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3rd Ashes test Old Trafford

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Post by LivinginItaly Sun 04 Aug 2013, 4:36 pm

First topic message reminder :

Can't help but feel that the old australian teams of waugh and ponying would have declared by now and backed their bowlers to win the game for them. Admittedly the bowlers were better, but I think we can really see the aussie mentality in delaying the declaration decision. It's ok to say you can't base the decision on the forecast but at 2-0 down it is all or nothing, and they should have gambled earlier.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:19 am

It definitely looked like the groundsman was trying to make a 5 day pitch - had the weather stayed playable, it would have been an interesting last day (plus last hour of day 4), with the Aussies possibly adding another 20-30 before declaring (or being all out) and then having half an hour at England on the 4th evening and all of day 5.

Unfortunately for the Aussies, Manchester weather lived up to its reputation. Meant that Clarke's declaration in the first innings was a bit premature. I don't see how an earlier declaration at say 450 would have given them a better opportunity to press for a result - less scoreboard pressure on England's batsmen, so no significant first innings lead for the Aussies to build on. The only way they were going to get a result (given the pitch and the time lost) was to be in a position to enforce the follow-on. England batted (just) well enough to avoid this from the 520-odd declaration, but a declaration at 550 ish could have been a different story, and with the way Haddin and Starc were batting against a tired England attack, it would still have allowed the Aussies to have an hour at England on the second evening.

To be honest, I think we rather dodged a bullet this match...

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:23 am

If the follow on target was 400

I would have backed a very very tight ending!

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Post by GSC Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:51 am

Australia played about as well as they can and England played poorly. Still we sneaked a draw, roll on Durham
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:55 am

Dummy_half. Strange how England constantly have a mid-series wobble. They are always likely to throw in a shocker (although Manchester was not an absolute disaster) when least expected.
  The great sides did not/do not do this. Hence the 5-0s that the Windies and Australia produced.  
  Also noticeable how England manage to bounce back from a poor performance. They are a lot more consistent than in the bad old days but still not consistent enough to be considered great/very good.

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Post by JDizzle Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:57 am

It certainly is very odd how England always seen to struggle with the expectation of being one test away from retaining or winning the Ashes (Leeds, MCG, OT) yet when they have to win the game after they cope just fine! Very odd.

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Post by GSC Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:57 am

Whatever criticisms you make of England, they remain immensely hard to beat
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Post by mystiroakey Tue 06 Aug 2013, 11:59 am

sirfredperry wrote:Dummy_half. Strange how England constantly have a mid-series wobble. They are always likely to throw in a shocker (although Manchester was not an absolute disaster) when least expected.
  The great sides did not/do not do this. Hence the 5-0s that the Windies and Australia produced.  
  Also noticeable how England manage to bounce back from a poor performance. They are a lot more consistent than in the bad old days but still not consistent enough to be considered great/very good.

No disrespect but it is clearly alot easier getting 5-0's at home..

In england it is virtually impossible due to the weather.

That has to be factored in to why aus and the WI have got 5/0's and we havent.

Add the fact that we are not out there as the best at the moment. We are just a good team..


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Post by KP_fan Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:05 pm

Is T4 also likely to be hit by weather ?

I gather from the discussions that pitch might assist seamers....

however Is the pitch traditionally a seaming pitch or a bouncy one ?
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Post by Stella Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:06 pm

The Windies beat us 5-0 here in 1984, amid bad weather. On the flip side, we did win all of our 7 tests in I think, 2004.
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Post by GSC Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:08 pm

It's being hit by weather as we speak.

Seaming, expect to see Onions and Bird play
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Post by mystiroakey Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:09 pm

They were seriously sepcial at that point though wernt they and that is clearly proof of it!

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Post by VTR Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:14 pm

Stella wrote:The Windies beat us 5-0 here in 1984, amid bad weather. On the flip side, we did win all of our 7 tests in I think, 2004.

Yep 2004, 3-0 vs NZ then 4-0 vs Windies. Then won in South Africa, then won the Ashes. That was an excellent team and superior to the current one in my view.

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Post by Stella Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:18 pm

VTR wrote:
Stella wrote:The Windies beat us 5-0 here in 1984, amid bad weather. On the flip side, we did win all of our 7 tests in I think, 2004.

Yep 2004, 3-0 vs NZ then 4-0 vs Windies. Then won in South Africa, then won the Ashes. That was an excellent team and superior to the current one in my view.

The win in South Africa was arguably better than the one in 2005.
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Post by GSC Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:20 pm

2010/11 for me. Smack Aus in their backyard then 4-0 vs India
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Post by Duty281 Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:24 pm

I've always thought the 2010/11 England side was better than the 2004/05 England team. The latter had many glaring weaknesses: soft middle-order, weak wicketkeeper, and it lacked a good spinner.

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Post by VTR Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:29 pm

Yes 10/11 side best I have seen as well. Most of the players we currently have but all in much better form.

Main differences were Strauss/Cook opening partnership just about peaking, Bresnan bowling quicker than he does now and Tremlett pre-injury.

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:33 pm

Flinty was a massive player for that later team though!

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Post by Stella Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:35 pm

The 2005 team had a better pace attack but the 2010/11 team was better all round. Plus Pietersen was a better player in 2010 than in 2005.
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Post by GSC Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:38 pm

Only on strength of 3rd seamer Jones>Bresnan though. Jimmy would def get into the 05 side and Tremlett was great in Australia
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Post by Duty281 Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:42 pm

England were probably the best in the world from Adelaide 2010 to beating India at the Oval in 2011. Strauss should have retired after the 4 nil win, he didn't, and a very tired-looking England team suffered in the sub-continent, before then succumbing to the much better team in South Africa

Since Cook took over as captain, England are back on the upward curve. Victories in Mumbai and Kolkata, as well as the resounding thumping given out to Australia at Lords, have shown just what a high standard the current England team can reach. Sadly, we're very prone to off-days as well. But the potential is certainly there.

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Post by Stella Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:43 pm

GSC wrote:Only on strength of 3rd seamer Jones>Bresnan though. Jimmy would def get into the 05 side and Tremlett was great in Australia

We had four very good seamers then, but only Jimmy and Tremlett were as good. Bresnan bowled well in Aus but isn't in their class. I agree that the team in 2011 had the edge.
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Post by mystiroakey Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:46 pm

Aus were a much better team back in 2004 though!

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Post by Stella Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:48 pm

mystiroakey wrote:Aus were a much better team back in 2004 though!

Yes, but lets be honest, we got a bit lucky.
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Post by alfie Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:50 pm

Comments after the draw ...and reading several views above :

It isn't just England who have a mid series wobble.  Consider Ashes in Australia , both 1990/91 and 1994/5 - in each case Australia went 2-0 up. Fairly comfortably.   But in the Gooch series England matched a large Australian score in the third Test in Sydney , before severely pressuring the Australian second innings ( they were hanging on quite desperately into the last day) and actually launching a frenzied assault with the bat on that afternoon in pursuit of an impossible target , which nonetheless saw Australia with fielders all round the boundary at one stage...drawn.
Four years later Atherton's team forced a follow on , and must surely have won but for a lot of rain over the latter half of the match : as it was they finished only a couple of wickets short.
Of course Australia reasserted their superiority later to win 3-0 and 3-1 , but you see what I mean about mid series hiccups...

My old friend KP fan is very critical of England for passivity in this game , and he has a point.   However I think he has misinterpreted the reasons for this less than ideal approach.
Consider : England went into this match knowing a draw would suffice to claim the main prize for the summer. This in itself probably wouldn't have changed their game plan much , but when combined with two other factors it clearly had an effect.  Firstly Australia won the toss and batted very well on day one - by the time Clarke and Smith got through the second new ball early Friday it was clear they were on for a big score.  Add then the knowledge of relentless weather forecasts that the last two days would be lucky to see a great deal of play , and it is hardly remarkable that England commenced their first innings in the belief that they probably had no hope of winning the match ( despite brave statements to the contrary for Pietersen and Prior : whistling in the dark for the benefit of the media ) and were focused on not throwing the game away.
Were they too passive ?  I believe they were : it is no coincidence that the Bell/Pietersen partnership , when serious run scoring intent was shown , was the one time the Australian attack visibly wilted...oh yes , and the forth morning when Broad and Prior came out playing shots and saved the vital follow on with a degree of comfort.  However perhaps not enough credit is being given to the Australian bowlers : Harris and Siddle were excellent , Watson tight , and Lyon quite decent until unnerved by the Pietersen onslaught.  Starc still offered runs , but wasn't overbowled early on , as Clarke shuffled his pack rapidly to keep the pressure on.

End of the day , England saved the follow on , and with the weather as it was essentially that was it , despite some last morning nerves perhaps partly due to the uncertainty of how much time they had to play.

I am not too critical of Clarke for his timing : even none of us are quite sure whether declaring a little earlier or batting on to 600 would have been the better course - and that is with full hindsight !
Certainly his batting was deserving of the highest praise ; a worthy MotM.  He has made his team walk a little taller , and the last two matches now look more of a contest.

Watery end , but an interesting match just the same.  I shall leave umpiring issues out for the other thread !


Last edited by alfie on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by mystiroakey Tue 06 Aug 2013, 12:51 pm

2004 v Aus was the best series I can remember as an England fan.. It was such a back and forth series..

The 2011 one in aus was amazing- Cook was on another level. but it didnt quite have the same buzz for me..

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Post by VTR Tue 06 Aug 2013, 1:00 pm

mystiroakey wrote:2004 v Aus was the best series I can remember as an England fan.. It was such a back and forth series..


Great days, the likes of which we will probably not see again as it is widely regarded as the best series ever played, hard to judge that one but it must be up there. It was in 2005 by the way!

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Tue 06 Aug 2013, 1:41 pm

KP_fan wrote:Is T4 also likely to be hit by weather ?

I gather from the discussions that pitch might assist seamers....

however Is the pitch traditionally a seaming pitch or a bouncy one ?

First class wicket is usually one where bowlers who kiss the surface get the most out of it, not ones who dig it in. Expect it to seam.

Perfect wicket for Harris
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Post by guildfordbat Tue 06 Aug 2013, 3:05 pm

Mike Selig wrote:

I should respond to some good thoughts of guildford.

guildfordbat wrote:

* Believe Clarke is copping some unfair criticism about his first innings declaration. As well as runs on the board, I think the (clock) time of a declaration is very relevant and that Clarke got that about right; lateish on Friday when we'd been in the field for the best part of two hot days. His decision worked pretty well with the wicket of an opener and the nightwatchman that evening. Where it just didn't work out was yesterday morning when his bowers couldn't get those final 3 wickets for 30.

.

2) My issue is that it fell between two shoes. He could have declared an hour later on 600odd and still given himself more than an hour at England, or declared an hour earlier and made less of a target of the follow-on. However some of the flak he has copped is unfair I agree - in the end, Australia did get those two late wickets, and we simply can't tell what would have happened with a different declaration: England may have scored 600 and this discussion would be accademic. As you say, had Australia picked up 3 quick wickets on day 4, or even a couple more on day 3 (let's not forget that both Prior and Broad were VERY lucky to survive the day) then we would all be hailing a masterstroke.

Thanks for your responses, Mike.

On this highlighted one, I would just emphasise it was a difficult declaration to judge and that another interpretation of ''falling between two shoes (stools?)'' is choosing the right middle ground between two extremes. As you say, it could have been hailed as a masterstroke if luck had gone the other way; ok, it didn't and it wasn't but that's no reason for some to criticise him so heavily. I also think too many are now overegging the certainty that there was going to be rain. The one thing less reliable in this country than the weather is the weather forecast!

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Post by Mike Selig Wed 07 Aug 2013, 2:37 am

Less far to fall if you fall between two shoes? No idea where that came from... :-)

Given the weather forecast proved itself completely inaccurate for the whole test (including the last day, when we were reliably informed it was going to rain all morning until 2PM) I don't blame Clarke in the slightest for his 2nd declaration. IMO those who suggest he should have declared with a lead of 250 and almost 5 sessions to go are guilty of what I call "playstation captaincy" - it is the kind of decision it is easy to make in your armchair (or commentary box) or whilst playing a computer game (hence the terminology) which doesn't actually matter, but that anybody in the position which Clarke was actually in would consider crazy beyond measure, to the point of stupidity.

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Post by GSC Wed 07 Aug 2013, 9:29 am

Panesar partying a bit too hard and produced some rain of his own.

By weeing on a bouncer
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