The Ashes series is now interestingly poised at 1-1 with 2 matches to go in due course at the MCG and SCG respectively following England's 269 run defeat at the W.A.C.A. It was a formidable turnaround from Australia who looked dead and buried with endless woes prior to the 3rd Test. However, they miraculously managed to transform their fortunes with some inspirational individual performances from Hussey, Johnson and Harris particularly. Australia now have the momentum with this moral boosting victory in which they demonstrated a great deal of skill and character to take England and worldwide viewers by surprise, having written them off previously.
One the stand out performers I would like to highlight is MJ who really began to click with his confidence, direction and responsibilities. He utilised the experience he had of bowling on his home ground and masterfully got the ball to talk appreciably both off the pitch and in the air too. It was a special exhibition of quality left arm fast bowling we witnessed. MJ notched up 9 scalps in the match and also contributed with a first innings half century in order to help Australia restore some respectability after being 69/5 at one stage on day 1. Overall, it was a drastic transformation from the Western Australian from being a lost soul to a threatening match winner.
From an English point of view the outcome was bitterly disappointing, but now it is important they quickly re-access, stay in a positive frame of mind and get themselves mentally and physically prepared for the traditional boxing day Test which is set to be a special occasion for all concerned.
Swann was below par at Perth and failed to make a constructive contribution, however the wickets at the SCG and MCG are highly suited for spinners. Therefore, this is an opportunity for him to stamp his authority and turn the tables. He is a world class performer England will be banking on in these moments of desperation.
Andy Flower raised doubts about Finn's inclusion in the following matches due to the heavy burden of bowling he has completed on this tour with mixed results. He has taken wickets which I credit him for, especially for someone of his age, but has been expensive. Personally, I feel this would be a perfectly reasonable and sensible move to side line him. One of the Yorkshire seamers could surprise the Aussies with their freshness and style. Hence, the decision could pay dividends and possibly be a refreshing one with all due respect to Finn and his fine contribution on this mentally challenging tour. He has coped and responded well, but England need to do what is best for them in order to successfully retain the precious little historical urn.
Bell/Collingwood Switch Over
It is inevitable that England's playing eleven won't change on the batting front of proceedings, however a slight alteration in the middle order could maximise their individual impact. Bell usually has to give his wicket away when batting with the tail and looking to accelerate which is a pity as he is a stylish attractive stroke maker and someone who is capable of making meaningful bigger scores if, as and when provided with the best possible opportunity. Colly has been out of sorts in this series and potentially a change in position and mindset could change this. Surely this is a logical and necessary move the England management need to enforce as a matter of urgency?
Tremlett's Come Back
It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Poms. The tall pole impressed with an 8 wicket match haul in his international return. Bowled with purpose, intent and extracted good seam movement and bounce to trouble the Aussies and give England hope. His goal should be focussed on maintaining consistency and staying fit because he is a handful on his day and one which has plenty of potential. The ECB selectors deserve praise here for picking him which was a brave and bold move, but it has paid off, richly. They clearly assessed the tactical requirements needed to flourish and picked accordingly, the surprise package.
The left hander has been in prolific form in this 2010/11 series with scores of. He looks an organised player who really understands and senses game situations. He frequently delivers when it matters with his solid composure and authoritative game plan. In this ongoing series he has been in exceptional touch. From an Australian perspective, long may this continue for the 35 year old professional. He has all the assets and qualities to be remembered as one of the finest of this generation.
Merry Christmas to all. All international cricketing action will resume on Boxing Day including SA vs. India and the start of Pakistan vs. New Zealand in the first T20 at Auckland. Let me also take this chance to congratulate Sachin Tendulkar aka the little master for reaching his 50th Test Hundred at Centurion, funnily enough! What a player he has been and what a sparkling career he has had as a legendary sportsmen. Nonetheless, it was a grand failure for India who lost comprehensively by an innings and 25 runs. I told you previously, they were going to struggle on this tour and so far that has exactly been the case. It would be unreasonable to pass any judgement about them being overrated and overhyped as of yet, but by the end of the tour we should get a more insightful indication of where they actually stand in tougher conditions. Lets at least give them a chance to respond to their critics in all fairness.
8 years ago