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 guildfordbat on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:34 am

alfie wrote:Hi guildford...look I am not suggesting Bairstow is going to be a long term England keeper - I rather doubt he will.
But I do think people are a bit keen to put the boot into him at the least provocation.  Was an error , yes.  But probably wouldn't be getting quite so much attention were it not for the team's current troubles ...and the understandable uneasiness about the prior (Prior) situation.

First mistake he has made.  Let us see how he keeps to Monty ...who must surely bowl now ?

No quibble with that, Alfie. My argument over Bairstow is really with the selectors.

Imo, if he was going to be selected for this tour, it should primarily have been as a batsman. However, the selectors have given the impression from outset as regarding his place being mainly down to him being the reserve keeper. That really surprises me in view of the reservations stated earlier. If we wanted to take a back up keeper, it shouldn't have been Bairstow. Consequently, we shouldn't be hammering him here for failures relating to a role for which he's inexperienced and not ready.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:42 am

guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:Hi guildford...look I am not suggesting Bairstow is going to be a long term England keeper - I rather doubt he will.
But I do think people are a bit keen to put the boot into him at the least provocation.  Was an error , yes.  But probably wouldn't be getting quite so much attention were it not for the team's current troubles ...and the understandable uneasiness about the prior (Prior) situation.

First mistake he has made.  Let us see how he keeps to Monty ...who must surely bowl now ?

No quibble with that, Alfie. My argument over Bairstow is really with the selectors.

Imo, if he was going to be selected for this tour, it should primarily have been as a batsman. However, the selectors have given the impression from outset as regarding his place being mainly down to him being the reserve keeper. That really surprises me in view of the reservations stated earlier. If we wanted to take a back up keeper, it shouldn't have been Bairstow. Consequently, we shouldn't be hammering him here for failures relating to a role for which he's inexperienced and not ready.

Yeah, there does seem to have been how shall we say, an over reliance by the selectors on the main players maintaining their form. Bairstow picked as back-up keeper was placing a lot of faith in Prior. Finn, Tremlett and Rankin selected but usurped by a man only just returning to fitness. The batting constantly failing but only one change (and that an enforced one) made to the top 6. Swann retiring but Monty, seemingly, not trusted.
Now that might simply be a comment on a lack of depth in England, or it may indicate that the selectors aren't really picking the right back-ups.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:48 am

And so to bed.

Can't see anything other than an Australian win by 6 or more wickets. Depending how the afternoon session pans out, the Man of the Match award could at least be interesting. Three potential candidates currently in my mind and none of them English!

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:54 am

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
alfie wrote:Hi guildford...look I am not suggesting Bairstow is going to be a long term England keeper - I rather doubt he will.
But I do think people are a bit keen to put the boot into him at the least provocation.  Was an error , yes.  But probably wouldn't be getting quite so much attention were it not for the team's current troubles ...and the understandable uneasiness about the prior (Prior) situation.

First mistake he has made.  Let us see how he keeps to Monty ...who must surely bowl now ?

No quibble with that, Alfie. My argument over Bairstow is really with the selectors.

Imo, if he was going to be selected for this tour, it should primarily have been as a batsman. However, the selectors have given the impression from outset as regarding his place being mainly down to him being the reserve keeper. That really surprises me in view of the reservations stated earlier. If we wanted to take a back up keeper, it shouldn't have been Bairstow. Consequently, we shouldn't be hammering him here for failures relating to a role for which he's inexperienced and not ready.

Yeah, there does seem to have been how shall we say, an over reliance by the selectors on the main players maintaining their form. Bairstow picked as back-up keeper was placing a lot of faith in Prior. Finn, Tremlett and Rankin selected but usurped by a man only just returning to fitness. The batting constantly failing but only one change (and that an enforced one) made to the top 6. Swann retiring but Monty, seemingly, not trusted.
Now that might simply be a comment on a lack of depth in England, or it may indicate that the selectors aren't really picking the right back-ups.

Alfie - I thought you said a week or so back that you just wanted to look forward when I was demanding an inquest be held at the end of this series into the selection of the 3 talls and others.  Very Happy 

Nighty night now.

EDIT: but you're Hoggy, not Alfie. B*gg*r!! Definitely time for bed.

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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:54 am

Nite Guildford. I'm staying up for this one.  Smile 

It's great to see Chris Rogers get his well deserved ton in this match. Well done!  clap 

He's the 7th player from NSW to do so in this Series. There's been 1 from Qld and 1 from the young Canterbury (NZ) lad playing for England.

Hopefully there'll be a few more from some of the locals at the SCG next week.
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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:17 am

8000 runs for Michael Clarke now.  clap 

Only 12 more runs needed to go 4-0 up.
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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:26 am

Milestones galore for Australians  Smile 

Good match for three days but today has gone exactly as I predicted last night...

That last 5 falling for six runs was the last straw for England in this match. But well played Rogers today...made quite sure of no hiccups.

Watson gets more easy runs. Will keep him in the team  Smile 

Sydney will have an end of term feel to it ...England will probably win there  Whistle 

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Post by Born Slippy on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:29 am

In a series of awful performances this probably is the most depressing. As I said last night, this pitch has flattened out to be an absolute belter. How England therefore contrived to be all out for less than 200 in their second innings in the face of solid but not spectacular bowling is a mystery I don't want to solve.

I think my current view is that removing the captaincy from Cook might be the way forward. The best batsman being captain doesn't always work. Possibly Broad might be an option - it might give him some discipline with the bat and I think he probably has more creativity.

Losing 5-0 to this Australia side will be easily the worst England performance in my lifetime. Playing as they have done, I think they'd be struggling to beat Bangladesh.

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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:30 am

ha ha. You're clutching at bamboo shoots there, alfie.  Whistle
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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:47 am

Have to find some reason to keep watching , lb...

But in a bizarre way I wouldn't be that surprised. We saw here that Australia remain capable of collapsing. They fought back well with the ball - but England gifted them a few wickets yesterday , to say the least. Maybe one day Cook won't get out in the fifties...and England will hang on to some catches...

Still hanging out for that fight back. I won't be putting money on it , mind  Smile 

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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:52 am

No, I'd keep your money safe.  Smile 

Just noticed that Australia have "temporarily" moved into 3rd place (109) in the ICC Test Rankings and England have now slipped to 4th (108)

That might provide some extra motivation for your blokes, alfie. Otherwise it could well end up being 111-107 in early January if 'we' win 5-0.
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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 3:54 am

Born Slippy wrote:In a series of awful performances this probably is the most depressing. As I said last night, this pitch has flattened out to be an absolute belter. How England therefore contrived to be all out for less than 200 in their second innings in the face of solid but not spectacular bowling is a mystery I don't want to solve.

I think my current view is that removing the captaincy from Cook might be the way forward. The best batsman being captain doesn't always work. Possibly Broad might be an option - it might give him some discipline with the bat and I think he probably has more creativity.

Losing 5-0 to this Australia side will be easily the worst England performance in my lifetime. Playing as they have done, I think they'd be struggling to beat Bangladesh.

You must be very young then.

Try 1989 . At home. Lost 4-0 , and in truth 6-0 would have flattered them  Very Happy 

Jokes aside , it has been awful. But I can't see sacking Cook is going to help...Broad has enough on his plate bowling. Bell doesn't have the personality for it , KP no comment...and Mike Brearley is getting a bit too old for a comeback  Smile 

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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 4:03 am

Maybe start with the Head Caterer/Nutritionist... then they can work their way up through to the Fielding Coach and beyond?  Whistle
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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:13 am

Hugely disappointing although not unexpected.

Craig made a good point yesterday that we really needed a wicket in the 8 overs we bowled at the end of day three. If Australia had then been, say, 15/1 instead of 30/0, there would have been a bit more genuine hope.

As it was, Australia were always favourites going into the fourth day and England never looked like changing that. Ineffective bowling (as before in this series when we've bowled second dig but generally overlooked due to the worse batting), missed chances and puzzling captaincy just added to my frustration.

In particular, I couldn't understand Panesar being held back for so long and Root being given the ball before him. If we are going to win a Test this series, we need Test class bowlers to dismiss Test class batsmen. If Panesar isn't regarded by Cook as being in that bowling category, he shouldn't be playing.

No great argument with Johnson getting the Man of the Match award (as well as his wickets, an important run out of Root) although Rogers can count himself unlucky. Others who certainly deserve a glug of the champagne are Haddin (again) and Lyon, showing himself to be an important supporting pillar of this vastly improved Australian side.

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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:24 am

Must admit I've stayed away this winter.

I saw and complained about massive problems in all areas for England over the summer and feared they would be cruelly exploited by the Aussies and I didn't want to spend all winter moaning.

But.. blimey.. what an utter shambles.

time for a total rethink selectors.

Thankfully I haven't seen any of it live as I refused to pay Sky for a disgusting money making practice like two Ashes in one year that just cheapens the whole thing.

I haven't read the BBC either as i'd imagine their writers have been Aussies top fans all winter.

(in fairness I also had far more important things than a bit of sport going on with wife ill again so it wasn't a priority).

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Post by msp83 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:49 am

Disappointing from England. They couldn't even offer a fight in the 4th innings, and it was a comfortable a chase as any. Well done to DChris Rogers, he should really know the value of that international lifeline, and he's making it count. Shane Watson again scored a few runs that would keep him in the side. But his fitness might force a restructuring of the lineup for the final test, and even Ryan Harris could be out of the final test with fitness concerns. Hope they don't recall Phil Hughes!. Has Faulkner recovered?
As for England, Jonny Bairstow was a major disappointment with the gloves, I've had my doubts about his batting for some time and I am not really surprised by his batting output. On a good day he can get over some serious technical issues with his batting, but the existence of those issues means that the good days will be few and far in between. It was strange from Cook the way he used or rather not used Panesar. If the captain doesn't trust his led spinner, then perhaps he shouldn't have played at all. Monty didn't bowl badly in the first innings did he? Bowling Root to he left-handers up front made some sense, but not the rather extended go and the ignoring of Panesar for so long.
What next for England? There has to be a deep review of this tour after it is done, and there has to be changes. Think it is time for a change at the top in terms of management. Cook has been in the job for only a year and started off pretty well in India. Though his style of captaincy needs improvement, think he should stay on for now. Flower has been in charge of this side for almost 5 years now. He did some pretty good things with this side, but for the last couple of years, there have been some serious issues. Think its time for him to go. The Flower era started in the West Indies on the back of some major upheavals in English cricket. Perhaps his successor should also start from the West Indies itself. And hopefully it won't be the Chief Poach who would take over from Flower.
As for the next test, think they should bring in some of the players who haven't played as yet. Tim Bresnan didn't make any real impact with the ball, and though he maintained a good economy rate in the first innings here, he didn't trouble the batsmen at Perth and didn't create consistent pressure with his containing bowling either. He managed to keep up a very creditable economy rate in the Australian first innings here, but went at over 6 2nd time round. His batting brought nothing whatsoever to the lower order either. As England are not letting Steven Finn go back to his county to work out a few things for himself and playing him in the ODIS, its high time he's given a chance in the team. Think one of James Anderson and Stuart Broad should be rested and Boyd Rankin given an opportunity as well, at least he'd be warmed-up for the ODIs. As England are looking to Scott Borthwick as one of the possible replacement options for Graeme Swann, they might as well give him a go, particularly after the skipper openly declared a lack of trust in Panesar.
In the batting department, I'd say Ian Bell should be asked to bat 3 and told that that's where he has to bat in the near future. Joe Root should be allowed to go back to the middle order and batted at 5.
Hopefully Garry Ballance will be given a sustained run with the ODI side, and he and Jos Buttler can make a case for a chance with the test team sooner rather than later.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:51 am

Its the hope that kills you really.

Sorry to hear that Trebs, hope she's OK? OK
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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:56 am

Olly wrote:Its the hope that kills you really.

Sorry to hear that Trebs, hope she's OK? OK

and the lack of it was why I haven't really cared.

I expected it, too many players in a mess all year.

yeah she is getting there thanks.  Been a quiet month as she couldn't go out after radiation treatment but she's getting there now.  All looking positive now thank you.

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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:56 am

Very sorry to hear the news about your wife, Trebs. I hope she makes a full recovery and wish you both all the best.

The England Team have missed you on here!


Last edited by Linebreaker on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 10:57 am

Thanks LB, much appreciated.

Congrats to you and your team LB.  They were always going to come good again soon and it must be nice to see them do it so ruthlessly.

I said in the summer I could see a new era of Aussie dominance over England emerging.  It has.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:01 am

trebellbobaggins wrote:Must admit I've stayed away this winter.

I saw and complained about massive problems in all areas for England over the summer and feared they would be cruelly exploited by the Aussies and I didn't want to spend all winter moaning.

But.. blimey.. what an utter shambles.

time for a total rethink selectors.

Thankfully I haven't seen any of it live as I refused to pay Sky for a disgusting money making practice like two Ashes in one year that just cheapens the whole thing.

I haven't read the BBC either as i'd imagine their writers have been Aussies top fans all winter.

(in fairness I also had far more important things than a bit of sport going on with wife ill again so it wasn't a priority).


Well, first and foremost, hope your missus is doing okay and on the road to recovery. that sort of thing helps put sporting disasters in perspective.


Also agree that squeezing 2 Ashes series into such a short timeframe is unforgiveable...and just another reason to hate the greedy gits at Sky. I think you can place some blame on them for our cricketers probably being burnt out and suffering "Ashes overload".

After all, its only natural that when a team has battled hard for a series victory, they're going to be less up for a rematch than the losing team. Australia were always going to be more dangerous on home soil, with an immediate chance for redemption.

However, even allowing for that, England's performances this series have been simply shambolic, barring the odd good spell in the field and with the ball. While we know our players are as good technically, if not better, than most of the Aussies, they are sadly lacking in mental fortitude (though this isn't exactly a new problem). In conditions that suit us and when things are going well, we look world-beaters. Throw a few problems up...unfavourable pitches, hostile opposition & crowds, team issues etc. and we suddenly become a schoolboy side.

I'm not sure how you can fix something like that. Do the selectors now include some kind of psychological testing, when picking England players?

Think the ECB could at least address the coaching side and try to find some staff that will help our players adapt to difficult conditions, when their normal game is ineffective. Also needs to be a culture change amongst the players as well. I get the impression a lot of our guys just go out and play how they want to, regardless of what the coaches say and that (the senior players, at least) feel they're too good to need coaches.

Anyway, rant over. Bring on the 5-0 whitewash and lets hope the ECB manages to have some ideas that actually improve our national team.
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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:02 am

Thank you, Mr Trebs. 
Keep positive mate and know that we are all with you.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:02 am

Good to hear Trebs!! All the best

Yes well done Australia, although I must admit I'm gonna enjoy Steyn against Watson. Gonna be hilarious for the two balls it'll last
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Post by dyrewolfe on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:10 am

trebellbobaggins wrote:Thanks LB, much appreciated.

Congrats to you and your team LB.  They were always going to come good again soon and it must be nice to see them do it so ruthlessly.

I said in the summer I could see a new era of Aussie dominance over England emerging.  It has.


Maybe we should start calling you "Mystic Trebs"? Wink

On a serious note, I think quite a few people could see the 3-0 win in the summer was covering up some worrying deficiencies (in the batting department at least).

The Aussies were poor to start with, but even so we struggled to set big totals and usually relied on our bowling unit to win matches...and operating on helpful pitches, on home soil, they delivered more often than not.

Over in Aus, our poor batting has been cruelly exposed - even though most of the pitches have been good batting tracks. The Aussie bowlers know how to get the best out of these pitches and have been helped enormously by our woeful batting. Equally, our bowlers have been unable to adapt to these pitches and conditions and have largely struggled to take wickets. Even on the occasions when they've got good starts, they've inexplicably been unable to finish the Aussie batting off and allowed them to build decent scores.

With this in mind, there was only ever going to be one outcome.
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Post by Duty281 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:16 am

Well done Australia. clap

England? Pathetic as ever. Really time for Flower to go now, unless we want a tonking from India and....are we playing the Saffers next winter?

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:18 am

Duty281 wrote:Well done Australia. clap

England? Pathetic as ever. Really time for Flower to go now, unless we want a tonking from India and....are we playing the Saffers next winter?

I believe it is the winter of 2015 we tour South Africa, but not 100% certain on that
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Post by Born Slippy on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:21 am

alfie wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:In a series of awful performances this probably is the most depressing. As I said last night, this pitch has flattened out to be an absolute belter. How England therefore contrived to be all out for less than 200 in their second innings in the face of solid but not spectacular bowling is a mystery I don't want to solve.

I think my current view is that removing the captaincy from Cook might be the way forward. The best batsman being captain doesn't always work. Possibly Broad might be an option - it might give him some discipline with the bat and I think he probably has more creativity.

Losing 5-0 to this Australia side will be easily the worst England performance in my lifetime. Playing as they have done, I think they'd be struggling to beat Bangladesh.

You must be very young then.  

Try 1989 .  At home.  Lost 4-0 , and in truth 6-0 would have flattered them  Very Happy 

Jokes aside , it has been awful.  But I can't see sacking Cook is going to help...Broad has enough on his plate bowling. Bell doesn't have the personality for it , KP no comment...and Mike Brearley is getting a bit too old for a comeback  Smile 

Well, I was alive in 1989 and have very vague memories of it but Gooch's 333 and the India series in 1990 is the first series I can properly remember. That said, awful though that was, we didn't at that time have a team capable of being number 1 in the world. Three or four members of the current side have been world 11 contenders for several years.

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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:26 am

Thanks guys and I agree with all you say there Wolfie.

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Post by kingraf on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:26 am

Yeah, we got the Windies and Australia again next summer. On the bright side, the England 2015 tour is a four Test series.
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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:32 am

that's four wins you can chalk up already then kingr.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:47 am

The difference for me I that te Australian sides I use to see hump England were full I legends.
Border, warne, McGrath, Waugh, ponting, Hayden, gilchrist an joe mangel.
This Australian side is 50% non entities. Ok England may have been unfortunate to get a sober Warner and johnsons accurate alter ego ( remember last time they came here?) but this is not a strong Australian side.
That's for me what makes the performance so bad. Thy should at least be able to compete with these guys, not look woefully out of their depth in every department. There was 6 players in the England squad who have averaged well over 40 in their careers, suddenly make over 250 as a team has become a struggle on fairly take wickets.
These players are capable of better.

That's what's really annoyed people, and to be fair the team acknowledge it. You can have all the plans in the world and make any selections you like but if the team doesn't turn up and execute to their ability this is what you get.
Added to the old guard is the disappointment in the new additions. Carberry just isn't that good, we knew that. Bairstow has been a long project for England but looks hopelessly out of depth and rather than grasping his opportunity has proven the doubters. People have a thing for stokes but what has he actually delivered that perennial ginger hate figure collingwood didn't last time they got humped here? One century shouldn't hide that he doesn't take wickets and has got out cheaply other times.

No different to what happened when India and Australia came to England. Teams and players struggle to maintain their highest levels in what is a mentally demanding sport. The psychological part of the game is enornmous, that's become increasingly apparent as you watch guys get out to inoccuos Lyon balls because they are thinking about Johnson. Bell is a player who was supposed to have to over this, apparently the one who can oh score against Bangladesh is back.

If they were as bad and ametuer as some of the teams that were around 20 years ago and the Aussies as strong as they were at their height we wouldn't be so annoyed with this.
But all the talk and excuses for other failures and odd selections has been down to building for these back to back ashes series. What we have seen is abject.



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Post by kingraf on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 11:53 am

I read a post from Doody a few days ago stating he wanted to lose 5-0 and essentially pretend the last four years were a nightmare... Fair enough, but if you're English, you shoud probably then pretend the preceding four years (series loss vs S.A., Windies, 5-0 Ashes) were also a nightmare of sorts... Then there's a nice two year period from 2003/05, but then you have to pretend the 90s never happened... how far back do England go before there's a period actually better than these four years?
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Post by Duty281 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:04 pm

kingraf wrote:I read a post from Doody a few days ago stating he wanted to lose 5-0 and essentially pretend the last four years were a nightmare... Fair enough, but if you're English, you shoud probably then pretend the preceding four years (series loss vs S.A., Windies, 5-0 Ashes) were also a nightmare of sorts... Then there's a nice two year period from 2003/05, but then you have to pretend the 90s never happened... how far back do England go before there's a period actually better than these four years?

2009-2011 was fantastic for England.

They defeated Australia home and away. They defeated India. They defeated Pakistan. They drew with South Africa away. They defeated Bangladesh home and away. They defeated Sri Lanka. They defeated the West Indies.

They conquered the world.

Since then. there has been no plan, no direction and a complete loss of motivation.

A whitewash in the UAE. A draw against Sri Lanka, but only thanks to some KP and Swann heroics. A narrow win over a very poor Windies side. A humbling by the Saffers. A narrow win over India, the only time England have strung together two good Test matches in succession since 2011. The weather saved England in NZ, before they overcame what was, in truth, a very poor NZ side at home. England then beat Australia 3-0, thanks largely in part to the bowlers and an Australian side in disarray. Now it's all coming to a head. 5-0 imminent.

It's easy to see England need a change. In truth, the change is coming about far too late.

Australia have played well this series, but they really are nothing special. They've got top-quality seamers, and one world-class batsman, but that's it. England should not be losing 5-0 to Australia. England should not be even losing to this Australian side, full stop.

All change please.

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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:28 pm

First things first . Trebell : delighted to hear from you ; concerned to hear of your wife's illness but very relieved to hear the news is good and trust she will continue to recover well. Will be glad to have you back on board when more important matters are not dominating your life.
And best wishes for the New Year.

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:30 pm

alfie wrote:First things first .  Trebell : delighted to hear from you ; concerned to hear of your wife's illness but very relieved to hear the news is good and trust she will continue to recover well. Will be glad to have you back on board when more important matters are not dominating your life.
And best wishes for the New Year.

Ditto. Best wishes Treb.  thumbsup 

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Post by GloriousEmpire on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:34 pm

"2009-2011 was fantastic for England.

They defeated Australia home and away. They defeated India. They defeated Pakistan. They drew with South Africa away. They defeated Bangladesh home and away. They defeated Sri Lanka. They defeated the West Indies. They conquered the world."

Erm...steady on.


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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:48 pm

Tough times ahead, Duty.
They'll most likely get worse before they get better.

I also think Australia are only at the beginning of their rise up the ranks to their usual position at the top of the tree. Good to hear Lehman echo what I said on here last night - give Harris and Watson a rest and have some fresh replacements for the final match before they take on SA.

We obviously have different appreciation of what constitutes a great team. I wouldn't say the England team of 2009-2011 was "fantastic" like the great West Indian and Australian sides of the past. They were good to very good at best after losing heavily to SA and Pakistan with the same players mostly.

This 'average' Australian side has now destroyed the careers of Trott and Swann (within 14 days) and Prior looks gone. His replacement Bairstow is not up to Test standard either. Cook's captaincy is on shaky ground too and Anderson, Bell and KP are on their last legs. Root has been exposed but there seems to be no other option but to keep him on. Stokes ditto. Monty and Bresnan are the unwanted passengers and Finn, Tremlett, Rankin have been treated with contempt.

Team Management is in turmoil and most of the coaching staff will soon be history as well.

That just leaves Stuart Broad.  Whistle 

So that was the team you maintain is "better on paper" than this current sub-par Australian side? The same side which has done perhaps the greatest demolition job on another side in the history of the game in the shortest period of time ever. 

It's quite a remarkable achievement really.  Very Happy
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Post by kingraf on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:57 pm

Will be interesting to see if Johnson can blast out the Proteas. England have allowed them back time and again, but you get the sense that if Australia are 50/4 against South Africa, they'll be 80 all out, or 120/6, they aren't passing 150. Good on Lehmann giving the lads a rest, the trip down south is a very important one, and with your batting the way it is, Johnson and co are probably going to need to produce more heroics.
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Post by Biltong on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 12:58 pm

I think this series has been humiliating for England, prior to this series expectations were high for England to get back to the top of the tree.

Sadly the opposite has occured and it makes you wonder how much of the internal turmoil of this team was hidden from the public.

Since the series last year against SA with Pietersen and his "tweets" etc this team seems to have gone down rapidly.

On the flipside the Aussies weren't hiding their issues and it all came out in the wash which meant they had their "experimentations" and selection issues without having to hide anything.

Now the last two series have allowed them the time necessary to sort out some selection issues.

The only concern they should have is these guys aren't all that young, and soon they will need to find replacements otherwise they will have issues in the next two years again.
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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:15 pm

Funny how fans often go from crazy overconfidence to total despair almost overnight  Smile 

It is usually overdone. Think Kipling said something vaguely appropriate ...

I have been very disappointed at the way this series has gone : not the loss - after all three Ashes wins in a row is plenty , and I do not begrudge the Aussies another turn (though I'd prefer it to be a short one  Smile ) - but the lack of an exciting contest. However I noted a while back the tendency of England teams to lose rather heavily when they surrender the Ashes , especially in Australia. So it doesn't shock me as much as it might.
I do however urge everyone to take a deep breath.  A few months ago Australia was in total disarray ...having a nightmare tour of India , captain struggling with injury , vice captain allegedly hating his guts , coach at odds with half his players at least...and seemingly none of the players being thrown into the mix in apparent desperation were anywhere near up to it...
And what happened ? A coaching change ...an acceptance that they had hit a low point ...and a determination to start again without stressing over what had gone before . Things didn't change instantly : however you spin it , the 3-0 Ashes loss was still a 3-0 loss , the odd good day notwithstanding ; and the batting order was still all over the place. But coming home , settling an order , planning to stick with it for a while ...no more panic changing : seems to have got the players in a good place to start the series.
Still might not have worked , but for a couple of pieces of individual brilliance...but once it did , things got better fast ! And yet no sweeping changes were made...no brilliant new young players were discovered...just a few tweaks to the batting order , a recycled bowler brought back at the right time...and the horrors of the last couple of tours have melted away like winter's snows...

Now I am not suggesting England can or should try to replicate the Australian moves - personally , I would prefer to keep Flower in charge , though I suspect he will have had enough anyway so that won't be an option.
But I would far prefer to see whoever is in charge use the summer Tests to try and get back on course with just a couple of thoughtful changes , than wielding a mad axe in order to assuage the hurt feelings of disappointed supporters.
India have been "whitewashed" twice in the last three years...and they are back to number two in the lists already ! Couple of new batsmen , much the same bowlers...

It (probably) isn't as bad as you think.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:25 pm

This series so far reminds me of England's capitulation in the 2010 World Cup.
Lots of good players, but a lack of leadership, whether on the field or off, a lack of purpose and no-one seemingly interested in getting the basics right so that skills can flourish.
What am I missing here?

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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 1:37 pm

Linebreaker wrote:Tough times ahead, Duty.
They'll most likely get worse before they get better.

I also think Australia are only at the beginning of their rise up the ranks to their usual position at the top of the tree. Good to hear Lehman echo what I said on here last night - give Harris and Watson a rest and have some fresh replacements for the final match before they take on SA.

We obviously have different appreciation of what constitutes a great team. I wouldn't say the England team of 2009-2011 was "fantastic" like the great West Indian and Australian sides of the past. They were good to very good at best after losing heavily to SA and Pakistan with the same players mostly.

This 'average' Australian side has now destroyed the careers of Trott and Swann (within 14 days) and Prior looks gone. His replacement Bairstow is not up to Test standard either. Cook's captaincy is on shaky ground too and Anderson, Bell and KP are on their last legs. Root has been exposed but there seems to be no other option but to keep him on. Stokes ditto. Monty and Bresnan are the unwanted passengers and Finn, Tremlett, Rankin have been treated with contempt.

Team Management is in turmoil and most of the coaching staff will soon be history as well.

That just leaves Stuart Broad.  Whistle 

So that was the team you maintain is "better on paper" than this current sub-par Australian side? The same side which has done perhaps the greatest demolition job on another side in the history of the game in the shortest period of time ever. 

It's quite a remarkable achievement really.  Very Happy

A slightly mischievous post , lb  Smile 

Duty hasn't given Australia enough credit , I do agree. Hyperbole apart , they have royally thumped England over the last month ...they have played out of their skins , and deserve very high praise.

But as you say , they still have a bit to do to start claiming legend status. England on the other hand have folded up under the pressure , though I think you do them a slight disservice in damning them with such faint praise for their previous efforts. They were pretty good for the last five years , if lacking the consistency of the really top sides. I think they have always admitted they were still a work in progress : and if the breakup now taking place means they are setback in that work , I am not sure it means they are going to fall as far and fast as many people are assuming.

I think some of those players may have more left in their legs than you suggest. And some of the younger ones may be a much tougher proposition with a few more matches under their belts. We shall see.

Anyway , enjoy your time at number three.  Smile 

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Post by kingraf on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:00 pm

I quite liked LB's post.... the modesty has become harder to replicate as the full extent of England's ineptitude has become clearer, think Doody's comment finally pushed LB over the edge and he had to set it straight... Good on you LB, must have been difficult to keep telling the English posters the have a good team, and you got lucky while they continuously collapsed like a deck of Chinese cards
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:05 pm

The Saffers will show just how average this Aussie side is
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Post by Duty281 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:13 pm

Linebreaker wrote:Tough times ahead, Duty.
They'll most likely get worse before they get better.

I also think Australia are only at the beginning of their rise up the ranks to their usual position at the top of the tree. Good to hear Lehman echo what I said on here last night - give Harris and Watson a rest and have some fresh replacements for the final match before they take on SA.

We obviously have different appreciation of what constitutes a great team. I wouldn't say the England team of 2009-2011 was "fantastic" like the great West Indian and Australian sides of the past. They were good to very good at best after losing heavily to SA and Pakistan with the same players mostly.

This 'average' Australian side has now destroyed the careers of Trott and Swann (within 14 days) and Prior looks gone. His replacement Bairstow is not up to Test standard either. Cook's captaincy is on shaky ground too and Anderson, Bell and KP are on their last legs. Root has been exposed but there seems to be no other option but to keep him on. Stokes ditto. Monty and Bresnan are the unwanted passengers and Finn, Tremlett, Rankin have been treated with contempt.

Team Management is in turmoil and most of the coaching staff will soon be history as well.

That just leaves Stuart Broad.  Whistle 

So that was the team you maintain is "better on paper" than this current sub-par Australian side? The same side which has done perhaps the greatest demolition job on another side in the history of the game in the shortest period of time ever. 

It's quite a remarkable achievement really.  Very Happy

I'd say at the end of 2011, England were the best in the world. Not comparable to the great Australian or West Indies sides, but who ever said that (bar a couple of hype-columnists).

For this series, I've said Australia have played well. That's all they've been; good, decent, 7/10. Mitchell Johnson has been the only outstanding Australian this series, while a batting line-up consisting of only one top-quality player has been let off the hook time and again. This Australia team won't top the world - the seamers are inconsistent, anyone knows that, and Australia have only one top-class batsman.

They haven't needed to be any better than 7/10 though because England have been 2/10 this series. Fielding abject. Bowling isn't ruthless enough. Batting is truly, truly horrific. It's amusing how things come full circle - last time in Australia, all of England's players were in fantastic form, now they're utterly devoid of anything.

And better on paper? Most definitely. Coming into this series, England had the advantage in batting, keeping and the spin department, with Australia possibly having a slight advantage with the seamers. I think that was the common consensus going into the series.

That all went south though when England didn't prepare properly, weren't motivated enough and faced an absolutely fired-up Mitchell Johnson. Swann's mind was clearly elsewhere, Trott was ill (to say Australia have destroyed his career is immensely disrespectful as anyone who has suffered mental illness will attest), and Prior's in the worst slump of his life. Not to mention England making a mess of the selection for opener once again.

So yes, well done Australia, but I shall always stick to my guns and say that the incoming 5-0 has been more down to England's naivety and incompetence, than Australian brilliance.

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Post by Born Slippy on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:29 pm

I am puzzled by how anyone could view this Australian team as above average. I think everyone acknowledges that they have played to the max of their abilities over the four matches and gives due credit for that but the selection of batsmen who average 30 odd aren't suddenly world class. I'd prefer saying England had lost to a magnificent team (like 2006) but, in fact, this series has been more about England's implosion.

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Post by alfie on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:30 pm

I hear what you are saying Duty ...but better on paper really only means "having a better past record" .
And players improve...and players decline. Sometimes they just have a bad year.

Apart from a couple who have already gone , we will only know for sure whether England's players are on the way out or just having a 'mare with the benefit of a bit more hindsight.
And just how good some of the Aussie players are when they have to leave their home comforts again...

But after these four matches we surely have to admit , they have proved , on the pitchthey are clearly the better team. At least for now.

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Post by GloriousEmpire on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 2:56 pm

Ah, the old English pass time of sacrificially tearing apart their heroes in order to denude the opposition of glory in victory.

The sad old argument that this Australian team has not beaten so convincingly the England side hailed as heroes a few short months ago, but that the same beaten Australia have merely encountered a shaddow of the previous side, which is still vastly superior.

The irony is that the British media is so rehearsed in this farce, that fear of failure and feeling their wrath in this charade actually aids the teams demise. Once you get England under pressure, they just keep getting worse.

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Post by msp83 on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 6:07 pm

alfie wrote:India have been "whitewashed" twice in the last three years...and they are back to number two in the lists already ! Couple of new batsmen , much the same bowlers...

It (probably) isn't as bad as you think.
Not quite alfie.
Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami, players involved in the ongoing South African series where India have surpassed expectations so far were not involved in any of those 8 tests. Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin played only the Australia series. And in the rest of the squad that is playing, Bhuvneshwar Kumar wasn't even in the selectors' thoughts at the time of the twin whitewashes, and Ambati Rayudu still was a naughty little troublemaker who needed to learn his lessons at the domestic level before being even considered for international responsibilities.
Duncan Flecher and Mahendra Singh Dhoni stayed on, but otherwise, a lot have changed really.

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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 6:34 pm

alfie wrote:First things first .  Trebell : delighted to hear from you ; concerned to hear of your wife's illness but very relieved to hear the news is good and trust she will continue to recover well. Will be glad to have you back on board when more important matters are not dominating your life.
And best wishes for the New Year.

Thank you mate.  Much appreciated.  Has been a busy and a bit of an old worry but here's to the future.  It all puts knocking a bit of rubber around with a plank into perspective to be honest.

Thanks to Doody too.

Best wishes to all of you for the new year ahead.


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