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My Ashes Summary

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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 25 Aug 2013, 10:02 pm

This Ashes Series is over and after an exciting start it failed to really take off in terms of tension, excitement and great performances. The quality and closeness of recent series wasn't there but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

Australia came into the series as a dysfunctional unit with dissection in the ranks and in-squad squabbling coupled with a run of very disappointing results and a change of management just a few weeks before the series began. Certainly not an ideal build-up to the series. In my opinion Australia's bowlers kept them largely in the hunt in most of the tests with Ryan Harris excelling but they never quite bowled as well in a unit as England did. Their batting line-up was like a game of musical chairs right up to the last innings with changing of personnel and batting order but they never really cracked it. Only Brad Haddin can take plaudits as the wicket-keeper of the series. Australia showed a good team spirit and work ethic under their new management but their play lacked self-belief at key moments with batting collapses at times when a win may have been possible. For me they still have a lot of work to do to re-find a winning formula and need to find some new talent to refresh their side in the batting department.

As for England they came into the series in a much better frame of mind and hopes were high for a crushing series win. They ended up retaining the Ashes comfortably 3-0 despite being below par by their recent standards in the batting department. Only Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen had consistency and even KP was a tad patchy. As for the other batsmen the sign of poor form is that they all got starts in several innings but largely failed to weigh in with big scores - they will look to address that for the winter Ashes down under. Matt Prior was disappointing with gloves and bat but I'm sure he will bounce back. The bowling was far more potent than Australia's and had that knack to get wickets when they really needed them. It speaks volumes that England's bowlers occupied four of the top six wicket-taking slots for the series. England can take heart that they won so comfortably even though many of their key batsmen were off form.

As for the winter series (yes I know it is early yet) but I see a similar outcome and perhaps even more comprehensive if England's batsmen refind their form.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Sun 25 Aug 2013, 10:35 pm

Another thing that I think has harmed Australia is indiscipline in the squad that has manifested itself off and on the pitch.

Off the pitch we had heard of Watson and Clarke's tiff as Watson lost the captaincy and then we had the 'Homework-Gate Affair' hat caused problems in their squad. We then had David Warner foolishly hitting out at Joe Root that cost him early in the series. All issues with a lack of discipline.

I would say that reared its head on the pitch as they surrendered positions of strength at times with a mix of loose shots or poor bowling - all indiscipline again.
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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 27 Aug 2013, 8:28 am

I'd still expect England to win in Australia, CC. Agree there.

They showed patchy form here, which you'd expect to improve on pitches that suit our batsmen more (Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Prior all prefer pace on the ball and a true bounce). Swann may not gain as much assistance, but he's good enough to remain a big danger to Australia's batsmen.


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Post by Stella Tue 27 Aug 2013, 8:53 am

This was a pretty mediocre series in truth. The Cricket was at times poor, apart from some fine bowling from a few. The first game was exciting and promised much but it rather petered out.

The series in Aus will be closer, and again maybe low scoring.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 27 Aug 2013, 10:19 am

One thing the series taught us is that England are hard to beat and also find ways to win, while Australia have got into a losing mentality. Yes, the Aussies are keen to play bright, exciting cricket, but they don't seem to have the knack of turning that into victories.
  Only one Australian - Clarke- can remember what it was like to win the Ashes while most of the England side have only ever tasted Ashes victory. The mental scars, predominantly with England in years gone by, are now with the Australians.
  Nor can Australia hope that Cook, Trott and Prior will have such relatively unproductive series in Oz this winter. Cook, in particular, seems to thrive overseas.
  Another bit of bad news for Australia is Pietersen. We saw in this series how he was prepared to dig in and play defensive, battling innings, playing for the team and according to the match situation. Then, as if to remind everyone of his capabilities, he produced a last-day gem that had it gone on a little longer would have beaten the Aussies and the light meters.

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Post by banbrotam Tue 27 Aug 2013, 11:02 am

Nice article CC!!

I agree with the the implied views, that if basically Aus can't win a test when three of our star men are under performing then I don't see it been different out there

There seems to be this myth put around by the media, probably so they can hype who close the series will be, that the more pacey wickets won't suit us. Probably because of our history at Perth

Actually it's a plus for the Top 3 and it makes Tremlett and Broad more dangerous (remember the latter didn't play last time) Swann also will be the better spinner on such wickets. It only really negates Anderson and we saw at Durham, that it's not a one man bowling attack

If their attitude is good like it was last time, we should win

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 27 Aug 2013, 11:20 am

Can't help feeling that some of the negativity about England's performance is that the Press have got used to England winning Ashes series. If this result has been obtained in 2005 after the many years of famine I think it would have been hailed in a completely different light.
  We're now in the happy position of ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO COMPARE ASHES SERIES VICTORIES. For heaven's sake, just one series win would have satisfied us in years gone by.
  Of course, in comparing, we come up against 2005, which was one of the greatest series of all time, and 2010/11, one of the best away wins in Ashes history.

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