The Ashes Thread

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The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 9:11 am

First topic message reminder :

Some news from the Aussie camp

Chris Rogers will miss the first test with a head injury
Steve Smith has been promoted to bat 3 (hate it hate it hate it leave him alone)
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 2:11 pm

Duty281 wrote:Well Moeen has only had one poor series since the India one - against New Zealand.

Against the Windies, he kept good control with a tidy average of below 35 on pitches largely unconductive to spin.

On pitches that most pundits viewed as spin friendly, I felt Ali bowled worse in the WI. To be expected as he had played so little cricket. Following Tredwell's injury, it was this lack of cricket which led many of us to say (without hindsight) that Rashid shoudl have played in the 2nd test. However Ali did and he bowled appallingly - just look at the pitch maps. His figures for that test seriously flatter him. However having picked him fresh off the plane they had no option but to continue with him. In the 3rd test he was extremely profligate and offered no control whatsoever.

NZ got at him, but he bowled better in those matches.

As he will be playing against Australia I do hope he gets some overs under him for Worcester this week. He has spent 10 years as a batsman and occasional bowler - so it was never likely he would continue his heroics of the India series. I hope he bowls well against Australia, as I want us to win. I want the India series to be an indicator of what he can do, not his other 3 series.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 2:14 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Can someone explain to me what Chris Rushworth has to do to get a sniff of national recognition however.

Collingwood said yesterday that selectors had discussed Rushworth with him.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:38 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
Duty281 wrote:Well Moeen has only had one poor series since the India one - against New Zealand.

Against the Windies, he kept good control with a tidy average of below 35 on pitches largely unconductive to spin.

On pitches that most pundits viewed as spin friendly, I felt Ali bowled worse in the WI. To be expected as he had played so little cricket. Following Tredwell's injury, it was this lack of cricket which led many of us to say (without hindsight) that Rashid shoudl have played in the 2nd test. However Ali did and he bowled appallingly - just look at the pitch maps. His figures for that test seriously flatter him. However having picked him fresh off the plane they had no option but to continue with him. In the 3rd test he was extremely profligate and offered no control whatsoever.

NZ got at him, but he bowled better in those matches.

As he will be playing against Australia I do hope he gets some overs under him for Worcester this week. He has spent 10 years as a batsman and occasional bowler - so it was never likely he would continue his heroics of the India series. I hope he bowls well against Australia, as I want us to win. I want the India series to be an indicator of what he can do, not his other 3 series.
Yes, Ali was absolutely awful in the West Indies, and was rubbish in the 3rd test!. He wasn't as horrendous against New Zealand. Ali is better than your routine parttimer, but I really can't see him to be a match winning spinner as such either. How many games are they scheduled to play in the CC before the team selection, Ali and Rashid?

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 9:32 pm

Ali playing atm, Rashid will miss Yorkshire's next game because of the T20. Not sure after that.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:21 pm

So How is Ali faring in the ongoing game?

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by GSC on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:24 pm

Ali's a weird one. His start is impressive for sure, but it sure felt watching him last year as though he kinda picked up wickets after the Indian batsman overlooked him. Wickets are wickets obviously, but hes not remotely as good as his record would indicate. Kinda suspect he will get a good tonking from the Aussies, saying that, not sure Rashid would fare any differently.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:29 pm

msp83 wrote:So How is Ali faring in the ongoing game?

50 with the bat, 12 overs for 37 with the ball on what was obviously a green seamer (looking at the scorecard Worcs's seamers bowled between 25-30 overs each). 

Like I've said before, at the moment he's not a frontline spinner - ideally he'd be our second option who we are developing. He has the potential to be a frontline spinner, but it'll take time (as he's only been part time most his career). And whilst at the moment the other options are very bare (Rashid has a good case, but in the ODI's didn't show much different to Moeen imo) he is who we will stick with.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:56 pm

GSC wrote:Ali's a weird one. His start is impressive for sure, but it sure felt watching him last year as though he kinda picked up wickets after the Indian batsman overlooked him. Wickets are wickets obviously, but hes not remotely as good as his record would indicate. Kinda suspect he will get a good tonking from the Aussies, saying that, not sure Rashid would fare any differently.

So you are sure Ali will get a tonking but not sure but think Rashid wouldn't fare any differently so that says Rashid should at least get the chance then does it not?
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:05 pm

Rashid has been a frontline spinner.......
But now that he's not getting much long format bowling under his belt in the last few weeks leading into the Ashes, they'll start with Ali. If he does well, then everything well and good. But if he doesn't, I just hope they wouldn't act stubborn and stupid. If he doesn't perform in the first test, cut the losses.......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by GSC on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:05 pm

Its more I don't think England have a spinner worthy of test inclusion at present to be honest.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:14 pm

GSC wrote:Its more I don't think England have a spinner worthy of test inclusion at present to be honest.

Yes you may be right but the way I see it persevering with out of form players will not get the Ashes back. So my motto would be why go down wondering if Rashid could have done any better once Ali has flopped.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by GSC on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:26 pm

There's also a line of thinking that dropping young players the moment they have a bad series is entirely counterproductive to both the short and long term. Not sure Rashid has really banged the door down in terms of displacing Ali.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by JDizzle on Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:35 pm

http://es.pn/1N1SL12 Not sure where to put this, but a classy and interesting interview with Peter Moores.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 8:29 am

He's clearly a nice chap and it was handled horribly - but if he thought we'd turned the corner by drawing 1-1 against one of the worst west Indies sides of recent years it's not hard to see why he's gone.

Was the wrong man when appointed, and clearly hadn't learned from his last time (eerily similar reign)
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:12 am

I think that Moores was rather unlucky as each time he took over he had a team that was hurtling downhill out of control. First thing is to try and stop the freefall, then start to climb again. He probably stopped, or certainly decreased, the fall but it was always the next coach who would benefit.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:15 am

I actually do think Moores was a bit unlucky (as well as poorly treated), simply because I don't think he was given a long enough shot at turning things around. He was brought in when there was clearly a need to rebuild the side, and he seemed to be doing that. England had three test series under his reign, during which they:

- narrowly lost at home to SL. Disappointing result but there were some positives, and a series which they could just as easily have won (two balls the difference).
- beat India at home fairly comfortably. Drew the first Test on a dead pitch. Played poorly to lose the second but turned it around well thereafter. A good result really.
- drew with WI away. Drew the first on a dead pitch, won the second on a similarly dead pitch. Then a brainless batting performance cost them the third test, not sure you can blame Moores for that TBH. Still a disappointing result, obviously.

Overall the results weren't good, but they weren't disastrous either. And to his credit he brought in Ballance at 3, which hopefully will be a success still. Moeen has come in and done pretty well overall. Buttler of course has nailed down the keeper's spot, despite plenty of reservations, and Root looks like a world-beater again. But then again, Moores has in general an excellent record of bringing players through (Broad, Anderson, Prior from his first stint, to name but a few).

The ODI stuff was fairly shocking, but it wasn't exactly much better in the previous tenure. Interesting that Morgan after the NZ series said this was how England had wanted to play for a while, so you have to ask why they weren't before: was it the players, or the coaching? I do think Moores should take some responsibility here TBH.

Having said that, it's very ironic to see Dobell apparently defending Moores now, when he was only too keen to stick the boot in when he was in charge. Then again, Dobell is probably the worst cricket writer around, and seems to have a massive chip on his shoulder about England (I think he wrote a recent article suggesting the only reason England played positively against NZ was because NZ forced them to, and that had it been say Bangladesh touring England would have reverted to type), so perhaps not surprising that now Moores has been somewhat harshly sacked he's now defending him...

On the Rashid vs Ali debate, I'm more split. Ali bowled poorly in the WI certainly (figures flattered him), but not too badly against NZ IMO (poor in 2nd test 2nd innings, but so was everyone). Rashid bowled well in the first ODI, albeit in an ideal situation. He then did OK in the second - some good stuff, but a few too many loose deliveries, pretty much what's expected of a leggie TBH - before bowling mostly poorly in the fourth (I didn't see the third so won't comment). In the last one he bowled very nicely indeed. Of course Tests is a different animal to ODIs, but I'm not sure Rashid has done enough to displace Ali as of now.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 11:12 am

I am a little worried that we may be undercooked come the first test, especially the bowlers. With the training camp starting on Saturday 27th and the first test on Weds 8th July, there will be no chance for first class cricket after the current round of matches.

Cook - Two first class matches since last test. Scores of 80 & 48 in two innings so far.
Lyth -  Two first class matches since last test. Scores of 17 & 61 against Middlesex, yet to bat in current game. Played some Second XI cricket when Yorkshire had a week off.
Ballance - Two first class matches and 3 T20 since last test. Not batted in current CC match yet but few runs so far.
Bell - Scored a century in his only CC innings. Four T20 matches, top score of 90.
Root - Will have just played ODI cricket.
Stokes - Ditto
Buttler - Currently injured, will have just played ODI cricket.
Moeen Ali - Two first cl;ass matches since last test. Yet to take a wicket in 3 completed innings, 106 runs in 3 innings with the bat. Decent all-round performance in most recent T20 3/28 with ball, 65 with bat.
Broad - Played one T20 matche and currently playing his only FC game. Yet to bowl, breezy 34 with bat.
Wood - Will have just played ODI cricket
Anderson - Has not played at all since last test.


That all means there has not been a single First Class wicket taken by the Team that finished the last test since that test.

How have the three additional bowlers performed:

Finn - Played two first class games in the last 6 weeks with an aggregate of 7/256. Otherwise just ODI cricket.
Plunkett - Played just one FC match since England returned from WI, with two wickets.
Footitt - The newcomer to the squad, is the only one with much recent FC cricket. Currently playing his 5th first class match in as many weeks.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by GSC on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 11:28 am

Moores was out of his depth in the international arena
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 1:19 pm

Agree with a lot of what MFC said above. There was a hint of being set up as the disposable interim leader about both Moores' spells in charge - much like the politician who takes over his party's leadership when they've just been thrown out of office in a landslide ; nobody really expects him to last until the next election , but he clears up the bitter aftertaste and leaves things clean again for his successor ...
That said , I do suspect Moores might be better at introducing new talent and steadying the ship than at taking the next big step. Can only suspect , of course , because in truth he didn't have the time to do so on either occasion.
His flaws in the one day area were probably mainly responsible for cutting him short this time. Criticism certainly seems warranted in this area , and the need for a scapegoat pretty much assured he couldn't afford even a minor slip thereafter...ironically a batting collapse in West Indies for which he can hardly be blamed proved the final straw.
I am not going overboard on the "why didn't he pick Rashid" thing . Several sources have suggested Rashid was in no sort of form in the nets on that tour ; and although we would all like to have had a look at this rare species of English wrist spinner it might not have done him any favours - Tredwell was surely the more logical pick. So perhaps Moores can be criticized for failing to select him , instead?

Regardless , I think most agree Moores was not afforded the dignified exit his honest efforts deserved. I would like to see him employed in the area for which he seems best suited , working with the young prospects , at some time in the future.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Duty281 on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 1:20 pm

Duty281 wrote:England to win the series - 7/2

4/1 now.

4/1!

For the English to conquer a foe that hasn't won on this green and pleasant land for fourteen years; the same odds that were an absolute gimme after England went 1-0 down to the Indians last summer before roaring back convincingly.

(One can also get odds of 500/1 on Laura Robson to win Wimbledon; she's a definite outsider, but not by that much)

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 1:38 pm

LondonTiger raises an interesting question...the issue of rest versus match play before the Ashes , particularly for the bowlers.

With the heavy summer workload you can see why Anderson and Broad in particular needed a break ; but I am a little concerned that Jimmy won't have had any recent match bowling before Cardiff . I think he tends to bowl better when he's had a decent sort of warm up.

Less bothered about the batsmen. Most of those that didnt play ODI have had time in the middle , it seems ; and Root appears to have little trouble switching between formats.

I trust Buttler is not going to be bothered by his injury for long ?

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by king_carlos on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 4:42 pm

Duty281 wrote:
Duty281 wrote:England to win the series - 7/2

4/1 now.

4/1!

For the English to conquer a foe that hasn't won on this green and pleasant land for fourteen years; the same odds that were an absolute gimme after England went 1-0 down to the Indians last summer before roaring back convincingly.

(One can also get odds of 500/1 on Laura Robson to win Wimbledon; she's a definite outsider, but not by that much)

I had to double take at the fourteen years part but you're right! Incidentally it does not feel like 10 since the '05 series. Erm

As for the odds, I don't quite share your optimism but I'd say they are about right. Australia are favourites but I don't think by as much as many believe. 2-1 to Australia would be my prediction but whatever happens I only think there will be one win in it. None of the grounds used have particularly fast pitches these days which should prevent that Aus attack from bullying England's batsmen as seen down under.

If England's 4 core experienced players in Cook, Bell, Broad and Anderson can stand up then it should be a great series. We need Cook to set a platform which Bell (and Root et al) can capitalise on, Broad to bowl consistently with the odd great spell well rather than being sporadically brilliant and Jimmy to keep doing what he's done in home conditions for years now.

I've already said it a couple of times, but big series are so often decided by which teams experienced players stand up when most needed.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Duty281 on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 9:52 pm

I believe the Australian batsmen to be susceptible and weak to the English conditions of swing and seam that will inevitably entail. The pace and firepower will be lacking for the Australian bowlers so, as you allude to, it should prevent them from intimidating the English top order.

Top quality spin is pretty much a non-entity for both sides.

England are approaching the near-perfect blend of potential and experience. Cook, Bell, Anderson and Broad - they are on one side - with Wood, Buttler and Stokes on the other. The supremely gifted Root lies somewhere in between.

I don't think it will be close, personally. England to win by a two test margin, at least - somewhere around 3-0/3-1.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by king_carlos on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 11:10 pm

Glad to see your optimism is exceeding even your own usual levels joy circulating Duty! Very Happy It's the equivalent of the calm before the storm of a big series for us 606ers.

Whilst Gillespie fairly pointed out the aging nature of this Australia line-up they are also a side with bags of experience in English conditions. Voges and Rogers have probably played more county championship matches than many players in our side both experienced and inexperienced given how little county cricket our internationals play.

Given lack of match practice we will have to target Clarke but he is also a very experienced and classy player. Smith is quite simply on top of the cricketing world at current.

Onto the bowlers Johnson and Harris are excellent bowlers. Starc is a young firebrand and Hazlewood is a player who's style of bowling could excel on seaming wickets. Not to mention that Siddle has a great record both against England and in English conditions.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by guildfordbat on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 9:34 am

Duty281 wrote:...

Top quality spin is pretty much a non-entity for both sides.

...

That may be so although I consider Lyon to be an important cog in Australia's bowling machine. Whether anyone can emulate that for England in this series remains to be seen. Of the two main English contenders, Ali and Rashid, I do have doubts that they will supply the control likely to be offered by their Australian counterpart.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by seanmichaels on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 9:51 am

Duty281 wrote:I believe the Australian batsmen to be susceptible and weak to the English conditions of swing and seam that will inevitably entail. The pace and firepower will be lacking for the Australian bowlers so, as you allude to, it should prevent them from intimidating the English top order.

Top quality spin is pretty much a non-entity for both sides.

England are approaching the near-perfect blend of potential and experience. Cook, Bell, Anderson and Broad - they are on one side - with Wood, Buttler and Stokes on the other. The supremely gifted Root lies somewhere in between.

I don't think it will be close, personally. England to win by a two test margin, at least - somewhere around 3-0/3-1.

I think the Aussie batting looks weak as well. A lot will depend on whether the ageing Haddin can play those cameos - didn't he have a mare in the last UK ashes series? And whether Smith can continue his form - a lot of people say he can't handle English conditions but I think he tonned up last time round.

If England can put in scores of 350 - 400 it will put pressure on the Aussies and I think we could end up (weather) permittin with a scoreline of 3-2 either way. Expect Stark and Johnson to take 20+ wickets each.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by VTR on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 11:05 am

I think the Aussies have a collectively strong batting line up with decent batting likely to be down to 9 or 10. So it won't just be down to Haddin to play those cameos.

I think England will really struggle, it is probably a series too early for a new side. I think 3-1 or 4-1 Australia, but I won't be too disappointed with that if some of the new players do well.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Duty281 on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 12:18 pm

There is only one batsman that England need fear, two at a push.

Michael Clarke - Only Australian to average north of forty in England. But has only averaged more than forty overall in two of the last five years, and is suffering fitness issues.

Steven Smith - Stupendous form, but averages 34 in seven tests in England.

They have their weaknesses, and the other batsmen just aren't very good in England. Or overall.

This won't be close - England will hammer Australia.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Stella on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 12:22 pm

Duty281 wrote:There is only one batsman that England need fear, two at a push.

Michael Clarke - Only Australian to average north of forty in England. But has only averaged more than forty overall in two of the last five years, and is suffering fitness issues.

Steven Smith - Stupendous form, but averages 34 in seven tests in England.

They have their weaknesses, and the other batsmen just aren't very good in England. Or overall.

This won't be close - England will hammer Australia.

Shocked

I hope you're proved right, duty.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by alfie on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 12:43 pm

I see Duty is back on full-on optimism...

I don't think Australia are unbeatable at all : as has been said they have possible batting weaknesses ; but with the current form man , Smith , plus Clarke and a couple of players with a lot of experience in English conditions I don't think they are likely to just roll over ! They also possess a tail with more than the normal amount of batting ability.
If England are able to deal with the Australian new ball attack and go on to post scores of 350 plus on a regular basis , then I give them a good chance. But despite some good signs recently that remains a big if at the moment. I imagine there will be collapses at some point ; so they will need to make sure that when they do get on top of Australia they do not let their advantage slip.
To be honest I think Australia must start favourite to retain the urn - they can do this even with a draw. Winning three Tests might be necessary : can England do that at this stage of their development ?
But things can change quickly : what happens in Cardiff will give us all a much better idea.
Looking forward to a hard fought series ; it will need to be good to follow that NZ mini classic.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by VTR on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 1:38 pm

I know Duty is the England optimist on here but saying it won't be close is definitely going over the top! A fair indicator is the ease with which the Aussies brushed the woeful Windies aside, whereas England laboured to an embarrassing series draw. Drawing at home to NZ isn't too great a result either, the defeat in the second Test was pretty much a lesson in how to throw a Test match away.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 1:44 pm

VTR wrote:I know Duty is the England optimist on here but saying it won't be close is definitely going over the top! A fair indicator is the ease with which the Aussies brushed the woeful Windies aside, whereas England laboured to an embarrassing series draw. Drawing at home to NZ isn't too great a result either, the defeat in the second Test was pretty much a lesson in how to throw a Test match away.

That is a valid point and key to England's stumbling tour in the Windies was fielding two players who were in no shape to be in the side (Trott and Ali). That is why England MUST ensure there are no hangers-on come the Ashes battle beginning. Can England win? It is possible but only if they have 11 players all making a contribution. If they carry on like they did in the Ashes with selection errors and sticking with ailing players for too long then they may as well hand the urn to Australia now.
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Duty281 on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 2:02 pm

VTR wrote:I know Duty is the England optimist on here but saying it won't be close is definitely going over the top! A fair indicator is the ease with which the Aussies brushed the woeful Windies aside, whereas England laboured to an embarrassing series draw. Drawing at home to NZ isn't too great a result either, the defeat in the second Test was pretty much a lesson in how to throw a Test match away.

With the greatest level of respect, I am not so sure that that is the fairest indicator.

England and Australia won't be playing on the pitches of the Caribbean; the Ashes will be contested on this precious stone set in the silver sea.

And Australia's batsmen will struggle in these conditions. And the Australian bowlers will find it a very great task to generate any of their notorious firepower on these pitches.

I think there will be draws at Lord's and the Oval, in all probability, but England should be triumphant in Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham.

Certainly Australia's greatest chance lies either first up - in Cardiff - or at Lord's - where they have a tremendous record.

But I think I'll be comfortable and remain with my 3-0-to-the-English prediction - one innings victory as part of the set.

(And I fully expect England to struggle in the UAE, after this is all over!)

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by kingraf on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 2:21 pm

You can almost see Duty growing in confidence. To be fair, he alone bet on England at 14/1 against NZ, so maybe he's on a bit of a hot streak, and should be taken at his word.

4/1 seems good value on an English win, as I really don't think they are that far away from Aus, I might even hedge a bet myself... But they certainly aren't ahead of Aus, and there is an argument to be made that most of Aus have greater experience of English conditions than the English.

Personally, I'm still backing Aus 2-1 or 3-0, but England have their openings... I'm just not sure over 25 days they are experienced/good enough to take enough of them


I'm also backing Hazlewood to be the leading wicket taker overall at 6/1. His Glenn McGrath impression running through the English on command
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 4:20 pm

I think the key to the series is going to be how well we bat and how well Aus bowl.

If Mitchell J is on top form and gets adequate back-up, we are not going to put enough runs on the board unless Cook, Bell and Root are exceptional, but if MJ in in his 'bowls to the left, bowls to the right...' mode then we potentially have a way in.

I'm very tempted to say Rashid should play ahead of Moeen at the start of the series, unless MA is showing good bowling form in the CC. As it stands, I think both will go for runs, but can see Rashid at least being useful at clearing up the Aussie tail enders.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 5:51 pm

Yes I am not sure why Duty seems so convinced the Aussie bowling lineup doesn't have the firepower to go through our batting when we were destroyed by an attack of Taylor, Holder, Gabriel and Permaul in the WIndies.

The sheer pace of Johnson and Starc (both handy bats btw) is backed up by the incredible skills of Ryan Harris and Josh Hazlewood. Then you have Siddle who always seems to do well against us. And it shouldn't be underestimated the role Lyon plays (like Guildford mentioned). He is a very good holding spinner, who picks up handy wickets and will enjoy bowling to England's left handed bats.

I do agree with you Duty in that I think the Aussie batsmen will struggle (in particular I think Warner will). 

I can see it being a 2-1 series either way, but if I had to lay my cards on the table I'd go with the superior Aussie bowlers leading them to victory
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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 8:43 pm

Nathan Lyon already has 146 test wickets. I think it is easy to underestimate him, even though he may well have benefitted occasionally from opposing batsmen relaxing somewhat when facing him rather than the relentless Aussie pace bowlers.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Jetty on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 3:33 am

LondonTiger wrote:I am a little worried that we may be undercooked come the first test, especially the bowlers. With the training camp starting on Saturday 27th and the first test on Weds 8th July, there will be no chance for first class cricket after the current round of matches.

Cook - Two first class matches since last test. Scores of 80 & 48 in two innings so far.
Lyth -  Two first class matches since last test. Scores of 17 & 61 against Middlesex, yet to bat in current game. Played some Second XI cricket when Yorkshire had a week off.
Ballance - Two first class matches and 3 T20 since last test. Not batted in current CC match yet but few runs so far.
Bell - Scored a century in his only CC innings. Four T20 matches, top score of 90.
Root - Will have just played ODI cricket.
Stokes - Ditto
Buttler - Currently injured, will have just played ODI cricket.
Moeen Ali - Two first cl;ass matches since last test. Yet to take a wicket in 3 completed innings, 106 runs in 3 innings with the bat. Decent all-round performance in most recent T20 3/28 with ball, 65 with bat.
Broad - Played one T20 matche and currently playing his only FC game. Yet to bowl, breezy 34 with bat.
Wood - Will have just played ODI cricket
Anderson - Has not played at all since last test.


That all means there has not been a single First Class wicket taken by the Team that finished the last test since that test.

How have the three additional bowlers performed:

Finn - Played two first class games in the last 6 weeks with an aggregate of 7/256. Otherwise just ODI cricket.
Plunkett - Played just one FC match since England returned from WI, with two wickets.
Footitt - The newcomer to the squad, is the only one with much recent FC cricket. Currently playing his 5th first class match in as many weeks.

I agree that we will not have played enough cricket. To keep Anderson fresh Strauss doesn't want him to play ANY cricket. That's five weeks without match practice. A bowler need at least 50 overs before a Test. Last time it was three weeks with no cricket and 1st Test v NZ at Lords he only took 2 wickets. Wood has had 30 overs of white ball cricket and Broad has bowled 26 overs with the red ball. It's frightening.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:46 am

Hazelwood is growing in stature every day. Then there is Johnson. Starc has pace, and he can swing the cricket ball, a skill very valuable in English conditions. And there is Ryan Harris, rapped up in cotton wools for this series. How would Australia pick 3 fast bowlers out of the 4 of them? Think Harris can be eased back into the side perhaps by the 2nd test, for the first they should go in with Johnson, Starc and Hazelwood, to be backed up by Lyon and Watson. And Watason should be asked to properly front up with the ball, he isn't worth picking as a batsman alone. I'd rate his bowling higher than that of the younger Marsh and if he actually turns up with the ball, Watson can be a pretty decent option in English conditions.
Warner
Rogers
Smith
Clarke
Voges
Watson
Haddin
Johnson
Starc
Hazelwood
Lyon

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:03 am

MSP I think thats the biggest weakness in the aussie squad.
They either pick 4 fast bowlers and a spinner and have a ridiculously long tail or pick an "all rounder" who isnt worth a place with the bat or the ball. Watson has been living on borrowed time for years now and Marsh is yet to convince anyone hes really much cop.
Add to that theres still question marks over the openers; Warners on a down turn and Rogers has never been anything more than solid. Smith is forced into number 3 as the only world class performer in the battinmg department, but does he have the technique to thrive there if theres a lot of movement off the pitch?

That said they look a more convincing unit than they did last time they came over. Smith and Warner are very much proven performers now, and Clarke is actually fit. Voges seems a better option than some of the makeweights they picked last time and the quicks as a unit are the best around. Lyons reputation is more solid than it was. Haddin looked shot a few years ago but here he is again, Im not going to question if he can last out a 5 match series.

It should be a close series. Both sides have questionmarks and trump cards. Id give Australia the bowling (doubly so if its a hot dry summer as predicted) and England the batting (ability to fold like a pancake not withstanding).
For someone who followed England through the dark ages its pretty odd to think that they are now expected to win at home and that the Aussies havent won a series here for 14 years despite the frequnecy in which they now occur.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:09 am

Jetty wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I am a little worried that we may be undercooked come the first test, especially the bowlers. With the training camp starting on Saturday 27th and the first test on Weds 8th July, there will be no chance for first class cricket after the current round of matches.

Cook - Two first class matches since last test. Scores of 80 & 48 in two innings so far.
Lyth -  Two first class matches since last test. Scores of 17 & 61 against Middlesex, yet to bat in current game. Played some Second XI cricket when Yorkshire had a week off.
Ballance - Two first class matches and 3 T20 since last test. Not batted in current CC match yet but few runs so far.
Bell - Scored a century in his only CC innings. Four T20 matches, top score of 90.
Root - Will have just played ODI cricket.
Stokes - Ditto
Buttler - Currently injured, will have just played ODI cricket.
Moeen Ali - Two first cl;ass matches since last test. Yet to take a wicket in 3 completed innings, 106 runs in 3 innings with the bat. Decent all-round performance in most recent T20 3/28 with ball, 65 with bat.
Broad - Played one T20 matche and currently playing his only FC game. Yet to bowl, breezy 34 with bat.
Wood - Will have just played ODI cricket
Anderson - Has not played at all since last test.


That all means there has not been a single First Class wicket taken by the Team that finished the last test since that test.

How have the three additional bowlers performed:

Finn - Played two first class games in the last 6 weeks with an aggregate of 7/256. Otherwise just ODI cricket.
Plunkett - Played just one FC match since England returned from WI, with two wickets.
Footitt - The newcomer to the squad, is the only one with much recent FC cricket. Currently playing his 5th first class match in as many weeks.

I agree that we will not have played enough cricket. To keep Anderson fresh Strauss doesn't want him to play ANY cricket. That's five weeks without match practice. A bowler need at least 50 overs before a Test. Last time it was three weeks with no cricket and 1st Test v NZ at Lords he only took 2 wickets. Wood has had 30 overs of white ball cricket and Broad has bowled 26 overs with the red ball. It's frightening.

To be fair Moeen got a wicket the other day. Dont see what the problem is Whistle

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:13 am

Will Australia take a very radical call and bat Haddin at 6, Johnson at 7 and Starc at 8? That would mean Harris, a world class bowler and a good bet for a number 9 batsman can come in, and both Hazelwood and Lyon are bowlers who can hold a bat. Considering Watson's outputs in recent times haven't been great and Marsh hasn't quite convinced particularly with the ball, that won't be a bad option....... MJ has a test hundred and an average of 22 and Starc has a 99 in tests and can hold a bat for sure.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:14 am

I can't see England scoring too many against that bowling lineup. However, will Australia have enough batting cover to go for such an option?

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by VTR on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:20 pm

Very quiet on here recently. The Aussies are in action against a pretty weak looking Kent side today, currently 58/0 with openers Marsh and Rogers batting.

Reports are this game is effectively a shootout between the two of them as to who opens alongside Warner, though I am not so sure myself as I see Rogers as the incumbent in that position.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1:30 pm

msp83 wrote:Will Australia take a very radical call and bat Haddin at 6, Johnson at 7 and Starc at 8? That would mean Harris, a world class bowler and a good bet for a number 9 batsman can come in, and both Hazelwood and Lyon are bowlers who can hold a bat. Considering Watson's outputs in recent times haven't been great and Marsh hasn't quite convinced particularly with the ball, that won't be a bad option....... MJ has a test hundred and an average of 22  and Starc has a 99 in tests and can hold a bat for sure.

In context England are likely to have a number 9 and potetially a 10 with an average about the same as Johnsons, and an 8 who bats at county level in the top 6.
Johnsosn runs have tended to come in agressive attacks punctuating runs of low scores, he has changed games at times but isnt really someone you coukd see marshalling the tail. Haddins batting isnt top 6 standard by any stretch ..he averages 33 over his career and thats heading downwards. He had a poor world cup and hasnt had a test 50 since the last ashes 18 months ago. Not that Watsons record is much better of course but it really does show the fragility of Australias batting. Even Clarke has only passed 50 twice since the last ashes. England do have a habit of letting tails get big runs but theyd surely queueing up for a bowl at a side with only 3 proven test batsmen (ok lets not mention the windies tour)
The bowling line up would certainly be agressive and really test england, but there has to be some balance to a side. Englands all rounder in Stokes and Ali/Rashid could be the difference.
The big worry is that the bowlers will help the australians improve their shabby batting figures by being pedestrian and the batsmen will simply fold against quality fast bowling (again) regardless of how good they are.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 3:21 pm

VTR wrote:Very quiet on here recently. The Aussies are in action against a pretty weak looking Kent side today, currently 58/0 with openers Marsh and Rogers batting.

Not far off a first choice Kent team playing. Seven played in their most recent CC match. Billings in strengthens them, but Stevens and Coles out weakens them. Riley in for Tredwell is a hard one to call. Especially as Tredders did not bowl in that last CC game.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by VTR on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:03 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
VTR wrote:Very quiet on here recently. The Aussies are in action against a pretty weak looking Kent side today, currently 58/0 with openers Marsh and Rogers batting.  

Not far off a first choice Kent team playing. Seven played in their most recent CC match. Billings in strengthens them, but Stevens and Coles out weakens them.  Riley in for Tredwell is a hard one to call. Especially as Tredders did not bowl in that last CC game.

Fair point, I was referring to the bowling attack really which looks a bit callow. And so it is proving as the Aussies have piled on the runs today

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:06 pm

Think they should have given Tredwell a game there, perhaps could have given some indication as to how he would go against the Australians, all be it in a practice game. With England's spin situation, you can't entirely rule him out yet......

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by msp83 on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:10 pm

As for the Australians, if Rogers is fit, I would certainly have him partnering Warner. That is regardless of how many runs that Marsh would score in the practice game. And I would go for Voges at 5 and not Marsh. Marsh, if he gets pass 0, might score a ton, but he always starts with a 70 % chance of a single figure score. Far too hit or miss for my liking....... Voges has a fine temperament, and can chip in with a bit of spin as well if needed.

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Re: The Ashes Thread

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:22 pm

Thing is Kent probably view Riley as their first choice spinner. The younger man supplanted Tredwell from the FC team last season, such that he went on loan to Sussex. Now admittedly Riley has struggled this season, but for a variety of reasons Tredwell has been unable to capitalise having played just two FC matches with zero wickets.

So Kent are doing what is right for them. Resting their best seamer and old man Stevens, while giving their preferred spinner a chance to regain form.

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