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Ashes 2015


Yodahew
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Day 1 lunch at the moment and England won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions with rain the air. This has led to 88-3 at the break.

 

What do we think will unfold over the next few weeks? Will England get the lil urn back or will the aussies be taking it back down under?

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Well I fancied Australia strongly in the lead up to this, and while I still do, I think its probably going to be a lot closer than a lot of people were maybe predicting. The English home advantage will play a big part in leveling the sides, as I think man for man the Aussies are probably a touch ahead.

 

Joe Root is just getting better and better though. While he's playing well, England won't be far away. If his form drops, they could be in trouble as he's really carrying most of their innings's on his back. The top three are really only scoring in small spurts.

 

I've bet Mitchell Starc for top Aussie bowler, Jimmy for England, Joe Root for top England Batsman and Steve Smith for Australia, so given Starc took three today and Root made a tonne, I'm quite satisfied! Over to the other two now.

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I thought it was going to be same old England again collapsing against Australia when we were 43 for 3 but Root and Balance have shored things up as long as we can hold out and not lose early wickets this morning we should be able to post a good score to keep Australia guessing.
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England playing nicely, particularly with the ball. All of their bowlers look capable of picking up a few wickets. Australians massively up against it now. Can England keep it up? They haven't exactly inspired confidence in the recent past but this side looks like the best they've had in a while. Nicely balanced and with Moeen batting at 8 runs all the way down the order. I think we're going to be in for a great series and no where near as one sided as the bookies were suggesting.
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Mitchell Starc only half fit still looks more likely to pick up wickets on this deck than Mitchell Johnson. Important to get rid of Cook before lunch. If they can grab another couple early after the break its still game on. Could all hinge on Root (again...).
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They think very highly of Josh Hazelwood, and to be fair, he's played nicely. The Mitchell's were always going to play, Johnson has a strong record against England and is one of their go to guys, and Starc has been bowling out his skin for a year. So its come down to Siddle vs. Hazelwood and I guess they've gone with the youngster who could unleash his great potential as opposed the solid known quantity of Siddle.

 

And just as I say that, Hazelwood takes Ballance with a nice shorter high bouncing ball. Game still on this.

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I think its getable too. Whether they will is a different story, but certainly England were in a position where they could have set them something completely unattainable, but they failed to pounce on it. Still a very good start to the series for them though, but if they get to Sunday and Australia get to 413/9, they're going to be ruining some of the cheap wickets they gave away today.

 

412 gives Australia a getable target and that will affect their mentality going into their second innings. Had they been set well over 500+ they might have gone into defensive mode and played for the draw, hoping for rain. As it is, they'll see it as a positive that they are not further behind and will come out with confidence. If they start well it could quickly be England on the back foot. It'll be a interesting second innings for sure.

 

Would love to see them reach 200 runs quite quickly and for only 1 (or even no) wicket, just to make it interesting and see how England react to it.

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Haha. This is excellent. Put the pressure on and the old England soon comes out. Steve Smith doing my top Aussie batsmen bet no harm at all too. A very nice day for me. If Starc can grab another couple of wickets that would be the icing on the cake.
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Today was better but I can't see us getting the score we need to get a draw I think Australia have this. Considering how they were doing I am surprised they did not in force the follow on and win this afternoon I am sure it could have been possible.
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So after the catastrophe that was the second test heads, or should I say a single head, has rolled. Gary Ballance is the man paying the ultimate price for England's appalling performance with the bat and out he goes, to be replace by the in form at County level Johnny Bairstow. Its hard to argue that its not the right decision. Ballance has looked anything but a Test batsman this year, cowering defensively in his crease, just waiting to get out. Meanwhile Bairstow has been back at Yorkshire and banging in the runs at a great average and strike rate. He will bat at 5, with Bell going to 3 and Root 4. This should, and I stress should, improve the side. Root moving up is a good move.

 

The only question is whether there should be more than one change. Ian Bell must be on his 9th life when it comes to his Test career. A failure with the bat again in the third test, this time from number three, and surely his position must come under serious consideration. You could put Adil Rashid into the side, and promote Moenn Ali up the order. I think that would give the side a little more balance between bat and ball. Moenn is more the capable of batting higher up. Or there is another guy, Pietersen I think his name is, that could probably come in and do a job..

 

Adam Lyth keeps his place. Probably rightly. He hasn't played great, but it doesn't really make any since to go chopping and changing openers so quickly. He needs to be given time and I don't think there is many people banging on the door to replace him who would do all that better.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ashes regained in what was (bar Lords) a complete walk in the park. Aus cricket has a lot of work to do to compete on English pitches. Just like Eng have a lot of work to do to compete on Aus pitches.

 

All in all a bit of a let down. Thought this series was going to be really tight. Again bar Lords it just hasnt been.

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I think the English bowlers have to remember that outside of England, you have to maintain line and length and keep the batsman honest. You can't just bowl full and hope the ball does the work like you can over here. We did that in Oz the last time we won the Ashes over there and bowled fast, aggressive and good line and length.

 

But aside from that, it has to be said that the Aussies handed us the Ashes with some wayward batting, some awful selections and choices in terms of team depth and personal and as pointed out a silly lack of preparation for the swinging ball.

 

Really, when David Warner comes in to bowl you know your team selection is flawed.

 

But credit where credit is due. Joe Root has become the best batsman in the world and chipped in with some great innings, Cook step up his game as captain with his decision making and field choices, Ben Stokes got involved with ball, bat and fielding at certain points as did Ali and Broad.

 

The only problems are Lyth should go from the top of the order (give Taylor another shot after his excellent county season so far), Ali is not a good enough spinner but should be retained as a change option and good lower to middle order batsman and if you do bring in another spinner like Rashid or Kerrigan then who do you drop? Wood or Finn?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well well well. The ODI series is shaping up nicely. Soundly beaten in the first game.

 

2nd game aus were the better side thou eng were unlucky. Was stokes out? Not for me. Clearly trying to protect himself. His body moved but his hand didnt and the ball hit it.

 

3rd game think what happened with stokes fired eng up.

 

4th game need to watch the highlights but sounded a relatively comfortable win for eng.

 

Bring on the decider.

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