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CXB77L
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:25 am

Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 95):
Sorry, every time I watch the circket these days, I can't get the question of "is this fixed?" out of my mind.....


I hope that this thought isn't only occurring because the Aussies are losing, and that there is something more substantial.

I think we are just getting beaten by a better side. England have played terrific cricket, and today the toss was somewhat in their favour. The Aussies didn't play well at all.

Having said that, it's just the first innings, there is still time to turn the game around.
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:45 am

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 98):
as soon as Cook and Straus came out to bat, the sun came out and the pitch became a batting pitch.

CHP-R, I think it was much more a case of the English players 'playing to the conditions' and the Australians not only failing to do so, but revealing themselves as not knowing HOW to do so. To prove that, it only needs saying that no less than six of the Aussie batsmen were caught behind by the wicket-keeper.....

Two quotes from this 'The Australian' story seem to point that the whole problem having started way back in 1877  :-

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...t-mcg/story-e6frg7rx-1225976425463

"Australia's total of 98 was its lowest-ever score in a Melbourne Test against England, six runs worse than the previous mark of 104 which has stood since 1877.

--------

This is the first time in 103 Tests at the MCG, going back to the very first in 1877, that Australia has failed to name a front-line spinner."


This video shows pretty clearly how well England bowled - but also how inept the Australian batting performance was:-

http://www.foxsports.com.au/Cricket/...ubcat=1111112037957&site=FoxSports

Quoting aussie18 (Reply 99):
Strong rumours flying around that Ponting will be sacked as captain after this match or SCG test

Has to be a strong possibility. Word is, though, that Clarke is not popular with most of the team and that Haddin, the keeper, may be named as caretaker skipper.
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scbriml
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:52 am

Well, this fascinating series continues to defy logic. After their humiliation in Perth, great to see England come back. Very surprised at Australia's performance after their dominant win in the last Test. England will be looking to build a big lead tomorrow (but that was the plan in the last Test after Australia batted first). But, the 5-0 2006/7 series apart, recent Ashes series have featured big swings in dominance from one Test to the next.

It seems everything went England's way today - the Mitchell Johnson from the first Test came back rather than the one from the last Test. Nothing with the bat, then conceding 42 runs from just 7 overs.

Quoting aussie18 (Reply 99):
Strong rumours flying around that Ponting will be sacked as captain after this match or SCG test if Australia lose the ashes,Seems his poor batting form and poor captaincy is taking its toll now

There's no doubt he's in the worst form of his career. However, he's not being helped by the fact that the Aussie openers can't buy a decent opening partnership. Every time he comes to the crease Australia are already under pressure. He's been one of the best Test batsmen of all time and I almost feel sorry for him now. If Australia lose this Test, I think his position as captain becomes untenable.
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CPH-R
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:02 am

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 101):
CHP-R, I think it was much more a case of the English players 'playing to the conditions' and the Australians not only failing to do so, but revealing themselves as not knowing HOW to do so.

I was merely referring to what ABC's Grandstand commentators had said, as I've yet to actually see any part of it. I'll probably be catching the highlights on Willow after the Durban test is finished for the day.

Where, incidently, the Indians are off to a shaky start as well on a greentop. 48/2 after 13 overs.
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:38 pm

such a shame all those passionate australian supporters soon leave the ground as soon as it becomes apparent England are destroying and humiliating the homey boys. The ground will be empty for the second days play, only loyal England fans will be evident. The Australians, what a joke, humiliated team, shallow supporters, if we are not winning we dont want to know. Come on England, pride and joy.
 
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 7:42 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 102):
He's been one of the best Test batsmen of all time and I almost feel sorry for him now.

Key word: almost

I remember far too may humiliations at the hands of the Aussies to feel any shred of sympathy at this time - I'm with Alec Stewart on this one, keep the foot on the throat, something we miserably failed to do in Perth.....but this is a much more "English" track......

I'm finally starting to believe that we can not just retain the Ashes, but actually win this series...........
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:04 pm

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 105):
Key word: almost

Exactly!   
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CPH-R
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:18 am

With England at 444/5, I guess it'll take a miracle of outlandish proportions for Australia to pull off a win or draw.

I guess the focus of Australia will now turn towards ensuring that they at least draw the series, but unless they can somehow transplant the WACA conditions to the SCG, I just can't see how the hell they're going to do that.

ETA: And with Ricky Ponting involved in a dispute with the umpires, I wonder if CA will take the opportunity afforded by a potential match ban to hand him the pink slip?

[Edited 2010-12-26 23:21:34]
 
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:25 am

Quoting CPH-R (Reply 107):
And with Ricky Ponting involved in a dispute with the umpires, I wonder if CA will take the opportunity afforded by a potential match ban to hand him the pink slip?

I've yet to see the highlights, but from everything I've read, Ponting's behaviour sounds disgraceful. I take back what I said about almost feeling sorry for him!
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f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:00 am

Sad sad day for Australian cricket, totally outplayed and humiliated. Black armbands all round for the aussies.
 
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:12 pm

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 104):
such a shame all those passionate australian supporters soon leave the ground as soon as it becomes apparent England are destroying and humiliating the homey boys. The ground will be empty for the second days play, only loyal England fans will be evident.

f4phantom, just in fairness to Aussie cricket fans, I'd better say that I think you may have been watching the game when it was late in the day here in Australia. The MCG, being surrounded by parks, has very little car parking and most people come by suburban train to a single station - called Richmond - which is a 10-minute walk away. If you wait until 'close of play' to leave, you'll find yourself needing the best part of a solid hour to get into the station and on to a train.

Another point maybe worth making is that about 25% of the upper-level (fourth-level) space at the MCG is occupied by 'Member's seats' which are rarely full, and by an area leased to 'corporates' which is also pretty thinly-populated most of the time. Maybe the camera on the programme lingered on those thinly-populated areas?

For the record, I can and perhaps should record that over 85,000 people attended on the first day. As to the second day, I was there myself, and can confirm that all levels other than the 'private' areas were bungful until 40 minutes before close of play (which is when I left myself). Even though it was a VERY cold and windy day by Australian standards, only about 16C most of the time.

In terms of sportsmanship, I can also record that when Trott achieved his century, he didn't just get huge applause from ALL the public areas, a very high proportion of the crowd - not just the Barmy Army - applauded him not just by clapping, but by standing up and giving him a 'standing ovation.' There was a lot of cheering too.......

It's a great pity that the TV cameramen - not just in Australia, but everywhere - don't turn the cameras on to the crowd much on occasions like that. Personally I found it a moving moment. Of COURSE a lot of Aussie fans are heartbroken at the mess their players are making of this series; but they ALSO know enough about the game to realise that Trott's ton (already, now, a 'big ton') was the true 'turning-point.'

And they duly and graciously acknowledged it.

[Edited 2010-12-27 04:15:13]
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fruitbat
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:06 pm

So back to the game - how long would Englnd like to bat for?

If after another 2 sessions England can clock up a further 150 - 170 runs then I'd declare 20 mins before tea tomorrow - then let rip. Hopefully the pitch will have worn enought to bring Swann into the game and it'll all be over by teatime on day 4.......??

But if Trott and Prior go early tomorrow I would worry about the ability of England to force the win.......

Does anyone else see it differently?
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 1:48 pm

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 111):
So back to the game - how long would Englnd like to bat for?

fruitbat, I feel that, for once in test match cricket, England doesn't have any difficult decisions to make.   Barring some sort of miracle, or a 'truly heroic' effort by one or more Australian players, all they appear to need to do is 'let the game take its course.'

They still have three full days to go, and no less than 15 wickets in hand. And, importantly, the current weather forecast is for warmer conditions and no more rain for the next three days. Australia have only ten wickets in hand, and a lot of tired and dispirited players.

So I'd reckon that England will go on 'batting normally' tomorrow, and leave it to the Australians to bag the last five first-innings wickets as and when they can. On present indications, that could well extend their current lead (346) to 500 or more, while giving the lower order lots of priceless 'match practice' against what is still a 'more-than-useful' test-bowling attack. That will probably leave them 'all out' around tea-time tomorrow with a lead of around 500, and leave the Aussie eleven (including the top batting order) bone-tired from fielding, and facing the task of batting for over two days - seven full sessions - and accumulating at least 450 runs, probably more, on a wearing pitch even to make it necessary for England to bat again.

Strauss must be feeling that he's had TWO Christmases this year - one family one, and the other in the professional field. Entirely-deserved, in my opinion - he's a good captain who has 'earned his luck' by leading from the front.

As for Australia, they need a miracle.

Or three days of continuous rain - which, 'trust me,' is not going to happen.....

[Edited 2010-12-27 06:19:13]
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scbriml
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:21 pm

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 111):
So back to the game - how long would Englnd like to bat for?

Just keep batting. Don't worry about time or weather. Just keep batting. If England are still batting at tea-time tomorrow, then start to think about a declaration.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 112):
England doesn't have any difficult decisions to make.

For once!   
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f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:21 pm

fair and noted comments NAV20, a little bantering never goes amis. Must stress though that the Aussies left the ground in masses from around 3pm , the big empty spaces were noticable. Sad to see Ponting exiting on such a low after being an excellent captain for many years, wonder who would be in line to replace him.
 
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:02 pm

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 114):
Sad to see Ponting exiting on such a low after being an excellent captain for many years

IMHO, he's never really exhibited "excellent captaincy". As captain of a team that featured the likes of Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, McGrath and Warne, what did he ever have to do other than toss the ball to GM or SW and ask them to take wickets? There's absolutely no doubt that he has been one of the top Test batsmen of all time, but I think he's a long way down the list when it comes to being a great captain.

His all-too-frequent on-pitch rants and tantrums have really let him down. It's all well and good apologising after the event, but these episodes have badly stained his and Australian cricket's good name. The biggest irony is his self-professed one-man campaign for honour in the sport - expecting a batsman to walk because he's "pretty sure" he caught the ball, only seems to apply when it suites. His shameful haranguing of the umpires today was effectively unpunished IMHO.
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:52 pm

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 114):
Sad to see Ponting exiting on such a low after being an excellent captain for many years, wonder who would be in line to replace him

As scbriml pointed out, Pontings captaincy, at least for the first couple of years, was immensively eased by the fact that he had the worlds best fast bowler, the worlds best spinner, the worlds best wicketkeeper, and some of the worlds finest batsmen.

And now Australia are going through what the West Indies went through in the mid-to-late 90's/early 00's, where after dominating the cricketing world for the better part of two decades, and where the team would pretty much select itself, Australia is now waking up to the unpleasant fact that the replacements just doesn't have the same caliber.

Mind you, they still have some quality players, but without support from the rest of the team there's not much they can do.

And what on earth does Nathan Hauritz have to do to get himself selected again?
 
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:14 am

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 114):
Must stress though that the Aussies left the ground in masses from around 3pm , the big empty spaces were noticable.

Problem solved, f4phantom.   The MCG has seven separate entrances located all round the ground, all equipped with lifts and escalators, so anyone who wants to have a break and stretch their legs in the surrounding parkland can get outside in under five minutes. That's where a lot of foodstands and entertainments are located too. Tea is taken at 3.10pm. Melbourne time - so what you saw was people heading for the exits on a temporary, NOT a permanent, basis!

Australia won the first session today, bowling England out for 513 (Peter Siddle 6/75, Jonathan Trott 168 not out, England lead on first innings 'only' 415). Signs are, though, that the pitch is 'dying down,' the ball was swinging, seaming, and keeping low this morning. No spin used by Oz this morning, but there should be plenty in the pitch for Swann too.
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aussie18
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:14 am

4-108-England should wrap this up today and have 2 extra days to party after retaing the ashes.
 
fruitbat
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:35 am

Australia 169-6 at close of play; Bresnan did most of the damage.

A good report here - the part about England's bowling attack is interesting but I think it's fitting facts to circumstances somewhat.....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010...8/the-ashes-2010-australia-england

If Harris is unable to bat, there are just three wickets to go before England retain the Ashes........I just hope they stay focused and make sure that the series win is secured at the SCG.......
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f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:49 am

Not long now, the misery will soon be over for the Aussies. The Barmy Army in full voice and showing the Aussies how its done.'''''
 
Qantasistheway
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:21 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 115):
IMHO, he's never really exhibited "excellent captaincy". As captain of a team that featured the likes of Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, McGrath and Warne, what did he ever have to do other than toss the ball to GM or SW and ask them to take wickets? There's absolutely no doubt that he has been one of the top Test batsmen of all time, but I think he's a long way down the list when it comes to being a great captain

I think that is a bit unfair. He is first and foremost a great player, leading by example for many years, and he has long been an Aussie hero. Just having all of those great players doesn't mean you don't need somebody to manage them well - and that is what he did! His antics on the pitch were unacceptable, he and everybody else knows that, but looking back at his amazing career it is a bit sad to see it ending like this. Disappointing it couldn't have been like Steve Waugh's end. I still remember seeing him score his 10,000 run with a century, off a 4 from the last ball of the day at the SCG. Really amazing. But Ricky's 12,000+ runs are also a lot more than many other recent England captains (Vaughan and Strauss).

Does it not bother people how South African this team is? I've always struggled with it.

As for the ashes, we lost it the moment Hussey got out in the first innings.
 
David_itl
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:19 pm

Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 121):
Does it not bother people how South African this team is? I've always struggled with it.

Does it bother you that you've had the likes of the "Australian" Kepler Wessels? Or the next batting hope Usman Khawaja being born in Pakistan?
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:12 pm

I shall raise a glass to celebrate the sad demise of Australian cricket. black armbands and a national day of mourning to be announced after the Sydney test.

Ricky rat face Pontin to be charged with crimes against australian cricket.

It has indeed been a glorious xmas for the English sporting nation.
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:15 pm

What do you call call an Australian cricketer with 100 by his name ?








A BOWLER
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:26 pm

what is the Aussie version of a cricket hat trick?

3 runs in three balls

what did the spectator miss when he went to the loo on the first day of the boxing day test/
The Australian first innings
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:31 pm

what do Brad Haddin and michael Jackson have in commom?



they both appear to wear gloves for no apparent reason
 
fruitbat
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:33 pm

Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 121):
Does it not bother people how South African this team is? I've always struggled with it.

Please, not this old chestnut.....the whole England team are qualified either by birth or by having one (or more) English parents - for example both Trott and Pieterson have English mothers. They are not qualified through "residency" (although they have definitely played / been resident in England to qualify by this route as well!). We're not talking about multiple Grahame Hick situations here.....

It's normal practice these days for international teams to look for quality players who qualify through their parents / grandparents - for practiced exponents see the All Blacks, the Scottish RU team and the original and best - the Irish football team managed by Jackie Charlton between the mid-80's and mid 90's!!

It wasn't mentioned before the series and, to be honest, it does sound like sour grapes when it is raised just as the fat lady warms up.......
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f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:08 pm

It isnt over until the rat sings, so come on ricky boy lets hear you sing


what does Ricky Ponting have in common with an Airbus A380 engine, they both implode catastrophically and like to have a good whine.
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:19 pm

the British Antarctic survey is concerned that the hole in the ozone layer over Australia has got bigger, reason being all the hot air and rubbish coming out of Ricky Pontings mouth.

the new australian flag is to be revealled, yellow and green is to be replaced with a pure white canvas, the colour of total surrender.
 
fruitbat
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:24 pm

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 128):
what does Ricky Ponting have in common with an Airbus A380 engine, they both implode catastrophically and like to have a good whine.

Ouch, that hurt - remember who made the one that went pop??  
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:13 pm

the Aussie fans have deserted the team, it will be like spot the aussie in the crowd today. Supposed to be cricket not hide and seek. Come on the barmy army

Aussie cricket could take a decade to recover from the humiliation
 
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scbriml
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:16 pm

Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 121):
He is first and foremost a great player



No dispute on that from me, and I said as much.

Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 121):
Just having all of those great players doesn't mean you don't need somebody to manage them well - and that is what he did!



From the outside, it looked like captaincy by committee - Ponting always consulting Gilchrist and Warne. Seriously, Boycott's mother could have captained that side to success. The questions about Ponting's captaincy arise when the team is under pressure and needs its captain to lead. Often in those circumstances Ponting's decision making has been seen to be very poor. His well-publicised strops under pressure only contribute to the conclusion that his captaincy skills are not that great.
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:02 am

England retain the Ashes!   

England win by an innings and 157 runs!  Wow!
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aussie18
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:18 am

Congrats to England on retaining the Ashes...This is what Australian cricket really needs,Another loss on home soil which hopefully will spell some changes in the Australian side in 2011.

I would like to see Australia try another couple of younger players like Usman Khawja and Callum Ferguson for the SCG test to see how they go at this level as we cant keep picking out of form players test after test hoping they will perform.

If Australia can bounce back at the SCG and finish it 2-2 than thats a good result but losing 3-1 would be absolutely disgraceful.

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 131):
the Aussie fans have deserted the team, it will be like spot the aussie in the crowd today. Supposed to be cricket not hide and seek. Come on the barmy army

Aussie cricket could take a decade to recover from the humiliation

It only lasted around 90mins....waste of money to go watch it for that long unless your a pom who had something to celebrate after it.
 
f4phantom
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:19 pm

It took the England team less than one day to get rid of the Australian players, and by the fourth day they had got rid of the Australian supporters as well. Supporters, i use the word lightly, Australian fans if we are not winning we are not interested mentallity. The Barmy army were there to watch the demise and carrion of Aussie cricket.
 
NAV20
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:52 pm

Quoting f4phantom (Reply 135):
and by the fourth day they had got rid of the Australian supporters as well

f4phantom, begin to feel that you have an axe to grind. Please see Post 117 above.

No official figures yet, but estimates say that attendance at the MCG averaged 70,000 per day - a total of 210,000 over the first three days. And the cheapest seats are $A45 plus tax - getting up towards 30 quid, the way the pound's losing value.........

How many people attend test matches in the UK? Anything like 70,000 a day.......?  
Quoting aussie18 (Reply 134):
It only lasted around 90mins....waste of money to go watch it for that long

aussie18's exactly right - no point at all in paying out good money to watch a few minutes of cricket (which it well could have been) when you can see it live on TV anyway. Australia was 'gone beyond recall' before play even started on Day Four. That's not the fans' fault......

Australians will continue to support their national team - just as English supporters did when Oz was walking all over them - or, rather, treading them into the turf - for a couple of decades.

Just wish we could get more balance and friendship and 'common interest,' and less 'blind nationalism,' into discussions of this sort.

[Edited 2010-12-29 05:18:17]
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BNE
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:07 pm

The English are going to be happy.

I didn't even bother watching the last days coverage.

Will be interesting what Australia decide to do for the last test in Sydney, will Ricky Ponting stay as captain or get the chop along with a few other team mates.
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fruitbat
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:16 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 136):
Just wish we could get more balance and friendship, and less 'blind nationalism,' into discussions of this sort.

And I think, on the whole, we have.  

It's been a great series for England, they have been by far the better team (I'm putting Perth down as a temporary brainstorm!). I just hope they stay focused and win the series as well as retain the Ashes - I think it would take off the gloss a brilliant performance if the series finished 2-2.

I'm also fascinated to see what the ACB will do now with Ponting - one last hurrah at the SCG as a way of saying thank-you or is it going to be "out with the old, in with the new" (appropriate at New Year!) ?
Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals ... except the weasel.
 
qantasforever2
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:34 pm

*Gets up, stretches, looks around, and smiles...*

Quoting BNE (Reply 137):
The English are going to be happy.

First time for everything, I guess.

Seriously though, congratulations to England.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 136):
Just wish we could get more balance and friendship and 'common interest,' and less 'blind nationalism,' into discussions of this sort.

Without naming names, ask yourself which team and its supporters focus their energy on ridiculing and denigrating the other side's country, it's history, people, and culture?

Oh, it's good to be back,

QFF
 
Quokka
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:17 pm

I deliberately stayed out of the discussion because I always rant at the TV about commentators who predict one thing only to go on to either ignore their original predictions or invent a plausible excuse for why everyone else was wrong.  

It seems a long time since Ricky Ponting was awarded the Man of the Match at Bellerive after Australia defeated Pakistan by 231 runs. But it was less than a year ago. How times change in the popularity stakes. Those who were so effusive in their praise in January are now equally strident in calling for Ponting's dismissal now.

While the choice will be up to the selectors, my own feeling is that if Ponting has the continued support of the team he should be retained. I am not sure whether the philosophy of "as long as you win you can stay, but as soon as you lose a series you are out" works. If, on the other hand, Ponting does not enjoy the support of cricketers at International level he should go. I wonder how close he is to losing that support as he has been reported as saying he can only work with the players he is provided with - a dig at the selectors that they may choose not to forgive.

Ponting does occasionally seem to display doubt in his own decisions and his petulance towards umpires does little to inspire confidence. But maybe that is part of the game plan determined by the people in charge. Sure, he got fined, but isn't challenging umpires now regarded as obligatory by those who run the show?

The Aussies good have played better, that is undeniable. Perhaps this will be a wake up call to remind the players that confidence and bravado are not enough. Recognising the opponents as serious challengers, even if previous form does not suggest it, may produce a steely approach. In the past ( I hate to say it) sledging of players and umpires may have achieved results. In the long run better skills are more enduring.

Enjoy the moment f4phantom. If (OK, it may be a big if) Australia learns from the present debacle it may be a long time before you can gloat again.  
 
NAV20
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:57 pm

Quoting fruitbat (Reply 138):
I'm also fascinated to see what the ACB will do now with Ponting - one last hurrah at the SCG as a way of saying thank-you or is it going to be "out with the old, in with the new."

Good question, fruitbat. Don't know the answer, though.

Reminds me of a Richie Benaud quote I once saved and would always have remembered anyway:-

"When the Australian cricket authorities want to make changes they usually use a stiletto - the English ones tend to reach for a scythe......."

I think that Punter will definitely be 'encouraged to retire.' But I'm not at all confident that the 'backroom boys' - the fellows sitting 'in committee' who have approved lots of comfortable 'hometown' selection decisions, thus making sure that a worryingly-high proportion of current Aussie test cricketers, when push comes to shove, "Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field......" - will also lose their jobs........

'Cuts both ways' for me. I once lost a back molar unsuccessfully ducking a bouncer from an English quick, and survived to acquire two busted (and now arthritic) fingers from an Australian one. But I had my own successes too, in my way. It's a tough game. But the abiding principle always used to be, 'pick your best team.'

I think personally that the truth of the present situation is that the Aussie selectors have compromised on selection decisions on the basis of 'State interests.' How else could it have happened that Victoria and 'Australia A' both gave England tougher games in their 'warm-up period' than the formal Aussie test team has been able to do, apart from Perth?

Interesting interview here - halfway down - with Jonathan Agnew. 'Regret to announce' that he let me down and screwed my 'parenting authority' for a while once - by allowing Australia no less than 18 runs off one over in a one-dayer at the MCG, losing a match that England should have won and resulting in two of my three kids (who were there) thinking (for years, literally up to the present time, or maybe a few hours ago) that England 'sort of' couldn't play proper cricket.
 

But he sure got it right in this interview. Pointing out that England has so far 'got it right' not by batting or bowling 'stardom,' but by 'winning' at the level of basics.

And ALSO saying that the series isn't over yet. Even though the 'Ashes issue' is over and done with, the series remains 'undecided.' Australia can salvage a lot of pride by winning in Sydney and drawing the thing 2-2; England need at least a draw in the last match really to feel that they've 'won':-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/9325357.stm

[Edited 2010-12-29 06:59:40]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
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scbriml
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:38 pm

Quoting aussie18 (Reply 134):
losing 3-1 would be absolutely disgraceful.

Not really sure why you think it would be 'disgraceful'. In all honesty, based on the first 4 Tests, a 3-1 series win for England would probably be a fair reflection of the teams' relative performances.

England - 2,220 runs in 6 innings for 46 wickets (avg score 370 for 7.66)
Australia - 2,070 runs in 8 innings for 71 wickets (avg score 259 for 8.88)

Even with England's poor game in Perth, they've scored more runs (in 2 fewer innings) and taken 25 wickets more than Australia.
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Qantasistheway
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:51 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 142):
Not really sure why you think it would be 'disgraceful'. In all honesty, based on the first 4 Tests, a 3-1 series win for England would probably be a fair reflection of the teams' relative performances.

England - 2,220 runs in 6 innings for 46 wickets (avg score 370 for 7.66)
Australia - 2,070 runs in 8 innings for 71 wickets (avg score 259 for 8.88)

Even with England's poor game in Perth, they've scored more runs (in 2 fewer innings) and taken 25 wickets more than Australia.

Obviously loosing 3-1 wouldn't be an unfair result, however it would still be disgraceful for Australians. I mean we haven't lost the Ashes at home in 24 years - that's why it's disgraceful for the Aussie public. Loosing to England after having such a rich history against England in many sports, especially cricket is something that we have rarely had to do, let alone on our home turf. It's like what happened to England in the World Cup. 4-1 was a fairly just score (excluding the wrong decision) when looking at the way Germany dominated 80% of that game, but it was still a disgrace, and it's not something that any fan wants to go through.
 
NAV20
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:41 am

Breaking news - Ponting is out of the fifth test due to complications with his fractured finger.

http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/...he-sydney-test-20101230-19ath.html

To my mind it seems pretty likely that, as soon as the surgeon has finished with him, the selectors will creep up behind him with that stiletto that Richie Benaud mentioned.

This news also raises the question of who gets to be captain for Sydney. 'Protocol' would point to Clarke, the vice-captain; but he is out of form too, has a permanent back injury, and is apparently none too popular among the team. So my money's on Haddin being asked to take over.

Possible slight problem for England in that Usman Khawaja will presumably come into the eleven and bat at No. 3. By all accounts he's good, he's likely to take a lot more getting out than Ponting:-

http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/215155.html

PS - perhaps NOT all that difficult to get out after all. He made 13 and a first-ball duck in two innings in the Australia A v. England match.  Smilehttp://news.bbc.co.uk/sport/hi/engli...s/2010/11/85859/html/scorecard.stm

[Edited 2010-12-29 19:03:08]
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scbriml
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:15 am

Yes, from an English perspective, shame Ponting is out - his replacement must be better.   

The 12-man squad is:
Watson
Hughes
Khawaja
Clarke (c)
Hussey
Smith
Haddin
Siddle
Johnson
Bollinger
Hilfenhaus
Beer

So, slightly surprisingly, just two straight replacements for the injured players. Khawaja for Ponting and The Rug for Harris.

To me it would seem that Bollinger would be the one to miss out, he was spanked for 130-1 in the 2nd Test and I can't believe they won't play a spinner at Sydney. Also surprised that Hilfenhaus is retained as his series figures are 294-4 (even on that bowler's paradise at Perth he only managed 69-1).
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David_itl
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:43 am

Think it's going to be interesting to see if England will play 2 spinners given the "traditional" spinner's wicket at Sydney. If they do, it should be Panesar for Collingwood with everyone from the middle order downwards moving up a place. Difficult one though given Collingwood's prowess in the field being replaced by a less able (but vastly improved) fielder who has the ability to snare wickets (130 odd wickets in 35 or 36 matches? What would Australia do for having someone like that in their ranks!)
 
NAV20
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:51 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 145):
To me it would seem that Bollinger would be the one to miss out, he was spanked for 130-1 in the 2nd Test and I can't believe they won't play a spinner at Sydney.

True enough - especially since it's virtually unheard-of to play two left-armers in the same eleven. But the Australian selectors appear to be capable of anything at the moment.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 145):
Also surprised that Hilfenhaus is retained

Have to take issue a bit there. Hilfenhaus hasn't got many wickets lately, but he doesn't get taken for many runs per over either. I think that he's the classic 'containing bowler' at the present time - the sort who often 'gets wickets at the other end' by frustrating the batsmen.

Quoting david_itl (Reply 146):
Difficult one though given Collingwood's prowess in the field

Not just that, IMO, david_itl - besides his fielding, there's his ability to bowl miserly and often productive fast-medium, which is the main reason that England can afford to play only three fast men and a spinner. Selectors nowadays don't seem to bother to make sure that the side has an all-rounder - in earlier times they were considered essential. I agree that it's possible that Colly's batting has gone permanently off the boil - maybe due to his advancing age - but IMO, with England holding the initiative, this is no time to sack your all-rounder. Especially since I don't believe anyone else in the England squad can provide the bowling option that he does. My solution, as I said before the last match, would be to put him at No. 6, with Bell above him. The old saying was, 'Don't change a winning team,' and I think it very much applies in this case. Particularly since Pietersen's spin bowling appears to have improved recently, he appears to obviate the need to bring in a specialist spinner who can't bat.

Honestly can't understand the attitude of the Australian selectors. Beer and Khawaja have only played a handful of first-class matches between them. There are plenty of 'workaday' cricketers in the state sides who could fill the gaps left by things like Ponting's injury, and also contribute in the spin department. They may not have the ability to fill spots in the national side on a permanent basis, but they DO have the advantage of lots of experience at the first-class level. The last match in a series in which Australia have been comprehensively out-played most of the time would seem to be the LAST situation in which you'd bring in a couple of inexperienced youngsters?

PS - interesting story here on a topic that I think will 'run and run' in Oz over the next year or so - whether New South Wales players should continue to dominate the Test side. Representative paragraphs are:-

"ONCE again Western Australia has had to do the heavy lifting. Despite the best efforts of Michael Hussey (leading run scorer for the series) and Mitchell Johnson (the best spell of bowling which gave Australia victory at the WACA), the poor performances of the eastern states Australian cricketers (NSW in particular) has cost us the chance to win back the Ashes.

--------------

"It is time for Michael Clarke, Steve Smith and Phil Hughes - all residents of the sagging economy that is NSW - to be dumped and replaced with cricketers from the performing states.

----------------

"The only Victorian in the Australian line-up for the Melbourne Cricket Ground test was Peter Siddle, the leading wicket-taker for the series. Never mind that Victoria continues to dominate Sheffield Shield cricket each year."


http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...alent/story-e6frg6zo-1225978204031

[Edited 2010-12-30 04:39:37]
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scbriml
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:12 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 147):
Hilfenhaus hasn't got many wickets lately

Australia has two main problems in this series. Too few wickets and not enough runs. IMHO the bowling has been Australia's bigger issue - they've only taken 46 wickets in 4 Tests (20 of those coming in Perth). I would agree with your point in principle, and Swann effectively played that role in Melbourne - his 2nd innings figures were extraordinary until Haddin and Siddle had some fun at the death (even after that they weren't too shabby - 27-11-59-2). The problem is, Australia isn't taking wickets at the other end while Hilfenhaus is being miserly.

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 147):
Selectors nowadays don't seem to bother to make sure that the side has an 'all-rounder' - in earlier times they were considered essential.

To be fair, on the England side, Broard is maturing nicely into that role. He is a very capable batsman who just needs a bit more application and consistency. He could be our next Botham/Flintoff. Yes, he comes in a bit lower down the order, but his batting could give us the option of playing an extra bowler.

While Collingwood's bowling is a bonus, I wouldn't consider him a front-line bowler and he's certainly never going to take lots of wickets. I really don't see him as anything other than a useful option if the main bowlers are struggling/need a rest.

I would generally tend to agree with the "don't change a winning team" principle, but I suspect the inclusion of Panesar for Sydney is being given serious consideration. If he were to be included, it would have to be at Collingwood's expense.

England actually has some interesting options on the bowling front. IMHO, Anderson, Tremlett and Swann are guaranteed starts, with the 4th bowler's spot open. I think either Finn or Bresnan could slot in there. Both have done the business although Finn has been a little expensive (but actually, less so than Swann!)
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NAV20
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RE: Cricket - The Ashes, Australia V. England, 2010

Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:42 pm

Just for fun - we maybe now know why Khawaja has been selected for test cricket so early in his career. The key factor could very well be his Muslim faith   :-

"Khawaja was impressive from his first game, scoring 85 for NSW in 2007-08. He started this year with a double-hundred and is the leading run-scorer in Sheffield Shield cricket with 598 at 75 this summer.

"The bright-eyed young batsman has a quick wit and Katich says he brings a lot to the team.

"He is probably the most popular bloke in our squad and I am pretty sure a lot of the young blokes will back me up," he said.

"He doesn't drink, but the boys don't hold that against him. He will still go out with the boys, socialise, and then he drives them home. He's their taxi."


http://www.foxsports.com.au/cricket/...-home/story-e6frf3gl-1225979220026

Must admit that no team I have ever played in (whether in England OR Australia) EVER had the priceless advantage of a teetotal colleague who came out on the after-match bender and could then be relied on safely to drive the rest of us home.......  

[Edited 2010-12-31 05:33:18]
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