The Ashes 2015

 
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Australia has enforced the follow on, and Johnson and Starc have bowled five overs of tripe. The batsmen have been allowed to leave four or five deliveries an over, when any decent opening attack would be forcing the batsmen to play at just about every ball. I hope people like Alan Davidson, Terry Alderman and Glenn McGrath aren't watching; they'd be writhing in agony.

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  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Let's hope the Australians clean up the remainder of the poms before the rain sets in today. It would be awful if they were rained out before the job is done.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

But as they pointed out in commentary, Siddle had been bowling 10kph slower in the tour games, and not taking any wickets.
One has only to compare the records of Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee, who bowled together in a large number of Tests, to see that outright speed isn't everything.
Valvegear
But in Siddle's case, during the practice games he was bowling 10 km/h slower than his own normal pace and not taking wickets. He wasn't in the "outright speed isn't everything" range, he was in the "if he was a horse we'd turn him into glue" range typically only inhabited by NZ bowlers selected on the basis of their batting to make up the numbers.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
A good win to Australia, coupled with a degree of frustration. This match showed that they can play good, hard Test cricket, and it's a pity they didn't do so at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston. Siddle bowled accurately, took six wickets for the match, and he and Marsh showed Johnson, Starc and Hazelwood the virtues of line and length.
Lyon had a good series and bowled well. Rogers was named Australia's Man of the Series, and deserved it.

Alastair Cook can now go and ponder the old aphorism, "When you win the toss; bat. If in doubt, think about it, then bat. If in serious doubt, consult a colleague, then bat."
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
In the end the series was won by England 3-2, so despite our disappointment at the poor performance at Trent Bridge, it was nowhere near as humbling as the 5-0 thrashing handed out to England last year.

Well done Australia.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Well done Australia.
TheBlacksmith
Agreed,

1st Test: Reasonably close (even though the scores didn't necessarily reflect that).
2nd Test: The Aussies flogged the pants off the Poms.
3rd Test: The Poms flogged the pants off the Aussies.
4th Test: The Poms flogged the pants off the Aussies.
5th Test: The Aussies flogged the pants off the Poms.

Not a bad series all up, even though a bit of a see-saw!
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I'll admit it's very unfair to single out just one event, but if only Haddin had held on to the chance from Joe Root before he had scored in Cardiff. It could have ended up 3 - 2 to Australia.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Alastair Cook can now go and ponder the old aphorism, "When you win the toss; bat. If in doubt, think about it, then bat. If in serious doubt, consult a colleague, then bat."
Valvegear

Yep.  His decision to bowl first at Trent Bridge was a shocker ... Smile.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Yep.  His decision to bowl first at Trent Bridge was a shocker
djf01

As a matter of academic interest, the aphorism I quoted is alleged to have come from W G Grace. I chucked it in for fun to see if anyone cared to comment.
Of course there are times when bowling first is the right option. Peter May put Australia in to bat in Adelaide in 1958 and England was thrashed by 10 wickets. Then, just to rub May's nose in it, Richie Benaud sent the Poms in to bat in Melbourne in the very next Test, and Australia won handsomely by 9 wickets.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

A good win to Australia, coupled with a degree of frustration. This match showed that they can play good, hard Test cricket, and it's a pity they didn't do so at Trent Bridge and Edgbaston. Siddle bowled accurately, took six wickets for the match, and he and Marsh showed Johnson, Starc and Hazelwood the virtues of line and length.
Lyon had a good series and bowled well. Rogers was named Australia's Man of the Series, and deserved it.
Valvegear
+1 for this though.  

I want to also give a bit of credit to David Warner too.  I thought he batted beautifully most of the series, baring a couple of brain explosions.  He never really got on top of the bowling, nor got to bat as much as he might have in favourable conditions which might have given him flattering figures.  He didn't cash in and make a big hundred like Smith or Rogers, but for the most part Warner was restrained and above all consistent, and that's not something he regularly gets associated with.  He battled hard for runs when he wasn't on top of the bowling.  Rogers was in his element, so I'm not surprised he did well.  But this is most definitely not Warner's natural game, and I think he deserves a few plaudits for how well he played.  I think it's telling that whenever Warner and Rogers failed together, Australia lost and lost badly.  When they both succeeded, we generally went on to win the game (but not in Trent Bridge obviously).

Geeze, I'm talking like we won the series.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Fair call, djf01 - Warner did a good job. He has managed to curb his natural instinct to belt the hell out of everything for a lot of the time. His major problem is his "half-hook" shot which goes straight up in the air. He's either picking the wrong ball or not getting his feet into position to play the hook. I suspect some that he tries to hook would be better played to the off side.
He and Rogers have been a very good combination with a creditable number of century opening stands.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Fair call, djf01 - Warner did a good job. He has managed to curb his natural instinct to belt the hell out of everything for a lot of the time. His major problem is his "half-hook" shot which goes straight up in the air.  
Valvegear
Thanks.  I think that's more of a technical problem than an attitude one, and it's been brought about by his unnatural - but appropriate - tempered approach.  So I'm prepared to cut him a bit of slack there.

To me, the problem with that shot is the bat angled at 45deg.  I know Warner plays a lot of his shots with an angled bat, but the pull shot used to be his best, and he used to play it with fully horizontal bat.  The David Warner who first emerged in T20 would have banged those into the top deck of the midwicket stand, or just lobbed over the rope for 6 if he mis-timed it.  Can't have everything at the same time though.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Disgraceful umpiring in the second ODI at Lord's tonight, there's no way that deserved to be given out obstructing the field.









It was clearly one that should have been given for handling the ball!

Karma's a b1tch hey Benny, be careful not to damage too many ancient artefacts (i.e. MCC members) with your temper.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Watson has announced his retirement from Test cricket. I suppose that's better than sitting around and not being selected. He has batted everywhere from No 1 to No 6, which indicates that the selectors chose him as a batsman who can bowl a bit. He played 109 innings at 35.19; scored over 50 on 54 occasions, and converted into centuries only 4 times. It would be interesting to know how many times he missed games due to his recurring soft tissue injuries ( he currently has yet another calf strain.)  He took 76 wickets at 33.68 each, and a strike rate of 73.2.
If an all-rounder is defined as a player who could be picked solely as a batsman or as a bowler, Watson will go down in the book as a serial under achiever.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I had a prickly customer from the UK email me making an enquiry about mechanisms last night. After the enquiry he thought it a good idea to put in the comment 'I thought the actions of the Australian team were disgraceful in appealing the decision regarding Stokes, shameful'. He did not know me, nor did he even know if I was even vaguely interested in cricket.

I told him to F**k off, I don't accept orders from rude poms.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
The applicable Law of Cricket states, inter alia," . . . wilfully obstruct the field."  Stokes action, for whatever reason, was a wilful act and he was rightly given out.  He put his hand up to a throw from a fielder that might get him out - end of story. He could just as easily be given "handled the ball".  Maybe the Poms don't believe that we play to win within the Laws; now perhaps they've learnt.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I am on shaky ground here, as I am not that conversant with the rules, but I was of the impression that handling the ball was not a dismissible action, and that was why obstructing the field was asked for. But yes, he was not simply trying to protect himself, or if he thought he was, he was way out of the line of the ball.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
There are two distinct Laws ( N.B. Cricket does not have Rules Laughing). They are Obstructing the Field (Law 37) and Handled the Ball (Law 33).
In both Laws, the batsman must act wilfully; accidental Obstruction or Handling is immediately Not Out.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It would be interesting to know how many times he missed games ...
Valvegear
Shane Watson made his Test debut at the very start of 2005. In a period of ten and a half years:
  • Australia has played 119 Tests.
  • Michael Clarke (no stranger to injury) played 107 Tests.
  • Watson played 59 Tests, one less than half the team total.


If we assume that half of the 60 missed Tests were due to non-selection (any change to the selection panel meant acquiring a new set of compromising photos) that still leaves Watto with the unenviable record of missing one Test due to injury for every two played.

He is also one of only five players to have a 100% losing record at the hands of the Australian captaincy. Even if it was only for one match, that should be an instant disqualifier from contention for CA's hall of fame irrespective of his competency in ODI cricket.

EDIT: he is a bloody safe player to have in the slips, probably the best in the current side, and he should keep playing Test cricket as a specialist 12th man!
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Watson has announced his retirement from Test cricket. I suppose that's better than sitting around and not being selected.
Valvegear
I have often wondered if such a retirement announcement (or making oneself unavailable for selection) is an act of arrogance, in that the player is assuming they would be selected...
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Watson has announced his retirement from Test cricket. I suppose that's better than sitting around and not being selected.
I have often wondered if such a retirement announcement (or making oneself unavailable for selection) is an act of arrogance, in that the player is assuming they would be selected...
Graham4405
I think it was prompted by the injury to David Warner the previous day, Watson's good record in the subcontinent would have made him a contender for the Test series against Bangladesh.

Selecting the top six for that series in Bangladesh will be interesting, remember that the selectors need to replace Clarke and Rogers. The performance of Voges in England was certainly drop-worthy, but he might stay in just because they would otherwise be running out of options.

My side for the next series would be:
  1. Ryan Carters (temporary replacement for Warner)
  2. Cameron Bancroft
  3. Michael Klinger
  4. Steve Smith (c)
  5. Callum Ferguson
  6. Mitchell Marsh
  7. Peter Nevill (wk)
  8. Mitchell Johnson
  9. Nathan Lyon (vc)
  10. Mitchell Starc or Ashton Agar
  11. Peter Siddle


I would like to see Chadd Sayers make his debut for Australia against the sheep shaggers or the Windies this summer if his recovery from last season's overtraining injury has gone well.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Watson has announced his retirement from Test cricket. I suppose that's better than sitting around and not being selected.
I have often wondered if such a retirement announcement (or making oneself unavailable for selection) is an act of arrogance, in that the player is assuming they would be selected...
I think it was prompted by the injury to David Warner the previous day, Watson's good record in the subcontinent would have made him a contender for the Test series against Bangladesh.
justapassenger
I wasn't specifically referring to Shane Watson's announcement, but such announcements in general. My comment was of course prompted by Shane Watson's announcement... Smile
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Well, in the end it was a satisfactory result, the Ashes to England 3-2, and the ODI to Australia 3-2. Our bowlers did a very creditable job yesterday in the decider, it is a pity it took them this long to tighten up their game.

I was particularly impressed with Rashid during the England innings, I loved his wristy action and I think he deserves to stay in the England team, he was a joy to watch.

Not so the arrogant Willey, in a very poor display of teamwork, or lack of it, he instantly appealed being given LBW, and blew the team's only appeal. He did not bother to consult Stokes at the other end and left the well-performing Stokes out in the middle without the benefit on a potentially life-saving appeal.

for the Australians, Hastings and Marsh were very good, and credit to Finch and Bailey for solid anchoring.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Well, in the end it was a satisfactory result, the Ashes to England 3-2, and the ODI to Australia 3-2.
TheBlacksmith
Pretty sloppy cricket all round though, the ten proper matches were utterly forgettable with not even one genuinely contested as the teams took turns flogging each other.

To anyone who only looks on the surface, the Twenty20 was the best match of the tour. To anyone who knows how the business works, it was no surprise as these one-off exhibition matches usually produce the promoter's desired outcome of a made-for-TV last over “thriller” going to the home side.

I thought the World Cup was pretty poor this year, but it looked just a little better every time I turned on the TV this winter.

Our bowlers did a very creditable job yesterday in the decider, it is a pity it took them this long to tighten up their game.
TheBlacksmith
I hope that Eoin Morgan's mum had her Tivo set to record the match, there was a valuable batsmanship lesson for him which he won't be able to remember on his own thanks to a concussion being the result of his abysmal failure to watch the ball and evade it.

I was particularly impressed with Rashid during the England innings, I loved his wristy action and I think he deserves to stay in the England team, he was a joy to watch.
TheBlacksmith
I really rate Rashid, he was a big part of the Redbacks winning the last national T20 title before it became the BBL - not just as an excellent player but also as a favourite with the fans at Adelaide Oval.

James Taylor was fairly impressive over the series, it's astonishing that he wasn't brought into the side a long time ago as he seems to be one of the very few England batsmen ever to understand how a ODI works.

He did not bother to consult Stokes at the other end and left the well-performing Stokes out in the middle without the benefit on a potentially life-saving appeal.
TheBlacksmith
No tears for Stokes from me Very Happy
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic

My side for the next series would be:
  1. Ryan Carters (temporary replacement for Warner)
  2. Cameron Bancroft
  3. Michael Klinger
  4. Steve Smith (c)
  5. Callum Ferguson
  6. Mitchell Marsh
  7. Peter Nevill (wk)
  8. Mitchell Johnson
  9. Nathan Lyon (vc)
  10. Mitchell Starc or Ashton Agar
  11. Peter Siddle
"justapassenger"

Michael Klinger to make his debut at no 3 at the age of 35? I don't think so. Smith should bat at 3; that is traditionally where the best batsman goes in, and Smith is the best. I'd also question Ferguson - he is on the wrong side of 30. I'd like to see Aaron Finch in the side at about no 5.

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