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3rd Ashes Test, Perth

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Post by Stella Mon 09 Dec 2013, 9:36 am

First topic message reminder :

Western Australia next, which means staying up even later to watch the start of the third test.

You would think Perth is one place the Aussies should win, so what do we do?

Panic, and drop Swann, but leave Monty in? Or perhaps play four or five seamers? Has Stokes done enough? He showed plenty of attitude, so yes, he probably has.

Has Prior done enough to see him promoted to six, as Stokes isn't one..............yet? Maybe not but we have to try and win, and playing him at six, would enable us to play five bowlers again, with Monty dropping out.

Who comes in? Finn, the 90mph quickie, with a strike rate around 50? Reliable Tim? Just coming back from injury but will give 100%, won't get smacked around, and can bat a bit. Or rankin? This would be the biggest gamble imo, as he has no test experience.

My team:

Cook
Carberry
Root
Pietersen
Bell
Prior
Stokes
Broad
Swann
Finn
Anderson
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Post by kingraf Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:06 am

I know Johnson is getting the plaudits, and rightfully so, but you get the feeling that without Haddin, Australia would probably be staring at the barrel in this series. been a great revival from him.
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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:14 am

Agree with that , kingraf. Johnson has demolished the batting - particularly the later order - but without the scoreboard pressure things may not have gone his way quite so dramatically ...and Haddin has been immense in transforming a shaky batting outfit into one that is doing the job.
Without Haddin (and Johnson of course) England might have been chasing 190 not 290 and who knows ? And he has done it again both in Adelaide and here... clap 

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:16 am

Groan ...Carberry again ...didn't want the catch.

Can't blame Root : he went towards it but stopped as it was clearly Carberry's catch.

When it rains...

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Post by Mike Selig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:37 am

Not sure it's all quite so gloomy alfie. If you ignored what has gone on in this series so far, Australia are 264/5 on what looks like a pretty flat (albeit pacy and bouncy enough) pitch, particularly with the old ball, and in oppressively hot conditions.

Of course the "if" is really the whole point.

However, perhaps just as some of us at the start of the series were too keen to ridicule Johnson and big up England's ability to bat, we are now assuming too easily that Johnson will carry over his form, and England continue to bat as badly. Just a thought.

And now to jinx Smith, I've been very impressed with how he's batted so far, in particular how selective and patient he's been. Left the ball really well, and that has made England bowl at him.

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:47 am

That is the thing though , isn't it , Mike : hard to ignore what happened in Brisbane and Adelaide.
And it isn't really just Johnson . They were struggling even before he blew the middle and tail away last time : and in Brisbane key wickets were falling to Lyon as well - rather too tamely.
It seems England's batting has become reliably unreliable . No Cook no England ? Australia's may be too , but unless Cook can win a toss and make them chase this might not matter on this trip.

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:50 am

This has been one hell of a partnership, really dug the Aussies out of a hole. Agree also with kingraf, without Haddin, the Aussies would almost be certainly in a worse position this series.

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:50 am

Stokes nearly loses another wicket to a no ball  picard 

Safe by a millimeter ... And he has the break.

Need a few more double quick...

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:51 am

Boy did England need that wicket. Stokes prizes Haddin out and Australia 267 for 6. Someone needs to sort Stokes run up out as those close no balls nearly denied him another wicket.
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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:51 am

Wow, now that was a posters curse Very Happy

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Post by Mike Selig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:52 am

Stokes picks up Haddin with a good bouncer following a good spell of sustained pressure from Bresnan at the other end (not that I expect many posters to acknowledge that).

Good breakthrough, but again you have to question to choice of shot - the whole field set for the hook, again not taken on on his terms.

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:56 am

Last thing England need is for Johnson to get a score with the bat...

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Post by Gerry SA Fri 13 Dec 2013, 8:57 am

In his last 12 Tests, bits and pieces Bresnan is averaging 46 runs per wicket.

Why didn't England try Rankin? Or get Finn back into the fold?

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:05 am

Gerry SA wrote:In his last 12 Tests, bits and pieces Bresnan is averaging 46 runs per wicket.

Why didn't England try Rankin? Or get Finn back into the fold?

Probably because they have been all over the place on the this tour : it is about bowling as a team , and Bresnan supplies some control the others wouldn't. As Mike pointed out a couple of posts above , the Bresnan pressure may have helped get that break ,though he doesn't get an "assist"  Smile 

Earlier in the day , I think some Anderson pressure contributed to a wicket for Swann. Bit more to it than just averages.

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:09 am

I actually like Bresnan and feel he brings a lot to the team. Would have preferred Tremlett but Bresnan is doing his job nicely.

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Post by Mike Selig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:11 am

Think Bresnan's bowled 2 very good spells: just after lunch (England got Warner and Bresnan at the other end) and this latest one (which first quieted things down, and then led to the Haddin dismissal). And I say this not as his biggest fan.

If Swann (or someone else) could just prise out a wicket before the new ball it makes things interesting.

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Post by Gerry SA Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:13 am

alfie wrote:
Gerry SA wrote:In his last 12 Tests, bits and pieces Bresnan is averaging 46 runs per wicket.

Why didn't England try Rankin? Or get Finn back into the fold?

Probably because they have been all over the place on the this tour : it is about bowling as a team , and Bresnan supplies some control the others wouldn't.  As Mike pointed out a couple of posts above , the Bresnan pressure may have helped get that break ,though he doesn't get an "assist"  Smile 

Earlier in the day , I think some Anderson pressure contributed to a wicket for Swann.   Bit more to it than just averages.
You think when Australia where 5/143 they'd want to face Bresnan or the pace of Finn/Rankin?

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:20 am

Well played Smith  clap 

Deserved that hundred.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:21 am

Same old same old first day of a test.

England do well then let them of the hook when the pressure is on and they get up to 280 odd for 6..

Ground hog time.

If any one says we are up this time as they have the last 2 tests I can only laugh

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:21 am

Excellent innings from Smith, really what the Aussies needed  clap 

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Post by Gerry SA Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:23 am

Great knock by Steven a Smith.

It's funny when he debuted, he was like a right handed Phillip Hughes, but his improvement has been fantastic.

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:28 am

New ball soon, I hope Broad can have an impact again.

I am a little worried about Anderson, is he fully fit?

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:30 am

Smith is a good player.. One of a few Aussies that looked good in England.

Still England need to up the intensity when they have a strangle hold on the game.

We started well . I went to sleep at 150/5'then woke up at 266 for 5.

Typical ..

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Post by Mike Selig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:30 am

At the risk of jinxing him again, I've been very impressed by Smith's innings. Really well constructed.

New ball. England really need it to produce a wicket, you don't want Johnson to get going much more. Partnership already 30odd.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:32 am

Please jinx away

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Post by Mike Selig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:34 am

The new ball to Smith might actually be a chance. He's been batting for a long time (over 4 hours now) and may just let his discipline slip as we approach the end of the day. Good move to have 3 slips in.

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:34 am

Been watching the final session off and on as I prepare to go out. Very impressed by Smith. ''Possibly a career defining moment'' - Atherton, as Smith reached his century which could well be instrumental in settling the outcome of this series.

Regardless of Swann's wickets, I do feel the point made by myself and, particularly, msp that we wouldn't have had enough bowling legs without him has been shown to be the case.

Away now. Post more tonight.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:35 am

A day that started off so promisingly for England looks to be ending with Australia back in the boxseat. Australia 305 for 6 with the new ball taken but no breakthrough yet.
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Post by Duty281 Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:36 am

Not really sure where to place this day.

Cook gets the call wrong again (although I don't surprise Australia have got lucky with the toss, eh KP_fan?), and on a flat, fast wicket, with a quick outfield, England did magnificently for the first part of the day, and the fielding picked up impressively.

Now a good innings by Smith has swung the momentum. 400 should be about par here, so England shouldn't be too distraught. Australia have scored at a fair pace though.

I might have taken this at the start of the day, but I certainly wouldn't have done at lunch. The game drifted after, and drifted straight into Australia's advantage.

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:37 am

CaledonianCraig wrote:A day that started off so promisingly for England looks to be ending with Australia back in the boxseat. Australia 305 for 6 with the new ball taken but no breakthrough yet.

Its been the Aussies day, that's for sure but England are by no means out of this. Just need to keep the Aussies under 350 I feel.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:39 am

The day is the same as every other first day.

It is naturally a quicker scoring ground here so the fact they have got over 300 isn't significant. But we haven't moved on. Exactly the same first day as the others.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:40 am

Yes Guildford swan has been fine and proved why we needed him. If not for the weather but also his wickets

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:42 am

Just get stokes on to fire the ball at Johnson's ribs,

The players need to go to him and say he will break his arm..

Come on England up the intensity

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Post by guildfordbat Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:43 am

mystiroakey wrote:The day is the same as every other first day.

.

I keep expecting to see Bill Murray in the crowd!  Wink 

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Post by Stella Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:48 am

guildfordbat wrote:
mystiroakey wrote:The day is the same as every other first day.

.

I keep expecting to see Bill Murray in the crowd!  Wink 

Took me a few seconds to get that one  Smile 

Another day of what if's. Need to blast them out tomorrow, and get some runs.
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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:51 am

Can any body see us scoring more than 250 runs here?

We need to get them out quick.

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:54 am

Johnson is really having some series.

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Post by Dorothy_Mantooth Fri 13 Dec 2013, 9:55 am

When Tremlett, Finn and Rankin were all selected on the tour and so much was made of their height. Who would have thought that none of them would have been selected for the WACA?

England are certainly short (pardon the pun) of at least one taller bowler in this Innings. Best bowling of the day was when Broad had that spell just before Haddin came in, when he was quick and agressive. Sadly, Cook had nobody else really to turn to and ask them to do the same job.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:01 am

Australia's day then as they close on 326 for 6. Is there anyway back for England from here? If so the batting from them is going to have to be better than anything they have produced on this tour so far. Not a terrible day for England but you feel they have let a big chance slip.
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Post by Duty281 Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:09 am

Would have taken that at the start, but not at lunch.

Just let Australia off the hook, but by no means are England out of this.

The pitch is a beauty once you see off the first 15-20 overs.

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:09 am

They battled away , but once again couldn't get past Haddin. By the time they did they were cooked...

Well played Aussies.

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Post by Mike Selig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:31 am

End of the day 326-6. Time for my usual mismash of thoughts then.

Australia's day undoubtedly. Not necessarily because of the score as taken in isolation (England still have a good chance of getting Australia out for under 400, which would be a decent effort on what is a pretty good pitch) but because of the context of the series, and also how the day panned out with England on top for the first half, but Australia coming back very strongly in the last session and a half.

Smith deserves a lot of the plaudits. When Haddin was really struggling early doors, he was rock solid and started the counter-attack. I have heard a few people talk about Smith's technique, but he does a lot of things right: he gets his hands perfectly through the ball, has good balance and head position, and plays spin very very well. Beyond that though it is his mental attributes which stand out: today's innings was a brilliant example of construction, he left the ball very very well, encouraged England to bowl to him, and played to his strengths - namely the clip, the pull, and playing spin. He waited for the ball in his area to hit the boundaries, but kept the scoreboard ticking over with nudges, and ran very well between the wicket. Importantly, he didn't overcommit to the pull-shot - when the ball got big on him a couple of times he swayed out the way.

In the context of the situation, I would say that's been the innings of the series to date. Young aspiring cricketers around the world could learn a lot from how he batted today. Smith is fast turning into a very good cricketer, and Australia have been right to invest in him. People have spoken a bit about future captains for Australia, but here is someone who IMO will be a strong contender when the time comes.

Haddin again showed his value, and more generally the value of having a number 7 making runs, and just how much England have missed Prior's runs recently. He had more than a couple of slices of fortune early on, and will be disappointed with his eventual dismissal, but Australia would be in a lot more trouble without him.

Watson continues to flatter to deceive. Another decent start, another loose (very) shot to bring about his dismissal. Australia will stick with him for a while, but for a number 3 he has to start scoring big soon.

England I thought got their selection pretty much right to be honest. Certainly Swann justified his pick, and the seamers would have found the going really tough without him. Whilst I am not totally sold on the balance of the side with Stokes at 6 still, having 5 bowlers seems not to be a luxury in this heat, so on the whole I think England got it right.

I thought England bowled OK-to-well. It is hard to say they overdid the short stuff when they got 2 wickets through bouncers, but for me, they overdid the short stuff to Smith and Johnson especially. The bouncer should be the surprise delivery, or plan B if things aren't going your way; too often today it became the stock ball, and I would say too early in proceedings. Australia have bounced England out at times sure, but apart from Trott or to the tail, it hasn't been a sustained attack, but rather the odd short ball catching England out. Also, Australia's bowlers are quicker. Watching Bresnan try to bounce out Smith was not the smartest thing.

I did think England lacked intensity in the last half hour with the new ball. After the first couple of deliveries it seemed like they were mainly going through the motions and playing for the close. Understandable to an extent (I can't emphasise enough how difficult it must be to play cricket in that heat) but unfortunate.

Anderson looked to lack zip again; similar to the first innings at Adelaide; I'm not sure if he's carrying a niggle, going through a rough patch or maybe it's more permanent. He did well to keep things tight in any case. Bresnan I thought did well (with the caveat I didn't see his first 6 overs which went for 33); I'm not always a fan, but in that heat it is handy to have someone like him who can bowl long spells and keep things tight. I don't think it is coincidental that he was bowling when England had IMO their best 2 spells of the day, namely straight after lunch, and about half an hour into the evening session. Gerry's question is a false dichotomy, because it's doubtful Australia would have been reduced to 143/5 without Bresnan's efforts. Broad did well until the last half-hour, he bowled aggressively and could have had Haddin a couple of times. Stokes was a bit disappointing in the afternoon session, but very good in the evening session - great energy and effort, good pace, and gets the ball to do a little as well.

I thought Cook had a decent day, but his plans are sometimes a bit telegraphed. Also what was with the deep backward point to Smith (at one stage)? I do wish both him and Swann would wait for at least 2 or 3 hits over the top before dropping the field back, but it seems to be the modern way. Besides that, he swapped his bowlers nicely and kept the team motivated. Also, I thought England's fielding was very good today - a few good catches, and of course a fantastic run-out, but the ground fielding had far more intensity than it has done at times this series.

Looking onwards, I commented earlier asking whether we are all assuming too easily that Johnson will blow England away again. There is a lot of expectation on Johnson now, and he hasn't always responded well to that. On the other hand, he will be confident with runs under his belt. England will do well not to focus too much on Johnson, because I have a funny feeling that Harris could be a big danger on this pitch, with the extra bounce and carry. It is key England try to be aggressive against Lyon and (when he bowls) Watson, because in this heat Clarke will want to use his seamers in short bursts (although Siddle may bowl some longer ones) so will be relying on those 2 to offer some control from the other end.

The pitch is flat enough: there is good pace (and it will apparently get quicker) and carry, but precious little lateral movement, and you get good value for shots. With that in mind, Australia aren't out of sight by any means; there are still the batsmen in this England line-up to get England back into this game (and consequently the series), the question is can they stand up and be counted?

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Post by alfie Fri 13 Dec 2013, 10:46 am

I suppose an early break tomorrow could see Australia kept to sub-400.
And I wouldn't assume Johnson or anyone else will automatically run through England , on what looks a pretty good pitch - fast but true.

But England just don't seem to be capable of those big partnerships at the moment : when two batsmen seem on top one of them finds a way to get out ( and not just in this series ; I think it started in NZ )

In 2010/11 form you'd give them a good chance of batting to parity at least ; but the betting shops will be offering long odds on that happening this week.

Bright spot for the future : Stokes continues to look the part. Lot to learn , but he looks to have a future.

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Post by kingraf Fri 13 Dec 2013, 2:56 pm

Mitchell Johnson has scored more runs than any English batsman this series. 325/6 on the whole is generally an even day I'd say, but given the English displays if batting seen thus far... there's every chance that this game is over already. Looking at the pitch, it reminds a lot of the Wanderers, if a little slower. The pace and bounce of the pitch means there is always a ball round the corner which can get big on you. That's why you absolutely need to be positive here. If you score runs quickly, the captain has to defend, and in so doing reduces the amount of attacking fielders, which means that you get away with the ones that you aren't fully in control of. The other thing is... like the Wanderers, it is almost a sin to come here without a 88mph+ bowler. Finn might have been worth a gamble, although I must be honest I'm speaking completely from hindsight. The English bowled alright, but some of the Aussie batters must be kicking themselves at the modes of dismissal. Rogers pretty much sold his wicket, unnecessary run as it's just too early in the play to be under pressure. Watson needs to beaten, or hugged, or something, because he is fast becoming a passenger in a team that is carrying less and less passengers, if captain in waiting Bailey wasn't so poor, Id hazard that Watson is in real trouble. As it is, he should be safe because a) you dont change a winning team, and b) Bailey, you would think is probably more likely to get the chop, if it does come.

All in all, in broad terms, it is even, with maybe an advantage to the Aussies, because theyve out the runs on the board. But in the context of this series... England may just be done.

I am however, interested to see how KP handles the bumpers. When the force is with him, hes pretty decent, but he is from Natal, where the pitches are pretty slow, so he isn't a natural at that. Prior on the other hand is Jo'burg boy, so he should relish the pace and bounce.

Lastly - Mike, interesting thoughts on the pull/hook technique, although I'm not completely sold on it. I don't think having your arms bent or outstretched is as important as Nasser seems to think it is. I very rarely disagree with experts, but I think your foot position is a much more important facet of the hook. AB de Villiers is as good on the pull as anyone and he has his arms very close to the body, as did Lara. Alternatively, Quinton de Kock has an eye so good he can pull with the arm outstretched against express pace. the key for me is to not pull while ducking, your upper body needs to be very firm, if not still. Many guys (including the great Kallis) pull while trying to avoid being hit on the noggin. While this is an understandable fear, it actually increases your chances of being hit, as your body control then goes off. Interested to hear your thoughts. I don't know why being dismissed pulling/hooking is always looked down upon while being dismissed on the drive is an understandable dismissal. With that said, Haddin will be kicking himself for gettong out the way he did
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Post by CaledonianCraig Fri 13 Dec 2013, 4:09 pm

There are, to me, certain key factors as to why England cannot take advantage when they have the Aussies on the ropes. In recent years there has been a great deal put on the shoulders of Anderson and Swann and this time around, for whatever reasons, have just not delivered with any consistency. People were calling for Swann to be axed before this test but the irony is he now has more wickets in this series than Anderson. For some reason this series Anderson has just been ineffective and coupled with Swann's problems and England's batting it is no wonder that the Ashes are all but lost.
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Post by kingraf Fri 13 Dec 2013, 4:14 pm

To be fair, I've never been high on Jimmy, I just stopped saying so because I was told I'm being ridiculous...
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Post by Liam Fri 13 Dec 2013, 4:15 pm

Yup, just not enough players standing up and being counted. All be pretty much below par. No runs, bowlers haven't capitalized on good starts. Haddin is in great form but to allow Oz to get from 140 odd for 5 to 326-6 is just crazy. Johnson's little flurry at the end just added insult to injury. Infuriating.

They need a big morning effort tomorrow. They need to realize that for me, the ashes will be won or lost in tomorrow morning's session. They need to bowl Oz out for 370 or less imo to stand a chance. If they pass 400, its goodnight Vienna and the ashes are gone, and then we're seriously staring down the barrel of a whitewash

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Post by Duty281 Fri 13 Dec 2013, 4:20 pm

kingraf wrote:To be fair, I've never been high on Jimmy, I just stopped saying so because I was told I'm being ridiculous...

This is James Anderson we're talking about Kingraf.

The beautiful, handsome, rugged, talented, James Anderson.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fimqtOiGX84

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Post by Nachos Jones Fri 13 Dec 2013, 5:19 pm

One thing has to be said, the Aussies under Lehmann have improved considerably and they look like they are enjoying their cricket again.

I thought that Lehmann was the right man when he was announced but I thought that it would have taken him a lot longer than it has to get these results.

Even though England won the last Ashes 3-0, I did not think that there was such a big gulf between the teams.


As for the current test, well England are up against it now but I would have accepted a draw after this test if the England batsmen turned up and got a decent score.
When England do get into bat, I really hope that they don't try and plod along but attack the Aussie bowlers and try to get some confidence for the remainder of the series.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 13 Dec 2013, 6:12 pm

they batted better last innings- i am expecting a hard fought out 290 or so.
we need to get them out below 400 to have any chance and then hope for a aussie collapse- which is very possible on this ground

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Post by msp83 Fri 13 Dec 2013, 6:47 pm

I left on a journey when Australia were 185-5. Had a bad feeling about the Smith Haddin partnership and came back to know that England let it slip just like I feared. There are not a lot of personal favorites in that Australian team, but Steven Smith is one, and I've come to like George Bayley. Quite happy about Smith getting that ton, always rated him much above the likes of Hughes. But Haddin and Johnson scored important runs as Australia recovered to take the first day.
Now on England's bowling. As I already mentioned and as Guildford also pointed out, England did well not to commit the mistake of not selecting Swann. Swanny again wasn't at his best, but he bowled important overs, and took 2 massive wickets, of a well set Warner and and an on-song Clarke. Anderson did appear some way below his best, he did generate some pace at times, but the kind of consistency or effect that we have come to expect was really missing. Broad had a rather inconsistent day. He was all over the place in his first spell, bowled a good spell after lunch and when I eventually cought up on the final section action, he didn't look anywhere near his best with the 2nd new ball either. Young Ben Stokes bowled well. He kept things quiet in his early overs when the rest of them were all going around the park, generated good speed and got the much needed breakthrough by getting Haddin with a good bouncer.
People have felt the need to present Bresnan's pressure as leading up to the Haddin wicket. Didn't follow that passage of play, so I won't dispute that. But I would like to point out that Ben Stokes was hardly going at 2 an over in his first 7 overs. It was during this period that Graeme Swann picked up Michael Clarke. Stokes again was bowling along side Stuart Broad when George Bailey picked out KP in the deep. Nobody gave the youngster any credit for the same, he was touching 88-89 MPH speed. But again, the Bresnan myth is so entrenched that it has to be brought along one way or the other. Bresnan was bowling filth in his first few overs, but he did creat a very difficult half chance that he couldn't take on his follow-through. To his credit, he recovered later in the day and put in some quiet overs, and when I was following the game, though he wasn't finding a good length or line consistently, he was touching mid-80s, a good sign after his injury.

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