Ashes 1st Test Day 3

With the game ever so slightly in England’s favour the usual suspects are out asking for our surrender. Come on now, with all your nastiness and ill will, admit you are wrong.

At least they had the good grace to wait until we actually won a match in Grenada or at Lord’s. Now we are getting it two days in. To a series. Where the Aussies might need a decent run out to get up to speed.

Here is the base for comments on day 3. Cook and dismissing the tail goes together like fish and bicycles. We’ve seen it all go wrong too many times.

It’s so far so good. We’ve laid down a competitive marker. We’ve been given a chance with that Haddin drop of Root, and England took it. That’s what you need to do. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. There’s a decent match in progress.

I’m out tonight for a social function so again won’t be around much. Keep the comments coming. ….


84 thoughts on “Ashes 1st Test Day 3

  1. SimonH Jul 10, 2015 / 8:12 am

    Sunday’s weather forecast has improved. Rain now forecast to clear by lunch rather than tea as had previously been stated.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2015 / 8:26 am

      In great news, pringle has a column on fox sports Australia. Lucky them. And a podcast too!


  2. pktroll (@pktroll) Jul 10, 2015 / 8:15 am

    Hi I’ve been away for a bit and didn’t return to England until Wednesday afternoon. I then had a work do at the other end of the country I needed to go to. I did catch yesterday afternoon and I have to admit that the plans and the flexibility of them did impress me a bit. However on a cricket forum I posted on I did point out a fair bit of caution and I didn’t really receive much disagreement on as memories are far too fresh.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2015 / 8:21 am

      The guardian and one of the two usual suspects (the other reminded the Michael Vaughan’s on there that we were just two days in ). Quebecer’s riposte hit the spot.


      • Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 9:04 am

        I am “one of the abusers”, according to wctt (a disappointingly feeble response to the Blair line, which actually took some thought). I very much doubt I’ve called Cook anything stronger than “dauphin” or “Pitt the Younger”, and have backed up my opinions with paragraphs, impressions, statistics and evidence and stuff.

        I certainly haven’t called anyone a fruitfly or a pest or accused them of vitriol while spouting more than my fair share of same.

        If they weren’t so bloody irritating, the lack of self-awareness would be hilarious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 9:44 am

        Or a c**t for that matter…..


  3. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 8:20 am

    Australia are 264/5. When England lost their 5th wicket, they were 280/5. None of the remaining Australian batsmen do have reputations of being rabbits either. Series-deciding difference of course. Like the 108-run advantage England held at Headingley 2014 against Sri Lanka. Can any cheerleader remind me how that turned out for England?

    What is interesting is that two Australian partnerships were 51, and another one 52.


    • LordCanisLupus Jul 10, 2015 / 8:23 am

      The highlights I watched last night suggested Australia were slightly undercooked. Some loose stuff to get out. Good.

      I share the point about the tail. They can bat. This is a slight advantage not a winning one as yet.


  4. paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 8:40 am

    None of the above matters. Let’s say, for arguments sake, the Cook’s captaincy takes a turn for the better and the youngsters keep on performing. Very good you might think, and you’d be right. But then you’d be forgetting the two wasted years during which the ECB and Cap’n Cook alienated their best player and their supporters, appointed quisling coaches and MD’s and played godawful cricket. Bayliss was interviewed in 2013, had he been given the option to choose his own team and bring his own values we could have been playing this type of cricket for two years, have had a good World Cup and have battle hardened youngsters flaying bowling attacks around the pitch.


  5. Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 9:02 am

    While it’s nice to see England improving,and at the start of day 3 they do have the upper hand. However, I don’t believe for one minute it’s got anything to do with Cook.

    If Cook was a great captain he would have made the necessary changes over the last 2 years. He didn’t. And the reason he didn’t is because he is a follower not a leader. He has been forced into change by a combination of increasing dismay at his piss poor captaincy, and a new coaching regime. If the Selveys and Hughes want to genuflect to that, then let them. They’ve been indulging in a giant Cook circle jerk for the last few years.

    Of course we all know that if things turn against England in the next few test matches they will scapegoat other players. It’s the Selvey/Hughes/Newman/model.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 9:43 am

      I just sampled Berry:

      “Psychologically, already, it is such a vivid contrast to last time, when Alastair Cook was forever hearing the cry of “man overboard”, until he was left almost alone in his sinking ship.”

      First he’s Captain Smith.

      “Womenfolk around the land may have held their breath as Cook was injured, when Smith edged his second ball into the slips and the captain’s groin.”

      And now he’s the modern-day Lord Flashheart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 9:47 am

        Scyld and Mike need to get a room.


      • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 10:15 am

        There are no words to describe how vomit inducing Berrys drooling sycophancy has become.

        In fact it is so ridiculous, and toe curling that I wonder if it isn’t a form of satire. Satire of the English cricket establishment. I would like to think so. But that would mean he has a much better sense of humour than I expect he has.

        Nope, it’s probably just lazy boot licking as usual.


    • paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 9:45 am

      Spot on Mark. He is, to use Clive’s formulation, a sheep.


    • paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 9:46 am

      If I were a betting man I’d suggest Bell and Stokes are next in the firing line.


  6. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 10:10 am

    How plumb was Watson?


    • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 10:12 am

      They showed a replay. It was like 10% hitting?


      • Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 10:17 am

        I still seethe at the different decisions Bell and Watson got in one of the 2013 Ashes Tests. They were both given out to what you and I and the umpires would have perceived to be identical deliveries, yet DRS had Watson’s clipping and Bell’s missing. It looked nonsensical side by side.

        While accepting the need for definitive answers on pitching and lines, I think I will always loathe the predictive tracking element of DRS, whatever Hawkeye and Selvey tell me.


      • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 10:46 am

        That review against Haddin looked ridiculously close on Hawkeye. Still missing, but in real time it looked like it would comfortably miss.


      • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 10:53 am

        Oh dear, I fear I must disagree with you Arron. You are right in one sense that there is an inconsistency. Players being given out when the ball tracking system says the ball was clipping the stumps. And then players being given not out when the ball was doing exactly the same and clippingng the stumps.

        But wasn’t there the same inconsistancy when the decision was left totally to the on field umpire? In the old,days the umpire would say “not out”, and that was the end of end of it. The fact that the TV replay would show the ball clipping the stumps was irrelevent. Supporters would moan if their side got the out verdict. There is always going to be margins of error on the close calls. Unless you allow all LBW decisions to be made by Hawke eye, and clipping the stumps will always be given out.

        The bigger point is that hopefully the really bad calls will be eliminated. Like yesterday when the ball pitched way outside leg stump, and the Umpire gave it out. That was rightly overturned. The current sytem is not perfect but we should also not look through rose tinted glasses about the past before we used technology. There were some shocking decsions in those days.


      • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 11:24 am

        In the old days, umpire’s decisions were contested. But there was also no technology available to make the umpire look like a complete idiot Mark. Consequently, you had no choice but to accept whatever decision that was made. With DRS, umpires are constantly being shown up. We know they have made the right decision or a howler within seconds.

        The problem is that the ball tracking technology itself does not seem to be as reliable as advertised. Another problem is that the weight given to umpire’s call, may mean that you are effectively bowling at either 1 shortened stump, or 5 elongated stumps. Big difference that – and that may well have cost New Zealand the series against England.

        And let’s not even bring up the idiotic protocols. Reiffel seems to make one howler a series as a third umpire, in which he either overrules a correct decision, or can’t be bothered to check for the correct decision. For an elite panel umpire, that is shocking.

        If umpires can be shown up as being often wrong about where a ball pitched (Dharmasena’s howler yesterday), then how is it sensible to rely on an umpire’s call with regards to a low catch 40 or 50 metres away? Because umpire’s call plays a huge role in those catches these days as well.


      • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 11:49 am

        But that’s not true. In recent years before technology came in I remember watching cricket in the 80s and 90s and Although there was no way of overturning decisions it didn’t mean there were no TV relays. They would replay endless decisions that would make the umpire look foolish. Sure if you want to go back to the 1970s, and before that, the technology was not up to the task. The pitch map came in years before it was used by the umpires.

        People could sit in their front rooms and see if the system said out or not. Didn’t change the on field call of course.

        I repeat there will always be marginal calls. The inconsistancy is still human judgement rather than the machine. The machine will be constant. The ball will either be clipping the stump or not. It is the umpires judgemt that will change. One ball he will give out, an exact replica delivery he will give not out. The only solution is to let the machine make ALL LBW decisions. But that will add about 2 hours onto each day’s play.

        Where I agree with you is there is a problem with umpires being put under pressure to give home decisions based on roar of crowd. The home side is effectively bowling to an extra stump. Ball is clipping leg stump, whole ground appeals, umpire gives it out. Same ball, but with the away side appealing to a silent crowd he gives it not out. The error is the umpires not the machine.


  7. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 10:50 am

    Seriously, is this a pitch for humans batting or groundhogs batting on Day 5?

    It is only the beginning of Day 3, and a lot of balls keep low.


    • metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 2:20 pm

      That’s a set of stats that makes Miller look really good.


  8. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 11:17 am

    Australia 308 all out. Good effort from England.


  9. Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 11:24 am

    Australia then. Not just undercooked, but…

    (0:20 – 0:32)


  10. amit Jul 10, 2015 / 11:25 am

    so Australia out. Short by 122. Who saw that coming?


  11. Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 11:31 am

    How could the MSM even dare to compare this Australian batting line up with 2005?

    Of course if you have an unsrupulous agenda to inflate a certain players reputation then you will write dishonest clap trap.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Another success for Cook – caught at backward point for 12. Brearley is looking better by the day as a batsman.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tom Jul 10, 2015 / 12:41 pm

      To paraphrase:

      “One ball says more than the dozen”.

      And that had nothing to do with him being hit in the bollocks, but you’re free to interpret it any way you want!


  13. paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 11:55 am

    Cook’s Ashes average remains mundane…..


      • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 12:09 pm

        Always a silver lining with Cook. If his batting is crap then there is TINA to fall back to..

        No such mercy will be shown to Bell.


      • BoerInAustria Jul 10, 2015 / 12:37 pm

        They could offer Bell the captaincy – at least his batting will not suffer from it…


      • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 12:58 pm

        I think Bel is the type of person who’s batting form might improve with captaincy. Bit like Gooch. Too late now I’m afraid.

        Not that they would ever have considered him. Not the right image for the sponsors. Hasn’t got the movie start looks.


  14. SimonH Jul 10, 2015 / 12:48 pm

    Mythwatch #42: Clarke and Smith are genius players of spin.

    Why then are their averages in Asia so modest? Below is a table of batting averages by non-Asian players (min. 4 Tests) in Asia in the last quarter century. Smith’s average of 40 makes him about 30th, Clarke’s average of 36 makes him about 60th. Decent records but not that outstanding – and you’re not telling me the standard of spin they’ve faced was better, say, than the 1990s when Kumble, Saqlain and Murali were about.

    It seems the sight of players dancing down the pitch has convinced some that must mean they are great players of spin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hatmallet Jul 10, 2015 / 1:08 pm

      Some players are excellent players of slow bowling. Spin is another matter.


    • SimonH Jul 10, 2015 / 2:57 pm

      I started to wonder if maybe another myth was that Asia is the best place to bowl spin – but it isn’t a myth:


    • paulewart Jul 10, 2015 / 9:32 pm

      Ir seemed to convince Cook….


  15. BoerInAustria Jul 10, 2015 / 12:51 pm

    6.6 Cook out
    7.2 Lyth, not out, review, umpire call
    9.1 Lyth, not out, review, umpire call
    9.6 Balance out

    Cracking stuff! Where is D’Artez?


    • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 1:01 pm

      But again it was not the technology, but human judgment.

      It is the umpires call not the machines call. That is the point I’m trying to make. Machine is consistent , not so the umpire.


    • BoerInAustria Jul 10, 2015 / 1:20 pm

      I actually agree with you, definetely no “howlers”, just tight calls and it should remain part of the game.


  16. d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 1:46 pm

    I was out collecting my lunch.

    The problem is that the system that it is heavily dependent on the input of the humans. If you have biased humans, you are still dealing with a highly unsatisfactory process.

    Original calls matter a lot. Honestly, I’d rather have a fully automated review system than this – with anything that the stumps is hitting more than 25% being out (of course with the necessary provisos of pitching and hitting in line). At 25% the impact is more than full enough to cause a disturbance. But of course test it, so that the system operates on scientifically tested principles, rather than human guesswork. Which is effectively what umpire’s call represents. Reduce the umpires to masters of ceremony if you want.

    A fully automated system won’t take too long anyway since more often than not they take about 35 seconds between deliveries, and longer when there have been close shaves. It is not like every ball draws a lbw appeal. By that time Hawkeye should well be able to generate the technological review. If not, use a more powerful computer to do it. If you can spend tens of thousands on Hotspot a day, surely, you can spend a few thousand on a powerful enough computer too?

    As an added bonus, a fully automated system also get rids of the ridiculous lbws that some umpires give. I refer to Warner’s lbw by Dharmasena for instance. How much time did that take? 8 seconds to decide the lbw. Another 20 or so to decide to review it. A minute of staring at edges. Hawkeye projection showing it pitched outside leg. 2 minutes of an unscheduled drinks break. That is about 4 minutes.

    Sure, there will be marginal calls. But you won’t have the situation where if 1% is hitting (like Jordan’s lbw in the West Indies – it may have cost him his Test career) you can be out, while at 49% hitting you’re spared the chop.


    • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 2:17 pm

      “The problem is that the system that it is heavily dependent on the input of the humans. If you have biased humans, you are still dealing with a highly unsatisfactory process.”

      While I agree with most of that, I dont think the humans are biased. I do think they can be pressured by home town crowds and atmosphere to hedge slightly in favour of the home team. You argument for all decisions to be judged by technology is consistent, but I Just don’t think the ICC will risk the time delays. I think they should try it mind.

      You do get into an issue of what is the point of umpiring at the highest level if you will not be required to make any descions.


      • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 4:20 pm

        Yeah, there is a serious issue with regards to the point of umpiring if you make it fully automated.

        Then again, what is the point of developing the technology, and then subsequently hardly using it? It is a bit like FIFA sitting on goal line technology. You’d start to suspect that FIFA prefers having controversy over decisions rather than correct decisions being made. The cynics among us will argue that the lack of technology makes it easier for FIFA to ensure that the “correct results” will be reached. That is the kind of controversy you don’t want to attract. Certainly not after the spotfixing scandal of 2010, and IPL 2013.

        There are many biases. Succumbing to crowd pressure is a form of bias. Big teams tend to get decisions in their favour more often than minnows too. We have observed that for a fair number of years, even before the advent of DRS (and it remains true with DRS). Reputations of players undoubtedly play a role too – if a player has a reputation of playing spin well, it might be harder for a spinner to get an lbw against that player. Likewise, seamers with a higher reputation may find it easier to get lbws than A.N. Bowler.

        And on the evidence I have seen, both in England – New Zealand and Sri Lanka – Pakistan, I am not too sure if Ravi is as unbiased as we’d like him to be That being said, I am certain he does not consciously favour one team over the other. But that in itself is not enough to be called unbiased.


      • dvyk Jul 10, 2015 / 5:58 pm

        They really do need to look at the whole thing again. At the moment they seem to be protecting umpires’ job security by allowing them to do a task that they’re not as good at as Hawkeye.

        *OR* Hawkeye in fact isn’t as accurate as the pretend, which certainly seems the case at times, in which case they should present it as a probability result, not an exact measurement. At the moment, Hawkeye says “Well the umpire was wrong, but not badly enough for us to want to change it.”

        It might even be easier if all LB’s are immediately referred. I don’t care if the ump loses that part of his job. And maybe no balls should be taken out of his hands too (erm, so to speak).

        And Erasmus failed to spot Wood running on the pitch because he was ball watching, the dillhole. Maybe the whole thing should be automated, with only a security guard with a taser in case the players get out of hand.


    • man in a barrel Jul 10, 2015 / 6:21 pm

      I agree with you that the current situation is ridiculous. Watson was given out by the unpire wheras Lyth was given not out. The Hawkeye reviews showed that the Lyth LBW was much more likely to be out than the Watson case…however, Watson remained out and Lyth remained in, just because of fallible human decisions. This is a very strange version of justice.


  17. metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    Much better bowling than I expected from England.


  18. Grenville Jul 10, 2015 / 2:46 pm

    England are doing well. I’m beginning to feel nervous about my prediction. Still think that Aus are the better team. But, the boys with the right kind of family are doing well. Long may it continue. This is good test cricket.


  19. Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 4:47 pm

    244/7 England

    12 wickets down today.

    Probably won’t need Sunday now at this rate.


  20. Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 4:50 pm

    Broad out. 13 wickets in the day.

    Some poor,shots by England in the last hour. Probably think they have enough. Hope they don’t end up with egg all over their face.


    • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 5:02 pm

      Yeah, Sri Lanka also thought they had enough in the Third Test against Pakistan – at that point in time no visiting side had chased more than 264 to win a Test in Sri Lanka (and that was India, in 2001). They did not bowl well, and they paid the price. Pakistan duly chased 377.

      And with uncertainty surrounding Sunday’s weather, Australia ought to aim to bat time on Saturday, and see what the weather does on Sunday. Mind you, they were in a similar predicament in P.E. in their tour of South Africa (that was also a rather slow wicket). They could not bother taking the Test to day 5, despite the forecast of extremely iffy weather.


  21. metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 4:50 pm

    Gah – that was infuriating from Broad.


    • metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 5:15 pm

      To be fair, Wood is batting in the same vein – and it’s working so far – and it’s great to watch.


  22. dvyk Jul 10, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    Wood is an impressive tail ender — his runs at the end were the difference between a very steep total and an ungettable one. But holy heck Andersen is a fool. It’s as if he’s learned absolutely nothing whatsoever about tactics as a tail end batsman. I don’t know how often I’ve seen him get bowled trying a hoik across the line of the ball, when there’s a decent batter down the other end.

    Anyway, judging by the Sky commentary team, Captain Courageous has at least hit one Australian spinner out of the attack — Shane Warne.

    Liked by 1 person

    • metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 5:42 pm

      Yeah, Anderson and Broad both frustrated with the bat today. Experienced players should do better that.


    • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      Not sure if Anderson is a fool. By getting out, he at least ensured that Cook won’t be entertaining thoughts of declaring at around tea Day 4 …


  23. metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 5:44 pm

    Holding talking about “no real devils in the pitch” and plenty of time.
    Going to be quite a psychological test for England tomorrow, esp. if they don’t manage early wickets.


    • dvyk Jul 10, 2015 / 6:04 pm

      I wouldn’t completely rule Australia out, but obviously there ain’t much chance.

      (Pity this test isn’t being played at Headingley. The words “Day 4 Headingley” seem to have a familiar ring to them.)


      • BoerInAustria Jul 10, 2015 / 7:16 pm

        I am trying to figure out what might actually have changed in the England dressing room…. KP, Flower, Swann, Moores…

        And then had a thought while looking at the dreaded Day 4 @ Headingley… A certain M Prior was keeping in that match, until his last test @ Lords, not have a great day in the bowling dept. either on day 4 (nor in Mr Anderson’s behaviour).

        And then in the other tests against India (without Mr Prior) the bowling strategies suddenly improved…. Just wondering….


      • SimonH Jul 10, 2015 / 7:36 pm

        Boer, I think the slowness of the pitch has saved England from themselves. The lack of bounce has made any short-pitched barrage too ridiculous even for Broady. TV’s pitch map showed England didn’t bowl short once with the new ball.

        Prior wasn’t playing against NZ at Headingley where England were almost as bad as against SL. The test will come when England are under some pressure and they see some bounce in the pitch – will they then resist reverting to type?


  24. SimonH Jul 10, 2015 / 7:32 pm

    Australia bowled Starc through an ankle injury – with only three days’ break until Lord’s there must be doubts about whether he’ll be fit. Without Starc, I’m not sure Australia’s attack has enough on English pitches.

    Watto needs a century to save his place – and with his head position when he plays the ball angling in it’ll be a miracle if he gets one. I went into bat for him BTL but his bowling here hasn’t done enough to offset Mitch Marsh’s superior batting. Marsh to play at Lord’s.


    • d'Arthez Jul 10, 2015 / 7:45 pm

      Yeah, I was surprised that they picked Watson to play ahead of Mitchell Marsh. Can’t see him being retained for the next game. Not unless he starts bowling more and bowling better. Another potential change I can see happening is Shaun Marsh in for Voges, with Marsh to bat at #3, Smith at #4 and Clarke at his favoured #5. Might be a bit rough on Voges, but Smith does not really look like a #3 on these pitches.

      On slow pitches with little bounce Australia do struggle. They did so in India, and they did so in P.E., on their tour of South Africa in 2014. If we get four more pitches like this, it will be extremely tough for Australia to win the series. They really miss Harris to provide some control.

      Lyon will probably fly under the radar again, but he has had a fairly decent game with the ball.


      • Pontiac Jul 10, 2015 / 8:54 pm

        Starc: 7 wickets at 24.8, 40.1 overs
        Lyon: 6 wickets at 24, 40.1 overs.

        Others: fewer wickets, worse economy, fewer overs (* Johnson did bowl 41 overs).

        And yet in cricinfo’s match report we read “Four wickets for Lyon were deserving of respect, if an expected reward on a dry pitch offering considerable turn.” Do you ever hear such things said about a quick bowler when it’s overcast and green?

        (everybody probably knows where I learned how to do this kind of advocacy…)


      • Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 8:58 pm

        You certainly won’t read that if Ali takes 4-75 on a helpful pitch tomorrow. You will read a lot of hyperbolic nonsense instead.


  25. Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 8:17 pm

    Over at the G, Selvey, along with some barmily pessimistic and hypercritical England fans, finding it difficult to let go of Flowerism completely.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 8:34 pm

    So, 18 months after the crushing 5-0 hammering by Aus in the ashes England are on the verge of going 1-0 up in the new series. What has changed? Or has anything really changed?

    If we were to start the Ashes in Austailia with these same two teams today would the result be any different from 18 moths ago? Have England really improved or is it all down to the pitch conditions?


    • metatone Jul 10, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      I think we’d perform better than we did in the whitewash overall.
      We were truly abject at some points in there.
      But it’s really hard to see that Starc and Johnson wouldn’t be taking many more wickets on hard and bouncy pitches, so I think we’d still be losing.


  27. SimonH Jul 10, 2015 / 9:18 pm

    Newman has a good stat:

    “Remarkably, this was the first time in Test history that the whole middle order — Nos 3, 4, 5 and 6 — of any side had all fallen in the 30s, an indictment of the failure of Australia’s best batsmen to make the most of their starts”.

    And some of the same old same old:

    “The first half-hour set the tone for the day as Alastair Cook brilliantly masterminded an assault on Australia with the old ball that saw two of the remaining five wickets fall for the addition of just one run”.

    What was the brilliant masterminding? I gave Cook credit yesterday – but the bowling options and fields at the start today were standard Test captaincy. The bowlers bowled well and there was a bit of good fortune with a marginal call.

    And from Lawrence Booth there’s –

    “Alastair Cook’s scores of 20 and 12 may not scream off the scorecard, but his captaincy has been alert and proactive. And his pull for four off Johnson in the third over of England’s second innings was another ghost laid to rest: 18 months ago in Adelaide, he hooked the same bowler into the hands of long leg, and trudged off with one run to his name”.

    Some must wish their slates could be wiped clean quite so easily…..


    • Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 10:02 pm

      Just fucking ridiculous, sorry. Nobody – nobody – else gets this treatment.


    • Mark Jul 10, 2015 / 10:04 pm

      Newman singing his old hits I see. He really hasn’t got any new material.

      Cooks innings of 12 includes a shot for four that lay ghosts to rest hey?

      In times gone by an innings of 12 wouldn’t even get a mention. The bar really can’t get any lower.


    • dvyk Jul 10, 2015 / 10:17 pm

      “Alastair Cook’s scores of 20 and 12 may not scream off the scorecard”

      They do to me!


    • Fred Jul 10, 2015 / 10:33 pm

      I don’t get as exercised as some of you about the tripe that is written in the English press, as I find it laughable. I’ll never forget my first time visiting a central London office sitting next to a very bright young professional while he had his lunch, looking at topless girls and “aliens ate my babys” stuff in The Sun. Maybe the SMH is not so bad after all.
      However: “Alastair Cook brilliantly masterminded an assault on Australia”?
      “And his pull for four off Johnson in the third over of England’s second innings was another ghost laid to rest:”?
      Jingoistic as Australia can be, “brilliantly masterminded” would be just a bridge too far for us. And laying a ghost to rest with just one shot (despite the fact he failed in both innings)?
      I think I need to go read the Brisbane Courier to get gravitas.


  28. Rohan Jul 10, 2015 / 9:20 pm

    Heard a good comment on 5 live ashes social tonight, think it was from Chris Adams. Along the lines of ‘let’s not got carried away, the test is not won yet. Even if we do win, the way both teams are playing attacking and positive cricket will lead to many more twists and turns in the series and both teams will have chances to win’

    Very wise words I thought…….

    I am still not declaring victory in this test yet, but if it does come then fair play and well done lads. Overall, however, as I said the other night, I reserve judgement until the series is over.

    Those who hate us were out in force tonight, contacting the ashes 5 live social. They were writing Aus off already, declaring them a bad team, past it, Starc gone to injury, no back up bowlers etc. Then stating Bell was back and silly tweets like Eng to win 5-0 etc and Cook great captain and do on…….let’s wait and see……


    • Arron Wright Jul 10, 2015 / 10:26 pm

      Heard the first ten minutes of that show. Based on the tweets, that’s pretty much what I would expect. Like a BTL thread with all the discernment and historical awareness removed. If you can imagine such a thing.


  29. man in a barrel Jul 10, 2015 / 9:21 pm

    Against an undercooked team in English conditions, New Zealand lost a match and then won, convincingly. Not seeing many signs of hope in the English top order. And Lyon has won against anyone who has taken him on, such as Lyth, Bell,…


  30. man in a barrel Jul 10, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    What the Aussies should do is to keep England in the field as long as possible. Just work on the resourcefulness of the opposition.


  31. dvyk Jul 10, 2015 / 10:12 pm

    Well, Starc is most likely out for the next test. Admirable caution being expressed here, but I am prepared to say that the series is already done and dusted. I hope there is good cricket still to follow (and I hope a reasonable amount of it comes from Aust, but that’s looking increasingly unlikely.)

    England have indeed gotten better, from what I can see, in comparison to 13/14. Wood is an entirely different prospect to the three useless tall quicks Andy Flower wanted for Auist (reminiscent of some Royal fetish for soldiers over 6’5); Buttler is an entirely different prospect from an injured Prior (and I won’t write any of the other adjectives I could think of); and the coach — unlike Flower — is competent, not a raging egotist, and has no illusions about Cook’s captaincy.

    Plus Root is a different prospect to what he was, and Lyth, I suspect, will turn out better than all the others were (allowed to be).

    As for Aust, they probably have another disastrous few years ahead of them again, albeit with better bowling. Sure, they can take 20 wickets, but with only one and a half batsmen (Smith = 1, Warner 1/2), it’s impossible to score enough.

    I suspect the English yellow press will suddenly be making a lot of the 5-0, but they will be ignoring the fact that it would have been more like 2 pr 3 to 1 for Aust, had they not had been for Cook’s captaincy and Flower’s raging, obsessive incompetence.


    • Pontiac Jul 10, 2015 / 11:07 pm

      Do you think NZ would have done better against England in a 5 Test series than Australia will do?


      • dvyk Jul 11, 2015 / 5:53 am

        The way it looks to me at the moment, especially if Starc is hobbled, NZ will have only needed two tests to win more than Aust will.

        What I don’t understand though is why England suddenly look so much better than they did in WI. Do they simply not care when touring?


  32. amit Jul 11, 2015 / 2:40 am

    Just proves what a change in personnel can bring about. There are hungry kids in the English team, willing to express themselves, and obviously supported by a pitch and conditions that suit them better. Imagine now, being led by a bit more tactically aware captain!
    I will give no credit to the captain – he hasn’t done much – at least not yet – to earn it.

    The Aussies were going to struggle on these slower and low bounce pitches but Harris not being available has indeed made it harder to control runs. Mind you, i still think the game is not over. Not by a long shot.

    Even if it’s not bright and sunny (haven’t looked at the forecast yet), if there’s no cloud cover, i think the Aussies will go for it. At least 3 of them have the game to make a fist of it and that doesn’t include Smith, who I think has guts, if not the skill required.
    If they do manage to pull it off – the odds should be heavily stacked against, given history, 1st inning show and all that – they will be impossible to stop on harder wickets expected, next game onward.

    I hope it doesn’t come down to Watson and Haddin as I think both are past the prime, not just on the basis of this game. Watson’s batting is no longer pugnacious and certainly not on these kind of wickets. He will continue to be a one day or T20 giant but will also be remembered as someone who failed to live up to reputation in longer format.
    He should make way for Mitch Marsh in the next game.
    Haddin too seemed to be playing with a stick. I would be surprised, if he continues beyond the series and especially, if it’s a lost cause.


    And yeah, scores of 20 and 12 don’t wipe the history clean.
    There is this big revision happening in the English media that I have come to despise.
    One that revolves around Cook being the brilliant skipper (he’s not) and the best batsman of his generation (he’s not that either) and about everything else that he does being better and bigger than anything English cricket has ever achieved before.

    That kind of mainstream noise is just nonsense. Even annoying.

    Nothing – and i repeat NOTHING – that Cook will achieve with this team or do, will ever beat the heroics of 1981 or 2005, in the ashes context. This is not to look down upon their achievement because they will do well occasionally and will produce games that capture interest. But, for sheer excitement, nothing can come close to these 2 series.

    But, there’s joy in seeing that this series will probably not be a one sided mauling that most were predicting. Nothing better than a well contested series, irrespective of who wins it.


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