Ashes Preview

There is a palpable sense of apathy about the Ashes series. Generally, on Twitter and in the general public, but most certainly amongst the writers at Being Outside Cricket. Of the four of us, I might actually be the only one who intends to watch a game or two. Even then, that is in large part because I have a massive amount of annual leave built up and I have only a few months to use it. I have the holidays, I subscribe to BT Sport, so it would be a waste not to.

There’s a number of factors which have contributed to this malaise. The effects of COVID-19, both direct and indirect, really put the importance of sport into perspective. Likewise, the revelations regarding the extent of racism in English cricket have reduced people’s enthusiasm for the game.

Perhaps the most significant reason is that almost no one thinks England will manage to win a single match in the series. They have neither the batting ability to outscore Australia, nor the bowling ability to taken the host’s wickets cheaply. Their catching is also diabolically bad. This is by no means an overpowering Australian lineup, they lost their most recent home series against an injury-ravaged Indian side, but they are still better than England in every phase of play.

England haven’t managed to win a Test match in Australia since 2011, and their team was significantly stronger than now in both 2013 and 2017. The only things that can stop Australia winning 5-0 are rain (the forecast for the first Test isn’t exactly great), a ridiculously flat pitch (ie Melbourne 2017), or state border closures. Cricket Australia probably shouldn’t even bother making a massive print of an English hand with one finger raised.

All of which is to say that you shouldn’t expect full coverage of the Ashes from us at Being Outside Cricket this winter. There will be posts, when we’re in the mood or have something to say, but there almost certainly won’t be daily reports on the day’s play. We’ll still be on Twitter, and still read and respond to comments on the blog. Everything else, we’ll see how it goes.

In terms of a preview, it looks grim for England on paper. Australia’s team (announced three days in advance) has four players with Test batting averages over 39.00 (Smith, Labuschagne, Warner and Head). England’s whole 15-man squad has one (Root). England’s batsmen have two main weaknesses: Fast bowling and spin. Those are Australia’s two bowling strengths. England lack X-factor bowlers who might stand a good chance of bowling out a set Smith or Labuschagne, particularly if they favour allrounders like Woakes or Overton to bolster their fragile batting order. England’s catching in recent times, or lack thereof, has meant that the bowlers typically need to make an two or three extra chances per innings, which is always a tough ask in Australian conditions.

Quite simply, England are screwed.

67 thoughts on “Ashes Preview

  1. LordCanisLupus Dec 6, 2021 / 11:10 pm

    Anderson is out of the first test with a calf strain. That’s an awesome start, innit?

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    • dannycricket Dec 7, 2021 / 6:44 am

      As much grief as I give the ECB medical staff, he is 39 years old. It could have happened getting out of bed.

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    • OscarDaBosca Dec 7, 2021 / 7:54 am

      That’s interesting because the BBC said in their breaking news they were managing his fitness for the whole series.

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      • dannycricket Dec 7, 2021 / 7:57 am

        Apparently Anderson is bowling in the nets now, although with England’s approach to injured bowlers that could mean anything.

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        • pktroll (@pktroll) Dec 7, 2021 / 8:26 am

          I thought it was that they reckon he will be a better bet in the pink ball, Adelaide test rather than the ‘Gabbatoir’, which is never really a great place for medium-fast bowlers who don’t generate McGrath-esque bounce.

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          • OscarDaBosca Dec 7, 2021 / 9:12 am

            I think you’re right, although the news update was that he had a calf issue that wouldn’t have kept him out. This first test is interesting as both teams are so undercooked they are blue!
            If England can escape this with a draw (not sure if the weather is still bad), could make the series interesting.

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          • Marek Dec 7, 2021 / 9:39 am

            That’s not undercooked, that’s rotten!

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        • david Dec 7, 2021 / 11:01 am

          Given that the official statement is that Anderson is fit to play, I am expecting them to announce tomorrow that he is on the next plane home with a career-ending injury.

          I know Anderson’s record is not great at the Gabba but surely you pick your best bowler for the first test, especially as the conditions may favour swing and seam.

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        • Marek Dec 7, 2021 / 9:13 pm

          I completely concur about the best bowlers bit, David. You want to make a statement, to try to impose yourself on the series and grab it by the scruff of the neck. You don’t do that by not playing your first-choice players in the first game.

          It’s also why I was amazed by the suggestions last week that Wood might be left out of the Brisbane test. He’s the point-of-difference bowler, so again you play him in the first test–otherwise you get wall-to-wall right-arm seam to kick off the series, and look how that went in 2017! (In passing, Anderson might not have a great record at the Gabba, but Woakes hardly has a good record anywhere south of Southampton).

          Most depressingly, it seems to suggest a total absence of planning. Surely with both Wood and Anderson, you identify well in advance how many tests you think they’re going to play–I would have planned on the assumption of three for each. Then you decide which ones they should play–to me, both for Brisbane because it’s the first test and Anderson now because it could swing; Anderson but probably not Wood at Adelaide and Hobart because they’re day-nighters; Wood at Melbourne because it’s often as flat as a pancake and you need someone who can get something out of the surface, and hopefully again at Sydney; then you decide on who plays if they’re not–probably Woakes for Wood and Broad for Anderson. OK, it might not turn out like that in practice, but the management’s logic doesn’t make sense (somehow Anderson can’t play back-to-back tests now but magically he could play four in five weeks four months ago).

          Unless, equally deressingly,it’s because the initial reports were right and he isn’t actually completely fit–in which case why not say so?

          Oh, and I’ll scream if they leave out Leach so they can play five seamers.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Hywel John Dec 7, 2021 / 8:21 am

    Come on – surely we (England) have some sort of chance in Australia? I think that Australia will win as well, but a small part of me is thinking (maybe) England can do an India and pull something special out of the bag? Can Broad make Warner his Bunny again? Can Steve Smith carry on his “bad” form? The England line up has some promising youngsters in Hameed and Pope as well as established stars in Root and Stokes – cause for a bit of optimism?!

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    • Mark Dec 7, 2021 / 3:45 pm

      Your review Danny reminds me of the 1987 series when The Independents cricket correspondent said that England’s chances were very slim seeing as they “can’t bat, can’t bowl, and can’t field. (Catch)”

      This team is way worse than that. The only hope England have is Australia are also pretty poor. But a very poor Australia should see off a hopeless England. I really don’t know how anyone can charge money for this? Either at the gate or on tv?

      So little interest in this series I don’t even know if there have been any warm up matches? I’m assuming there have not been because of Covid? Which again makes me question how you can charge money for this?

      Four years ago when England were at least defending the Ashes, it was all on Cook and Root. If those two could perform in the first three test matches England might have a chance. As it was, they scored virtually no runs in six innings combined and the Ashes were gone in the glint of an eye. Which made Cooks match saving double hundred in the 4th test or at least the media reaction to it absurd.

      This time if Root and Stokes perform heroics with the bat they might stay competitive, but if they fail it could get very embarrassing. Anderson’s place in the team at 39 only puts into sharp focus how bare the garden is. Funny we don’t hear much form the ECB these days about “trust, and building for the future.” I suspect they will be quite glad when it’s all over and they can get back to pushing the ludicrous 100. That is their priority now. Will there still be an Ashes in 20 years time? Will anybody be able to bat longer than 100 balls? Sad reflection of where English cricket is.

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  3. Metatone Dec 7, 2021 / 4:16 pm

    Yeah, not feeling enthused, for a lot of reasons, including, obviously, goings on in my home county of Yorkshire.

    I don’t think the gap between the teams is bigger than in the dark days of the 90s, but it feels like there is less excuse for it. I’m not whinging because we’re going to lose, I’m unhappy that it seems like the weather is our main hope of avoiding a 5-0.

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    • Mark Dec 7, 2021 / 4:50 pm

      It’s an interesting point and comparison about the 1990s/2000s and now. At least then you felt England players were testing themselves against some of the best players of the time, and of all time.

      This team has no such excuses. If they get thrashed it will just be embarrassing.

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    • dArthez Dec 8, 2021 / 4:14 am

      There were no central contracts in place. Pretty much every team had a good bowling attack (and the Aussies a superlative attack), so it was not that easy to even average 40 with the bat. Not due to poor temperament (like the Bairstows, Roys, and Buttlers of the current lot). But due to sheer force of the quality of the opposition.

      Honestly, if one could let the 1990s team play rather than the 2021 team, you would fear for the worst, but with a reasonable cause of optimism: that even if 1990s England do lose, they will actually have fought their hardest, and somewhat optimistic that the team as a whole can spring a positive surprise.

      At the moment it looks like a pretty 50 by Buttler in the 5th Test, with the Ashes long gone, will be considered a “positive”. That will not do, and I think any England captain in the 1990s would have been pilloried for talking about such a ‘positive’.

      122/8, with Robinson not lasting long at all. Probably a few people waking up and wondering how much it rained in Australia when they see something like 50/1 as the Australia score at stumps …

      Glad to see that things are in the process of being resolved in Yorkshire. Still a lot of work to do, but at least the wheels are set in motion. The cynic in me fears that it is a PR-exercise, so I do hope that progress will be evaluated and monitored.

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  4. dannycricket Dec 8, 2021 / 12:45 am

    If anything, I may have overexaggerated England’s chances in this Test judging by the first hour…

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    • dlpthomas Dec 8, 2021 / 1:31 am

      Indeed.

      A lot of the locals are being “wise after the event” and saying they would have bowled (and, to be fair, they probably would have) The problem for any England captain at the Gabba is that if they start to say “We’ll have a bowl” they immediately get drowned out by Nasser Hussain screaming “Don’t do it!”,

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  5. dlpthomas Dec 8, 2021 / 1:52 am

    I don’t want to jinx him but I reckon Green could have a good series

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  6. dArthez Dec 8, 2021 / 2:14 am

    Well, looks like someone might be burning some cricket kit anew. Few minutes after drinks it was 30/4.

    Ghastly, but pretty much what anyone would have expected, since the ECB refuse to learn even but a single lesson from the 4-yearly ritual Christmas humiliation season.

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  7. dlpthomas Dec 8, 2021 / 4:08 am

    First test wicket for Green. I’m trying to be happy for him.

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  8. StaffordshireKnot Dec 8, 2021 / 8:58 am

    Dear me, ENG are certainly under the cosh, and we fans are going to be humiliated almost as badly as the team.

    I have worshipped at the altar of Anderson since 2007, but one really has to ask why he is in Australia if he is not going to play – he is either ENG’s best bowler, or he is not. If he is then he (and Broad) play every game. What’s this bollix and ‘managing workload’, they are either fit for Test cricket or they do not get selected.

    The paucity of this ENG side/squad reflects the importance attributed to red ball cricket by the English authorities…….i.e. not much.

    We are 50-over world champions, we should have reclaimed the T20 WC, and we have our own – very stupid – version of hit and giggle (which Michael Vaughan and Isa Guha fell over themselves to help market).

    Anybody from the sanctimonious ECB or the vacuous media circus who criticises the ENG test team should be flayed.

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  9. Metatone Dec 8, 2021 / 9:05 am

    One of the problems with this series is that England are the weaker team by far, so when they get a big decision wrong (like choosing to bat here) it just kills the match. Glad I didn’t bother staying up, but it’s depressing.

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  10. dArthez Dec 8, 2021 / 11:02 am

    Meanwhile, Bangladesh managed to lose by an innings to Pakistan. That can happen. But in a Test that saw literally half the overs being washed away by rain, is quite some achievement. Probably even making enough to avoid the follow on (which was just 101 runs in their first innings) would have sufficed. But idiotic shot selection and some suicidal running ensured Bangladesh fell short of that mark – and in the first innings, Pakistan could not even bowl pace for more than 1 over on day 4. Yet BD, still managed to contrive to lose 7 wickets to spin in 26 overs.

    Great bowling effort by Pakistan, but by God, some absolutely appalling cricket from the hosts.

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  11. Rooto Dec 8, 2021 / 4:52 pm

    Good post, Danny, but after the past 24 hours, we can see you overlooked 1 further point: the ability of the selector/coach to make decisions so baffling that you expect the clue for 5 down in the Times crossword tomorrow to read, “Report back Agent Silverwood. Your cover is blown.”
    The only positive thought I had recently about England’s chances revolved around Broad’s confidence and record against Aus. Thankfully we won’t have to worry about him spoiling his figures over the next few days.
    (To be honest, Has did better than expected. That’s my only positive at the moment.)

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  12. dArthez Dec 9, 2021 / 2:17 am

    I guess a year of not playing cricket has seemingly done ‘wonders’ for Leach. Now, why was he not playing? Oh right, because team management is made up of idiots.

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    • dArthez Dec 9, 2021 / 3:46 am

      Also it seems that the fielding is up to standard. Burns failing to take a dolly, Hameed missing a runout chance. Barely 3 and a half sessions of play done, and you already wonder ‘an innings and how many runs’?

      But rest assured Buttler will score a meaningless 50 in the last Test and then all is well.

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      • ravroberts062c07a5d7 Dec 9, 2021 / 10:09 am

        I’m thinking am innings and 200 runs..?

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    • Marek Dec 9, 2021 / 10:17 am

      I’m not so sure about your Leach point, d’A–and at the least I think you’re overegging it.

      Sure he didn’t play a test in the summer–which was a piece of terrible selection–but he did play ten county games, the last of which was only eleven weeks ago, and he bowled eighteen overs in a red-ball warm-up game in the same city where the test is being played less than two weeks ago.

      To put it in perspective, Australia haven’t played even a remotely competitive warm-up game, and their entire bowling attack has played two f-c matches since April 18th–both by Lyon in consecutive weeks a month ago. Leach has actually played a test match since Cummins last played a f-c match.

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      • Miami Dad's Six Dec 9, 2021 / 1:52 pm

        On Leach;

        Firstly, I like him – and if Rashid isn’t fit enough/keen enough to play Test matches, he’s almost certainly our best spin bowler*, thus should usually play.

        He’s one of the few Test players who would benefit from playing more white ball cricket. It seems clear that other teams are going to try to bop him out of the attack quite quickly, probably to put pressure back on the fast bowlers in the team, be it Wood, Stokes or either of the pensioners assuming they’re picked next Test. Leach recovered very well in India to his credit, but during both onslaughts he lost his lengths and made things easy.

        A right arm offie is at his most attacking when bowling outside a right hander’s off stump. England seem to want Leach to bowl at middle stump to both right and left handers. When he did beat Head for flight, the slip was stood the wrong side of the keeper and it went for 4.

        *Parkinson might be good too, but Bess, Crane, Dawson are a no from me.

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        • dannycricket Dec 9, 2021 / 5:43 pm

          If you’re playing a legspinner, you can’t have Jos Buttler behind the stumps. In 65 first-class matches *as wicketkeeper*, he has made 3 stumpings.

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    • dArthez Dec 10, 2021 / 3:33 am

      This (probably due to weather conditions) pitch at least would have made it somewhat understandable if England had gone all in with frontline seamers (bank on the weather, win toss, skittle Australia once, bat once, bat big). Unlike pretty much the entire India series.

      So let’s pick Leach when conditions are far less suitable than they were in summer, and then top it off with a pathetic batting effort, so that every batsman who is not on nought has a good reason to try and hit Leach out of the attack. I mean, it is almost as if the selectors and the England batsmen are trying to justify their idiocy in the most cruel and pathetic way imaginable …

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  13. Mark Dec 9, 2021 / 8:34 pm

    Oh dear, not a great start is it? Two days in, and effectively England will have to win at least 2 of the remaining 4 test matches to win the Ashes. Not impossible but unlikely. It is astonishing how far English red ball cricket and sunk in less than a decade. I wish I was paid /rewarded £700, 000 per year for overseeing such failure.

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    • dannycricket Dec 9, 2021 / 11:34 pm

      Plus a large bonus to be paid next year, part of which I believe is based on the performance of the England teams.

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  14. Marek Dec 9, 2021 / 9:40 pm

    As an aside, I notice that the Lions are 13-3 in 11 overs against an Australia A team missing their most potent seamer (strange that amongst all the wailing and gnashing of teeth about today’s bowling and/or selection, no-one’s pointed out that being bowled out for 147 gives the opposition a certain freedom and psychological advantage).

    And that their best bowler is a county journeyman fast-medium bowler (colour me shocked) who turns 30 during the Melbourne test yet who I don’t think has ever played for the Lions before the last two weeks. Things possibly not looking so good for the 2025 Ashes…

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    • dannycricket Dec 9, 2021 / 11:33 pm

      Absolutely. They don’t attack Leach like that if England had scored 400 runs.

      Of course, that is a very unlikely scenario…

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    • Marek Dec 10, 2021 / 1:16 am

      50-5 now! Top four scored 13 between them and the nightwatchman has so far batted longer than anyone else and longer than three of the top four put together…

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  15. Marek Dec 9, 2021 / 9:51 pm

    Random statistic of the day: this century, England have fielded eleven specialist spinners in away Ashes tests (counting as two the three who played on two different tours). Only two of them have a lower economy rate than Moeen ali on the last tour.

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  16. dlpthomas Dec 10, 2021 / 7:27 am

    Good effort by Root and Malan. But conditions favour batting now so they are going to need a lot more runs before Australia start to worry.

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  17. Miami Dad's Six Dec 10, 2021 / 9:59 am

    Even this morning England dropped 3 catches. I mean, FFS.

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  18. Mark Dec 10, 2021 / 1:28 pm

    England like to tease don’t they? Now can they bat under match saving pressure tomorrow? Can the remaining 8 wickets bat all day on a decent pitch? I wouldn’t put any money on it. Not unless Root bats all day at one end.

    Root will probably have to bat all day most batting days on this tour.

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    • dlpthomas Dec 11, 2021 / 1:22 am

      The answer would appear to be “no”

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      • Rohan Dec 11, 2021 / 1:32 am

        Indeed it is NO, what amazed me was that at the end of the third day the pundits were all talking memories of Gabba 2010 and what a wonderful rearguard action it had been and how much hope there was. Had they not watched the play of day 1 and 2? It was clear England would capitulate at some point on day 4 and Root and Malan’s was but a brief resistance…..

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      • dArthez Dec 11, 2021 / 2:51 am

        From 220/2 they did not even reach 300. Innings defeat avoided (it looked like it might well end up as one, when Australia passed England’s paltry total just one wicket down in the first innings), but that really should not obscure the shambles.

        The best cricket news of the day is that the last Test will be a pink ball Test in Hobart. And seeing that England have a worse record in Perth than even India, this must surely be very welcome to England.

        Now the problem is, if they struggle to be even competitive in the two D/N Tests …

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        • dlpthomas Dec 11, 2021 / 2:57 am

          A few people seem to think that England have a good chance of not just being competitive but of winning the day night games. I’m not sure why – Australias record in day / night games at home is very good.

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          • Mark Dec 11, 2021 / 9:44 am

            It doesn’t really matter whether England play during the day or at night, or on good pitches or bad……they still have to score runs. I see little evidence they can make 300 regularly, let alone 450.

            The pundits have this utopian theory that in helpful conditions for bowling (at night) the ball will swing around corners and they can shoot Aus out for 150. Have the pundits not watched England in the last four years away from home? I guess when you become more inclined to ECB promotion instead of critical journalism you believe in the tooth fairy.

            Liked by 1 person

          • dArthez Dec 11, 2021 / 2:47 pm

            I would not go as far as winning. But if you bat at the right times, and the ball cooperates when you start bowling under the lights, then they might be in with a shot. Has to happen on Day 1 / Day 2 (with a bit of bad weather, so that England can bat the better part of 3 or even 4 sessions).

            Also, England have not won a Test in Perth in 40+ years (and even then they needed the assistance of Packer). Sure, the Test would not have been held in the WACA. But I think on paper, England would rather play Tests in Hobart, rather than Perth.

            If the elements conspire (and they can in Hobart, it is a bit different than other grounds), England are in with a shout. We must not forget that besides having a rather poor record in Australia Anderson’s only 5-fer came in a D/N Test (that England still hopelessly lost; Anderson had match figures of 6/117, otherwise his average in Adelaide is also on the wrong side of 35). But yeah – hard to win Tests when you can’t even bowl the opposition out for less than 400). Since this bowling attack hardly has any pace or nagging precision (a la McGrath or Philander), probably the best chances are offered in the D/N games.

            But we’ll see.

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  19. Rohan Dec 11, 2021 / 3:02 am

    I read somewhere, can’t remember where, sorry, that the whole theory that D/N tests suit England and the ball swings more is not actually true. There were some clear stats on it, I assume it was for D/N tests outside of the U.K. (overseas). I can’t see anything different, therefore, happening at Adelaide or Hobart unless Root goes big and someone stays with him.

    Agnew just said on bbc ‘there was genuine optimism this morning’ how can someone who is paid to watch England and has been with the team closely over the past few years, in anyway think that; it’s beyond me.

    Such a shame England don’t look like they can make it a competitive series.

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  20. dlpthomas Dec 11, 2021 / 3:11 am

    Why the hell would you bring Wood on with only 4 runs needed to win? Its like they had a plan and Root was determined to stick to it come what may.

    There’s a long way to go in the series but I may have been wrong when I said Robinson wouldn’t get wickets in Australia.

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    • Rohan Dec 11, 2021 / 3:14 am

      Yes I am surprised that Robinson has done so well, will be great if he can keep it up!

      Agree about Wood, madness….

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  21. StaffordshireKnot Dec 11, 2021 / 7:15 pm

    This is pretty good.

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  22. Marek Dec 12, 2021 / 12:49 pm

    England batter scores a hundred!! Come on down, James Bracey.

    To counter which, the only England batter other than Root to average more than 29 this year is Malan, who’s only batted five times.

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  23. Miami Dad's Six Dec 13, 2021 / 11:29 am

    I guess one of the benefits of being pumped so quickly is that the bowlers should be relatively fresh, having only really had one innings – and although Australia scored 400+, the speed at which they did so meant we only bowled 100 overs. I don’t think any of the three seamers were particularly poor, and if we excuse some of the poorness being down to rustiness, there’s an argument for them all playing in Adelaide (it won’t happen, Woakes and Wood could well both be chopped along with Leach).

    I believe Australia have won all of their home day night Tests, I can’t be arsed to check but it’s something like 7/7. Hazlewood being out could be quite big, mind. England have to target whoever comes in to put more pressure on Cummins/Starc.

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    • dlpthomas Dec 15, 2021 / 12:20 pm

      Richardson replacing Hazlewood. He’s good and could do well with the pink ball.

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  24. dlpthomas Dec 16, 2021 / 1:45 am

    So Cummings out, Nesser in and Smith back as captain.

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    • dArthez Dec 16, 2021 / 2:45 am

      Cummins out due to dining in a restaurant. His colleagues visited as well, but they were lucky enough not to be seated next to a positive Covid-19 person. Sandpaper Steve takes charge. Michael Neser will replace Cummins, and make his debut. But doubtful that he’ll average as little as Cummins has in D/N Tests (16 if I am not mistaken).

      With guidelines that tight (albeit restaurants are effectively open to Covid-19 positive people), it is really not that hard for English Australian-based supporters to contract Covid-19 and throw the Aussies in complete disarray. Let alone what a majority of people can do to touring sides …

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  25. dlpthomas Dec 16, 2021 / 11:17 am

    Buttler drops his second for the day and it was a sitter. (Labuschagne on 95 off Anderson). I am firmly in “Team Foakes”

    Liked by 1 person

    • dArthez Dec 16, 2021 / 11:45 am

      At least Butterfingers struck before the close.

      How anyone can actually be paid and in a job despite persistently picking butterfingers for glove work is beyond me.

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      • dArthez Dec 17, 2021 / 2:43 am

        It has gotten to the point that I am almost wondering if Foakes using one hand would be a better keeping option than Buttler with two. Probably not, but if such questions do pop up, your keeper really should not be in the team as a keeper.

        The problem with drops (and that is something England management refuse to consider – well they refuse to consider anything beyond mateyness as selection criterion for wicket keeper it seems), is the knock on effect. If you have someone catching Marnus in the 85th over, who is to say that his replacement would safely navigate to stumps? Possible of course, but the day ending on 220/2 or something like 220/4 is a massive difference when taking the field the next day. Even 220/3 would have been much better.

        Now, I won’t be surprised if Australia manage to rack up about 450, comfortably, and then declare to start bowling in the final session.

        And spare a thought for Harris – out because Buttler accidentally caught the ball.

        Liked by 1 person

        • dArthez Dec 17, 2021 / 9:49 am

          Finally Buttlerfingers catches something. When the Aussies were slogging for a declaration, with more than 450 on the board. Yeah, really match-defining catch that.

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    • Miami Dad's Six Dec 16, 2021 / 1:36 pm

      I actually felt sorry for Buttler at the end there, it looked as though he was going to cry.

      Unfortunately Team Foakes is irrelevant on this tour, as the back up wicket-keeper is, checks notes, the equally hoofhanded JM Bairstow.

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      • dannycricket Dec 16, 2021 / 3:33 pm

        Bairstow is a significantly better keeper than Buttler, I would argue. If you look at Test stumpings: Buttler has 1 from 35 matches as keeper, Bairstow has 12 from 49, Foakes has 5 from 8.

        Although I don’t think Bairstow has done much red-ball wicket-keeping in recent years.

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  26. Metatone Dec 16, 2021 / 11:58 am

    Well that was extremely predictable.
    Not that there’s any obvious solution, but when your attack is all the same same and all dependent on home conditions for real threat… here we are.
    pfffft

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  27. Mark Dec 16, 2021 / 12:41 pm

    To be fair to the England bowlers 4 out of the 6 bowlers used were going at less than 3 and over today. And the two that didn’t (Root & Stokes) were going at less than 4 an over. On a first day pitch at Adelaide that isn’t a bad effort. And if the fielders could actually catch it would be even better.

    I think England over prepare for these day night matches. Most of the cricket is in decent normal conditions, which at this venue is usually a flat pitch.

    As always in recent years the issue will be the batting. Can they make a good first innings score? If not they are toast again.

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  28. dlpthomas Dec 17, 2021 / 4:35 am

    So we can’t catch (which seems to have been aproblem for a while) and now the bowlers can’t keep their feet behind the line. I get that the bowlers are lacking match practice but this stills seems sloppy to me. What are thec oaching staff doing? (Have I asked that before? I feel like I have asked that before? I feel like I have asked that before a lot.)

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  29. dArthez Dec 17, 2021 / 5:48 am

    England have come up with a revolutionary idea. If the batsman misses, while you bowl at the stumps, you actually can get wickets.

    Head and Green fell for that revolutionary ploy. Maybe something for Anderson and Broad to consider? Clearly a combined experience of 317 Tests is otherwise not enough for that …

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    • dlpthomas Dec 17, 2021 / 6:49 am

      Not the first time England bowlers haven’t attacked the stumps. When Labuschagne was asked about Enlgand bowling sort he replied “If they aren’t attacking the top of off, your winning.”

      If England bat later today under lights, it could be very tricky.

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  30. Mark Dec 17, 2021 / 10:09 am

    So England will start their innings under lights, at night, after conceding almost 500 runs!

    Wasn’t much point was there, all the so called planning they have apparently done for the last two years? As usual Adelaide is a good flat pitch on the opening two days.

    England have been bamboozled by talk of pink balls going round corners, but Australia have made a good score so it will be England with all the problems for the next three days. (If it goes that far.) No Wood, and no specialist spinner. Didn’t make any difference, Australia have runs on the board.

    Have England actually won any day/night test matches? Yet they talk as if they are favourites in these conditions. They seem to write off the non day night test matches, and put all their eggs on the pink ball.

    Like

    • dArthez Dec 17, 2021 / 12:16 pm

      They beat West Indies in the first ever D/N Test. After that three losses. And well, beating West Indies is not exactly a great feat these days.

      Like

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