 am

Haddon gets a decision overturned on review from Monty Panesar. A big moment?
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 6:26 am

Johnson falls to the bowling of Bresnan.  This time Anderson at mid-wicket holds onto the catch and Australia are 151 for 7. England's best day of the series to date?
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 6:51 am

Broad snares Harris with a bouncer. He tucked him up and he didn't look comfortable. Cook brought in a short leg and next fall Harris found him fending off another Broad bouncer. Australia now 162 for 8.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:02 am

Siddle out for a duck. And the fall of wicket brings close of play with Australia 164 for 9. Haddin closes on 43 not out.

Definitely England's best day of the series so far and Australia trail by 91 with one wicket remaining. Will KP_Fan now retract the 'delusional' comment?
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Post by Pal Joey on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:22 am

Great day for England. The Barmy Army (and alfie) had their day in the sun and will no doubt kick on into the evening - full of happiness and bravado.  Ale 

All the bowlers contributed very well and were focused for the whole innings. They played like a proper team today for the first time this series. Good to see Bresnan get a couple of well-earned wickets. Broad and Anderson bowled well too. Jimmy's best day by far.

Australia, on the other hand, were in deep mud at 110/5 and thanks to Rogers and Haddin got past 150 runs... which was as much as I thought they would get.

It is set up for an unlikely England win now - Australia will be feeling pretty down. It's seems as though they will have a deficit of at least 70 (at best) to 90 runs which shows just how poorly they played today. Tomorrow will be crucial for England to make some hay and hammer home their advantage. It's going to be hot (38 deg C) and the pitch should be more conducive to batting.

I'm really enjoying this contest despite our situation though. Our bowlers will have to make early breakthroughs and get into the tail asap (obviously) otherwise England will deservedly take this one. More pressure on the Aussie batsmen in their final innings. I'm still hopeful there can be some sort of mini-resurgence in the last 3 days but I'll admit things don't look so rosy after Day 2.
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Post by kingraf on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:26 am

Great day for England. I went to bed, and I wake up with Australia finally collapsing completely. It's been on the card for the entire series, and Ive said multiple times that Australia cant keep going from 120/6 to 420 all out. A bit late, but no team could keep going from collapsing to an above average score. Defied the law of averages that they kept doing it for this long.

*With all that said, I wouldn't be surprised if they put up a 150 run tenth wicket partnership, and then blast England to kingdom come, as has been the story of the series.
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:38 am

A victory for kidding paced county bowling over Australian batsmen who average in the mid 30s and took the game so seriously they went and played bbl between tests as preparation.

I'm finding it hard to be over excited by this, more relived.
The simple fact is England should never have been humped so badly in the first 3 tests. This is not a formidable Australian batting line up and today they showed it being quite content to give their wickets away.

Things set up nicely for the rest of the game, I hope England can stay competitive and kp not try and heave a piece if air 6!inches from the ball over the boundary again.

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Post by KP_fan on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 8:01 am

is it my Chrstmas greeting bringing boxing day Joy......or is it simply that Aus has lost interest ?  Shocked 

on a serious note....a rare good day for Eng........they need to tighten the noose from here and not let Aus wrangle free......Aus would want to reduce the gap by another 20 to 30 tomm and not want more than 250 to chase in 4th inning.

the master of 4 inning spin......thought series is over, retired and gone home.

Eng meanwhile need to stand up tall and set no less than 350......KP has delivered enough...Cook has to get a 100 and shut the game out for Aus completely

Aus seriously need to review the positions of Bailey and Watson.....they deliver cheap runs...not when chips are down
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 10:51 am

George Bailey lolz

Great day to wake up to! Trundler Timmy to rescue!!!!
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Post by Duty281 on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 10:53 am

Fantastic day for England.

Prime position to go 4-3 up. Wink

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Post by dyrewolfe on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 12:45 pm

A relief to see England finally playing to their potential for once (in the bowling department at least - batting is still pretty atrocious). Just a shame it happened 3 matches too late.

That said, is it England finally finding their form, or just a case of post-victory hangovers that did for Australia?

We all know slumps in form almost invariably follow wins in most sports. To be honest, I'm inclined to think the Aussies were simply complacent and thought they just needed to turn up to win. I won't go as far as saying they were throwing England a bone, as I'm sure they'd love to get the 5-0 whitewash.

For their part, England had nothing to lose. No pressure on them, so did that help them play with more freedom and/or confidence?

For those saying the Aussies aren't all that good and no better than England, I'd point out that the sign of great teams is the ability to deliver when it matters. Australia did it this series, while England were utterly incapable of doing so.
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Post by alfie on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 12:52 pm

Well I rather enjoyed that day  Smile 

Didn't start too well : though the non-partisan cricket lover in me took delight in that super first up delivery with which Johnson removed Bresnan ! Was a beauty...certainly cannot blame a number eight for getting out to that .
No words can describe the Pietersen swipe though : I love KP and will often defend him but that was just rubbish...would have harsh words with any of my club players who got out like that , in that situation...and what a waste of all that restraint from yesterday !
At least it served to get Australia in before all the cloud cover vanished...

Funny game - yesterday everyone throwing rotten fruit at England for dour , slow , aimless batting ...today Australia bat slower , and with less success...stand by for drastic re-evaluation of the pitch by assorted pundits  Smile 
The old "wait until both sides have batted on it" adage may be well-worn ; but it wears well.

Thought England bowled pretty well today. Cook rotated his seamers thoughtfully , used a little bit of Monty (not much there for him ) when he had to , and generally kept Australia under control . Apart from Haddin - who seemed to be batting on a different strip to everyone else - none of the batsmen ever suggested permanence or a capacity to take the game away.
Bresnan gets a lot of grief from some people on here : but he is an underrated bowler in my book. Honest as ; willing to stick to a plan , often to the benefit of his bowling partner ; and if he doesn't tend to get the big hauls himself he has often been part of quite notable team bowling successes. He was today.
Broad kept his pace up , often looked dangerous - and came up with a nicely planned and executed removal of Harris late in the day. Cook must have been delighted to move a fielder into the spot and be rewarded the very next ball ! Sort of stuff Clarke has been pulling off all summer...
Lot of people been saying Jimmy was looking knackered etc...I thought it a bit overdone all along ( though I don't doubt he will be looking forward to a rest after Sydney) He hit 90 in Perth , and I think his real problem on this trip has been more the almost complete absence of swing in the dry conditions and the sensible play of the Australian early batsmen , who have generally not gone hard at him. Today a couple of things went his way and he looked more like the bowler who has been leading this attack for the last five years.
Apart from Haddin the only Australian batsman to impress was the gutsy Rogers. Loves that glide to third man ...but he played some nice drives as well today , held the innings together...until he lost his head and rather threw it away.
I did feel for Monty when he lost the Haddin wicket on review : it looked stone dead out everywhere until the final graphic showed it missing - somehow - by a whisker. Can see why some Indians distrust that predictive element  Smile 
You win some you lose some - on another day Billy B might not have fingered Bailey. Though if he'd taken any longer to decide half the crowd would have gone to the bar... I could live without this drs , myself...but we won't go there tonight.

So where does it go from here ? I don't think the last wicket will add a lot tomorrow - though the remarkable Haddin is still there and will not be giving it away easily. If England do start batting with a decent lead it will be a new experience for them in this series ; and may possibly enable them to play with a bit more freedom ? Weather is forecast hot , so if they do bat properly they have a chance to make the Aussies cook in the field for a change.
No idea what will be chaseable in the fourth innings ; but I would think this pitch may be keeping a bit low by the end so it might not be any picnic batting last...

Whatever happens from here , it was nice to see a real contest today. Old fashioned Test Cricket...but fascinating in its way.

Apologies for long post...

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 1:25 pm

dyrewolfe wrote:A relief to see England finally playing to their potential for once (in the bowling department at least - batting is still pretty atrocious). Just a shame it happened 3 matches too late.

That said, is it England finally finding their form, or just a case of post-victory hangovers that did for Australia?

We all know slumps in form almost invariably follow wins in most sports. To be honest, I'm inclined to think the Aussies were simply complacent and thought they just needed to turn up to win. I won't go as far as saying they were throwing England a bone, as I'm sure they'd love to get the 5-0 whitewash.

For their part, England had nothing to lose. No pressure on them, so did that help them play with more freedom and/or confidence?

For those saying the Aussies aren't all that good and no better than England, I'd point out that the sign of great teams is the ability to deliver when it matters. Australia did it this series, while England were utterly incapable of doing so.

Did it not matter in the summer then?

The sign of a great side is not carrying 4 players in your top 6 average well under 40.
There's no question aus have been the better side in this series but a great side? Are you kidding?
England have massively under performed from what they have shown they have previously been capable of when it matters in Australia and other places. Warners suggestion that thy are close to being the best batting side in the world is laughable when you see India and South Africa's line ups.
This is far from a great Australian side which makes England's performances even more embarrassing. Even the bowler who's made the difference only for selected through injuries to others.

That aside it does seem they've taken their collective foot off a bit. But thn the sign if a great side is perhaps one that can win even when relaxing or mentally not all there. We've certainly seen England prove they werent one.

Two decent sides, one if which didnt want to be there the other of which played with no fear and plenty to prove.

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Post by kingraf on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 1:34 pm

enjoy the G today Alfie?
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Post by alfie on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 1:41 pm

Very much , kingraf.

Bit too much Mexican waving for my taste from some patrons sitting in front of me ...rather a lot of beer being consumed and the finer points of a slowish day seemed to be lost on some of the crowd. But all good natured enough . Stuart Broad a Big favourite with my neighbours  Smile 

Think I picked a good day...going to be a bit hot in the outer tomorrow.

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Post by kingraf on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 1:52 pm

brilliant. one of my dreams to go to the G. been to Lord's for a county match during a school tour, and I practically live at the wanderers, the G is my holy grail now, so to speak.
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Post by dyrewolfe on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 1:58 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:
dyrewolfe wrote:A relief to see England finally playing to their potential for once (in the bowling department at least - batting is still pretty atrocious). Just a shame it happened 3 matches too late.

That said, is it England finally finding their form, or just a case of post-victory hangovers that did for Australia?

We all know slumps in form almost invariably follow wins in most sports. To be honest, I'm inclined to think the Aussies were simply complacent and thought they just needed to turn up to win. I won't go as far as saying they were throwing England a bone, as I'm sure they'd love to get the 5-0 whitewash.

For their part, England had nothing to lose. No pressure on them, so did that help them play with more freedom and/or confidence?

For those saying the Aussies aren't all that good and no better than England, I'd point out that the sign of great teams is the ability to deliver when it matters. Australia did it this series, while England were utterly incapable of doing so.

Did it not matter in the summer then?

The sign of a great side is not carrying 4 players in your top 6 average well under 40.
There's no question aus have been the better side in this series but a great side? Are you kidding?
England have massively under performed from what they have shown they have previously been capable of when it matters in Australia and other places. Warners suggestion that thy are close to being the best batting side in the world is laughable when you see India and South Africa's line ups.
This is far from a great Australian side which makes England's performances even more embarrassing. Even the bowler who's made the difference only for selected through injuries to others.

That aside it does seem they've taken their collective foot off a bit. But thn the sign if a great side is perhaps one that can win even when relaxing or mentally not all there. We've certainly seen England prove they werent one.

Two decent sides, one if which didnt want to be there the other of which played with no fear and plenty to prove.


Of course it mattered. I was just responding to those who were trashing the Aussies.

I suspect the truth is somewhere in between actually. England prospered at home, on pitches which suited our bowlers, even though our batting was still suspect at times. This series, we've seen Australia's batsmen and bowlers prosper in conditions that suit them.

Maybe future Ashes series should be held in neutral countries? (although the fans would never go for that) Wink

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 3:14 pm

Home advantage does not play that big an advantage in things in this case. England's key players have been in rank-rotten form in this series and the team has been breaking up whilst Australia's key players have been in hot form hence the one-sided scoreline.
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Post by msp83 on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:42 pm

So England at last had a day that entirely belonged to them. The series well gone, but at least England showed they have something in them to put up a fight. The bowlers at last managed to sustain good performance long enough to result a real collapse from Australia's not more than decent batting unit though it looked quite an eventuality before the series and throughout the 3 previous tests. It was heartening to see Stuart Broad bowling like with serious pace, and though I missed a lot of the action, I understand he could sustain it for long. James Anderson at last could deliver an impactful performance, Ben Stokes yet again put his hands up and Tim Bresnan also chipped in well. Panesar didn't disgrace himself with the ball by any means, and England's fielding didn't hit the depths of substandardness that it found itself in when the series was alive.
Haddin's still there and he would look to cut that lead down to 50 or so, Nathan Lyon is a determined lower order batsman so England shouldn't let up really. Then it will be up to the batsmen. No better time to score that long-missing 400!. But Mitchell Johnson and co will have other ideas, and even at this stage, I can't rule Australia out.

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Post by Guest on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 7:56 pm

Rogers with another girtty 50 today, however he never seems to kick onto a really big score and that will probably worry Rogers himself quite a bit, however he did well to recover from that blow on the head.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 8:48 pm

Like msp, I didn't see much of the second day but clearly a good and sustained bowilng performance from England. It gives us the upper hand but - again like msp - I wouldn't rule out Australia yet.

The play I did see 'live' was in the first hour when Johnson blitzed us out. Thought he was magnificent. Pietersen's contribution to his own downfall can again be debated but undoubtedly clever and fearsome deliveries to account for Bresnan and Broad.

I doubt anyone will be banking on runs from the England tail in their second dig. Vital therefore to get that 10th Australian wicket straightaway and then for the openers and middle order to push the advantage home. Sensible hopes might be a first innings lead of 80/90 and getting to stumps on day three with over 200 on the board and no more than 5 down. Plenty of time left ....

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 10:53 pm

It was certainly the first time in the series that England bowled as a unit, miserly and with consistent line and length and it paid off.

As for today then I wouldn't rule out this last wicket putting on a little stand first so would guess at England having a lead of about 70. It will be interesting to see how the Australian bowlers react to that. Also will this lead relax Cook and take pressure off his batting enabling him to return to a semblance of former. Only time will tell.

An intriguing day lies ahead.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 11:49 pm

Will never ever understand why captains don't employ a third man for tailenders
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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri 27 Dec 2013, 11:55 pm

Olly wrote:Will never ever understand why captains don't employ a third man for tailenders



Or 3 or 4 slips

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:03 am

Pitch it up ffs
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:09 am

Good to see we've returned to being flippin hopeless
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:11 am

Frustration grows for England and are just not bowling with any brains. Australia 202 for 9. Lead now down to 53.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:15 am

Anderson at last gets the breakthrough to end a painful partnership. Australia bowled out for 204 and trail by 51 runs.

Can the England batsmen deliver?
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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:27 am

msp83 wrote:
Haddin's still there and he would look to cut that lead down to 50 or so, Nathan Lyon is a determined lower order batsman so England shouldn't let up really. ...

Haddin and Lyon achieve just that putting on 40 for the last wicket. England have a useful lead of 51 but would have wanted at least 20 more. Not such a stand out rescue act from Haddin as earlier in the series but still possibly a game saver and changer. More good support from Lyon - he now has over 50 runs from his 4 knocks in this series and has yet to be dismissed.

England bowling this morning was too wayward and short. Anyway, now up to the batsmen. A particularly important innings for Carberry. He needs not just his usual start but to properly go on ....

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:32 am

I feel that even a 50 partnership to open here would be a good start. It would give England a lead of 100 with one wicket down.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:34 am

Cook closing in on 8,000 test runs and goes to 11 not out. England 12 for 0 and lead by 63 runs.
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Post by alfie on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:43 am

guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:
Haddin's still there and he would look to cut that lead down to 50 or so, Nathan Lyon is a determined lower order batsman so England shouldn't let up really. ...

Haddin and Lyon achieve just that putting on 40 for the last wicket. England have a useful lead of 51 but would have wanted at least 20 more. Not such a stand out rescue act from Haddin as earlier in the series but still possibly a game saver and changer. More good support from Lyon - he now has over 50 runs from his 4 knocks in this series and has yet to be dismissed.

England bowling this morning was too wayward and short. Anyway, now up to the batsmen. A particularly important innings for Carberry. He needs not just his usual start but to properly go on ....

Fifty run lead is still handy...pitch should degrade a bit later in the match. I would also have liked twenty more but don't think that is particularly significant.
Too short ? Maybe. But length bowling to Haddin and a handy tailender can be risky too in that situation , unless there is more lateral movement than we have seen here. At least they didn't panic...stuck to their plan , and eventually got Haddin with a bouncer.

Time for the batsmen to stand up.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:45 am

England going along well at 21 for 0. The lead now stands at 72.
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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:48 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:I feel that even a 50 partnership to open here would be a good start. It would give England a lead of 100 with one wicket down.

Craig - agree that would be a good start. Probably essential though given the lack of runs expected from the England tail.

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Post by alfie on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:49 am

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
Olly wrote:Will never ever understand why captains don't employ a third man for tailenders

Or 3 or 4 slips

That is the one about which I am critical of Cook . After Jimmy beat Haddin outside off in his first over , I would have had a proper cordon for Lyon.
Never mind. Gone now. Bat properly and that little cameo will be a footnote. (
Though he might tuck it away for future reference.)

8000 for Cook. Youngest ever.  clap 

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 12:50 am

Congratulations to Alastair Cook on scoring 8000 test runs. England 24 for 0.
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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:05 am

Yes, congratulations to Cook.

He's currently on 29 to Carberry's 1 but the most important thing is that they are both still there. A further confidence booster if we can get to lunch with a lead of 100 and no wickets down.

Alfie - on the bowling, felt we could and should have mixed it up more against Lyon. Would have liked to have seen the odd yorker fired in.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:09 am

I don't think Carberry's not scoring is a real issue here. There is plenty of time left in the match so England are in no rush. It is imperative they don't throw their wickets away. England 44 for 0 lead by 95 runs.
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Post by alfie on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:12 am

guildfordbat wrote:Yes, congratulations to Cook.

He's currently on 29 to Carberry's 1 but the most important thing is that they are both still there. A further confidence booster if we can get to lunch with a lead of 100 and no wickets down.

Alfie - on the bowling, felt we could and should have mixed it up more against Lyon. Would have liked to have seen the odd yorker fired in.

Ha...you are an old fashioned bowler like me  Smile 

My gut agrees with you ; but the computer mapping probably says we are mired in the past... I'd be more confident of the Yorker tactic if there was swing about , but there hasn't been much on offer this year.

At least they had the courage of their convictions , and persisted with the tactic they had devised. Anyway it will be how they bat this time around that will probably decide this match. Wish Carberry could rotate the strike better..

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:17 am

Wow a boundary from Carberry and England lead goes up to 100. England 49 for 0 with lunch beckoning.
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Post by alfie on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:18 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:I don't think Carberry's not scoring is a real issue here. There is plenty of time left in the match so England are in no rush. It is imperative they don't throw their wickets away. England 44 for 0 lead by 95 runs.

Not a time issue though , Craig. More that Carberry has tended to first get bogged down ...and then get out. He looks happier - more relaxed - when he has the scoreboard ticking over.

Think we would all love to see him get a big score after several "useful" efforts.

Watson round the wicket to him Fingers Crossed 

...a boundary  clap 

That should make him feel better. Hundred lead...

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:20 am

The 50 partnership up for England. Cook 49 and Carberry 5. England 53 for 0.
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Post by guildfordbat on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:33 am

Lunch in Melbourne and bed for me here.

Good effort by Cook and Carberry to see out the morning session undefeated. As I posted before the start of play, I feel a stretching but not unreasonable aim is to have over 200 on the board at stumps with no more than 5 down. However badly our tail then do, that would still leave Australia having to make the highest innings score of the match to win and that is never easy.

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Post by alfie on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:36 am

Good session...105 ahead , ten in hand.

Not getting complacent though...things can change quickly. But a real opportunity for England to put some pressure on the Australian bowlers for a change.

Given the weather , I am sure they are happy to be batting not fielding this afternoon.

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Post by alfie on Sat 28 Dec 2013, 1:37 am

Goodnight guildford. Hope you wake to good news.

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