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England's Summer of Cricket 2023, Featuring The Ashes

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Post by msp83 Sun 30 Jul 2023, 2:17 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wood's pace was not quite up there in that first over though he still was quick. The lengths weren't great. Fine half-century from Khawaja who is closing in on regaining the top-scorer position from Crawley for the series.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:41 pm

Broad talking about how he found Warner difficult to bowl to on multiple occasions this summer is top tier work. He's had a great summer on and off the pitch for entertainment value. I have a feeling he will be an entertaining pundit when he inevitably joins that Sky box.

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Post by alfie Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:42 pm

And a word for VTR for making sure Broad got the fairytale ending Wink

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Post by GSC Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:42 pm

Warner solved his broad problem to be out to Woakes 4 times instead
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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:45 pm

alfie wrote:Won't be getting to sleep any time soon .  Talk about emotional finish  !   Guess I should regret that this wasn't the decider ; but for now I'm just basking in the bliss of that last day...

Whatever else we take from this , it has to go down as one of the best Ashes Series ever . I can't actually recall a previous series in which four out of five matches went to the wire like that - and I can remember a LOT of Ashes Series Wink

Probably second to 2005 for me. May have topped 2005 if England had won 3-2.

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Post by GSC Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:53 pm

Think winning in aus is my personal favourite
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Post by alfie Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:53 pm

Just slightly disappointed to see Khawaja having a bit of a whinge about the ball change . Sure it made a difference ; but the first ball was clearly a dud so swings and roundabouts, eh ?

Good bowling as well as ball and conditions , no ? Think it , but don't be fussing too much please.

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Post by VTR Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:55 pm

I expect Duty is talking home series, 2010/11 is the peak for me though. To wake up to some of those scorelines was special and surreal at the same time

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:56 pm

Duty281 wrote:
alfie wrote:Won't be getting to sleep any time soon .  Talk about emotional finish  !   Guess I should regret that this wasn't the decider ; but for now I'm just basking in the bliss of that last day...

Whatever else we take from this , it has to go down as one of the best Ashes Series ever . I can't actually recall a previous series in which four out of five matches went to the wire like that - and I can remember a LOT of Ashes Series Wink

Probably second to 2005 for me. May have topped 2005 if England had won 3-2.

Absolutely robbed of the greatest Ashes comeback of all time by the Manchester weather - thankfully we managed to get the draw and deny the Aussies their first series win over here since 2001. I think I read this is now officially the longest any side has gone without winning an away Ashes series?
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Post by alfie Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:56 pm

Yeah 2005 hard to top. Maybe 1981 but a bit before your time , Duty Wink

1961 was great - although Australia won that one ! And 70/71 in Australia... But this one is definitely up with the best of them thumbsup

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 6:58 pm

Moeen has confirmed test retirement. Ended on a high, at least.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:00 pm

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
alfie wrote:Won't be getting to sleep any time soon .  Talk about emotional finish  !   Guess I should regret that this wasn't the decider ; but for now I'm just basking in the bliss of that last day...

Whatever else we take from this , it has to go down as one of the best Ashes Series ever . I can't actually recall a previous series in which four out of five matches went to the wire like that - and I can remember a LOT of Ashes Series Wink

Probably second to 2005 for me. May have topped 2005 if England had won 3-2.

Absolutely robbed of the greatest Ashes comeback of all time by the Manchester weather - thankfully we managed to get the draw and deny the Aussies their first series win over here since 2001. I think I read this is now officially the longest any side has gone without winning an away Ashes series?

Yes, I think it would be. Will be 26 years for Australia by the time they come over here again. I think England's longest gap between series wins in Australia was 32/33 and 54/55.

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Post by alfie Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:01 pm

Woakes PoTM and England PoTS ...fair choice - although Crawley had a claim. Wonderful series for a very likeable chap thumbsup

Think he won't tour again but should be an inked in name for home series for the next couple of years. He really did turn the series around . Some might say he should have played earlier ; but then he might not have had this finish up his sleeve ...

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Post by VTR Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:02 pm

I'd never have believed you back in 2001 when I was watching the likes of Ward, Afzaal and Ormond that Australia would still not have won here again by 2023

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Post by VTR Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:03 pm

Just realised that post could get me banned by the Surrey mafia!

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:03 pm

Very deserved for Woakes. Played a key part in both wins and averaged 18 in this series with the ball, which is almost unbelievable.

Starc got the PoTS for Australia, also deserved.

I see Woakes got the Compton Miller Medal. Would have been my pick, also. First Englishman since Joe Root in 2015 to get the accolade.


Last edited by Duty281 on Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:06 pm

It'll be very mixed emotions for Australia. They'll leave England with the WTC title and the urn, which they'll be delighted with. But they really wanted to break their barren run in England and actually win the series. And not winning the series from two nil up will be a massive disappointment.

England have finished the series on a high. Shame there's no sixth test like in the old days. Or not too old days, actually. But despite the high it'll be over a decade since England won an Ashes series by the time they tour Australia in 25/26. That's starting to approach the dry run of 87-2005.

Anyway, here's what's next for England:

August 30th-September 5th: Four T20s v New Zealand
September 8th-September 15th: Four ODIs v New Zealand
September 20th-September 26th: Three ODIs v Ireland

A nice dessert after the main course. Then England open the World Cup, and their defence of it, on October 5th. Next test match is January 25th. Sad


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Post by alfie Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:15 pm

Yes it is a little bittersweet on both sides of the fence , I think. The Ashes is a bit of a hallowed and ancient tradition so will never be changed - nor should it be. But there is also something to be said for the system England and India have now in which separate trophies are used for the two locations. Really doesn't matter all that much to me , to be honest : well it does ; but not as much as the joy and excitement I've had from watching all those hard fought contests . Maybe I'm getting old but that means more to me than who holds a mythical trophy.

Will have more to say on a lot of stuff but will need to recover first...

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Post by alfie Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:24 pm

But certainly can say that Broad and Moeen both bow out in the manner they'd have wanted thumbsup

And Warner lives to fight another day and may yet get his desired Sydney farewell.

As for Jimmy : he will not be happy with this series. I have a hunch he will still go to India though , where he has performed well in the past. Hope he can recover his mojo because I'd rather he finish in a slightly better manner. It's tough as you get older. My own experience (at a very much lower level ! ) tells me that it is easy to think you're cooked when you have a bad few games , particularly at end of season , once you are past the usual "improvement " stage ; while such a poor run would be almost incidental earlier in your career. Doesn't mean you can't get it back if you continue to believe - and I think Jimmy does. We will see...

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:45 pm

By the way, does anyone know the record test match run chase at The Oval?

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 31 Jul 2023, 7:53 pm

VTR wrote:I'd never have believed you back in 2001 when I was watching the likes of Ward, Afzaal and Ormond that Australia would still not have won here again by 2023

Hug  Ha! No problem, VTR - these guys still get mentioned 20 years on at the Oval and not always in the most positive terms. Disrespectful of you though to just use Ormond's surname - it's always his full name which is Fat Jimmy Ormond.

Pretty sure as well that Tudor was also bowling in the 2001 Ashes. If he wasn't the worst of our bowlers then, he made up for it by defying stiff competition to become Sky's worst ever commentator.

It could though have been even worse. Salisbury didn't get binned by England for the last time until 2000.

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Post by VTR Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:07 pm

Ha, Jimmy Ormond certainly lived up to that name! I think Tudor was not great in hindsight, but at the time was young and promising, and bowled a good spell at Trent Bridge if I remember rightly. Salisbury would have been an hilarious pick given that peak Warne was playing

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:13 pm

Fitting end to a fantastic series. 3-1 to Australia would have been harsh on England.

380-odd was always going to be a big ask for Australia. There are often "easy" runs at the beginning of a long chase. I personally reckoned that even if Australia had been, say, 200 for two, England would still have been in with a chance.

At 264-3 I admit I was getting concerned. The Stokes drop could have been terminal. Even after the collapse the 9th wicket pair were looking to emulate the Edgbaston heroics. Had to be some guy called S Broad to finish things off.

Looking right down the England team, everyone has contributed - something that does not always happen even in series won comfortably.

Pat Cummins afterwards was something you don't always associate with Australian cricketers - magnanimous. And fair spoken, too.

Apart from the Bairstow fracas at Lord's the series has generally been fought in good spirit.

It's certainly been one to savour.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:28 pm

alfie wrote:Yes it is a little bittersweet on both sides of the fence , I think. The Ashes is a bit of a hallowed and ancient tradition so will never be changed - nor should it be. But there is also something to be said for the system England and India have now in which separate trophies are used for the two locations. Really doesn't matter all that much to me , to be honest : well it does  ; but not as much as the joy and excitement I've had from watching all those hard fought contests . Maybe I'm getting old but that means more to me than who holds a mythical trophy.

Will have more to say on a lot of stuff but will need to recover first...

So you see your writing the defeat justification was too premature & totally unnecessary:D
Never undermine the the scale up of the pressure as the chasing side gets to within 200 and 150 and 100 runs of the target....
Congratulations to Eng and their fans👏 clap & commiserations to PJ...wasn't a bad effort putting fear of defeat in Eng and misery in Stokes at the floundered catch even when they had a historic 384 to defend.

Aus effectively went 195-10 today ....as the target got nearer and realization of win, a historic chase became more real they crumbled under pressure.
Losing wickets in clusters is a classic sign of choking in lots of 3 and then Ali's vicious turn triggered another 4 and the backbone was broken.

A win for Bazballing & Stokes' captaincy......his self belief & the motivation he instills in players combined with clever cricket has not been seen before on cricket field unless we go back to Imran Khan.
Moeen was like gold....batted elegantly at the untouchable No.3 and produced two game-changing spells, one in each of Eng's win.

Anyone who think Stokes & McCullm will not try too woe him again around Christmas & New Year time, live in a parallel universe.Whistle
And that he will melt, is a given...who wouldn't when served a slot on golden platter and valued genuinely like never before.
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Post by msp83 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:36 pm

Fabulous test match, terrific entertainment. And Broad goes out on a high. Australia lower order just couldn't stand up this time, Woakes was just brilliant right through the day.

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Post by KP_fan Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:40 pm

Aus should be unhappy for its a sub-optimal show by them
They have better batting, better seam and spin bowling and a better WK.

I believe they were outsmarted in captaincy.
A hard-working script following, not so sharp on feet Cummins was pitted against one of the smartest in a long time.
Just couldn't dig in his feet and keep team motivated and playing to potential for just one more game.
The tide turned in T2 under the 150+ assault of Stokes and since then Cummins just went down-hill.

Aus need to seriously rethink captaincy.......give it to Smith is easiest....else Manus, Head, Khawaja, Lyon all are capable
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Post by msp83 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:46 pm

And what about that unselectable, undeserving, most mediocre, not worth club level spinner who bowled his heart out on one leg? Beautiful farewell for Moeen Ali, probably one of the most underappreciated English test cricketers of this decade, England's 2nd best spinner of this century. As Stokes nicely put it, Mo was selected for his best days. Moeen's best is a country mile above from some of the pedestrian county slow bowlers they kept talking about... Stokes had kept the door open for Moeen for that India tour, but Mo confirms that's it for him. He goes out on a high this time, valued and appreciated by the team management, that wasn't always the case earlier on.

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Post by msp83 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:51 pm

I didn't warm up to Mo in the early years, a county batter who turned to serious bowling only a couple of years ago, picked as the led spinner, and then projected as the alternative to Kevin Pietersen by some rather excited fans! I was having none of it, and when the Indian batters surrendered 19 wickets to him a lot of the times trying to hit him out of England, though created a grudging respect, didn't quite endeared him then either. But in the 2016 India tour, had a closer look at his bowling, and could see actual quality, could sense that he wasn't your run of the mill English slow bowler projected to be a spinner, that he could actually spin the cricket ball. And he was a very watchable batter too. He continued to trouble Indian batters subsequently. Then he came in playing for CSK, the only IPL team who's games I watch every now and then. Moeen deserved better than what led to his retirement in 2021, thanks to Stokes and McCullum, and that rather untimely injury to leach, he's getting his opportunity to go out on a much happier note.
Jack Leach has improved from that 2nd innings specialist on turning tracks who couldn't bowl to left-handers. But to even be at the Ashley Gyles level, he will have to continue to improve quite a lot. Young Rehan has potential, seemed like he could actually spin the ball. Hopefully, he'll grow into a good test bowler...

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Post by KP_fan Mon 31 Jul 2023, 8:56 pm

Test cricket shuts down now as various ODI series including multi-team Asia cup & Asian Games crop up all over the planet.

Good bye everyone for now & see you guys during the world-cup

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Post by msp83 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 9:00 pm

KP_fan wrote:Test cricket shuts down now as various ODI series including multi-team Asia cup & Asian Games crop up all over the planet.

Good bye everyone for now & see you guys during the world-cup

The World Cup is the World Cup. But I hope they'll have cricket pitches and not National Highways on which they play. The pitches for this series has been also too much on the flatter side, but there was just about enough to keep it OK, and the limitations in the 2 batting units also helped matters. Hopefully, England will go back to more lively pitchs next summer onwards.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 31 Jul 2023, 9:07 pm

msp83 wrote:I didn't warm up to Mo in the early years, a county batter who turned to serious bowling only a couple of years ago, picked as the led spinner, and then projected as the alternative to Kevin Pietersen by some rather excited fans! I was having none of it, and when the Indian batters surrendered 19 wickets to him a lot of the times trying to hit him out of England, though created a grudging respect, didn't quite endeared him then either. But in the 2016 India tour, had a closer look at his bowling, and could see actual quality, could sense that he wasn't your run of the mill English slow bowler projected to be a spinner, that he could actually spin the cricket ball. And he was a very watchable batter too. He continued to trouble Indian batters subsequently. Then he came in playing for CSK, the only IPL team who's games I watch every now and then. Moeen deserved better than what led to his retirement in 2021, thanks to Stokes and McCullum, and that rather untimely injury to leach, he's getting his opportunity to go out on a much happier note.
That's a really good summation of Moeen, msp. Early on he looked like a F-C batter who should average more in Tests than he has eventually ended up doing. He didn't look like a bowler who would take 200 Test wickets though.

He has been used as a sticking plaster by England many times to cover problems where needed, allowing them to balance their team to a benefit of players elsewhere. Not least in this series with Leach and then Pope injured where Mo was used to cover bowling spin and batting 3!

Jack Leach has improved from that 2nd innings specialist on turning tracks who couldn't bowl to left-handers. But to even be at the Ashley Gyles level, he will have to continue to improve quite a lot. Young Rehan has potential, seemed like he could actually spin the ball. Hopefully, he'll grow into a good test bowler...
That's harsh on Leach though. He does need to continue improving, absolutely. But he's already a far better bowler than Giles. The Aussie didn't nickname Ashley Giles, "Smash Me Miles", for nothing. Laugh Leach has always been able to turn the ball for starters. Through tweaks to his action whilst working with Jeetan Patel he has started to get drift and dip though which have improved him a lot already.

I've said many times that Leach would be a really ideal second spinner for England. Used against the right matchups and conditions he can be dangerous but at other times struggles. If we could bring him in as a second option when suits as MacGill was used behind Warne then I could see Leach getting a decent record. He has limitations as a first choice but has already improved a lot. England missed him this series.

Rehan has bags of talent. Being reliant on his googly is an obvious issue as it's so difficult to land consistently. He turns his leggy and googly though, can bat and field. My hope is Rehan and Sam Curran can both evolve into batters capable of being Test number 7s if needed. That would give England options to balance the side that they are lacking with Stokes unable to bowl.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 31 Jul 2023, 9:12 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
VTR wrote:I'd never have believed you back in 2001 when I was watching the likes of Ward, Afzaal and Ormond that Australia would still not have won here again by 2023

Hug  Ha! No problem, VTR - these guys still get mentioned 20 years on at the Oval and not always in the most positive terms. Disrespectful of you though to just use Ormond's surname - it's always his full name which is Fat Jimmy Ormond.

Pretty sure as well that Tudor was also bowling in the 2001 Ashes. If he wasn't the worst of our bowlers then, he made up for it by defying stiff competition to become Sky's worst ever commentator.

It could though have been even worse. Salisbury didn't get binned by England for the last time until 2000.

One of the funnier sledges I've seen from a fan to a player was to Ormond at the Oval during a Surrey vs Kent game. A bloke in a Kent top shouted out to Ormond on the boundary, "Jimmy why are you bowling even slower than Martin Bicknell". Ormond responded, "Bickers retired last season, mate". "Yeah, that's why I chose him". To be fair to Ormond he laughed at it.

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Post by msp83 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 9:24 pm

king_carlos wrote:
msp83 wrote:Jack Leach has improved from that 2nd innings specialist on turning tracks who couldn't bowl to left-handers. But to even be at the Ashley Gyles level, he will have to continue to improve quite a lot. Young Rehan has potential, seemed like he could actually spin the ball. Hopefully, he'll grow into a good test bowler...
That's harsh on Leach though. He does need to continue improving, absolutely. But he's already a far better bowler than Giles. The Aussie didn't nickname Ashley Giles, "Smash Me Miles", for nothing. Laugh Leach has always been able to turn the ball for starters. Through tweaks to his action whilst working with Jeetan Patel he has started to get drift and dip though which have improved him a lot already.

I've said many times that Leach would be a really ideal second spinner for England. Used against the right matchups and conditions he can be dangerous but at other times struggles. If we could bring him in as a second option when suits as MacGill was used behind Warne then I could see Leach getting a decent record. He has limitations as a first choice but has already improved a lot. England missed him this series.

Rehan has bags of talent. Being reliant on his googly is an obvious issue as it's so difficult to land consistently. He turns his leggy and googly though, can bat and field. My hope is Rehan and Sam Curran can both evolve into batters capable of being Test number 7s if needed. That would give England options to balance the side that they are lacking with Stokes unable to bowl.
Gyles is someone I rate highly than many do. He wasn't a big spinner of the ball, more of the run of the mill kind admitedly. But he often got the ball to do just enough, and complimented the attack very well in the Hussain-Vaughan era. Even someone like Virender Sehwag couldn't dismantle him...
As for Leach, partly Blame Rishabh Pant for my rather low rating of Leach. And when he came touring India, he just wasn't bowlable in first innings at times. You are talking about India, and Joe Root had outbowled Leach during that tour at times... And last summer, even when he was in the squad, they kept not selecting him and going in with an all pace attack though it was very clear they did need a decent spinner. Leach was just about OK after that, there is improvement, but a very limited bowler even now.
How is Rehan going in the CC with the bat? What position he usually bat for his county? If England is planning to invest in him as an all-rounder, they should insist he bats in the top 6 consistently...

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 31 Jul 2023, 9:33 pm

KP Fan
Not sure you were right to say that Aus had the better batters. I reckon that in a combined XI Crawley, Root, Stokes and Bairstow would all get in.

And what about the bowling? For me, Broad outbowled Cummins and Woakes outbowled everyone. Wood also had his moments as did Moeen and even Root.

Aus certainly had the edge in wicketkeeping although Bairstow, after a horror Headingley, redeemed himself with both bat and gloves.

I know England have never won an Ashes series after being 2-0 down. But is this the first time they have recovered to 2-2.? I'm not so hot off the top of my head on the Eng-Aus encounters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries but this could be the first draw from two-nil down.

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Post by king_carlos Mon 31 Jul 2023, 9:46 pm

msp83 wrote:Gyles is someone I rate highly than many do. He wasn't a big spinner of the ball, more of the run of the mill kind admitedly. But he often got the ball to do just enough, and complimented the attack very well in the Hussain-Vaughan era. Even someone like Virender Sehwag couldn't dismantle him...
As for Leach, partly Blame Rishabh Pant for my rather low rating of Leach. And when he came touring India, he just wasn't bowlable in first innings at times. You are talking about India, and Joe Root had outbowled Leach during that tour at times... And last summer, even when he was in the squad, they kept not selecting him and going in with an all pace attack though it was very clear they did need a decent spinner. Leach was just about OK after that, there is improvement, but a very limited bowler even now.
How is Rehan going in the CC with the bat? What position he usually bat for his county? If England is planning to invest in him as an all-rounder, they should insist he bats in the top 6 consistently...
Leach played all England's Test last summer and had a cracking season. He was the only bowler to have played every Test of the Bazball setup until injury unless I'm much mistaken. He got that 10-fer against New Zealand at Headingley last summer and his economy was massively improved.

His record from that India tour is OK. 18 wickets at under 29 bowling to those India players of spin isn't bad at all though a slightly higher average than you'd want considering the wickets. Root took the ridiculous 5/8 where the pink ball skidded through but that aside he only took 1 wicket in the series and bowled fewer overs than Leach in every innings. Root bowled 45 overs in the series to Leach's 161 overs for reference. So again that feels a touch harsh on Leach.

Pant has taken many bowlers apart including Leach. The most brutal dismantling of Leach was realistically the Aussies in the Ashes down under. That was a true demolition job and clearly a plan from all their batters. He had no response then.

He certainly has his limitations but I rate him a significantly better bowler than Giles myself.

I believe Rehan has been batting 7. He's averaging just under 40 with 4 half centuries but no tons. A strike rate of approaching 80 though! That's division 2 as well it's worth noting. So there's a long way to go but plenty of talent.

Do you know anything about Pants recovery? He's one of my favourite cricketers to watch. Just so much fun and ridiculous ability. Everything crossed we see him again.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 31 Jul 2023, 10:21 pm

The thing i'll take out of this series and it's something we've talked about numerous times is the misuse of Chris Woakes, in English conditions he's better than anyone but had to wait until the third match to get selected. This is a guy who averages 21 with the ball and 33 with the bat in England, if he wasn't injured his non selection those first two games was diabolical. It seems to be a common trend over the past few years too.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 10:45 pm

KP_fan wrote:Aus should be unhappy for its a sub-optimal show by them
They have better batting, better seam and spin bowling and a better WK.

I believe they were outsmarted in captaincy.
A hard-working script following, not so sharp on feet Cummins was pitted against one of the smartest in a long time.
Just couldn't dig in his feet and keep team motivated and playing to potential for just one more game.
The tide turned in T2 under the 150+ assault of Stokes and since then Cummins just went down-hill.

Aus need to seriously rethink captaincy.......give it to Smith is easiest....else Manus, Head, Khawaja, Lyon all are capable

Their big problem was the loss of Lyon. Left a hole in their side which couldn't be fixed, increased the workload on the frontline seamers, and this was then compounded by a lack of rotation of their seamers. Cummins, in particular, took 15 wickets in the first three tests, but then ran out of petrol taking 3/274 across the final two tests. Boland's complete ineffectiveness in the two tests may have stifled the thirst for rotation, and they were evidently unwilling to take a punt on Neser or Abbott.

They'll also be disappointed at their middle order. I think Khawaja and Warner laid a good platform more often than not, especially Khawaja, but the fabled Labuschagne/Smith/Head axis, who came into this series as the best three batsmen in the world, all averaged in the mid 30s. But they did face quality bowling from the English, in their defence.

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Post by Duty281 Mon 31 Jul 2023, 10:48 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:The thing i'll take out of this series and it's something we've talked about numerous times is the misuse of Chris Woakes, in English conditions he's better than anyone but had to wait until the third match to get selected. This is a guy who averages 21 with the ball and 33 with the bat in England, if he wasn't injured his non selection those first two games was diabolical. It seems to be a common trend over the past few years too.

I'm a big fan of Woakes, not as big as Olly, and I wanted him in the first test alongside Anderson and Robinson, leaving out Broad. Broad obviously did very well, and I think at that stage it would have been difficult to ignore Anderson or Robinson. But there was no excuse for not putting him in from the second test when England went with four seamers, one of which was Tongue.

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Post by GSC Mon 31 Jul 2023, 11:21 pm

I'm not sure if Australia had any plans to rest Cummins before the series, but 6 games in a row and fairly short succession was always optimistic. Granted Boland's ineffectiveness and Hazlewoods fitness probably put paid to that. Thought Broad probably hit a similar wall, and Woakes/Wood benefitted from going flat out for three games rather than managing them through the whole series.

So many subplots to this series. Started with what looked like the implosion of bazball and effectively ended with Australia being bullied into clinging onto a rain effected draw. Think you could probably make a case for any scoreline between 4-1 for each side.

At its peak and between evenly matched sides it's still undoubtedly the pinnacle of the sport.
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Post by king_carlos Mon 31 Jul 2023, 11:59 pm

Duty281 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The thing i'll take out of this series and it's something we've talked about numerous times is the misuse of Chris Woakes, in English conditions he's better than anyone but had to wait until the third match to get selected. This is a guy who averages 21 with the ball and 33 with the bat in England, if he wasn't injured his non selection those first two games was diabolical. It seems to be a common trend over the past few years too.

I'm a big fan of Woakes, not as big as Olly, and I wanted him in the first test alongside Anderson and Robinson, leaving out Broad. Broad obviously did very well, and I think at that stage it would have been difficult to ignore Anderson or Robinson. But there was no excuse for not putting him in from the second test when England went with four seamers, one of which was Tongue.
Herein lies the difficulty in judging selection after a Test or series. The temptation is always to think, "if we could switch our worst performer for one that did better later in the series imagine what would have happened early on". That's especially true after tight Tests.

I was calling for Woakes at Lords and desperately wanted him to get a run against Ireland in preparation for the series. Even I wouldn't have picked him from T1 though I don't think. Even with his brilliant record. He'd had lots of injuries and we had other seamers who had performed so well.

Many of us didn't have Broad in our starting XI before the summer but he's been superb. Most of us, myself one of the louder, felt that Robinson would be England's attack leader and main weapon. He was hugely disappointing and looked unfit. Anderson was coming into the series after fantastic recent performances. We all know how Jimmy's struggled.

Had Woakes played at Edgbaston for instance then maybe he's worn down bowling on that awful featherbed of a track without success and doesn't have the same impact later on. We saw how starkly Cummins fell away after a brilliant start to the series.

All selections have knock on effects on the rest of the team that make it so difficult to simplify the discussion post series to a simple player A vs player B. The only time that makes much sense to me is in situations such as not picking a spinner then seeing it rag square.

Getting Foakes in the team is like that in a roundabout way. Most who had Foakes before the series were suggesting doing so by dropping Crawley. Who of course went on to be England's highest run scorer, played several excellent innings and set plenty of good foundations.

Bairstow whilst so frustrating with the gloves did still score that absolutely vital 78 alongside Root at Edgbaston. Without that England are in a world of trouble there and talk of declarations etc become mute with a likely poor first innings total to start the series.

The counter is that Foakes might have also scored 78 and not dropped the catches. Equally he could've got a golden duck and not caught that screamer to dismiss Marnus first ball, who then scores a ton and gets into the series early.

That's the issue, as changing one player would create a completely different Test and series rather than transplanting a player who would definitely perform well into a series that is otherwise the same as what we just saw. Therein lies the challenge of selection in a sport that last 5 days.

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Post by alfie Tue 01 Aug 2023, 6:17 am

KP_fan wrote:
alfie wrote:Yes it is a little bittersweet on both sides of the fence , I think. The Ashes is a bit of a hallowed and ancient tradition so will never be changed - nor should it be. But there is also something to be said for the system England and India have now in which separate trophies are used for the two locations. Really doesn't matter all that much to me , to be honest : well it does  ; but not as much as the joy and excitement I've had from watching all those hard fought contests . Maybe I'm getting old but that means more to me than who holds a mythical trophy.

Will have more to say on a lot of stuff but will need to recover first...

So you see your writing the defeat justification was too premature & totally unnecessaryVery Happy
Never undermine the the scale up of the pressure as the chasing side gets to within 200 and 150 and 100 runs of the target....
Congratulations to Eng and their fans👏 clap  & commiserations to PJ...wasn't a bad effort putting fear of defeat in Eng and misery in Stokes at the floundered catch even when they had a historic 384 to defend.

Aus effectively went 195-10 today ....as the target got nearer and realization of win, a historic chase became more real they crumbled under pressure.
Losing wickets in clusters is a classic sign of choking in lots of 3 and then Ali's vicious turn triggered another 4 and the backbone was broken.

A win for Bazballing & Stokes' captaincy......his self belief & the motivation he instills in players combined with clever cricket  has not been seen before on cricket field unless we go back to Imran Khan.
Moeen was like gold....batted elegantly at the untouchable No.3 and produced two game-changing spells, one in each of Eng's win.

Anyone who think Stokes & McCullm will not try too woe him again around  Christmas & New Year time, live in a parallel universe.Whistle
And that he will melt, is a given...who wouldn't when served a slot on golden platter and valued genuinely like never before.

Ah you are as mischievous as ever , KP_fan...

I don't disagree with a lot of that.  Though I wasn't "writing a defeat justification "  : just warning against excessive over reaction IF England had ended up on the wrong side of a 3-1 series . Would have been a bit late to warn when it had already happened , eh ? Smile

As to what did happen  : as you say , the pressure of these long final innings chases wears down many teams - hence why there are so few of them successful. Not sure I'd accuse Australia of choking so much as being bested by some excellent bowling and catching from an England attack which had regrouped brilliantly overnight.  The harder replacement ball played its part for sure (no wonder teams try to change the thing when nothing much is happening !) ; but I give a lot of credit to Woakes for that opening spell : getting both overnight bats really changed the game. Gave England hope where another barren spell might have buried them early : and of course he and the excellent Moeen effectively won the game in a frenetic 4 overs after the rain delay resumption.

Credit though also to Australia for continuing to chase the target even after a clatter of wickets rather than trying to block and pray for rain. In truth it was unlikely to end up any other way from 7 down ; but they kept punching to ensure some tension right up to the final Stuart Broad curtain call...perfect finish to an enthralling series.

Tip of the hat to your pal Moeen : not a memorable series ; probably all we could have expected given his fragile body , though fairly underwhelming up until today : but he certainly played his part at the death. For all Woakes' brilliance , England aren't winning without his removal of Head and Marsh. A good end to his Test career ... but if you really believe he's going to be dragged back from retirement again I want some of what you are smoking Smile

Cheers and enjoy the white ball meaningless masala ...

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Aug 2023, 7:28 am

So where does this rate among the great Ashes series? Clearly it's right up there with the best and possibly the very best for sheer entertainment.

The finest Eng-Aus clashes come when both sides are strong. This is what made the 2005 series so memorable - you had great players in opposition.

The 1981 series had, on paper, a strong England team against a comparatively poor Australian side. The England batting - Gooch, Gower, Boycott, Gatting - hardly made a run and it needed monumental efforts by Botham to take England to a 3-1 win.

The 2010-11 England triumph in Australia was arguably their finest away win in the Ashes, with an unprecedented three victories by an innings. But although the results gladdened English hearts, the series was too one-sided to be considered among the most competitive or exciting.

Other series are remembered for the supremacy of one side - Australia in 1948 and pretty much any time between 1989 and 2005, England in 1954-55 (Tyson) and in 1956 (Laker).

Then there are the series where the one match has clinched the Ashes - The Oval in 1926, 1953 and 2009 and Manchester in 1961 (I'm still the 11-year-old boy having nightmares over that one).

Then there are matches which did NOT settle the Ashes but remain in the memory anyway - Jessop at The Oval in 1902, Butcher at Leeds in 2001 and Stokes at Leeds in 2019.

Probably plenty of matches/series I've missed. But one thing is for sure. We'll be talking about 2023 for a long time.

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Post by Lowlandbrit Tue 01 Aug 2023, 7:48 am

Couple of general thoughts on both sides going forward:

Australia
-As mentioned, Carey is a big question mark; best case everything blows over and he resets once he leaves England, worst case it lingers and we look back on this as effectively the end of his career.
-Cummins as captain reminds me of Root. Leading by example, but I'm not sure anyone's really following. Good enough to bail them out nearly enough times, too important to risk chasing away. I'll probably regret this, but if he's still the captain for the next series I feel great about England's chances.

England
-Was getting worried earlier in the series, but (thanks to Carey?) now they're looking in decent shape, although the opposite of what we're used to: batting looking more sorted than the bowling.
-Anderson and Woakes shouldn't be on the plane to Australia, although I wouldn't want England to consider that for at least a year yet. Robinson and Leach seem like locks, fitness permitting, but beyond that it's pretty open.
-Figuring out what the team looks like without Stokes bowling should be a priority, even if he recovers with the time off.

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Post by VTR Tue 01 Aug 2023, 8:26 am

With the caveat that the first Ashes I watched was 1993, its second behind 2005 for drama. As others have said, if England had come back to win 3-2 it probably would displace it, but that didn't happen. There have been a few other close series: 

The 2-1 win in 2009 was a strange series that England barely deserved to win. On paper a 2-1 win in the decider looks exciting, but there were some one sided matches and a badly rain ruined match in there. 

The 2013 win felt almost routine and expected, little did we know what was going to happen a few months later. EDIT: this was closer than the scoreline looks. Australia were almost the better team from 2-0 down.

2015 was memorable for Broad's 8-15 and not a huge lot else. A good solid win, but Australia badly imploded several times

2019 of course had the Stokes match, but it did feel a bit flat to then be trounced in the following match. The win to rescue the series draw was a routine front runner victory by England

I suppose these things rarely end up as close as hoped for or imagined. To have 4 close matches out of 5 really is a rare occurrence

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Aug 2023, 9:41 am

A word on Stokes' captaincy which was mainly spot on, not least when it came to selections.

Woakes could/should have played at Lord's and Anderson was, perhaps, fortunate to play at The Oval. Moeen, for me, was a good pick as he made more-than-useful contributions.

Stokes's faith in the batters, particularly Crawley, paid off - sometimes spectacularly. He also got away with persevering with Bairstow as WK who responded with good innings and improved catching. (Still think Foakes should keep in India, though).

Above all, it was Stokes's infectious optimism, his swaggering confidence and the belief he instilled in the team that made such a difference. I recall Pope saying after Edgbaston that if England went 2-0 down then they would just have to go out and win 3-2. I thought he was talking nonsense but the team almost pulled it off.

It was as if Stokes was saying: "We're going to have fun and we're going to entertain - win or lose." Above all he removed the fear factor from an England side too often overwhelmed and intimidated in Ashes clashes.

May be we can say that, even after only a few Tests in charge, that Stokes is one of the great England captains.


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Post by guildfordbat Tue 01 Aug 2023, 10:04 am

JuliusHMarx wrote:By the way, does anyone know the record test match run chase at The Oval?

Julius - the record successful test match run chase at The Oval goes back as far as 1902 when England beat Australia by 1 wicket scoring 263/9. Jessup the star man with a century.

However, even though that was 120 shy of what Australia needed yesterday, it's very misleading to believe that meant they had no chance. In 1979, considerably founded upon Gavaskar's double ton, India had made 429/8 in the 4th innings chasing a target of 438 when the match ended. No comments about playing on a reserve day then!

Another Oval test also ran out of time when intriguingly poised. In 1947, South Africa were 423/7 in their 4th innings chasing a target of 451 when the match ended.

As mentioned in an earlier post, The Oval outfield is smaller than in the years above which leads to more boundaries and higher scores across all four innings.

All in all, anyone saying England had enough to win yesterday was right but they were wrong if they believed history proved it was going to be the case.

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Post by GSC Tue 01 Aug 2023, 10:05 am

Except for The Declaration 😉

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Post by GSC Tue 01 Aug 2023, 10:11 am

Woakes at Lord's is a little tinged by hindsight though. As I recall the talk at the time was England had a battery of medium-fast seamers and badly needed some extra pace in the attack. I think it was Wood being fit to play or Tongue in the end

Do agree Anderson was probably fortunately to be picked for the Oval. personally would've had Tongue in the attack but I do get it's hard to drop Jimmy for a must win game
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Post by alfie Tue 01 Aug 2023, 10:15 am

Add to that re Stokes (and Key and McCullum ) : the main thing they have done is changed the mentality of the team : they no longer subside when they have a bad day , or a bad session ; they almost invariably bounce back.  Too many examples now to be dismissed as a fluke.

Notable on this last day  : going in to lunch with Smith and Head in charge , just 110 to get and the deflating effect of "the catch that wasn't " reprieving Smith : many teams (not just England teams) would have likely faded away.  But they've come out after the break with renewed intensity and taken 4/11 .  Skill of the bowlers , sure . But I reckon how they handle these reverses in the sanctity of the dressing room has a lot to do with it.

Stokes on paper didn't do much in this last Test.  But I reckon he can take a lot of credit for this result ; as he can for the last 13 wins in 18 matches...

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Post by Duty281 Tue 01 Aug 2023, 10:25 am

GSC wrote:I'm not sure if Australia had any plans to rest Cummins before the series, but 6 games in a row and fairly short succession was always optimistic. Granted Boland's ineffectiveness and Hazlewoods fitness probably put paid to that. Thought Broad probably hit a similar wall, and Woakes/Wood benefitted from going flat out for three games rather than managing them through the whole series.

So many subplots to this series. Started with what looked like the implosion of bazball and effectively ended with Australia being bullied into clinging onto a rain effected draw. Think you could probably make a case for any scoreline between 4-1 for each side.

At its peak and between evenly matched sides it's still undoubtedly the pinnacle of the sport.

Yes, five test series are the absolute peak. It's why two test series, which are the norm nowadays frustrate me. Two test series don't allow for fluctuations in form, storylines, rivalries and the intricacies of squad rotation to become apparent.

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Post by Duty281 Tue 01 Aug 2023, 10:26 am

king_carlos wrote:
Duty281 wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:The thing i'll take out of this series and it's something we've talked about numerous times is the misuse of Chris Woakes, in English conditions he's better than anyone but had to wait until the third match to get selected. This is a guy who averages 21 with the ball and 33 with the bat in England, if he wasn't injured his non selection those first two games was diabolical. It seems to be a common trend over the past few years too.

I'm a big fan of Woakes, not as big as Olly, and I wanted him in the first test alongside Anderson and Robinson, leaving out Broad. Broad obviously did very well, and I think at that stage it would have been difficult to ignore Anderson or Robinson. But there was no excuse for not putting him in from the second test when England went with four seamers, one of which was Tongue.
Herein lies the difficulty in judging selection after a Test or series. The temptation is always to think, "if we could switch our worst performer for one that did better later in the series imagine what would have happened early on". That's especially true after tight Tests.

I was calling for Woakes at Lords and desperately wanted him to get a run against Ireland in preparation for the series. Even I wouldn't have picked him from T1 though I don't think. Even with his brilliant record. He'd had lots of injuries and we had other seamers who had performed so well.

Many of us didn't have Broad in our starting XI before the summer but he's been superb. Most of us, myself one of the louder, felt that Robinson would be England's attack leader and main weapon. He was hugely disappointing and looked unfit. Anderson was coming into the series after fantastic recent performances. We all know how Jimmy's struggled.

Had Woakes played at Edgbaston for instance then maybe he's worn down bowling on that awful featherbed of a track without success and doesn't have the same impact later on. We saw how starkly Cummins fell away after a brilliant start to the series.

All selections have knock on effects on the rest of the team that make it so difficult to simplify the discussion post series to a simple player A vs player B. The only time that makes much sense to me is in situations such as not picking a spinner then seeing it rag square.

Getting Foakes in the team is like that in a roundabout way. Most who had Foakes before the series were suggesting doing so by dropping Crawley. Who of course went on to be England's highest run scorer, played several excellent innings and set plenty of good foundations.

Bairstow whilst so frustrating with the gloves did still score that absolutely vital 78 alongside Root at Edgbaston. Without that England are in a world of trouble there and talk of declarations etc become mute with a likely poor first innings total to start the series.

The counter is that Foakes might have also scored 78 and not dropped the catches. Equally he could've got a golden duck and not caught that screamer to dismiss Marnus first ball, who then scores a ton and gets into the series early.

That's the issue, as changing one player would create a completely different Test and series rather than transplanting a player who would definitely perform well into a series that is otherwise the same as what we just saw. Therein lies the challenge of selection in a sport that last 5 days.

All very much the intangibles of why we love sport so much. I very much like my alternative world where Liam Dawson gets picked, and takes 5/51 as he bowls England to victory at Edgbaston. Very Happy

Duty281

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