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Post by Soul Requiem on Sat 07 Sep 2019, 1:49 pm

First topic message reminder :

I don't understand why Buttler isn't hogging the strike here.

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Post by VTR on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:02 pm

Well I can go a bit KPF myself and quote my prediction of the Craig Overton hundred ball blockathon as the prediction of the summer. Definitely wasn't being sarcastic at the time, honest Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:18 pm

VTR wrote:Well I can go a bit KPF myself and quote my prediction of the Craig Overton hundred ball blockathon as the prediction of the summer. Definitely wasn't being sarcastic at the time, honest Very Happy

VTR - well, thanks at least for not trying to sell it to us as ''a no brainer''. Wink

Be interesting to see if Overton keeps his place for Thursday. He showed a fair bit of ability with the bat together with tremendous determination today but that's not why he was chosen.

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Post by KP_fan on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:19 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
KP_fan wrote:...

I have feeling though that there is a slight chance of Eng escaping with a draw.....if Lyon doesn't find his rhythm. The 3 Aussie  pacers are one better than the 2 that Eng has......BUT Lyon is the key...if he doesn't pluck out at least 3 tomm.....Eng on the back of Stokes, Butler and Bairstow with the doughty lower  order will see it through with one or two wickets in hand. ...


KP_f -  you appear to have missed this bit out when telling us what you told us last night.

Well I was expecting Stokes to hang around for a lot longer today...and draw was within the realms of reality
Lyon did not get the minimum required 3-fer but Labuschange's 1-fer made up the spinners quota of 3 wickets
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Post by JDizzle on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:26 pm

England tried their best today, but as it's been for most the of the series, most of England's players best isn't enough to match the Aussies. Cummins and Hazlewood have been exceptional all series, and they've needed to be with Lyon being oddly absent* since Test 1. And obviously Smith - even if Smith only had a similar series to Kohli last year and averaged 60, the Ashes are probably still alive at the very least.

*England do have a weird habit of collapsing to spinners in the first test of a series at home, and then getting totally on top of them thereafter - happened to Ashwin last year and certainly to Yasir Shah in 2016. Odd one.

As for the last Test, I can't see wholesale changes. May as well get the new coach in and see where he wants to go, rather than giving a load of guys debuts and then the new guy not fancying them and they become consigned to one test wonders. Curran will almost certainly play I would assume, after being 12th man all series and I can't see the point in playing Woakes if he does have this knee injury he has been managing all summer. Pope should really play too, he averages 60 in FC cricket for Christ's sake! Apart from that, can't see anything revolutionary. Expect Sibley/Crawley etc. will have to wait till the winter.

I expect something like:

Burns, Denly, Stokes, Root, Pope, Bairstow, Buttler, Curran, Archer, Leach, Broad.

Although I still stand by my comments about Curran pre-game!

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Post by robbo277 on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:30 pm

This England team at least have battled. They haven't been good enough, but they have battled.

Will the new coach think he can teach Roy a proper test forward defensive? It wasn't shot selection this time and when it was earlier in the season, it was because he didn't trust his defensive technique. Is he worth being worked on? Or leave him to white ball?

There's one more test to go in this series. See who's fit and make a decision on selection. It might be worth bringing in a couple of new faces for the last test of a summer for a look later on.

I don't care what happens at the Oval now other than Smith getting a pair. Thoroughly sick to death of him.

293 runs this test, Australia win by 185.
286 runs 1st test, Australia win by 251.
92 (161) first innings at Lords, Australia escape with a rain-affected draw with England needing 4 wickets and Australia still 100 behind.
Doesn't play third test and England win.

Basically if he was having Warner's series as well we'd be 4-0 up. He isn't, he's the best batsman in the world and Australia have retained the Ashes.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:45 pm

Disagree that this was a poor Australian side. Yes, their batting was not great, although Smith more than made up for any inadequacies.

But their bowling attack, even with Lyon not always at his best, was one of the best they have sent here.

After England failed to win either of the first two Tests I thought it would be very hard for them to stay undefeated in the last three. Now we can only hope for a 2-2.

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Post by VTR on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 8:49 pm

I care about the result at The Oval. Unbeaten in home Ashes since 2001 still sounds good. I certainly cared about the final Test ib 2011, as I wanted to see us win a series over there, not just retain The Ashes. It's the only series where the previous result is thought to be important, though I think most series nowadays use the same concept, but no one really seems bothered by it. All a bit odd if you think about.

My ramblings in summary: World Cup win and 2-2 in Ashes would represent a good summer

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 08 Sep 2019, 9:48 pm

I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

I do expect to see some changes from England for the final test. I know the series is technically alive as England can still tie it, but no one really remembers that in the context of an Ashes series. Interesting to note how rare drawn series are between these two - the last one was way back in 1972 and only 5 series have ever been drawn in the entire history of this contest.

Anyway, changes. I think Roy will finally be dispensed with. Denly might just get a reprieve, even though he may be dropped down to 4 again. Wouldn't be surprised to see some of the World Cup players rested after this long summer - Buttler the most likely, Archer probably, Bairstow perhaps, even Stokes might get a chance to put his feet up. Root will probably remain in what is likely to be his final test as captain. Overton could well face the axe too!

End up with something like - Burns, Sibley, Root, Denly, Stokes, Pope, Foakes, Curran, Woakes, Broad, Leach.

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Post by compelling and rich on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 7:50 am

JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
KP_fan wrote:This Aussie side is generally superior to this Eng side and that's why I had called a 3-1 in Aus's favor at the start of series and that's where its heading to.
3-1 because its not a great & ruthless Aussie side.....so I expected them to a lose a game somewhere.

This game wasn't really hopelessly gone for Eng...if only Root or Stokes had batted out a 180 balls more between them....as they are both capable of....and that could've been increasingly possible had Eng sent a night watchman at the fall of first wicket.

Changes That Aus should make....

-Lyon is below par...probably carrying a finger injury & they don't have another spinner in the squad surprisingly
so play another seamer and use Smith and Laburschagne as part-timers

-Bring Khawaja in surely and Wade out surely.

-Maybe Mitch Marsh in but that would mean leaving an opener out...although to me that's a like medicore for like..I would rather play Khawaja in the middle and reatin Harris...and anyway my 11 has 4 seamers....so Mitch's bowling is not needed.

-Do they continue with Warner? For sure in my view....he has a HUGE upside and still some reserve in the bank.

Who is this kid Michael Neser in the squad?....is he a bowling allrounder or a batting allrounder? Maybe he plays as 4th seamer....if bowling is his main trait.

Regarding England.....

-Well no way would I leave Woakes out..
-and if Stokes ain't bowling it's easy to put Woakes and Curran in...for Overton and Roy.....bowling and batting both enhanced Smile

-Denly creates a Hell's-Choice now.....when you  know he won't make it in test cricket but logically cannot leave him out when he top-scores with a 50 and that too opening and so he gets 3 more tests.

Warner is in because they are already short two openers and a number three. You cant drop everyone.

The only explanation for Woakes not playing and being underbowled is that hes been carrying an injury

To suggest that Curran or Woakes would be a better batting option that a proper test batsman up the order like Pope is silly. But if Stokes' injury is that bad they might be forced to picktheir seamers based on batting or risk overbowling Archer (again). Conditions dependant I dont see any evidence that Curran would be a more effective bowler than Overton, he was just picked for and told to bowl for a pitch that didnt exist. It was an appalling mistake by the England leadership, its Roots home county ground FFS.

Denly gets one more test, that might still mean Sibley gets a debut. He surely has to play in the winter.

Lyon...the theory is hes too predictable when the pitch is offering consistent spin. Boycott was very vocal on this, he very reliant on a few stock balls and wasnt willing to vary his pace or flight. It wasnt great for either spinner in that game.

Its ridiculous that Aus have got away with only having 4 bowlers the whole series whilst Englands have been dropping like flies. But thats a thing. They will continue with the same make up Im sure. The could make a change in the batting but I'm not sure they'll bother. Then were comprehensively the better side in this test.

When are you letting him know he’s been signed by Lancashire?

how dare you goose, do not tarnish us with that riff raf from the other side of the pennines

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Post by VTR on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:04 am

Knowing Ed Smith he'll probably drop Jason Roy and replace him with Ravi Bopara! I could actually see a team like Duty lists. If that is the bowling attack, we may as well write Smith on the honours board twice now

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:10 am

The biggest difference during the series has been the absence of Anderson, the opening pair of Broad and Archer have for the most part ripped the top order apart but the first change just hasn't been good enough and then Root relies on overbowling his strike bowlers in the middle.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:15 am

Steve Smith was in the side the last two times they came, and the bowling attack is largely the same too. Sure Smith showing the form of his career but trade that off for Warner being in the biggest slump of his.

Australias batting line up is awful. Period. England carried two injured bowlers in the first test, woakes through the next two, had stokes drop out in this one and still noone but Smith can maintain a decent scoring record. Burns has single handedly outscored their openers.

Aside from Warner and Smith all the top 6 are players who have been dropped at least once for not being good enough, some several times. Lambuschange is not suddenly the new Steve Smith , he may have benefitted from a few more county games than the england team have had but I don't see Denlys decade of experience counting for much. He wasn't deemed good enough by Aus to keep the likes of Wade out of the side at the start of series. Paine has never been more than a middling keeper and batsman. Lyon as we know from Nathaniel is both Austrlias greatest ever finger spinner and a pie chucking piece of rubbish ( I think most of us agree hes a pretty reliable and above average if somewhat innocuous test spinner who's had a quiet series).

This isn't a vintage Aus team by any stretch. Its certainly no better than those that have been sent on the past couple of tours and were described as the worst Austrlian sides ever. Now obviously they are stronger with Smith back than the team that did well the past year, but that seems very much built on that seam attack.

I do think Aus have been very lucky or benefitted from some extremely good management ( both?) to have been able to bowl Cummins full out every game and have no injuries. The contrast to England is stark. That first test could have gone differently if Woakes wasnt hampered, they had Archer and Anderson hadn't broken down during it. Add in they missed Stone and Wood. It's that to me as much as Smith having the series of his life that's been a point of difference to me. Even a poor England side could have matched Aud in this series if it weren't for those injuries which is why I maintain they arent a good side, certainly not a good batting unit.

England really chucked this series away with some poor selections poor player management and poor play. Theres circumstances to that but the Aussies have been on the road for 6 months and can still muster up more desire and mental strength than England can. If England had escaped with a draw it would have been down to the weather, they were comprehensively outplayed in that game with Aus leaving 6 wickets in the hutch and still winning by a margin. The only test they won was the narrowest of lucky margins and down to Smith's absence. They couldn't even cash in when he retired hurt. Theres been times they've been on top and it's not quite the early 90s but don't kid yourselves it's been a close series so far. England are poor, have played beneath themselves at times and suffered horrificaly from bowler injuries. They haven't even had to worry about ball tampering this time.

As for the last test I don't think it makes much odds who plays, just no injured bowlers please. Curran, Overton a tin of custard. It'll be interesting to see what they do about Roy but noone could complain if hes ditched for Pope or to allow Root to move down with Sibley pushing Denly to 3.

England seemed to have turned a corner with the Sri Lanka series win but this has been a very flat performance at times.
Stokes is getting plaudits but as is typical with him hes been very inconsistent. He can do things no other England player can and he walks into the side, but it would be nice if he backed that up with a few more 30s instead of single figures and was capable of bowling conservatively when required. As its is hes made the series look close and cemented his status, but overall that just papers over the cracks and sugar coats just how limp England have been for the most part.

Broads had the series of his career and is the one who can really hold his head high. It took this once a career performance to align with Stokes greatest innings of all time and Smith being injured for England to win a test against a rubbish side. Disappointed.

Moan moan moan ramble ramble ramble.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:32 am

So, in short, they had a fit bowling lineup and still only beat us because of Steve Smith. Arguably, we could have won were it a fit bowling lineup.

Both teams are desperate with the bat, except the world’s best batsman.

Smith, injuries suffered or not for each bowling side, poor management by England.

I’d drop Roy and Bairstow for the last test, maybe Buttler. Denly can survive for one more just cos he’ll fight and I don’t think there’s a raft of players they’ll want to throw in. Back of my mind says something about Pope and wicket keeping? You could rest both Buttler and Bairstow and give Roy a shot at 6 or 7 if you’re just that fun.

Make it a green top bring Woakes back. Could have a laugh and try Ali for Leach too.

Burns, Sibley, Denly, Root, Stokes, Pope, Buttler/Bairstow, Woakes, Archer, Leach, Broad.

I would genuinely enjoy seeing another opener come in for Denly and someone else in for Bairstow/Buttler, but my CC knowledge isn’t strong. If there’s a future for Northeast, give him a bang.

I don’t see the point of sleepwalking to another defeat because we can’t win the series. I don’t see the point in selecting players who are clearly out of form/not worthy of selection. I don’t think it protects debuting players, in fact I think it would be a good way to debut these players because there’s so much ill-will to current incumbents that they can’t do worse and a fresh approach would be appreciated regardless of immediate success.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:34 am

Who are the alternatives in every role?

If anyone with a strong knowledge of the County game could do a 1-11 with three alternatives in each role, I’d be genuinely interested. Would be up to you if you want to, for example, put Root as a serious second choice for three and a first choice for four.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:36 am

Australia's top 7 batsmen against Broad, Archer & Stokes this series...

All excluding Smith: 611 runs, 33 dismissals, average 18.5, 2.68 runs per over.
Smith: 359 runs, 1 dismissal, 4.26 runs per over.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:41 am

Pope as wicket keeper would be absolutely mentally awful
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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 8:57 am

Pretty much Dolphin yeah. Theres no point in pampering over Englands deficiencies, they have been bowled out for under 100 3 times in 6 months including by a sub county level attack.

England will be fighting to win the last match but should make change too. But change with a purpose. Sibley and possibly Pope absolutely should be playing as they have the potential to omprove England in the short and long term. Roy should not, Denly I'm not convinced by and Buttler really if he isn't going to be a keeper is a luxury attacking player they can no longer afford.
Bowling changes dictated by who is actually fit and bothering to look at the pitch this time. Theres still a lot of speculation about both Archer and Woakes in that regard. I wouldn't have Mo back, his mental fragility and roller coaster form is problematic especially in a struggling side. He could have a future but wait till we need two spinners. With the bat It's a long time since hes lasted as long at the crease as Leach has in several of his recent innings.

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Post by VTR on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 9:25 am

At least we won't have to read any more articles comparing to 2005. That was a high quality series with two sides packed with ability fighting it out. This one has been a lot of rubbish a lot of the time. Entertaining of course, but very low quality play bar some obvious, notable exceptions

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Post by Pal Joey on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 9:33 am

Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy
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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 9:49 am

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:Who are the alternatives in every role?

If anyone with a strong knowledge of the County game could do a 1-11 with three alternatives in each role, I’d be genuinely interested. Would be up to you if you want to, for example, put Root as a serious second choice for three and a first choice for four.

Firstly - Australia have been the better team and deserve the series win. Smith perhaps has been the key difference, but he has always found someone or two to bat with him.

My attempt at a 3 alternatives in each role (so four players including current XI) and discounting injury for the moment note with bowlers not necessarily in position they would bat: 

Burns/Crawley/Lyth/Rhodes
Denly/Sibley/Stoneman/Cook
Root/Vince/Ballance/Northeast
Roy/Bell-Drummond/Duckett/Clarke
Stokes/Pope/Abell/Kohler Cadmore
Buttler/(pretty much named every batsman unless you want Bopara)
Bairstow/Foakes
Overton/Woakes/Anderson/Curran
Archer/Wood/Stone
Broad/Roland-Jones/Porter/Coad
Leach/Bess/Ali/Rashid

Apologies for anyone I forgot.

Bearing in mind the injuries I know about, my team for Oval would be:

Burns, Sibley, ANO. Root. Stokes, Pope, Bairstow, Curran, Archer, Leach, Broad


Batting 3rd is an issue for me. Would like another opener type there as I want Root at 4. Was going to say Crawley but not sure about throwing in a young guy whose form has dipped.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 9:57 am

You missed Malan off the list. That or very similar looks about right , Denly taking the number 3 spot or maybe opening to ease Sibley in.
I certainly would t want to see a Vince or Ballance type bought in, let's focus on the future. Crawley just isn't ready yet though and has almost no experience facing proper fast bowling.

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Post by VTR on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 10:19 am

That list does not inspire much confidence! I do like the parallel with the 90s that when the batting goes to s***, we can call up Crawley

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 10:57 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pope as wicket keeper would be absolutely mentally awful

I couldn’t remember, but I’m sure I’d heard he had.

In my mind, we can’t afford Bairstow and Buttler, and I’d look at neither for New Zealand.

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Post by eirebilly on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:00 am

Firstly congrats to the Aussies on the series win.

I would still like England to go out and win the final test to at least draw the series though.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:06 am

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pope as wicket keeper would be absolutely mentally awful

I couldn’t remember, but I’m sure I’d heard he had.

In my mind, we can’t afford Bairstow and Buttler, and I’d look at neither for New Zealand.

He plays in the same county team as Foakes so can only imagine he's kept wicket a few times at the most.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:17 am

Pal Joey wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy


2009 Ashes squad had gold star players Ponting, Clarke (in his prime), Hussey and Haddin (in his prime)  all of who would walk into this side. Frankly Watson would too, and Phil Hughes.  The bowling attack of Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Clark, Hilfenhaus isnt much off whats been sent over this time. 
Even with the Smith factor its hard to sustain an argument that this years squad/side is better. 

2013 Warner (in his prime) and Smith (not in his prime...is he even yet?  Erm) and Kwhahaja played. Clarke (test average 49)still existed. Haddin still existed with Wade as reserve. Rogers (performed way above his actual ability but clearly a decent player), Hughes and Watson played, all much better than the top 3 in this series. Again a stronger batting line up. Bowlers Pattinson  Johnson Starc Siddle Bird is only a touch behind this years. Spinners Lyon and Agar. 
Again I find it hard to sustain an argument that this years side /squad is better. 

2015 Clarke soldiered on but maybe wasnt the player he had been, would still walk into this side though. Warner and Smith both established global forces.  Voges "Austalias Hildreth", Watson, and Rogers would get in this side. Both Marshes are matched off by them being in this years squad. Haddin was probably past it but still a match for Paine as a player IMO. Bowling attack of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood, Johsnon, Siddle is essentially the same as this years. There were probably more absolute passengers in that squad and the big names (Calrke, Haddin, Watson) were past it. I can accept that squad being seen as a touch worse than this one. 

But overall dont kid yourself that even with Smith this is a good Australian side. Its certainly not a good England one they've beaten, even with burns establishing himself as competent, the rise of Archer, Stokes producing one of the most ridiculous innings of all time, and Broad having the best series of his career. England have at times, compounded by the injuries, conspired to make this Australian side look better than they are. 

Another big factor, especially when you look at the mess the 2015 side was off the field, has been how good the spirit and preparation have been for the Aussies. The leadership has been excellent, and perhaps coming in with lower expectations on them after tribulations they faced post sandpaper gate has helped. Theres a buzz around the side thats helping to paper over the obvious deficiencies in batting and all rounders. Largely they seem to have got selections correct, kept a positive air in the camp, used their preparation time well,  and the bowlers staying fit has been a huge plus for them. The complete opposite of whats happened with England.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:19 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pope as wicket keeper would be absolutely mentally awful

I couldn’t remember, but I’m sure I’d heard he had.

In my mind, we can’t afford Bairstow and Buttler, and I’d look at neither for New Zealand.

He plays in the same county team as Foakes so can only imagine he's kept wicket a few times at the most.

Burns is also a former keeper but you wouldn't have either do it in tests unless its injury cover. (something something Bairstow Whistle

One of Buttler, Bairstow or Foakes has to play. And its not going to be Foakes.

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:21 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pope as wicket keeper would be absolutely mentally awful

I couldn’t remember, but I’m sure I’d heard he had.

In my mind, we can’t afford Bairstow and Buttler, and I’d look at neither for New Zealand.

He plays in the same county team as Foakes so can only imagine he's kept wicket a few times at the most.

We could be really funky and select Burns, Pope, Buttler, Bairstow & Foakes - all of whom have been keepers at some stage. Just need to find a spot for Duckett after that Very Happy

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:23 am

Thanks LT. Taking note of Crawley being inexperienced and a few of those being tried and disposed of, I’d agree with the idea of either Sibley opening and Denly three or Denly to protect Sibley. Pope for Bairstow. Woakes for Overton, or Curran for Overton. Or anyone for Overton.

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Post by Afro on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:23 am

Billings could come into that.
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Post by robbo277 on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:31 am

Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

I do expect to see some changes from England for the final test. I know the series is technically alive as England can still tie it, but no one really remembers that in the context of an Ashes series. Interesting to note how rare drawn series are between these two - the last one was way back in 1972 and only 5 series have ever been drawn in the entire history of this contest.

Anyway, changes. I think Roy will finally be dispensed with. Denly might just get a reprieve, even though he may be dropped down to 4 again. Wouldn't be surprised to see some of the World Cup players rested after this long summer - Buttler the most likely, Archer probably, Bairstow perhaps, even Stokes might get a chance to put his feet up. Root will probably remain in what is likely to be his final test as captain. Overton could well face the axe too!

End up with something like - Burns, Sibley, Root, Denly, Stokes, Pope, Foakes, Curran, Woakes, Broad, Leach.

If we went for those exact personnel I'd keep Denly in the top 3. I'd take the opportunity to move Root down now Burns and Denly have a few tests and a couple of scores under their belt - it's no longer the "inexperienced top 3" it was at the start of the summer. If Root was really stubborn and didn't want to move I'd even consider Sibley at 4 as an introduction. But ideally it would be 3 openers at the top in whatever order you like.

In Overton and Leach we have two bowlers who are contributing more by blocking the ball than they are with the ball. Possibly a bit harsh as they aren't bowling terribly, but they didn't make telling contributions with the ball and twice we failed to bowl Australia out. We need Broad and Archer in there, and if Woakes is fit he comes back in. I would stick with Leach though, despite a lack of telling contributions, as he's still our best bet.

I think long term the captain and coach are going to have to work out what they want from Archer and trust others to do their role - not have Archer cover everything. Personally, I'd like to see him at first change with Woakes and Broad opening and bowl shorter spells. If you look at where Archer is doing his damage:

4th test first innings: no wickets in opening spell (none subsequently)
4th test second innings: 2 wickets in opening spell (1 subsequently - incomplete innings)

3rd test first innings: 1 wicket in opening spell (5 subsequently)
3rd test second innings: no wickets in opening spell (2 subsequently)

2nd test first innings: 1 (?) wicket in opening spell (1 subsequently - and hit Steve Smith on the head)
2nd test second innings: 2 wickets in opening spell (1 subsequently - incomplete innings)

I'm not sure about the second test when he got his first wicket. It was Bancroft in the 23rd over, but I think it could have been a longer spell because of a break (rain delay and/or overnight?). So possibly still in that opening spell, but not really with the new ball.

Regardless, only two innings has he taken more than 1 wicket in his opening spell, most of the time he's taking wickets after that opening spell.

If we held him back a bit, I don't think we'd lose what he's offering as a new ball bowler, but we might get a more potent Jofra throughout the innings. I know this is something a lot believe, but the stats do bear this out.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:31 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Pope as wicket keeper would be absolutely mentally awful

I couldn’t remember, but I’m sure I’d heard he had.

In my mind, we can’t afford Bairstow and Buttler, and I’d look at neither for New Zealand.

He plays in the same county team as Foakes so can only imagine he's kept wicket a few times at the most.

He's done it rarely - Jamie Smith is really the backup gloveman for Surrey now, Pope is ok with the gloves but nowhere near international standard, and clearly should focus on his batting only.
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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:38 am

With Archer being first change where he's still effective it negates the fact that Woakes is fairly ineffective past an initial new ball spell, I do not understand how the management haven't seen that and acted on it.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:43 am

Gooseberry wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy


2009 Ashes squad had gold star players Ponting, Clarke (in his prime), Hussey and Haddin (in his prime)  all of who would walk into this side. Frankly Watson would too, and Phil Hughes.  The bowling attack of Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Clark, Hilfenhaus isnt much off whats been sent over this time. 
Even with the Smith factor its hard to sustain an argument that this years squad/side is better. 

2013 Warner (in his prime) and Smith (not in his prime...is he even yet?  Erm) and Kwhahaja played. Clarke (test average 49)still existed. Haddin still existed with Wade as reserve. Rogers (performed way above his actual ability but clearly a decent player), Hughes and Watson played, all much better than the top 3 in this series. Again a stronger batting line up. Bowlers Pattinson  Johnson Starc Siddle Bird is only a touch behind this years. Spinners Lyon and Agar. 
Again I find it hard to sustain an argument that this years side /squad is better. 

2015 Clarke soldiered on but maybe wasnt the player he had been, would still walk into this side though. Warner and Smith both established global forces.  Voges "Austalias Hildreth", Watson, and Rogers would get in this side. Both Marshes are matched off by them being in this years squad. Haddin was probably past it but still a match for Paine as a player IMO. Bowling attack of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood, Johsnon, Siddle is essentially the same as this years. There were probably more absolute passengers in that squad and the big names (Calrke, Haddin, Watson) were past it. I can accept that squad being seen as a touch worse than this one. 

But overall dont kid yourself that even with Smith this is a good Australian side. Its certainly not a good England one they've beaten, even with burns establishing himself as competent, the rise of Archer, Stokes producing one of the most ridiculous innings of all time, and Broad having the best series of his career. England have at times, compounded by the injuries, conspired to make this Australian side look better than they are. 

Another big factor, especially when you look at the mess the 2015 side was off the field, has been how good the spirit and preparation have been for the Aussies. The leadership has been excellent, and perhaps coming in with lower expectations on them after tribulations they faced post sandpaper gate has helped. Theres a buzz around the side thats helping to paper over the obvious deficiencies in batting and all rounders. Largely they seem to have got selections correct, kept a positive air in the camp, used their preparation time well,  and the bowlers staying fit has been a huge plus for them. The complete opposite of whats happened with England.

There’s an awful lot of Love sacks in here, especially regarding the bowling attacks!

This is by far the best bowling attack the Aussies have brought over since 2005. And that’s not just on paper, the seamers have all bowled superbly throughout. Seems churlish to try and claim otherwise. Ben Hilfenhaus is not Pat Cummins, or even in the same stratosphere. Even if the 2015 attack included some of the same names (Just Hazlewood really though, as Starc has only played one test and Siddle only Played one in 2015) this attack is so much better just like Hazlewood has bowled much better than 2015.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 11:59 am

JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy


2009 Ashes squad had gold star players Ponting, Clarke (in his prime), Hussey and Haddin (in his prime)  all of who would walk into this side. Frankly Watson would too, and Phil Hughes.  The bowling attack of Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Clark, Hilfenhaus isnt much off whats been sent over this time. 
Even with the Smith factor its hard to sustain an argument that this years squad/side is better. 

2013 Warner (in his prime) and Smith (not in his prime...is he even yet?  Erm) and Kwhahaja played. Clarke (test average 49)still existed. Haddin still existed with Wade as reserve. Rogers (performed way above his actual ability but clearly a decent player), Hughes and Watson played, all much better than the top 3 in this series. Again a stronger batting line up. Bowlers Pattinson  Johnson Starc Siddle Bird is only a touch behind this years. Spinners Lyon and Agar. 
Again I find it hard to sustain an argument that this years side /squad is better. 

2015 Clarke soldiered on but maybe wasnt the player he had been, would still walk into this side though. Warner and Smith both established global forces.  Voges "Austalias Hildreth", Watson, and Rogers would get in this side. Both Marshes are matched off by them being in this years squad. Haddin was probably past it but still a match for Paine as a player IMO. Bowling attack of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood, Johsnon, Siddle is essentially the same as this years. There were probably more absolute passengers in that squad and the big names (Calrke, Haddin, Watson) were past it. I can accept that squad being seen as a touch worse than this one. 

But overall dont kid yourself that even with Smith this is a good Australian side. Its certainly not a good England one they've beaten, even with burns establishing himself as competent, the rise of Archer, Stokes producing one of the most ridiculous innings of all time, and Broad having the best series of his career. England have at times, compounded by the injuries, conspired to make this Australian side look better than they are. 

Another big factor, especially when you look at the mess the 2015 side was off the field, has been how good the spirit and preparation have been for the Aussies. The leadership has been excellent, and perhaps coming in with lower expectations on them after tribulations they faced post sandpaper gate has helped. Theres a buzz around the side thats helping to paper over the obvious deficiencies in batting and all rounders. Largely they seem to have got selections correct, kept a positive air in the camp, used their preparation time well,  and the bowlers staying fit has been a huge plus for them. The complete opposite of whats happened with England.

There’s an awful lot of Love sacks in here, especially regarding the bowling attacks!

This is by far the best bowling attack the Aussies have brought over since 2005. And that’s not just on paper, the seamers have all bowled superbly throughout. Seems churlish to try and claim otherwise. Ben Hilfenhaus is not Pat Cummins, or even in the same stratosphere. Even if the 2015 attack included some of the same names (Just Hazlewood really though, as Starc has only played one test and Siddle only Played one in 2015) this attack is so much better just like Hazlewood has bowled much better than 2015.


So youre arguing that the presence of Pattinson (played two tests) over Mitch Johnson makes this fundamentally  a different bowling attack? OK. Well worth insulting me over that right.

Its not a question of how well they've played, but the quality of the players. Now I accept that Pattinson is a more consistent bowler than Johnson, but that doesnt make this years pack of fast bowlers somehow massively better than the 2015 party. Aus have always had a strong pace bowling attack, theyve not always got the match day selections right or understood how to bowl in the conditions as well as they have this time, but thats not an issue with the squad of players. Im quite on board with the leadership, spirit and preparation being better this time. 

But a slightly better pace attack and Smiths continued rise does not balance out just how awful Australia's batting line up is IMO.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:03 pm

England announce an unchanged squad.

May not be popular, but I agree with it. Personally don't see the point of throwing in the youngsters now, coming off a month of T20's and basically no red ball cricket. Just get this one out of the way and start afresh in New Zealand with a new coach, and some new players.

Sounds like Stokes may not be fit to bowl, so could play as a specialist bat with Woakes/Curran coming in for one of the current specialist bats (Roy you'd think)
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Post by Duty281 on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:12 pm

This Australian bowling attack is comfortably better than any of the 09/13/15 versions. Two of the best bowlers in the world in Hazlewood and Cummins and a brilliant third seamer in reserve, whether it's Starc or Siddle. It's even a better all-round attack than what England faced in the Edgbaston and Trent Bridge tests of 05 when the Aussies were missing McGrath.

As for the batting, Smith's Bradman-esque brilliance propels the overall quality of the Australian batting to a competent, competitive level. When you've got one batsman averaging 150 or whatever it is for the series, you can afford to carry passengers. They've crossed 400 as a team twice in this series so far, which is the same as 2013 and 2015 and one less than 2009.

Is it a good Australian side? I would say so, yes. Best bowling attack in the world and the best batsman in the world by light years.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:13 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England announce an unchanged squad.

May not be popular, but I agree with it. Personally don't see the point of throwing in the youngsters now, just get this one out of the way and start afresh in New Zealand with a new coach, and some new players.

Sounds like Stokes may not be fit to bowl, so could play as a specialist bat with Woakes/Curran coming in for one of the current specialist bats (Roy you'd think)


I think its a wasted opportunity personally, but it is a CC weekend so at least Sibley and Pope will be playing red ball cricket. 
However if Stokes cant bowl and they still insist on picking him rather than letting him start his rehab work then there isn't a spare batting spot short of dropping Buttler, and hes too close to the leadership for them to be ruthless. Or Denly but hes Ed Smith boy and #didjustenough in exactly the way someone predicted. 
Its very uninspiring and must make those in waiting wonder what they have to do to get a game. Its so typical of England to wait until a player is out of form to pick them. If they can chuck Overton in on a hunch as a the 7th-8th choice injury cover why not a top order batsman as part of laying the foundation for a stronger future? 

I assume the Woakes/Overton/Curran situation will depend of fitness issues, and hopefully someone checking the pitch.

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Post by Duty281 on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:15 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England announce an unchanged squad.

May not be popular, but I agree with it. Personally don't see the point of throwing in the youngsters now, coming off a month of T20's and basically no red ball cricket. Just get this one out of the way and start afresh in New Zealand with a new coach, and some new players.

Sounds like Stokes may not be fit to bowl, so could play as a specialist bat with Woakes/Curran coming in for one of the current specialist bats (Roy you'd think)

Would have preferred some experimentation, personally, but I can see they have some time over the winter to do that.

Weather looks absolutely gorgeous for this one. Temperatures hitting 24 degrees on day four.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:18 pm

Duty281 wrote:This Australian bowling attack is comfortably better than any of the 09/13/15 versions. Two of the best bowlers in the world in Hazlewood and Cummins and a brilliant third seamer in reserve, whether it's Starc or Siddle. It's even a better all-round attack than what England faced in the Edgbaston and Trent Bridge tests of 05 when the Aussies were missing McGrath.

As for the batting, Smith's Bradman-esque brilliance propels the overall quality of the Australian batting to a competent, competitive level. When you've got one batsman averaging 150 or whatever it is for the series, you can afford to carry passengers. They've crossed 400 as a team twice in this series so far, which is the same as 2013 and 2015 and one less than 2009.

Is it a good Australian side? I would say so, yes. Best bowling attack in the world and the best batsman in the world by light years.

Shane Warne on his own makes that 2005 attack better.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:33 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England announce an unchanged squad.

May not be popular, but I agree with it. Personally don't see the point of throwing in the youngsters now, coming off a month of T20's and basically no red ball cricket. Just get this one out of the way and start afresh in New Zealand with a new coach, and some new players.

Sounds like Stokes may not be fit to bowl, so could play as a specialist bat with Woakes/Curran coming in for one of the current specialist bats (Roy you'd think)

So if you can’t win a series, don’t bother trying to draw it?

Don’t see what damage one test in a series full of failing batsman could do to new players. I’d be concerned of their mentality at all if we’re too scared to use them.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:38 pm

What a depressing and sadly predictably bad management decision. Never seen such woeful stuff as this series.

Of that 13, Roy out, Overton out. Curran and Woakes come in.
Burns, Denly, Root, Stokes, Bairstow, Buttler, Curran, Woakes, Archer, Leach, Broad.

Jesus that’s depressing

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:46 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy


2009 Ashes squad had gold star players Ponting, Clarke (in his prime), Hussey and Haddin (in his prime)  all of who would walk into this side. Frankly Watson would too, and Phil Hughes.  The bowling attack of Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Clark, Hilfenhaus isnt much off whats been sent over this time. 
Even with the Smith factor its hard to sustain an argument that this years squad/side is better. 

2013 Warner (in his prime) and Smith (not in his prime...is he even yet?  Erm) and Kwhahaja played. Clarke (test average 49)still existed. Haddin still existed with Wade as reserve. Rogers (performed way above his actual ability but clearly a decent player), Hughes and Watson played, all much better than the top 3 in this series. Again a stronger batting line up. Bowlers Pattinson  Johnson Starc Siddle Bird is only a touch behind this years. Spinners Lyon and Agar. 
Again I find it hard to sustain an argument that this years side /squad is better. 

2015 Clarke soldiered on but maybe wasnt the player he had been, would still walk into this side though. Warner and Smith both established global forces.  Voges "Austalias Hildreth", Watson, and Rogers would get in this side. Both Marshes are matched off by them being in this years squad. Haddin was probably past it but still a match for Paine as a player IMO. Bowling attack of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood, Johsnon, Siddle is essentially the same as this years. There were probably more absolute passengers in that squad and the big names (Calrke, Haddin, Watson) were past it. I can accept that squad being seen as a touch worse than this one. 

But overall dont kid yourself that even with Smith this is a good Australian side. Its certainly not a good England one they've beaten, even with burns establishing himself as competent, the rise of Archer, Stokes producing one of the most ridiculous innings of all time, and Broad having the best series of his career. England have at times, compounded by the injuries, conspired to make this Australian side look better than they are. 

Another big factor, especially when you look at the mess the 2015 side was off the field, has been how good the spirit and preparation have been for the Aussies. The leadership has been excellent, and perhaps coming in with lower expectations on them after tribulations they faced post sandpaper gate has helped. Theres a buzz around the side thats helping to paper over the obvious deficiencies in batting and all rounders. Largely they seem to have got selections correct, kept a positive air in the camp, used their preparation time well,  and the bowlers staying fit has been a huge plus for them. The complete opposite of whats happened with England.

There’s an awful lot of Love sacks in here, especially regarding the bowling attacks!

This is by far the best bowling attack the Aussies have brought over since 2005. And that’s not just on paper, the seamers have all bowled superbly throughout. Seems churlish to try and claim otherwise. Ben Hilfenhaus is not Pat Cummins, or even in the same stratosphere. Even if the 2015 attack included some of the same names (Just Hazlewood really though, as Starc has only played one test and Siddle only Played one in 2015) this attack is so much better just like Hazlewood has bowled much better than 2015.


So youre arguing that the presence of Pattinson (played two tests) over Mitch Johnson makes this fundamentally  a different bowling attack? OK. Well worth insulting me over that right.

Its not a question of how well they've played, but the quality of the players. Now I accept that Pattinson is a more consistent bowler than Johnson, but that doesnt make this years pack of fast bowlers somehow massively better than the 2015 party. Aus have always had a strong pace bowling attack, theyve not always got the match day selections right or understood how to bowl in the conditions as well as they have this time, but thats not an issue with the squad of players. Im quite on board with the leadership, spirit and preparation being better this time. 

But a slightly better pace attack and Smiths continued rise does not balance out just how awful Australia's batting line up is IMO.


Well, that and having the number one bowler in the world in Pat Cummins playing - who in contrary to your original post didn’t play at all in 2015. They are massively better than 2015. And I think Langer gets a lot of credit for that - they came with a clear plan for their quicks this time to be relentless and tie England down, whereas on previous tours there was almost some arrogance possibly? Almost like they said we have good fats bowlers, England is bowler friendly so if they just bowl they will be good.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:48 pm

Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England announce an unchanged squad.

May not be popular, but I agree with it. Personally don't see the point of throwing in the youngsters now, coming off a month of T20's and basically no red ball cricket. Just get this one out of the way and start afresh in New Zealand with a new coach, and some new players.

Sounds like Stokes may not be fit to bowl, so could play as a specialist bat with Woakes/Curran coming in for one of the current specialist bats (Roy you'd think)

So if you can’t win a series, don’t bother trying to draw it?

Don’t see what damage one test in a series full of failing batsman could do to new players. I’d be concerned of their mentality at all if we’re too scared to use them.

I don't think bringing in a bunch of players who have been playing t20 for a month and a bit, have never played tests (only played a few) is suddenly going to mean we're going to win topple the Aussies. And may I refer you to Simon Kerrigan for the damage in what one game can do...
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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 12:58 pm

Duty281 wrote:This Australian bowling attack is comfortably better than any of the 09/13/15 versions. Two of the best bowlers in the world in Hazlewood and Cummins and a brilliant third seamer in reserve, whether it's Starc or Siddle. It's even a better all-round attack than what England faced in the Edgbaston and Trent Bridge tests of 05 when the Aussies were missing McGrath.

As for the batting, Smith's Bradman-esque brilliance propels the overall quality of the Australian batting to a competent, competitive level. When you've got one batsman averaging 150 or whatever it is for the series, you can afford to carry passengers. They've crossed 400 as a team twice in this series so far, which is the same as 2013 and 2015 and one less than 2009.

Is it a good Australian side? I would say so, yes. Best bowling attack in the world and the best batsman in the world by light years.

They are still literally the same bowlers (minus Pattinson who's played two tests for Mitch Johnson 313 test wickets and all). They've played better, but it is not a fundamentally different or better attack to the 2015 one. Toi say its a comfortably better attack when its the same people is silly. Playing better yes, but that's not what was is being discussed when youre talking about the quality of the teams/squad. Unless we are talking leadership as part of the equation, in which case this years does take a huge boost as I noted. 

For the batting they've been facing bowling line ups short one bowler twice and two in another innings, and an open policy of having less green on the wickets to try and prolong games. They've also batted first in 3 of the 4 tests. England have got their bowling tactics badly wrong on a couple of occasions, bowled absolute filth in the wind, and are down to their 7th/8th choice seamer in Overton. Australia made one of the biggest totals by a visiting side in recent years in England, but that wasnt down to them having a world class batting line up. Outside Smith, with Warner broken, theres not a single one thats really up to it. 
No Pontings, no Clarkes, no Hussey. 

And Steve Smith was already very much Steve Smith in 2015, he came into that Ashes series having scored centuries in 5 of his previous 6 test innings (including a 199, an 192 and 162 n/o) and scored a double century in his second bat. hes batted as well as he ever has this series, but hes a vastly superior player to the one that came in 2015. Even 2013 he was a hell of a lot better than his reputation suggested, he scored his maiden century in that series and went on to get 3 in 4 inning just after it then the following year become the number one rated batsman in the world. 
If anything you could argue that as a guy who had played almost no competitive red ball cricket for a year and half the version that came here was at a weaker point, certainly we cant use a lack of preparation as an excuse for England being so outclassed if Smith can be so utterly brilliant on his own. Warner offering the counterpoint, hes always struggled in England to be fair but hes not the player he was. 


I dont argue this side hasnt played better than the previous visitors did at times. But I really dont buy the argument that its clearly the greatest Australian side since sliced bread or massively better in terms of quality of players than previous iterations that have come over. 
The batting is all on one guy whereas 2009-13 there were a number of very good and decent batsmen. The bowling attack is very strong but not that much different to 2015 or vastly superior to the 09/13 ones. The all rounders are an issue and Aus have been extremely fortunate to get away with the 3 seamer rotation, loading Cummins is a gamble thats paid off for them. 
But the leadership has done an excellent job, aside from maybe on the field at the end of that test they blew. England have looked rudderless or worse that the rudder is being pointed toward a waterfall at times.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:01 pm

JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy


2009 Ashes squad had gold star players Ponting, Clarke (in his prime), Hussey and Haddin (in his prime)  all of who would walk into this side. Frankly Watson would too, and Phil Hughes.  The bowling attack of Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Clark, Hilfenhaus isnt much off whats been sent over this time. 
Even with the Smith factor its hard to sustain an argument that this years squad/side is better. 

2013 Warner (in his prime) and Smith (not in his prime...is he even yet?  Erm) and Kwhahaja played. Clarke (test average 49)still existed. Haddin still existed with Wade as reserve. Rogers (performed way above his actual ability but clearly a decent player), Hughes and Watson played, all much better than the top 3 in this series. Again a stronger batting line up. Bowlers Pattinson  Johnson Starc Siddle Bird is only a touch behind this years. Spinners Lyon and Agar. 
Again I find it hard to sustain an argument that this years side /squad is better. 

2015 Clarke soldiered on but maybe wasnt the player he had been, would still walk into this side though. Warner and Smith both established global forces.  Voges "Austalias Hildreth", Watson, and Rogers would get in this side. Both Marshes are matched off by them being in this years squad. Haddin was probably past it but still a match for Paine as a player IMO. Bowling attack of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood, Johsnon, Siddle is essentially the same as this years. There were probably more absolute passengers in that squad and the big names (Calrke, Haddin, Watson) were past it. I can accept that squad being seen as a touch worse than this one. 

But overall dont kid yourself that even with Smith this is a good Australian side. Its certainly not a good England one they've beaten, even with burns establishing himself as competent, the rise of Archer, Stokes producing one of the most ridiculous innings of all time, and Broad having the best series of his career. England have at times, compounded by the injuries, conspired to make this Australian side look better than they are. 

Another big factor, especially when you look at the mess the 2015 side was off the field, has been how good the spirit and preparation have been for the Aussies. The leadership has been excellent, and perhaps coming in with lower expectations on them after tribulations they faced post sandpaper gate has helped. Theres a buzz around the side thats helping to paper over the obvious deficiencies in batting and all rounders. Largely they seem to have got selections correct, kept a positive air in the camp, used their preparation time well,  and the bowlers staying fit has been a huge plus for them. The complete opposite of whats happened with England.

There’s an awful lot of Love sacks in here, especially regarding the bowling attacks!

This is by far the best bowling attack the Aussies have brought over since 2005. And that’s not just on paper, the seamers have all bowled superbly throughout. Seems churlish to try and claim otherwise. Ben Hilfenhaus is not Pat Cummins, or even in the same stratosphere. Even if the 2015 attack included some of the same names (Just Hazlewood really though, as Starc has only played one test and Siddle only Played one in 2015) this attack is so much better just like Hazlewood has bowled much better than 2015.


So youre arguing that the presence of Pattinson (played two tests) over Mitch Johnson makes this fundamentally  a different bowling attack? OK. Well worth insulting me over that right.

Its not a question of how well they've played, but the quality of the players. Now I accept that Pattinson is a more consistent bowler than Johnson, but that doesnt make this years pack of fast bowlers somehow massively better than the 2015 party. Aus have always had a strong pace bowling attack, theyve not always got the match day selections right or understood how to bowl in the conditions as well as they have this time, but thats not an issue with the squad of players. Im quite on board with the leadership, spirit and preparation being better this time. 

But a slightly better pace attack and Smiths continued rise does not balance out just how awful Australia's batting line up is IMO.


Well, that and having the number one bowler in the world in Pat Cummins playing - who in contrary to your original post didn’t play at all in 2015. They are massively better than 2015. And I think Langer gets a lot of credit for that - they came with a clear plan for their quicks this time to be relentless and tie England down, whereas on previous tours there was almost some arrogance possibly? Almost like they said we have good fats bowlers, England is bowler friendly so if they just bowl they will be good.


He was in the 15 squad. 

And yes I absolutely agree Aus have got the better form their bowlers this time around, as I have said multiple times. What Im arguing is that they arent fundamentally better players, they have however been led better and performed better this time. The seam unit anyway! 

See also Hoggard/Harmisson etc ... 2003 they were brilliant. many times after that, awful. Stuart broad in this series is playing the beset consistent cricket of his career, seemingly out of nowhere. Does that mean hes suddenly become a different player? 

I feel we are arguing that grapes have pips.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:08 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Dolphin Ziggler wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:England announce an unchanged squad.

May not be popular, but I agree with it. Personally don't see the point of throwing in the youngsters now, coming off a month of T20's and basically no red ball cricket. Just get this one out of the way and start afresh in New Zealand with a new coach, and some new players.

Sounds like Stokes may not be fit to bowl, so could play as a specialist bat with Woakes/Curran coming in for one of the current specialist bats (Roy you'd think)

So if you can’t win a series, don’t bother trying to draw it?

Don’t see what damage one test in a series full of failing batsman could do to new players. I’d be concerned of their mentality at all if we’re too scared to use them.

I don't think bringing in a bunch of players who have been playing t20 for a month and a bit, have never played tests (only played a few) is suddenly going to mean we're going to win topple the Aussies. And may I refer you to Simon Kerrigan for the damage in what one game can do...


No but picking players who should be the bedrock of the rebuilding exercise has both a short and a long term potential benefit. This isnt picking for the sake of blooding, its picking them because in Sibleys case certainly he should've been in the side form the start. This suggests that they still think Denly is a test class player, something thats frankly baffling. Continuing to pick Roy too is an insult to every batsman theyve dropped for being Malan or Gary Ballance ( who as much as I rubbish him averages 37 in tests which is 6 more than Roys managed in an ashes innings). Buttler too, theres too much of a sense of loyalty to these players who are close to core leadership/selectors group. Thank god we are getting a new coach who wont have that baggage. 

I do cede though that if theres a question on Stokes' ability to bowl and they have to pick 5 bowlers its a lot harder to find space for new bats. But the selections to me suggest the usual England policy of being happy to chop and change bowlers on a whim but batsmen being untouchable.

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Post by JDizzle on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 1:38 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
Pal Joey wrote:
Duty281 wrote:I think it's a pretty decent Australian side, not as strong as in the vintage of the late 90s/early 00s of course, but better than the 09/13/15 iterations that came over. A few passengers, sure, but it has an absolutely brilliant bowling attack and the best Australian batsman since Don Bradman. They deserve to win and win handsomely. They should be 3-0 up right now, though I think they'll settle for 3-1!

Yes , this is similar to what I think. The debacle of the past 18 months forced them into a different psychological approach this series and it has just barely paid off so far. There are still gaping technical deficiencies (or a crisis of confidence in Warner's case) which still need to be worked on. However, I still believe they showed a slightly better application overall... just... against a depleted England bowling attack.

Even though the Headingley loss will forever haunt us  I actually give them credit for batting as best as they could in those atrocious conditions (it looked dark at midday from here) and of course the bundling out for 67... which made that loss even more cruel. They did well to recover from that - at one stage yesterday (around 30 overs to go and counting down) I honestly thought England would somehow secure a draw.

When Roy came down to the fence with a new helmet for Leach?... I thought oh, no... here we go again. Then, of course, Cardiff was mentioned. Punter seemed to be on-air for hours. (Sky are so mean!) Horrible omens. Thankfully I got to bed around 03:40 in one piece and slept quite well. Very Happy


2009 Ashes squad had gold star players Ponting, Clarke (in his prime), Hussey and Haddin (in his prime)  all of who would walk into this side. Frankly Watson would too, and Phil Hughes.  The bowling attack of Johnson, Lee, Siddle, Clark, Hilfenhaus isnt much off whats been sent over this time. 
Even with the Smith factor its hard to sustain an argument that this years squad/side is better. 

2013 Warner (in his prime) and Smith (not in his prime...is he even yet?  Erm) and Kwhahaja played. Clarke (test average 49)still existed. Haddin still existed with Wade as reserve. Rogers (performed way above his actual ability but clearly a decent player), Hughes and Watson played, all much better than the top 3 in this series. Again a stronger batting line up. Bowlers Pattinson  Johnson Starc Siddle Bird is only a touch behind this years. Spinners Lyon and Agar. 
Again I find it hard to sustain an argument that this years side /squad is better. 

2015 Clarke soldiered on but maybe wasnt the player he had been, would still walk into this side though. Warner and Smith both established global forces.  Voges "Austalias Hildreth", Watson, and Rogers would get in this side. Both Marshes are matched off by them being in this years squad. Haddin was probably past it but still a match for Paine as a player IMO. Bowling attack of Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood, Johsnon, Siddle is essentially the same as this years. There were probably more absolute passengers in that squad and the big names (Calrke, Haddin, Watson) were past it. I can accept that squad being seen as a touch worse than this one. 

But overall dont kid yourself that even with Smith this is a good Australian side. Its certainly not a good England one they've beaten, even with burns establishing himself as competent, the rise of Archer, Stokes producing one of the most ridiculous innings of all time, and Broad having the best series of his career. England have at times, compounded by the injuries, conspired to make this Australian side look better than they are. 

Another big factor, especially when you look at the mess the 2015 side was off the field, has been how good the spirit and preparation have been for the Aussies. The leadership has been excellent, and perhaps coming in with lower expectations on them after tribulations they faced post sandpaper gate has helped. Theres a buzz around the side thats helping to paper over the obvious deficiencies in batting and all rounders. Largely they seem to have got selections correct, kept a positive air in the camp, used their preparation time well,  and the bowlers staying fit has been a huge plus for them. The complete opposite of whats happened with England.

There’s an awful lot of Love sacks in here, especially regarding the bowling attacks!

This is by far the best bowling attack the Aussies have brought over since 2005. And that’s not just on paper, the seamers have all bowled superbly throughout. Seems churlish to try and claim otherwise. Ben Hilfenhaus is not Pat Cummins, or even in the same stratosphere. Even if the 2015 attack included some of the same names (Just Hazlewood really though, as Starc has only played one test and Siddle only Played one in 2015) this attack is so much better just like Hazlewood has bowled much better than 2015.


So youre arguing that the presence of Pattinson (played two tests) over Mitch Johnson makes this fundamentally  a different bowling attack? OK. Well worth insulting me over that right.

Its not a question of how well they've played, but the quality of the players. Now I accept that Pattinson is a more consistent bowler than Johnson, but that doesnt make this years pack of fast bowlers somehow massively better than the 2015 party. Aus have always had a strong pace bowling attack, theyve not always got the match day selections right or understood how to bowl in the conditions as well as they have this time, but thats not an issue with the squad of players. Im quite on board with the leadership, spirit and preparation being better this time. 

But a slightly better pace attack and Smiths continued rise does not balance out just how awful Australia's batting line up is IMO.


Well, that and having the number one bowler in the world in Pat Cummins playing - who in contrary to your original post didn’t play at all in 2015. They are massively better than 2015. And I think Langer gets a lot of credit for that - they came with a clear plan for their quicks this time to be relentless and tie England down, whereas on previous tours there was almost some arrogance possibly? Almost like they said we have good fats bowlers, England is bowler friendly so if they just bowl they will be good.


He was in the 15 squad. 

And yes I absolutely agree Aus have got the better form their bowlers this time around, as I have said multiple times. What Im arguing is that they arent fundamentally better players, they have however been led better and performed better this time. The seam unit anyway! 

See also Hoggard/Harmisson etc ... 2003 they were brilliant. many times after that, awful. Stuart broad in this series is playing the beset consistent cricket of his career, seemingly out of nowhere. Does that mean hes suddenly become a different player? 

I feel we are arguing that grapes have pips.

But that’s like saying Mitchell Johnson played in 2015 so Australia had the same attack that destroyed England in 203/14. Just cause it’s the same bowlers in name, doesn’t mean it isn’t a vastly superior attack to 2015 in terms of quality.

Anyway, as I mentioned earlier not totally shocked England have picked the same squad. Not much point picking someone for one test who the new coach might hate I guess. Although it would still be very nice to win and keep the unbeaten home run going in Ashes.

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Post by Soul Requiem on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 3:07 pm

How big an effect did 'that' ball change in the first test have on the overall series?

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Post by dummy_half on Mon 09 Sep 2019, 4:36 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:How big an effect did 'that' ball change in the first test have on the overall series?

It's easy to forget that England had largely the better of the first 3 days of the first Test (kept getting close to dominant positions but then slipping back), but then got Smithed in the 2nd innings.
2nd Test we were on the better end of a weather-affected draw - another couple of hours play would probably have seen an England win.
Obviously the 3rd Test was lost but for Stokes.

Even this Test, we started pretty well, but Archer's dropped c&b chance off Smith, the no ball dismissal and dropping Paine had a major influence on the Aussie first innings - we could have had them out for 300ish, and the whole narrative of the game would have been different.
In one way, it was England's best batting performance of the series, especially in the 2nd innings where there was some help for the Aussie seam bowlers (who, it has to be said, bowled really well) - Burns was the only one who really got out to an attacking shot, and that was just a mis-timing of a ball he should have been looking to put away through mid wicket (shot selection OK, just not well executed). Everyone else pretty much was got out rather than giving it away (Buttler will be unhappy to be out leaving, but the ball did come back a long way).

Oh, and add to all this that we lost Jimmy right at the start of the series - I seem to recall that in the last home Ashes series, Smith was vulnerable to top class swing / seam bowling and only scored big runs at Lords in conditions that were easier from that perspective.

As for the last Test, I can understand picking the same squad - very short turn-around, and the County players have not been playing red ball cricket for some time. You can make a case for the selection of Sibley or Pope, but it would have been a stronger case before the last match and especially if they were consistently playing and scoring runs in Championship matches over the last month*.

*Obviously, this relates to the ludicrous scheduling this summer by the ECB, not to the players' performances.

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