Saturday, 20 November 2010

Ashes Final Thoughts

The winning moment at the Oval in 2009. What scenes and what a series.

England go into the Ashes down under with excellent preparation. Two significant wins against Western Australia and Australia "A" and a draw which was largely influenced by bad weather against South Australia. The signs are looking positive for Andrew Strauss's men as they search for their first Ashes win down under since 1987.

On 23rd August 2009 when Graeme Swann got one to bounce and pop up from the rough to gift a catch to Alastair Cook at short leg, the nation of Britain erupted once more just like it did on the 12th of September 2005 when Bowden and Koertzen dislodged the bails to symbolise a draw at the Oval and subsequently the fact that England had won the Ashes. Since that memorable day at the Oval in 2009, things in cricket have gradually changed for both sides.

Since the 2009 series

Australia played 12/won 8/lost 3/drew 1
England played 12/won 8/lost 2/drew 2

Prediction beforehand: 3-1 Australia
Revised Prediction: 2-2 and therefore England retain the Ashes

Why Revised?

1)Australia's record in their last 8 encounters across all formats: L/L/L/L/L/L/L/W
2)Last time England's preparation in their Australian tour was poor, not winning a single tour match prior to the first Test at Brisbane and that infamous wide ball from Steve Harmison to commence the disastrous series from an English perspective. This time it is considerably better.

Key Players

England

Graeme Swann. The off spinner has been phenomenal in the last year or so and is highly regarded as the best spinner in the world currently. His tendency to pick up a wicket in his first over is an amazing habit as is his ability to produce unplayable deliveries, become a nagging customer and be a true demon against left handers which Australia possess in their middle order. It is reasonable to say on balance that he is bound to do well and will need to perform like he has been doing in order for England to have a successful campaign.

Australia

No one really stands out for me. However, in the batting department Mr Cricket aka Mike Hussey has got the ability to turn around matches with his craftiness and experience. As a bowling attack, it's important they bowl as a unit and support each other. They lack experience and genuine quality in the spinning department which is an area England could capitalise on.

7 comments:

Stani Army said...

Maz,
II reckon Australia will regain them. They've been poor in the run up but they will be a different animal when it comes to the real stuff.

England may be enjoying themselves now but when it really starts I think they will crack under the pressure.

2-1 to Australia for me

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

TJ
You said exactly the same stuff over at your place in the 2009 series and it turned out that you badly overestimated Australia! Surely as a "second" team you want them to do well at least or do you want them to suffer as a result of the pain their media has given us this summer?

Your prediction seems like a realistic one and your right in the sense that Australia have this tendency of making it count when it matters most. For example I remember leading in the 2007 WC they had lost the tri series to England and were whitewashed by NZ 3-0 in the Chappel-Hadleigh series, but as it turned out a month later were absolutely dominant and ruthless when it came to the real business and went on to win their 3rd consecutive WC in comprehensive fashion. Looking forward to a good contest in this series nonetheless.

I said this on CF and I emphasise the point here again. What stands out about this series is that these two teams actually pride themselves in their Test Cricket and regularly play it. Their spectators want to see more Test Cricket being played as opposed to us desis and specifically Pakistanis who want to be more involved in ODIs and T20s as Tests are usually a depressing formality for us more often than not, especially in the recent past

Wasim said...

Australia is a different animal at home and that is the only positive they have in their favor.In order to repeat what they did in past they need the same talent which I am sorry to say they don't have now. Just fighting spirit or winning attitude won't bail them out all the time, this time England has a very strong team they out weigh Australia in every department.

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

One thing that England do not have in their favour is the ball known as the Kokaburra which Australian seamers use more effectively and England have struggled with, especially last time they were there. Therefore, adaptability becomes an issue. Perhaps England's spinner is being too heavily relied upon. Having said the preparation has been sound and the team is very relaxed.

But last time Eng were in Aus Jimmy's figures were as follows:
JM Anderson (Eng)

3 Matches: Just 5 Wickets at 83 with an economy of above 4

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

The other 3 bowlers have never played in Australia before for an Ashes series

Finn has never even played against Australia. Only time shall tell as to whether this is an advantage or disadvantge.

Less then 9 hours to go for the start..................

Pretty sure the side that wins the toss will bat

Hoping England bat first

Wasim said...

Maaz

Everybody learns and grow do you think that Anderson wouldn't have learned anything from the previous tour and will show the same performance once again, I think English pace attack has variety and it will do well.

This Aussie batting line up is not the same as when Anderson visited them last time it's much weaker.

I agree with your point regarding adaptability and the Kokabura ball.

Anderson looks a different bowler when the conditions do not offer any assistance but I think still on a pound to pound analysis ENglish bowling line up is better.

Just two hours are remaining before the match starts we will know soon.

Hope we get to watch an exciting series.

Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...

Anderson does look an improved bowler now then he was 4 years ago.

Finding alternative ways of being effective and making an impact even if it not swinging.

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