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Thread: The Ashes

  1. #1
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    The Ashes

    First test starts tonight. England have rested Anderson for this one which is a bit of a surprise, but I suppose heís not getting any younger. I canít see anything other than an Australian series win but Iím hoping for 5 exciting tests.

    United we stand here....


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    I fear we () are in for an absolute humping again. I was listening to 5live trying to hype it up this morning. England just aren't in the sort of test form that would give them a realistic chance out there, I don't think.

  4. #3
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    And once again, the Ashes are upon us. Nothing quite like it IMO. it is more than just a series of Test cricket, that's for sure.

    Australia got their team out nice and promptly. Cameron Green confirms his ascendency by winning his fiirst Ashes cap at the tender age of 22. With only four Tests under his belt to date, he is inexperienced but is held in high regard by the Aussies, With first-class averages of over 50 with the bat and under 34 with the ball there is the potential of a very good all-rounder there.

    He has certainly been nurtured throughout as an 'elite player' by Cricket Australia. What is of particular interest is that he has already had some stress fractures that have seen him only batting in games but this has led him to greater heights as a batsman. If not an all-rounder then potentially a very good batsman who can throw down a few overs. Although they are very different players, I am reminded somewhat of Marcus Labuschagne's rapid rise in becoming one of the first names on the team sheet.

    The other pick worth noting is that of Travis Head over Usman Khawaja. Both share similar averages against England, both are markedly better on home soil than away. Head is seven years younger than Khawaja and I suspect, barring injuries to team-mates, that we will see little again of Khawaja in the baggy green.

    For England, the loss of Anderson is pretty dispiriting. He is fit to play, but England are 'managing' his worload (and saving him in the hope of richer pickings at the venues further south). That might be tactically sensible on one level but essentially sends out a message of almost haviong conceded a loss at the Gabba already.

    It also shouldn't need pointing out that in Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood, Australia have one of the best seam attacks on the planet and critically, can rotate very easily while the often underappreciated Nathan Lyon simply doesn't just hold down the other end but is a major threat in his own right. They are as likely to get wickets in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney as Anderson and Broad.

    Of course, if England were able to breach the bastion in the opening match then that would serve as an enormous morale-booster. How to do that? As of my last check, England were still to name a starting XI, but had twelve players in the frame and the choice seems to be whether to include the spinner Leach, or bring in a massively under-prepared Ben Stokes, to provide a five-strong seam attack.

    If that is the case then it appears simple enough to me. You are far likelier to win at the Gabba with Ben Stokes in your side than Jack Leach. Yes, there are caveats - Stokes' lack of games, Leach being decent enough - but it is really hard to visualise how England win without the talismanic Stokes, especially when there are so many doubts about some key batting positions in the English side.

    Breaking it down and ooking at it simply or simplistically, even, in terms of the whole series - Australia have the better top order, the better quicks and the better spinner. I have not seen enough of Alex Carey to judge whether he is better than Jos Buttler with the gloves and one could make the case that both sides are uncertain about their best wicket keeper.

    That leaves the middle order. If Stokes is able to perform anywhere close to his potential then England have a chance of winning this particular field of battle. However, I am fairly confident that Root has never scored a Test hundred in Australia and so much for England depends on him. All it might take is one of those transcendental, superhuman Steve Smith rampages across a number of maches, that he is prone to, every now and again, or Green to emulate Labuschagne's rapid rise into a nailed-down team pick.

    So, in summary, hard to see beyond a series win for Australia and when they win the series at home it tends to be a mauling. Likewise for this particular match. Whatever happens, it will be fantastic I'm sure and the Ashes' capacity to create legends or burnish legendary status will no doubt be on show again
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    Had a good chuckle reading the BBC pundits predictions, some are in total delusion in thinking England can win at least a couple of tests. This will be another pumping, 3 or 4 nil as I think weather might ruin at least the Brisbane test.

    If weather doesnít play a part England will likely complete ten innings, of which I reckon at least five of those will see scores of less than 150. Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Lyon are a formidable bowling lineup and Englands batting far too fragile.

    I would love to see Haseeb Hameed shine, such a nice lad with huge potential, I just hope this tour is a good one for him.

  6. #5
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Iíd really like to see England bowl first tonight, I always think a fired up Aussie attack on day 1 is a recipe for disaster if a few wickets fall early. Obviously if conditions are such that it makes batting a no brainier then youíd expect them to do that, but the toss as always will be vital.

    United we stand here....

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    Iíd really like to see England bowl first tonight, I always think a fired up Aussie attack on day 1 is a recipe for disaster if a few wickets fall early. Obviously if conditions are such that it makes batting a no brainier then youíd expect them to do that, but the toss as always will be vital.
    Steve Harmison mentioned on his vlog with Brad Hogg that the pitch looks green and with likely overcast conditions could really favour England.

    Think Ollie Robinson could be a standout in the England bowling attack but will likely have any good work undone by the batting lineup.

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    Also the new Kookaburra balls have a tougher seam which again could favour England.

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    I had a feeling the Aussies would come out and do this, hell of a start

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABZHFC View Post
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    I had a feeling the Aussies would come out and do this, hell of a start
    Still canít believe Burns wicket, Starcs worst ball of the over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Funke View Post
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    Still canít believe Burns wicket, Starcs worst ball of the over.
    Yep, can only think it was nerves, he'd probably practiced that first shot a thousand times and then it comes and you forget to protect leg stump. Fantastic bowling from Hazlewood to get Root out, in fairness

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    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Funke View Post
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    Steve Harmison mentioned on his vlog with Brad Hogg that the pitch looks green and with likely overcast conditions could really favour England.

    Think Ollie Robinson could be a standout in the England bowling attack but will likely have any good work undone by the batting lineup.
    They chose to bat and are right up against it now. It probably wouldnít have made any difference but I think itís so easy to lose a test quickly when batting first. Itís up to the English bowling attack to keep the match alive now.

    United we stand here....

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    @hibs.net private member Stonewall's Avatar
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    I cannot believe England chose to bat first on a wicket that green. They then compound it by leaving out Anderson who was the bowler most likely to exploit these conditions.

    I only saw Burns's wicket and it looked like he missed a legside half volley which he normally would have clipped for four. He does tend to walk across his stumps though so leaves himself vulnerable.

  14. #13
    @hibs.net private member lord bunberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Funke View Post
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    Still canít believe Burns wicket, Starcs worst ball of the over.
    It was a couple of inches away from being a no ball.

    United we stand here....

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord bunberry View Post
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    It was a couple of inches away from being a no ball.
    Front foot no ball? Yeah, was very close.

    Clear blue skies this morning. Not great for England.

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    @hibs.net private member Stonewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Funke View Post
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    Front foot no ball? Yeah, was very close.

    Clear blue skies this morning. Not great for England.
    I fear the worst. Only compensation is that the Aussie batting line up is pretty fragile too. They need to nail this test convincingly to shore up their confidence. Otherwise it could get be interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonewall View Post
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    I fear the worst. Only compensation is that the Aussie batting line up is pretty fragile too. They need to nail this test convincingly to shore up their confidence. Otherwise it could get be interesting.
    I didn't see any of it, but reports this morning it seemed the English attack was pretty good bar Leach, who got a bit of a pasting. Should have been one of Broad or Anderson, it's no wicket for a spinner.

    England's problem is not enough runs. And they're never going to be in the position to provide many runs in Aus when they turn up the week before the first test, don't acclimatise and don't play anything like enough warm ups. If they want a serious go at an away ashes, they need to put the prep in. T20 world cup scheduling has pretty much killed the prospect of a decent series, imo.

  18. #17
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    Fine effort from Root and Malan on day 3 there, 58 runs behind.

  19. #18
    @hibs.net private member Calvin's Avatar
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    Well, what an interesting first test that was. I was lucky enough to be there for all 4 days so even saw the half an hour today that occurred during the TV coverage failure!

    As a proudly adopted Brisbanite, I was very pleased that the predictions of a washout never came to fruition. If you think Scottish forecasts are inaccurate then you'd have a great laugh at Queensland's efforts. Sitting in 30c heat for the 2 full days of 8 hours play has taken its toll though.. still I suppose that's a nice problem to have!

    That first ball from Starc on Wednesday morning was genuinely one of the best individual moments of sport I've been a part of. Sensational scenes. I think it set the precedent for the whole innings... a team just totally unprepared for a gruelling match of test cricket. I don't have any sympathy for the England team though - while they had their practice matches washed out (as did the Aussies...), they were playing on the wicket down in the Gold Coast during their quarantine for far longer than they'd normally spend in Queensland. I actually thought England would be stood in good stead by having less of their team coming out of the T20 World Cup.

    Australia's innings was no great shakes either. Steve Smith looked like he was trying to play T20 shots... I don't think I've ever seen him so uncomposed. Then take Travis Head who has had a great spring for South Australia and the difference was there to see. I was gutted for Cameron Green though who I watch a lot of for WA and think he's a real talent with the bat as well as the ball. He won't make the same mistakes again.

    Such is the joy of the sport that a match that was over after the first day, was absolutely full of life before the start of the fourth day this morning - and it's credit to the rhythm that Root and Malan got themselves into. What a different a night makes though; and it was really disappointing to for the fixture to disintegrate in half an hour like that.

    If the weather if fair... I can't see how there will be anything other than a 5-0.
    The omission of Broad and Anderson struck me as a gamble on the Brisbane test being a wash out, and them trying to keep their two impressive fast bowlers fresh for Adelaide. However I thought that both Wood and Robinson were pretty good (the latter especially), and all it did was expose what a total lack of depth they have with the bat.
    Some of the fielding was farcical at times too... Haseeb Hameed stands out of looking like he'd never seen a ball before during their fielding innings.

    I'd like to see Jyhe Richardson in for Starc (or Hazlewood if he is carrying a knock.) I also don't think that Australia have their answer at the top of the order; but luckily for them I don't think this will matter.

    I fly into Adelaide next Sunday morning. I'm just praying that there's still a match to go by first ball that afternoon as it's Day 4!

  20. #19
    resident moaning git DaveF's Avatar
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    Good write up Calvin.

    Do you not think England will do much better in Adelaide with the pink ball?

    I thought England bowled well but didn't carry too much luck. If that turns, even a little bit, then they are certainly in the fight. I don't see it being a 5-0.

  21. #20
    @hibs.net private member Calvin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF View Post
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    Good write up Calvin.

    Do you not think England will do much better in Adelaide with the pink ball?

    I thought England bowled well but didn't carry too much luck. If that turns, even a little bit, then they are certainly in the fight. I don't see it being a 5-0.
    I hope itís not a whitewash; but when the Aussies have the best bowling attack in the world; and a better batting lineup, I think England need a considerable amount of luck to get a result. If Adelaide favours Anderson and Broad - it surely favours the Aussie quicks too. A difference could be their freshness I suppose.

    Steve Smith only scored 12 runs and Australia won by essentially an innings - if he gets it together then thatís a lot of runs next week that they didnít have this week. Alex Carey and Travis Head are on their home ground, Marnus looked great and will still be livid that he got out the way he didÖ I think they just have too much for England.

  22. #21
    Clearly some very knowledgeable cricket fans on here. I've watched a couple of Scotland games at the Grange and it's a thoroughly agreeable way to pass a day with a few beers. The Ashes, as others have said, has a unique allure.

    Out of interest why do you think it is that 'we' support England at cricket when we wouldn't be so likely to do so in other sports? I qualify that by saying I wanted England to win this year's Euro football final.

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    @hibs.net private member IWasThere2016's Avatar
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    I've backed Aussies for 4-0 and 4-1

  24. #23
    @hibs.net private member Stonewall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He's here! View Post
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    Clearly some very knowledgeable cricket fans on here. I've watched a couple of Scotland games at the Grange and it's a thoroughly agreeable way to pass a day with a few beers. The Ashes, as others have said, has a unique allure.

    Out of interest why do you think it is that 'we' support England at cricket when we wouldn't be so likely to do so in other sports? I qualify that by saying I wanted England to win this year's Euro football final.
    I really donít know why but Iíve never had problems supporting the England Cricket team. I do watch cricket in a different way to how I watch football. Itís much less partisan and thereís always been players with significant Scottish connections playing from Mike Dennes through Tony Greig, Alec Stewart, Robin Smith, Gavin Hamilton as well as Irish and Welsh players.

    Always seemed like a GB team.

    Also having played club cricket from 18-50 the Aussies were really a shower of ****s to play against.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Stonewall View Post
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    I really donít know why but Iíve never had problems supporting the England Cricket team. I do watch cricket in a different way to how I watch football. Itís much less partisan and thereís always been players with significant Scottish connections playing from Mike Dennes through Tony Greig, Alec Stewart, Robin Smith, Gavin Hamilton as well as Irish and Welsh players.

    Always seemed like a GB team.

    Also having played club cricket from 18-50 the Aussies were really a shower of ****s to play against.
    Never realised Tony Greig was Scottish. I always thought he was South African.

    That was my most fondly remembered England team as a kid. Alan Knott was my favourite.

  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by He's here! View Post
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    Clearly some very knowledgeable cricket fans on here. I've watched a couple of Scotland games at the Grange and it's a thoroughly agreeable way to pass a day with a few beers. The Ashes, as others have said, has a unique allure.

    Out of interest why do you think it is that 'we' support England at cricket when we wouldn't be so likely to do so in other sports? I qualify that by saying I wanted England to win this year's Euro football final.
    3 things I think:

    - Cricket commentators/pundits are generally extremely balanced, fair minded, sporting and only very gently partisan.
    - We don't really have our own dog in the fight, recent limited overs teams notwithstanding.
    - For most of the time I've followed cricket, England have often been the underdogs, and nobody pretends otherwise.

  27. #26
    Coaching Staff HUTCHYHIBBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeMeSouviens View Post
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    3 things I think:

    - Cricket commentators/pundits are generally extremely balanced, fair minded, sporting and only very gently partisan.
    - We don't really have our own dog in the fight, recent limited overs teams notwithstanding.
    - For most of the time I've followed cricket, England have often been the underdogs, and nobody pretends otherwise.
    You're 2nd point is the stand out one for me. Also, when it was piddling down during school summer holidays in the early 80s what else were you going to watch, "Beefy" Botham, Bob Willis, Gladstone Small etc, it was all good.

  28. #27
    @hibs.net private member Calvin's Avatar
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    Pat Cummins out of the second test.
    Suddenly I feel much less confident!

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin View Post
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    Pat Cummins out of the second test.
    Suddenly I feel much less confident!
    How about now?

    Buttler's drops.

    England soon be needing snookers again.

  30. #29
    resident moaning git DaveF's Avatar
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    The drop at the end was as bad as it gets.

    And I think Stones bowled more short balls yesterday than the Windies did in the whole of the 80s 😁

  31. #30
    @hibs.net private member 3pm's Avatar
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    Those two lads who open for England... 🙈

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