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Can Australia turn this around?

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Post by Biltong Sun 21 Jul 2013, 9:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

Like the title says, can Australia fight back?

So far in the series.

Siddle first test 8/135
Siddle second test 3/141

Starc first test 5/135
Second test dropped

Pattinson first test 5/170
Pattinson second test 2/137

Agar first test 2/106
Agar second test 0/142.

Watson first test 0/18
Watson second test 1/70

Harris second test 7/105

Batting top 6.
Watson 109 runs, average 27.25
Rogers 89 runs, average 22.25, 1 fifty.
Khawaja 68 runs, average 34, 1 fifty
Hughes 83 runs, average 27.66, 1 fifty
Clarke 102 runs, average 25.50, 1 fifty
Smith 73 runs, average 18.25, 1 fifty
Haddin 86 runs, average 21.50, 1 fifty

It seems nobody is in form, Clarke who was on fire not so long ago and who has carried the Australian batting dinglehandedly against SA is nowhere near his best, Watson still doesn't seem to me at least to be able to consistently perform in the test arena, and the batting in general still seems very vulnerable.

You surely can't blame it on foreign conditions, Anderson with 13 wickets for 238 runs, Swann with 13 wickets for 288 runs, with some contributions from the rest of their bowlers seem to have Australia's number.

I am just wondering how much Lehman can really change in such a short preparation time before the Ashes, and would it not have been more prudent to retain Mickey Arthur until at least the end of the Ashes series in England with Lehman being there in the background to assess matters from a team relation and individual mindset before taking over.

Cricket players don't all of a sudden get into bad form all at the sme time. In my view it seems there are underlying problems and I don't think you need to look further than the mood in th camp or the mental state these players are in.

What do you guys think?
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Post by Cowshot Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:05 pm

Actually, I'm most interested in the reaction of Brad Haddin. If that's really it, he's shot psychologically. Loving this. We let other sides do this for decades, it took the Aussies to teach us this sort of truly professional game: mental disintegration, using the space the rules give you to your advantage, real headology from the master Warne...

We may mourn the loss of the golden age, but this is the cyber age and I must admit, I'm rather enjoying it Smile

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Post by kingraf Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:22 pm

The Aus A team just got skittled for 146... there is absolutely no back-up down here
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Post by Cowshot Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:30 pm

Well, we'll have to see if this Warner bloke is all mouth and no trousers. Never trust an Aussie in matters of sport...Wink

And quite genuinely we've always had a problem with complacency. What I'm reading on the BBC site says the lads are well aware of it and doing their best to guard against it. And this WILL be Jimmy's first Test at Old Trafford for a long while and he's very keen, I'd say. I'm only concerned he might try too hard.

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Post by VTR Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:38 pm

kingraf wrote:The Aus A team just got skittled for 146... there is absolutely no back-up down here

Well exactly - the players they have got are probably the best available. Its easy to look at the likes of Hughes and say "he's not very good, we must have someone better" but not necessarily. It's England in the 90's all over again: drop Hick, bring in Crawley. Crawley fails so bring back Hick who then fails again so bring in Nick Knight and so on. If you haven't got the players they wont appear overnight sadly.

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Post by Cowshot Wed 31 Jul 2013, 1:53 pm

We changed the Championship to 4 days and 2 divisions in consequence, which increased its importance both as a competition and as a player developer for Tests. Australia appear to have devalued the Sheffield Shield in comparison with 20 over in recent years, and didn't they win the 1 day series that followed their 4-1 Ashes loss in Aus? I suppose we'll see at Old Trafford whether they really can knuckle down and build innings.

It's still unbelievable to think of an Aussie team that can't...Shocked

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Post by Duty281 Wed 31 Jul 2013, 3:50 pm

I do awfully hope that if England win the Third Test, and I have full confidence they will, they play some fringe/young players a chance in the 4th and 5th Tests. Players like Taylor/Ballance/Onions etc.

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Post by GSC Wed 31 Jul 2013, 3:55 pm

**** that. 5-0, go for the throat
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Post by JDizzle Wed 31 Jul 2013, 3:59 pm

Exactly. There's no way they'd let us off the hook. You've got them down, keep them down. You might never get this chance for a smashing again.

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Post by VTR Wed 31 Jul 2013, 4:08 pm

I too support the play the strongest team/keep them down approach. We don't want to be gifting wins as confidence going into the away series will be important. Also the first choice players will definitely want to play so you are going to upset your best players by leaving them out.

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Post by king_carlos Wed 31 Jul 2013, 4:30 pm

Duty - Whilst I'm not an advocate of playing anything but your best side in the parts of the team where our best is undecided I'd definitely agree with trying out some of the guys who are knocking on the door.

1.Cook
2.Root
3.Trott
4.Pietersen
5.Bell
6.Taylor
7.Prior (wk)
8.Broad
9.Swann
10.Anderson
11.Onions

I'd love to see that in the 4th Test at CLS. Given that I'm a Surrey supporter who's lived in Yorkshire for prolonged periods the dropping of Bresnan/Bairstow and over looking of Tremlett (not ready yet IMO) does feel odd but I think Taylor is better test prospect than Bairstow at current and would like to see Onions given a go at his home ground.

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Post by Mike Selig Wed 31 Jul 2013, 4:43 pm

KP_fan wrote:it appears from what some of you guys are saying that the English pitch curators do not know how to grow or keep the grass on the pitch in these low 30s type of tempertures.
 
whereas in other parts of the world.....curators can keep the grass on in even 40 deg temperatures
 
Lack of skill in keeping the grass on in 30 degrees on English test match venues ??Shocked 
 
OK if that if what you say.

KPF sorry, but did you actually read what I wrote? I shall try once more. Please please try to read and answer what is written, and not just repeat the same points over and over again, as if that somehow addresses the points which I have made. It doesn't.

The curators were caught out by the UNEXPECTED hot weather, which followed what had frankly been a miserable spring and start to the summer. Because of the early summer conditions, most pitches around the UK (indeed from what I have seen around Europe) had very little grass on them when the hot weather started; the heat dried out the soil within a few days, and from thereon the situation has practically been irretrievable. It is not a question of not being able to grow grass, everyone can grow grass (I managed it in my garden without wanting to sometimes), just that because of the dryness of the soil underneath, the grass makes no difference.

To retrieve the situation, you would first need to grow enough grass on the pitch to keep some moisture in - this maybe takes about a week, and is easy, all you need to do is water the pitch and give it some sun (although not during the heat of the day, it needs to be covered then, otherwise it will just bake). Once you have some grass, you need to deal with the soil underneath, and remoisturise it - this will require almost continuous watering overnight for at least a week (covering during the day) given how dry the soil has become. Then, you need to start preparing the pitch in the usual way. The key is though, you need more than 2 weeks of pre-preparation, during which you can't play on the ground. I doubt any of the test grounds have had 2 weeks off since the hot spell has begun. Then you need to actually prepare the pitch. There hasn't been time.

The reason why other countries deal with the heat better is that the weather and in particular the summer in all other test nations is far more predictable, so the curators are unlikely to get caught out by hot weather - you know practically to the week when the rain season ends and the dry summer begins. Australia of course use drop-in pitches almost exclusively, so the argument there is a non-starter, but even when they didn't, they have mostly much more predictable weather (Melbourne being the main exception, where the weather changes every 5 minutes) and also more time, because they play far fewer first class matches there than in the UK.

There. I have tried to explain this clearly. It is not the hot weather which has been the problem per se, rather the drastic change in weather over a very short period of time. And since then the relentless hot weather.

A couple of inches of rain at this stage isn't going to make any difference...

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Post by JDizzle Wed 31 Jul 2013, 4:46 pm

If, touch wood, we do wrap up the Ashes (win or draw) at OT whilst I wouldn't make any changes I'd make sure that in Anderson and Swann's workloads were reduced. Not stupidly, but even if we got to a similar situation as at TB Anderson wouldn't be bowling one of those spells again.

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Post by mystiroakey Wed 31 Jul 2013, 5:17 pm

I really want to see taylor in the team and I dont even look at it as a playing a weaker team- just a squad rotation type thing. Kp has averaged 25 this year and has been on and off with injury. I would put money on taylor doing better anyway. Not saying that KP isnt a deffo starter under normal circumstances- but at the moment why not just give him a longer rest period and get the fringe players in!

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Post by msp83 Wed 31 Jul 2013, 7:13 pm

Well, The lack of fight from Australia hasn't been all that wonderful to watch, so I hope they put up a fight and still lose in the end though. For that they have to play their best possible side. That means David Warner has to come back in. Rather than at 6, I think he should bat 4 as of now with Watson getting one more opportunity to refind his way as a test batsman and opener. Rogers to stay on, Khawaja at 3, Clarke 5 and Smith 6. I also think Matthew Wade should also come back in. Lyon the only spinner with Smith as backup, and Siddle, Harris and Bird to constitute the seam attack.
As for the pitches, I don't see the point of the arguments from both sides. England are well within their rights to demand a pitch that might best suit their gameplan. The current configurations of the 2 sides mean that a more sub-continental looking track might be more in England's advantage, and there is absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong in them taking full advantage. The weather certainly has played a big hand in making the pitches the way they appear, but I strongly feel there are more factors at work, including some pointers from the team management. There is no need to bristle and gang up at suggestions that England are taking advantage of playing at home, nor is there any reason to suggest that taking advantage of home conditions somehow is morally wrong. I really, absolutely loved the BCCI and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni when they insisted that India prepare spin friendly pitches during the Australia series, and I wasn't unhappy at all with the pitch for the 2nd test between India and England that India ended up losing. An away tour is supposed to be a much more stiffer challenge, and that's the way it should be.

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Post by KP_fan Wed 31 Jul 2013, 11:35 pm

ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook views the doctoring of pitches as simply part of the home ground advantage and has no problem with Australia tailoring its wickets to suit itself when the Ashes battle resumes in Australia next summer.


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/cricket/home-truths-dry-deck-is-just-what-dr-cook-ordered/story-e6frg7rx-1226689092338



australian media is less polite about the doctored pitch
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 31 Jul 2013, 11:52 pm

"Cook claimed the unseasonably hot English summer this year made it difficult for curators to prepare anything other than dry, spinning wickets. "It's very hard to get moisture in when it's as warm as that," he said. That's true, although scientists, after years of research, have come up with a solution. It's called a hose."

Given all the explanations given on this thread as to why just watering the surface would not change the pitch to any great extent, I think this quote gives some sort of idea of the validity of the argument in the article.
And, anyway, even if watering the pitch would alter it, why should they? Are The Australian saying that curators should try to produce pitches that aren't effected by the weather? Why? Just 'cause the pitches that are are being produced as a result of the current weather are better suited to England's attack?

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Post by KP_fan Thu 01 Aug 2013, 12:09 am

^it's ok doctoring is not a crime....both sides understand.

it's just doctoring.....which is seen as a negative when it's done against them.
just like the "spirit of cricket" high moral horse charade.

let the game begin now......and both sides fight the fight on field
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Post by Hoggy_Bear Thu 01 Aug 2013, 12:14 am

KP_fan wrote:^it's ok doctoring is not a crime....both sides understand.

it's just doctoring.....which is seen as a negative when it's done against them.
just like the "spirit of cricket" high moral horse charade.

let the game begin now......and both sides fight the fight on field

How is it doctoring?
What has the curator done to the pitch to make it dry?

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Post by Cowshot Thu 01 Aug 2013, 9:23 am

Lol. Any groundsman who can produce a pitch the way a top chef produces a dish in the middle of a full County season with the weird weather we've had this summer deserves a Michelin star or two.

Still, the rumour has upset the trolls and unsettled the Aussies by he sound of it - excellent. eheheh Very Happy 

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Post by GSC Thu 01 Aug 2013, 9:52 am

The ground staff have been applying hair dryers to the pitch day and night
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Post by mystiroakey Thu 01 Aug 2013, 9:58 am

They employed KP fan to blow hot air on it instead. Using hairdriers wastes electricity!

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Post by GSC Thu 01 Aug 2013, 10:06 am

Using KPF wastes oxygen
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Post by Duty281 Thu 01 Aug 2013, 10:19 am

KP_fan wrote:^it's ok doctoring is not a crime....both sides understand.

it's just doctoring.....which is seen as a negative when it's done against them.
just like the "spirit of cricket" high moral horse charade.

let the game begin now......and both sides fight the fight on field

Do you understand the concept of no rain equals a dry pitch?

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Post by GSC Thu 01 Aug 2013, 10:20 am

I blame the hosepipe ban
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