5th Ashes Test, Sydney

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Post by Pal Joey on Thu 02 Jan 2014, 10:03 am

First topic message reminder :

January 3-7, Sydney Cricket Ground
Start time 1030 (2330 GMT)

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, IR Bell, KP Pietersen, GS Ballance, BA Stokes, JM Bairstow†, SG Borthwick, SCJ Broad, JM Anderson, WB Rankin


The grassy SCG pitch should offer some assistance for the pace bowlers early on. Some grip there for the spinners too. It's not going to be too hot and there is the chance of a few showers over the 5 days - but nothing too substantial. Some cloud cover and high humidity though.


Last edited by Linebreaker on Thu 02 Jan 2014, 11:19 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Teams updated)
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Post by KP_fan on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:27 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:I do wonder why you are getting so het up about Flower though. I mean it is plainly evident you revel in England's failure so if he is a walking disaster then you should wish him to remain.

the italics part of your statement is untrue and imaginative as confirmed by the underlined part.

when I take interest in any team....I observe them minutely and state what I believe is the right thing.
So often times I have stated what Eng's strategy should be against India for example when they were in India and in CT and now that India is likely to travel to Eng......

and I am intensely critical of Indian team when they deserve criticism.
I was critical of Aus when they were in India....and all that hom-workgate occurred.
Appreciation is more reserved because there is so much mediocrity around....for example on this tour other than Braod and Stokes there is absolutely nothing appreciable from Eng

So in summary to me watching / observation and analysis is about saying the right thing.

and where Eng stand now ( or have been standing for sometime)...Flower is not the right thing....and this is not just in hind sight
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:37 am

But do you not understand that you turning EVERYTHING into Flower's fault all becomes very tiresome. We catch your drift so why keep banging on about it footnoting every second post with a dig at Flower? If you were English I'd understand a reasoning but you aren't so I don't if you see what I mean.

The Sky Panel were all hurting today and each of them want the best for England but guess what? They were unaminous that Flower should stay. Beefy wants a cutback in 'hangers on' in the backroom staff but re-iterated Flower was the man to take them forward.
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Post by GloriousEmpire on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:37 am

The change in England's fortune is really quite breathtaking.

I wonder if any rumours of match fixing might surface? Either from this spectacular failure, or the few years of apparent success wedged between this and the prior similar failures. Quite long odds against 5-0 weren't there?

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Post by kingraf on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:38 am

Must be fair to KP_fan... he's criticism of Flower isn't any worse than his criticism of half the Indian team, management, and sometimes government. He may be wrong in his criticism of Flower (or at least the intensity of the criticism), but he certainly hasn't singled him out, or been especially harsh on him.
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Post by msp83 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:41 am

England showed no stomach for a fight and capitulated in 31 overs to complete a chapter of absolute humiliation. Australia deserve all the congratulation and credit, they played like a team, internal issues never threatened team dynamics, and Johnson and Haddin produced series of their careers, and Smith, Warner, Harris, Rogers, Lyon and Clarke all chipped in. Siddle did his job as Siddle does, and even Bailey had his moment, that Anderson over takes him to the recordbooks. Shane Watson never delivered so much as he threatened to do but did well nevertheless. So all 11 players stepped in and performed, and they have a whitewash to celebrate.
Don't have words to describe England's performance. India's 8-0 was much better if I could describe it thus.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:43 am

kingraf wrote:Must be fair to KP_fan...  he's  criticism of Flower isn't any worse than his criticism of half the Indian team, management, and sometimes government. He may be wrong in his criticism of Flower (or at least the intensity of the criticism), but he certainly hasn't singled him out, or been especially harsh on him.

My point is....why? I don't see people on here vociferously harping on at or attacking South Africa or India's team make-up or management to the degree he does about Flower. If I were a neutral in this as he is I'd do one post and say he isn't for the job and leave it at that and think to myself if they want to ruin their test side it is their look-out.
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Post by kingraf on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:44 am

I don't know why... I'm just saying - this is his posting style.
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Post by kingraf on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:47 am

Although I think it all really started after Text-gate, when KP was unfairly (I think that's the term he used), hung to dry. Have a look at the comments during that timeline, that's when things got... feisty.
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 9:57 am

Linebreaker wrote:
kingraf wrote:Have to honest - This has been Aztec exciting as 5-0 demolitions go - Purely because Australia's bowling attack has been suffocating, frightening even. Even McGrath has openly stated this is the best Australian pace Attack he's seen... I still think SA has the best bowling trio in world cricket , but we have never been this suffocating for this long.

That's because SA don't play 5 Tests anymore. This one was less of a contest compared to 2006/7. It was over a lot more quickly.

The 1920/21 whitewash would have been great to witness from all accounts.  Smile 

I guess the "who has the better attack" boils down to whether youre talking how those bowlers have performed in the last few months vs how good theyve been over their careers.
Johnson has played the best cricket of his life by a margin, hes never managed more than occasional spells at the pace and accuracy he managed almost every over in this series. Will he revert back, can you ever imagine Steyn bowling like Johnson did last time England came over?
Harris vs Morkel Id see as pretty even when Harris can stay fit, although Harris' international average is far better and hes bowled incredibly over this series. Philander vs Siddle? you cant argue with Philanders record in the battle of the mediums. With Kallis gone Aus get bonus points for Watson and win the spinner battle for all thats worth. Lyon again has bowled the best Ive ever seen him this series, but even if we take those results as an aberration you have to hand the spinners battle to Aus.
The endurance the Aussie frontline seamers have shown in this series is pretty impressive too. None of them have broken down or looked busted in a 4th innings. Perhaps helped a lot by Englands inability to keep them out there, but over a 5 match series we usually see at least one break and these arent young guys.
When you consider Australia went into this with 4 seamers injured the performances are even more remarkable, the depth is evident.
At the minute Id see SA as having the best first 3, but Australia having the best all round bowling unit.
I suspect in the limited overs games we'll see a lot of the next generation of Aus bowlers.

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Post by dyrewolfe on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:03 am

kingraf wrote:Although I think it all really started after Text-gate, when KP was unfairly (I think that's the term he used), hung to dry. Have a look at the comments during that timeline, that's when things got... feisty.

Lol! Perhaps KP is the only thing / person he is unable to be objective about? Laugh


Anyway, thank god thats all over.

I'd be happy to see a complete change in management and coaching staff, as well as a major re-build of the team. Also, whoever agreed to play back-to-back Ashes series in such quick succession should never have anything to do with English cricket again. While the team's performance has been abysmal, anyone with half a brain might have foreseen they'd be suffering from burnout, having to defend the Ashes in Aus, just months after winning them here.
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Post by kingraf on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:08 am

No one knows yet how big a hole Kallis is on the bowling front, I'm hoping it's negligible, but fifteen overs an innings with a wicket somewhere there, is easily replaced.

Our bowling stocks are just as stacked as Australia's (except on the spinners front). Guys like Chris Morris, Gqamane, even Parnell, are all chomping at the bit, and thats before I mention the guys in waiting like Kyle Abbott and Marchant de Lange.

Eddie Leie is probably the spinner to look to for the future - averages 25, at a strike rate of 41. But I've played against him, and showed him him the ropes, with his fast leg-breaks... No idea how he made it and I didn't... although the fact that he only started shining now (at 27) probably explains it.
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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:18 am

might as well laugh, what else can you do.

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Post by msp83 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:24 am

If half of England think Flower is the man to take England forward after this, well, I must say I am rather surprised. This series didn't happen overnight, in fact after the 2011 summer, England's consistency was badly hit in the UAE but that was put down to a couple of ill-timed bad sessions and their general problems against spin. Then they had an average series in Sri Lanka but not many had issues. Then they lost to SA but then people rightly said they lost to a better side. Then KPGate happened and most thought all that was down to the 'egoistic', 'greedy', 'ungracious', 'arrogant' and 'opportunistic' Pietersen and that Flower was an angel the way he let Cook 'Reintegrate' the out of favor batsman. After they won a historic series in India, many thought England would easily thrash South Africa had they played them then. When they struggled against the number 8 side in the world it was put down to England taking New Zealand lightly, and Matt Prior saved their skinn, that was touted as the reflection of the fighting qualities of the side. When people pointed out that the England batsmen were far too inconsistent with the bat in the return series as well, there was not many who listened as England won the series. Though England won the home Ashes, there were some serious issues but not many wanted to look at that side.
Now after this utter humiliation, most of them want the coach, who couldn't identify and successfully implement counter strategies for the last 2 years to carry England forward. In fact it seems like he's the only one above criticism in this entire saga.
I think England need a change of guard and a change of philosophy. Cook has been in the job only for a year, and he led them to an Ashes win and a series win in India. Considering that, think its Flower who should go after a stint of 5 years that have produced mixed results for England contrary to perceptions that all was well before this little blip.
The core of the side that Flower took to high points was put together by Duncan Flecher and his less credited successor Peter Moores. Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, all established themselves in the Flecher era, The likes of Anderson and Prior were discovered in the Flecher era and established themselves in the Moores era. Veteran county cricketrs like Graeme Swann and Ryan Sidebottom, players who played important roles in the Flower era were brought back to international cricket by Moores. Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett were discoveries of the Moores era.
Under flower, the players who emerged and played a decent number of games so far are Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. Root's story is one of complete mismanagement, so is Finn's. Who other than Trott proved to be a player of sustained excellence?
How could a coach who played a leading role in messing around 2 of the brightest stars who emerged for English cricket in the last 5 years, Finn and Root be the right man to take them to a new era of rebuilding? How is James Taylor these days? How could Flower, who messed around the likes of Nick Compton and Taylor be the right person to lead England through a rebuilding face?
I am not saying Flower was all bad for English cricket. He could produce some fabulous results in the first couple of years of his term, he helped the side recover after the Moores Pietersen rift and the aftereffects and strengthen and consolidate the continuous process of greater professionalization of the team and so on. But I don't think many of England's senior players are enjoying their cricket at the moment. None of Pietersen, Prior, Anderson, Bell and cook are in their mid 30s. Even Graeme Swann hadn't quite reached that point. Swann is already gone, if more of the senior lot is lost to English cricket, they are lost at a cricketing age that is not really old enough. I just can't understand the 'Flower Can Do No Wrong' approach, and I would like to hear some considered responses from posters here.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:25 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:

PS Rankin took his first test wicket getting Side caught behind to close the innings.

PPS Sadly for Rankin, I suspect his last Test wicket as well. I can't see England being in a rush to select him again.

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Post by msp83 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:33 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:
kingraf wrote:Must be fair to KP_fan...  he's  criticism of Flower isn't any worse than his criticism of half the Indian team, management, and sometimes government. He may be wrong in his criticism of Flower (or at least the intensity of the criticism), but he certainly hasn't singled him out, or been especially harsh on him.

My point is....why? I don't see people on here vociferously harping on at or attacking South Africa or India's team make-up or management to the degree he does about Flower. If I were a neutral in this as he is I'd do one post and say he isn't for the job and leave it at that and think to myself if they want to ruin their test side it is their look-out.
Don't think we can expect a poster to only focus on just the one side. England happens to be one of my favorite sides, and a number of South African players are among my real favorites. The number of countries playing test cricket isn't huge, and many are driven by a passion for the game rather than just a national loyalty. When the West Indies appoint Darren Sammy as captain for non-cricketing reasons, it does my head in, when Ross Taylor was sacked as skipper by the NZC, I had protracted debates with many posters here. Think I am the one who posted more comments than anyone else over here on games involving Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. I know a number of followers of the game in these parts of the world who are like that, so nothing really surprising there.
Don't think we as a forum, have anyways been very tolerant of minority voices over here all that much.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:45 am

guildfordbat wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:

PS Rankin took his first test wicket getting Side caught behind to close the innings.

PPS Sadly for Rankin, I suspect his last Test wicket as well. I can't see England being in a rush to select him again.

Yes I would agree. truck me as a little too one-dimensional.
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Post by alfie on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:00 am

Reasonable points , as usual , msp

But I don't think anyone is saying " Flower can do no wrong ". More "Flower is a good coach , with a fine record. If he has the will to try and rebuild , and the open mind to make the necessary changes ; he may well be the best man for the job"

May be ....maybe not. I don't think it is cut and dried. But to blame everything that has gone wrong recently on Flower seems unreasonable. And a bit of a kneejerk.

Cook is a different issue. He doesn't look a natural captain. He had success at first , more as a leader by example than a brilliant tactician. But let us not forget he has barely a year in the job behind him...his character won't change ; but he can learn. And I suspect any leader who arrives in Australia , gets murdered in the first Test , loses his number three rather dramatically and then sees his very successful spinner decline and disappear over weeks in the midst of further heavy defeats ; is likely to have some difficulty in keeping his head together. I don't intend to make the above an excuse : but perhaps Cook's struggles with bat and tactics can be seen as somewhat understandable ?
Since no one else appeals as a replacement (the last thing Broad needs is having Test Captaincy hung round his neck !) , I am inclined to see if he can come back from this.




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Post by Hood83 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:27 am

Well done Australia, an absolutely emphatic victory. Well before the last Ashes I and a few others raised gentle questions of our batsmen and were shouted down. Sorry, but when it's left to them and not our bowlers, they flounder.

Mentally, they are pathetic, Boycott is right for once. I actually think the nature of this loss could have legacy issues. I cannot see how the entire top order can face Oz after this without having plenty of demons rattling around.

I recognise people saying we don't want knee-jerk, wholesale changes. But we also have to think whether this is no fluke. Which players have been on borrowed time, which players will never make the grade, which are just in awful form? Tough but I think everyone bar Broad and Stokes should be concerned.

Cook is not a captain, frankly I think he's a bit dim. He looked broken and void of imagination throughout.

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:28 am

Well done Australia. clap

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:30 am

Alfie Today - completely agree with the Cook situation. No one really to take over at the moment. Of course, if the side's decline carries on this summer then everyone will have to have a rethink.
  On a brighter note. Broad's bashes in both innings at Sydney have taken him past 2,000 Test runs to go with his 200+ wickets.
  I think he's only the third England Test player to do this particular double, after Beefy and Freddie Flintoff. Given Broad's comparatively young age I can see him getting the 3,000-run and 300-wkt double, but Beefy's 5,000 runs looks safe.
 The hope for England is that in future years we might be talking about these sort of stats for Ben Stokes.

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Post by Hood83 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:33 am

msp83 wrote:If half of England think Flower is the man to take England forward after this, well, I must say I am rather surprised. This series didn't happen overnight, in fact after the 2011 summer, England's consistency was badly hit in the UAE but that was put down to a couple of ill-timed bad sessions and their general problems against spin. Then they had an average series in Sri Lanka but not many had issues. Then they lost to SA but then people rightly said they lost to a better side. Then KPGate happened and most thought all that was down to the 'egoistic', 'greedy', 'ungracious', 'arrogant' and 'opportunistic' Pietersen and that Flower was an angel the way he let Cook 'Reintegrate' the out of favor batsman. After they won a historic series in India, many thought England would easily thrash South Africa had they played them then. When they struggled against the number 8 side in the world it was put down to England taking New Zealand lightly, and Matt Prior saved their skinn, that was touted as the reflection of the fighting qualities of the side. When people pointed out that the England batsmen were far too inconsistent with the bat in the return series as well, there was not many who listened as England won the series. Though England won the home Ashes, there were some serious issues but not many wanted to look at that side.
Now after this utter humiliation, most of them want the coach, who couldn't identify and successfully implement counter strategies for the last 2 years to carry England forward. In fact it seems like he's the only one above criticism in this entire saga.
I think England need a change of guard and a change of philosophy. Cook has been in the job only for a year, and he led them to an Ashes win and a series win in India. Considering that, think its Flower who should go after a stint of 5 years that have produced mixed results for England contrary to perceptions that all was well before this little blip.
The core of the side that Flower took to high points was put together by Duncan Flecher and his less credited successor Peter Moores. Strauss, Cook, Pietersen, all established themselves in the Flecher era, The likes of Anderson and Prior were discovered in the Flecher era and established themselves in the Moores era. Veteran county cricketrs like Graeme Swann and Ryan Sidebottom, players who played important roles in the Flower era were brought back to international cricket by Moores. Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett were discoveries of the Moores era.
Under flower, the players who emerged and played a decent number of games so far are Jonathan Trott, Ravi Bopara, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. Root's story is one of complete mismanagement, so is Finn's. Who other than Trott proved to be a player of sustained excellence?
How could a  coach who played a leading role in messing around 2 of the brightest stars who emerged for English cricket in the last 5 years, Finn and Root be the right man to take them to a new era of rebuilding? How is James Taylor these days? How could Flower, who messed around the likes of Nick Compton and Taylor be the right person to lead England through a rebuilding face?
I am not saying Flower was all bad for English cricket. He could produce some fabulous results in the first couple of years of his term, he helped the side recover after the Moores Pietersen rift and the aftereffects and strengthen and consolidate the continuous process of greater professionalization of the team and so on. But I don't think many of England's senior players are enjoying their cricket at the moment. None of Pietersen, Prior, Anderson, Bell and cook are in their mid 30s. Even Graeme Swann hadn't quite reached that point. Swann is already gone, if more of the senior lot is lost to English cricket, they are lost at a cricketing age that is not really old enough. I just can't understand the 'Flower Can Do No Wrong' approach, and I would like to hear some considered responses from posters here.

Good post, but I also think you hit the nail on the head re questioning of the quality of our batsmen way back. Our bowlers have been getting them out of a mess time and again but no-one was willing to recognise this. In short, our bowlers have been very good, our batsmen are not, aside from a few rich veins of form as Cook had. I think occasionally excellent form has masked a lack of class.

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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:38 am

Hood83 wrote:Well done Australia, an absolutely emphatic victory. Well before the last Ashes I and a few others raised gentle questions of our batsmen and were shouted down. Sorry, but when it's left to them and not our bowlers, they flounder.

Mentally, they are pathetic, Boycott is right for once. I actually think the nature of this loss could have legacy issues. I cannot see how the entire top order can face Oz after this without having plenty of demons rattling around.

I recognise people saying we don't want knee-jerk, wholesale changes. But we also have to think whether this is no fluke. Which players have been on borrowed time, which players will never make the grade, which are just in awful form? Tough but I think everyone bar Broad and Stokes should be concerned.

Cook is not a captain, frankly I think he's a bit dim. He looked broken and void of imagination throughout.
yup many of us could see the batting was a mess ages ago.

well done to them indeed.  when they spank England they spank them in a way I simply don't think English cricket is capable of (or maybe the Aussies simple aren't capable of surrendering in such a limp and shambolic way).

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 12:17 pm

dyrewolfe wrote: ... Also, whoever agreed to play back-to-back Ashes series in such quick succession should never have anything to do with English cricket again. While the team's performance has been abysmal, anyone with half a brain might have foreseen they'd be suffering from burnout, having to defend the Ashes in Aus, just months after winning them here.
I think there is something in this - how many times can one build up motivation for an Ashes series?

Also how come England were world beaters in 2013 when they retained the Ashes 3-0 and are now no-hopers 6 months later at the back of a 0-5 defeat?

The main issue is the mentality of the English players - we know they are of a good quality from past performance - this series was mainly "mental".  Trott leaving after the first test and Swann retiring after the third were all strong indicators of major mental deficiencies within the group.  This is mainly the fault of the English Team management.   It's the management system and the central contract system that needs close attention.  They also need to open themselves up to advice from experienced people outside of the insular management system (as Jonathan Agnew has pointed out in his latest BBC report).

I would like to know what pressure the management places on the batsmen in terms of the "required" run rate.  As soon as the run rate dried up due to good Australian bowling the batsmen started getting themselves out with what Boycott described as stupid & careless shot selection.  They have to realise that this is a 5 day match and not a one day or twenty-twenty match. There were also issues of out of form players ... not given the time or preparation to get back into form.

Well done to Australia for the series win.  Well done to Mitchell Johnson - at 32 he won't be around for too long bowling at this rate - but the way he has turned around his performance from being a laughing stock a few years ago - is the stuff of dreams.   Well worth a made for tv film - drama-documentary.  And well done to Michael Clarke.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 12:48 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Perhaps Gerry, who believes SK Warne was "picked on merit" could remind us of Shane's first class experience and record when first selected for the Australian side.

Not saying that Borthwick is necessarily going to be a world beater, but he showed enough character and quality to suggest that he may become a decent, maybe even better than decent, bowler if given time. I'm not sure England can afford him to learn his trade in the test team necessarily though.

It's very easy to criticise England, but I think a lot of people aren't giving this Australian team enough credit. Whilst Haddin's and Johnson's contributions have taken all the headlines, there have been crucial performances from Rogers, Warner, Clarke, Smith and all the other bowlers - Haddin can't score runs without someone to help him out at the other end, and he's received vital support; ditto Johnson has been allowed to bowl in short sharp spells because his support bowlers have been so good. A terrific team effort, backed up by excellent planning and very good fielding.

For England, this test has been either the end of the end, or the beginning of the beginning, depending on how you see things. Flower gave a very good interview talking about a fresh start etc. I think England have taken this game a bit like that, hence the 3 debutants. It is more than I would have liked, but I understand the reasoning of using a dead test to have a look at people.

Of those, I was least impressed about Rankin - not the youngest and very one-dimensional. Interesting interview with Craig McDermott about Siddle changing his natural length, but Siddle was significantly younger than Rankin.

Ballance showed some quality. He got good balls in both innings, and is worth at least keeping in the frame.

Borthwick's attitude was excellent, didn't shy away from the challenge. No matter what the numpties say, he did turn the odd ball when he gave it a real rip, and has a good googly as well. He bowls at the moment too many loose balls even for a leg-spinner (1 bad ball per over from a leggie is fine, more is unideal), and needs to back himself to give it a rip every ball rather than float it up which he does too frequently, but there is something there. Good fielder too. Didn't see much with the bat. England have to decide whether he is best learning his trade in the England team (as Warne did to a large extent) or in county cricket; not sure the prospect of him bowling against Sri Lanka and India in the summer is that appealing, but then again if he's not going to bowl regularly at Durham that's pointless also.

As to the others, Carberry once the pressure was off played ok I thought, but I'd like to see Robson given a go in the summer. Bell's much supported move to 3 didn't actually achieve anything. Cook's mind is a mess - he should probably stay on as captain but needs to take control more; all this talk about opening partners, but Strauss was hardly the most free-scoring player either (neither is Robson, more in the Rogers category).

Bowling wise Anderson looked tired, and 3rd seamer is still a problem. Stokes showed a lot, and should have the number 6 slot for the summer at least, but despite what some would have you believe, his lack of control with the ball did harm England at times - as yet he can probably only bowl as part of a 5 man attack. Indeed England's 3rd seamer was a real issue throughout the series - Australia knew that once they saw off Anderson and Broad there were runs to be had, and indeed often they blocked Anderson off. I do think England have to invest in a potential replacement for Anderson, whether that is Finn or not depends on how he responds - whilst the management have messed him around a fair bit, ultimately it is up to him to take ownership of his game and sort himself out.

Looking to the summer:
Cook
Robson
KP (still think he should bat 3) - if retired, then Bell
Root/Ballance
Bell
Stokes
Prior (Bairstow not ready with bat or gloves, although I thought he did OK overall as a keeper) or if no form Foster/Read/Davies
Broad
Tredwell (probably)
Anderson
Finn?

ish...

Mike - that's another very good post, thanks.

I saw an interview with Borthwick at the end of day one. I liked him. He came across well, showing desire and determination. He displayed some of that on the pitch, being prepared to give it a go and certainly not wilting. However, for all the personal positives, can we afford a place in the eleven going to a bowler who seems likely to concede 5 or 6 an over even when the opposition aren't going hell for leather? I think not. He showed today that he can get wickets when the mad dash for runs is on but it's also usually more important to tie down the opposition. I don't see Borthwick doing that, not currently anyway. I just struggle to see a spot for him in an England Test team. I know that's harsh but so is Test cricket as we've all seen over the last couple of months.

I've no problem if those in charge want to keep him around the team but, as stated above, I do have reservations as to where it will lead. For those who might respond that he picked up 4 wickets, I would emphasise that so did Tremlett in his only Test on this tour and there is now little confidence in him going on and being picked again.

I also saw the McDermott interview. He also came across very well. Yes, interesting comments about Siddle. More about Australia another time from me.

A sadly all too typical innings from Carberry. Got going and then got out. He continues to look like a promoted reserve filling in rather than a genuine Test opener. I'm not convinced though that the cupboard is so full that we can completely discard him. For him and many others in several positions, the start of the 2014 County Championship season will be especially important with a real opportunity to make a case for Test inclusion.

I would also flag that Cook, Bell and Pietersen all have deserved reputations but they are all going to have to deliver more before too long.

Rankin looked a lost soul and pretty much reflected England's series.

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Post by trebellbobaggins on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 12:52 pm

I agree on the back to back ashes issue.

I thought it was a disgusting attempt to Nickel and Dime fans of cricket and it was the deciding factor in finally cancelling my sky sub.  They could stuff it if they thought I was happy to help fund such greed.

turns out it was a good time to cancel.

and this http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/25610891

couldn't be more happy that they lost could he. it's good for the game, hey ho blighty.  you'd never find such cowpat spoken by the Aussies in defeat., they just get angry and surly and plot a way to come back.  And therein lies a far mentally stronger cricketing culture than the one that produces jolly hocky sticks crap like Agnew spouts.

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Post by JDizzle on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 12:56 pm

On the Australian team, I wonder if there are any similarities between this one and the England team of 2005? As they both got themselves so pumped and so focused on winning one series, they took their eyes of what can next. Both series wins also built upon a battery of quick, aggressive fast bowlers too and with the age that they are, both Harris and MJ getting on, it will be interesting to see how they get themselves up for SA both physically and mentally. If they can, we could have a very interesting series on our hands!

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Post by KP_fan on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:05 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:But do you not understand that you turning EVERYTHING into Flower's fault all becomes very tiresome. We catch your drift so why keep banging on about it footnoting every second post with a dig at Flower? If you were English I'd understand a reasoning but you aren't so I don't if you see what I mean.

The Sky Panel were all hurting today and each of them want the best for England but guess what? They were unaminous that Flower should stay. Beefy wants a cutback in 'hangers on' in the backroom staff but re-iterated Flower was the man to take them forward.

Ha Ha....so even here you want KP to bat like Boycott Wink

I mean I do what I think is the right thing to do......or should I act like your mind thinks is the right way to act ??

anyway it's already digressing from cricket.

regards
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:14 pm

With all due respects guildfordbat Chris Tremlett is a heck of a lot more experienced and is a seamer whilst Borthwick is a rarer breed - a spinner and on his debut playing in a side about to be whitewashed whilst Tremlett's test was a fresher England side well - lesser mental scars at that time shall we say so they were in a better position mentally.

Now don't take this as me swearing Borthwick is the next big thing because I am not. However, I do believe I am right in saying his four wickets in a test is the best haul by any of our spinners in this series (including Swann). Yes I know Australia were really being ultra aggressive but all of the spinners got that treatment so credit to Borthwick for his wicket haul on debut I say. Sure he needs to be more economical but surely he did enough to deserve another chance because what would he have had to do to get another chance then? A fivefer?

Besides if we are looking to bring fresh blood into the side they need time - not just one test and you are out especially if they get four wickets. Rankin is another matter though - he looked too one-dimensional and a little out of his depth. Perhaps revisit him if needs be but time to see what other seamers can do first.

Carberry battled gamely in the series and though he was certainly not our worst batsman he had an annoying knack of getting in then inexplicably getting out in a soft manner - not what England need and besides didn't Compton get the axe for similar displays?

Alex Stewart on Sky this morning backed up my thoughts when he reckons that England need to be looking at bringing a new opener, a No.3 or middle order batsman, a wicket-keeper, a spinner and a seamer into the side.


Last edited by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:21 pm

KP_fan wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:But do you not understand that you turning EVERYTHING into Flower's fault all becomes very tiresome. We catch your drift so why keep banging on about it footnoting every second post with a dig at Flower? If you were English I'd understand a reasoning but you aren't so I don't if you see what I mean.

The Sky Panel were all hurting today and each of them want the best for England but guess what? They were unaminous that Flower should stay. Beefy wants a cutback in 'hangers on' in the backroom staff but re-iterated Flower was the man to take them forward.

Ha Ha....so even here you want KP to bat like Boycott Wink

I mean I do what I think is the right thing to do......or should I act like your mind thinks is the right way to act ??

anyway it's already digressing from cricket.

regards

Look a few weeks or months or years down the line it may be that you are right at this point in time and that Flower should be booted now - certainly a 5-0 thrashing and the manner of it is unacceptable. However, when those players cross the boundary onto the pitch it is they who have to be judged and too many underperformed grossly. Now if you are suggesting that this is Flower's fault then be consistent and also credit him with leading the England team to the world No.1 spot of test playing nations, winning the Ashes, winning in India and making them the team to beat (for a short space of time anyway). You cannot have it both ways ie blame him when things go wrong but no praise when things go right.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:24 pm

What I witnessed in the five tests took me right back to when England were regularly ripped apart by similar scorelines against the West Indies. The collapses were embarrassingly similar and batsmen playing like rabbits caught in the headlamps of fast bowling with precious little fight or aggression shown in return.
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Post by SLC v2 on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:37 pm

dyrewolfe wrote:
kingraf wrote: Also, whoever agreed to play back-to-back Ashes series in such quick succession should never have anything to do with English cricket again. While the team's performance has been abysmal, anyone with half a brain might have foreseen they'd be suffering from burnout, having to defend the Ashes in Aus, just months after winning them here.


I'm glad to see that most, if not all of the posters on here are now giving Australia some credit for the result instead of putting the whole blame on England's performances. Even after the fourth test there were those not keen to do this. I still maintain that the discipline and strategic intent of the Australian bowling forced the English batsmen into errors rather than some "mysterious" loss of form. Quality batsmen don't just suddenly forget how to bat for 5 tests in a row.

However, can we please destroy this myth about the back to back Ashes being a factor?

News flash: Australia played back to back Ashes series too! And I know someone will want to argue that it's harder to defend the Ashes but I think that's tosh! Australia had just as much reason to say that after being beaten 3-0, three months was not enough time to make changes and re-organise to go after England again.

The reality is that both teams were playing for the Ashes. The biggest prize in cricket for both countries. There is no excuse for lack of motivation or 'burnout', if England went into the series with a poor attitude then address that issue, but don't say it was because they had to play back to back Ashes.

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Post by KP_fan on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:46 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
KP_fan wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:But do you not understand that you turning EVERYTHING into Flower's fault all becomes very tiresome. We catch your drift so why keep banging on about it footnoting every second post with a dig at Flower? If you were English I'd understand a reasoning but you aren't so I don't if you see what I mean.

The Sky Panel were all hurting today and each of them want the best for England but guess what? They were unaminous that Flower should stay. Beefy wants a cutback in 'hangers on' in the backroom staff but re-iterated Flower was the man to take them forward.

Ha Ha....so even here you want KP to bat like Boycott Wink

I mean I do what I think is the right thing to do......or should I act like your mind thinks is the right way to act ??

anyway it's already digressing from cricket.

regards

Look a few weeks or months or years down the line it may be that you are right at this point in time and that Flower should be booted now - certainly a 5-0 thrashing and the manner of it is unacceptable. However, when those players cross the boundary onto the pitch it is they who have to be judged and too many underperformed grossly. Now if you are suggesting that this is Flower's fault then be consistent and also credit him with leading the England team to the world No.1 spot of test playing nations, winning the Ashes, winning in India and making them the team to beat (for a short space of time anyway). You cannot have it both ways ie blame him when things go wrong but no praise when things go right.

I did not portray Flower as black and to be blamed forever.
He took England forward definitely........as much as he could and then stagnated.

He knows one way.......meticulous planning, defensive not lose first approach, designer conditions....micro-controlling his plans and execution through a meek-obedient-remote controlled  captain to execute at the front end.

The problem with this approach are two.

1) A side can never reach the top on a sustained basis......they can certainly rise form the bottom...have their moments beating the top sides....but over a period of time...this is a recipe for "mid-table-medicorism".

Especially when the script breaks down..the micro-control to the mission-room is lost...the onfield obedient captain becomes clueless......a bit of a headless chicken and gets thoroughly bashed up.

This brand of coach controlled approach also doesn't work beyond a point in cricket because there are no time-outs or white towels that can be thrown in once the bashing has started.

2) This approach doesn't align with my person view points on how things should be done.....head on, aggressive and captain the man-incharge and real leader of men and solver of problems.

If Flower stays...you've gotta keep Cook..for he cannot work with a aggressive captain.....a man of his own mind.
Nor can another aggressive leader work under the micro-remote controls of Flower.

This Flower + Obedient captain will keep oscillating Eng between top top mid table  ICC ranking over a period of time.
They will bounce back have some good wins and will be blown away like in UAE and now in Aus.
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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 1:51 pm

If we look at it there are many reasons for the unexpected whitewash.

The 3-0 score in the summer perhaps flattered England a little and garnered a little complacency within them.

Australia had a heck of a lot of motivation I feel from that series. The Warner/Root incident, the Broad incident, another Ashes loss and a new determined coach all worked to make them fired up I believe whereas England perhaps felt (after two relatively easy wins) that another walk in the park was on the cards.

England's batting hadn't been great going to Australia and when they faced a resurgent and extra quick, hostile and fired up Johnson it took them aback and he was ably and fully backed up by Harris, Siddle, Lyon and Watson. From day two of the First Test England's batsmen never knew what hit them, never formulated a plan and never developed a backbone as displayed later by the young Ben Stokes.

Defeat followed heavy defeat and silly dismissals and weak shot choices just shot their already brittle confidence to pieces. By the third test you could sense there was no way back as mentally they were gone and Australia were in no mood to let up.
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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:07 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:With all due respects guildfordbat Chris Tremlett is a heck of a lot more experienced and is a seamer whilst Borthwick is a rarer breed - a spinner and on his debut playing in a side about to be whitewashed whilst Tremlett's test was a fresher England side well - lesser mental scars at that time shall we say so they were in a better position mentally.

Now don't take this as me swearing Borthwick is the next big thing because I am not. However, I do believe I am right in saying his four wickets in a test is the best haul by any of our spinners in this series (including Swann). Yes I know Australia were really being ultra aggressive but all of the spinners got that treatment so credit to Borthwick for his wicket haul on debut I say. Sure he needs to be more economical but surely he did enough to deserve another chance because what would he have had to do to get another chance then? A fivefer?

Besides if we are looking to bring fresh blood into the side they need time - not just one test and you are out especially if they get four wickets. Rankin is another matter though - he looked too one-dimensional and a little out of his depth. Perhaps revisit him if needs be but time to see what other seamers can do first.

Carberry battled gamely in the series and though he was certainly not our worst batsman he had an annoying knack of getting in then inexplicably getting out in a soft manner - not what England need and besides didn't Compton get the axe for similar displays?

Alex Stewart on Sky this morning backed up my thoughts when he reckons that England need to be looking at bringing a new opener, a No.3 or middle order batsman, a wicket-keeper, a spinner and a seamer into the side.

Craig - I'm disappointed if I appear to have come across so negatively about Borthwick. That wasn't my intention. His wickets on debut pretty were a decent haul but - and this was the only purpose of the comparison with Tremlett's solitary outing - 4 wickets do not maketh or confirm a Test bowler.

Yes, he did do better than Swann and Panesar (and Root and Pietersen who were sometimes the preferred spin option) but that's not a massive commendation given their paucity of wickets and sky high averages. By all means keep him with the squad (as I suggested) but I feel he will need to considerably and quickly improve his economy if he is to stay in the side. I doubt he'll be able to do that which is why I don't see much of a Test future for him. That said, I will be delighted to be proved wrong. As per my previous post, I actually like the guy and sense - like Stokes - there is something about him. Just not convinced it's sufficient for Test cricket.

I too saw Alec Stewart on Sky this morning. I know him slightly and like him considerably. He normally talks a lot of sense. I thought it was significant that he referred to ''the need for a spinner'' but did not name Borthwick. This was in marked contrast to, for example, the need for a wicket keeper where he expressly suggested a recall for Prior.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:20 pm

Oh I am not saying Borthwick is the real deal - just that to bin him after picking up four wickets on debut would be harsh. Of course work needs done on him and economy may come through time. Discarding him so quickly would be unfair. I mean what, then would have ensured his place? Besides aside from Treadwell and going back down the Panesar route then the cupboard is pretty bare in that department. I too like Stewart - speaks a lot of no-nonsense sense.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:25 pm

Borthwick's bowling is obviously not ready yet, and I don't think anybody expected it to be. But with time, and he'll need time and patience, he could become quite handy especially as he has the batting acumen (didn't show it in this test, but to bat 3 for the County Champs, average what 35? at Durham suggests he's a pretty decent bat), he could become someone of use.

He'll obviously need a lot of maturing, but lest we forget Swann took a long time to mature into the spinner he was as well.
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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:28 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Oh I am not saying Borthwick is the real deal - just that to bin him after picking up four wickets on debut would be harsh. Of course work needs done on him and economy may come through time. Discarding him so quickly would be unfair. I mean what, then would have ensured his place? Besides aside from Treadwell and going back down the Panesar route then the cupboard is pretty bare in that department. I too like Stewart - speaks a lot of no-nonsense sense.

Yeah, I think Borthwick should be perservered with, at least for the Sri Lanka series. Maybe the emergence of Stokes will allow us to play Borthwick + A.N. Other spinner. But who? Monty? Don't think Cook fancies him as a bowler at all. Kerrigan? Briggs? Rayner?

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:29 pm

Olly wrote:Borthwick's bowling is obviously not ready yet, and I don't think anybody expected it to be. But with time, and he'll need time and patience, he could become quite handy especially as he has the batting acumen (didn't show it in this test, but to bat 3 for the County Champs, average what 35? at Durham suggests he's a pretty decent bat), he could become someone of use.

He'll obviously need a lot of maturing, but lest we forget Swann took a long time to mature into the spinner he was as well.

Exactly. I am all ears, in any case, if anyone has other young spinners in mind who deserve a chance.
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Post by JDizzle on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:45 pm

I think just the demeanour and in Stokes's case just a little bit of swagger have shown why Durham won the CC this year. Borthwick and Stokes clearly have a lot of confidence in their own ability and a lot of credit has to go to Geoff Cook and Colly for bringing them through with the faith to back themselves.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:51 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Oh I am not saying Borthwick is the real deal - just that to bin him after picking up four wickets on debut would be harsh. Of course work needs done on him and economy may come through time. Discarding him so quickly would be unfair. I mean what, then would have ensured his place? Besides aside from Treadwell and going back down the Panesar route then the cupboard is pretty bare in that department. I too like Stewart - speaks a lot of no-nonsense sense.

Craig - I did acknowledge it would be ''harsh'' to drop Borthwick in my original post although I also flagged then that so is Test cricket. So as not to appear overly unfair to the lad, I did suggest at least retaining him with the squad.

As for what would have ensured his place, I feel Captain Cook chose to let that boat sail. To convince me, I'd have needed to have seen Borthwick on bowling much earlier when at the time it seemed as if it might just have mattered. [Like Panesar in the previous Test, Cook did not appear to have sufficient confidence in his main spinner. Admittedly, this is far more a gripe at management and captaincy than Borthwick which best belongs in a reply to msp's post.]

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 2:56 pm

Definitely, he should have been given a bowl earlier in the innings. Even KP got on before him so what is that doing to his confidence? He was selected to bowl so why not bowl him as much as possible to see what he has to offer. Time will tell if he is up to the job but the best way of finding out is by plating test cricket. Stokes proved (so far) he is up to it, Borthwick (it would seem the jury is still out), Ballance (jury still out but worth another look) and Rankin (I would say look elsewhere for a seamer).
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Post by GloriousEmpire on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 3:30 pm

It can all be summed up thus:

England arrived with a 100 page menu of personal culinary demands.

They left with every man gorging on a single dish of humble pie.

The lesson here is what happens when a team get too big headed to continue playing a sport effectively.

The list of MBE, OBE and so forth, cash rewards and media blowing hot smoke up their collective behinds has robbed them of any personal motivation and any clue on how to function as a team.


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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 3:58 pm

alfie wrote:Reasonable points , as usual , msp

But I don't think anyone is saying " Flower can do no wrong ".  More "Flower is a good coach , with a fine record. If he has the will to try and rebuild , and the open mind to make the necessary changes ; he may well be the best man for the job"

May be ....maybe not.  I don't think it is cut and dried.  But to blame everything that has gone wrong recently on Flower seems unreasonable.  And a bit of a kneejerk.

Cook is a different issue. He doesn't look a natural captain. He had success at first , more as a leader by example than a brilliant tactician.  But let us not forget he has barely a year in the job behind him...his character won't change ; but he can learn.  And I suspect any leader who arrives in Australia , gets murdered in the first Test , loses his number three rather dramatically and then sees his very successful spinner decline and disappear over weeks in the midst of further heavy defeats ; is likely to have some difficulty in keeping his head together.  I don't intend to make the above an excuse : but perhaps Cook's struggles with bat and tactics can be seen as somewhat understandable ?  
Since no one else appeals as a replacement (the last thing Broad needs is having Test Captaincy hung round his neck !) , I am inclined to see if he can come back from this.



Msp and Alfie - pretty much with Alfie's take on things whilst understanding and appreciating Alfie's views.

I find it near to impossible to come to a conclusion on Flower. 5-0 makes it abundantly clear that things are not right but, with no real knowlege of the inner workings of the England Test team, I can't pinpoint where the blame really lies.

As I've repeatedly said, some things seemed wrong about the squad from outset but I acknowledge (as I have done previously) that they are more irritations than obvious reasons for abject failure. By and large, the best players appeared to be taken on tour and chosen for the first Test. It's not as if Flower oversaw the selection of several obviously inappropriate individuals.

As for the capaincy, Cook didn't impress me much. His field placings and, in particular, the positioning of specific players often appeared to be asking for trouble and duly got it. Also, appeared to lack confidence in Panesar's and Borthwick's bowling in the last two Tests - if that was the case, he should have ensured they weren't playing. Very hard again to tell from here if he was simply unlucky in key players being out of form and/or leaving the tour or whether he could have done more to shape things.

As with Flower, I don't see an obvious replacement for Cook but that shouldn't prevent a proper review of what went wrong and what needs to happen going forward. I found the comments from the ECB bigwig Collier immediately giving full support to Flower and Cook patronising and unhelpful to all (including Flower and Cook).


Last edited by guildfordbat on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 4:01 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 3:59 pm

Will the Australian Cricketers be honoured by the Australian Government.  I seem to remember English cricketers getting various honours (MBE's, OBE's, knighthoods etc) after winning back the Ashes a few years back.   E.g. "Medal of the Order of Australia", "Knight of the Order of Australia" ...

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 4:05 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
I found the comments from the ECB bigwig Collier immediately giving full support to Flower and Cook patronising and unhelpful to all (including Flower and Cook).

Yes, that was ridiculous.
Even if they'd said the same behind closed doors, basically saying to fans that Flower and Cook were safe, before any proper discussion of what has happened can have taken place was pretty brazen IMO.

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Post by GloriousEmpire on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 4:08 pm

Well if you read Michael Gove's column about "left wing desecration of history" where he claims that such events during World War I as the battle of the Somme where 20 thousand Brits were slaughtered on the first day, were merely "profoundly courageous expressions of honour, patriotism and national pride" and not "a disaster perpetrated by an out of touch elite". Then it seems by extension of the same conservative logic that the entire England ashes team should collect another round of honours for their extreme expression of honour, patriotism and national pride on this tour.

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Post by Guest on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 4:30 pm

what now for Steven Finn?

confidence must be shot...

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Post by Pal Joey on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 10:24 pm

Nore Staat wrote:Will the Australian Cricketers be honoured by the Australian Government.  I seem to remember English cricketers getting various honours (MBE's, OBE's, knighthoods etc) after winning back the Ashes a few years back.   E.g. "Medal of the Order of Australia", "Knight of the Order of Australia" ...

There may be an OA down the track for Clarke... or they might even cast a bronze statue of him for the Hall of Fame in about 30 years time.

However, I did read that the players were not motivated by such rewards or even the monetary bonuses. (Nice piece of sporting propaganda that...)

They did it for us - the people. (they felt they owed us, the fans, something after the dismal performances of the last few years)

There is a common misconception that Australians are bad winners (or gloaters) but I don't believe that myth at all. Of course there are always a few excitable 'fans' - usually quite ignorant about the knowledge, history and finer points of the game  - who carry on like vulgar bogans and make a point of ridiculing the losing opposition. It's so embarrassing. I'd like to put them up against a wall and hose them down with chilled water!  Smile 

Generally, most true blue Aussies would be very proud (some are even surprised) at this Team's achievements but most of us realise that it's only a sport and things can change very quickly. It's a significant step along the process of healing (in a cricket sense) but as Clarke says... there are even bigger challenges which lie ahead. I think that is the best attitude to have at this stage.

Back to the players: I was also impressed by the way in which they were considerably more cautious and circumspect when talking about their motivation and approach before, during and after this Ashes Series. They kept the lid on it quite well I thought. I'm a little concerned, however, with certain comments (e.g. McDermott's one about the "best bowling attack") which I feel are perhaps poorly timed leading into the SA tour.

Regardless of whether that's true or not; I just feel it creates an extra burden for our bowlers. Perhaps they want this? I also have concerns about the obvious weaknesses and inconsistencies in our batting performances. Maybe they know better than me though and these types of comments are simply throw way lines designed to put question marks or 'soften up' the opposition in the lead up. I hope they can back up his words but I would have preferred it if his remarks were kept to the team itself - and not blurted out over the media mid-Series. Surely, the actions of the team (good and bad) are there for all to see and it would be better if they didn't draw any extra attention or set up a challenge for the SA players who will (no doubt) be out to give them a serving of their own lethal bowling attack.
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Post by GloriousEmpire on Mon 06 Jan 2014, 8:34 am

If anyone are bad winners it's the poms in my mind.
I recall the over the top antics when England won the ashes in Australia. The entire commentary team,
Lead by botham spent about 30 minutes making anti-Australian jokes. It was absolutely appalling.

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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Mon 06 Jan 2014, 8:59 am

Yeah they were really bad jokes.




LB its not just the comments about the bowlers, we also had Warners claims that Australia were could become the best batting side in the world (presumably if the Indians have a rush of injures and Amla and Smith retire?)

Now we have Johnson described by misleading newspaper headlines as a legend.

Then theres the likes of Warne who needs to preen his own ego and make sure he gets paid lots to write columns telling everyone how right he was about England and should have Flowers job,and how if only hed been made captain instead of Ponting ( not bitter) ...


All sides seem to get this when they do something good. Andersons tweet asking if england were the best side theyd ever produced.

The genuinely great Aussie sides got so used to nilling England it was even that big a deal when they did it. This one seems genuinely surprised they managed it, and after some "unfortunate" comments form the likes of Warner early on they seemed to have settled down into some celebrations of themselves and their achievement which is not wholly unreasonable, noone including them if you read pieces from the likes of Rogers, really thought it would be this one sided.

George Bailey, MBE.

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