*** I see no need to write a day 3 report. We all saw it coming and we’ve been through the reasons why a million times before. I’m just going to ignore the cricket and try to enjoy my weekend. I suggest everyone does the same. Feel free to vent in the comments below if you think it will help. Personally I’m done with this bullshit ***
If you saw the above headline, and hadn’t yet seen the score, you might think that England had lost already. It looks like we’ll have to wait until day 4 or 5 for that.
What I’m referring to is how our hopes of establishing a dominant position in this game were crushed today. And therefore, after feeling so positive yesterday, I feel emotionally crushed.
Why do we bother getting our hopes up?
At 368-4 England were in an absolutely commanding position. Losing seemed impossible. And winning seemed entirely possible. All the momentum was in our favour. Yes the pitch looked good for batting, but scoreboard pressure is a valuable ally. If England had posted 500 then Australia would’ve been under the cosh.
And then came perhaps the most depressing hour of cricket I’ve watched for some time (and that’s saying something). Was it even an hour? We collapsed pitifully in the blink of an eye. Momentum was lost and it felt like we’d been kicked in the balls.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Because Australia’s attack boasts genuine pace, they can blow away our tail with ease. When we’re seven down we’re basically all out. Australia’s tail, on the other hand, can handle our popgun attack without fear. They can add valuable runs and grasp the initiative. It gives them a massive advantage.
However, not even a pessimistic misery guts like me expected us to lose six wickets for 35 runs. It was a complete surrender. A crushing moment. And, if I’m being honest, it could be the moment that sealed a 0-5 whitewash.
Obviously this seems a tad melodramatic. England are still in this game if one looks at the scorecard. But do we really have a prayer? Really? Cricket isn’t played on paper. Much of it is played in the mind. And England have some massive mental demons to overcome simply to escape with a draw now.
Steve Smith made batting look so ridiculously easy in the evening session that I wouldn’t be surprised if Australia go well past our 403 – a total I felt was fifty runs short of par, and one hundred runs short of being good.
What’s more, even if England have a good morning tomorrow and bowl Australia out in the afternoon session for something near 350, at some point our batsmen will have to face the music again. And they’re going to be under massive pressure whether the team has a slender lead or a hefty deficit to contend with.
The key question, of course, is whether we can weather this approaching hurricane. And I’m afraid to say that I don’t think we will. After taking 6-35 today, the Australian quicks will be cock-a-hoop. And they might have a convenient little session at the end of the day in which they can run in hard and bowl as quickly as possible.
With Cook completely out of form, Stoneman shellshocked after being hit on the helmet, Vince out of his depth, Root under enormous pressure, and Malan and Bairstow weary and unlikely to repeat their first innings heroics, I can only see one result: England being skittled in a humiliating and brutal fashion.
And don’t go thinking we might be able to defend a small total in the fourth innings either. This Perth pitch is a belter and looks highly unlikely to break up. South Africa chased over 400 here not long ago.
Now it’s very possible that I’m completely wrong about the all the above. England might well show some backbone in the second dig. That’s the beauty of sport: nobody ever knows what’s going to happen for sure.
However, if the players are anywhere near as traumatised as us supporters – and we’re not the ones who have to pad up and face Australia’s 90mph quicks – then England are completely screwed.
Today was our chance to get back into the Ashes series and avoid another potential whitewash. But we blew it. It was a desperately disappointing day.
Come on, James. It’s neck and neck.
You guys throw in the towel too easily.
So do you think England will win?
I think they’re better than 50/50, particularly if they can get an early wicket on Day 3. So they’re better off than they were at the start of Day 1.
Doubt we were 50/50 for the win even before the batting collapse.
Personally I’d say Australia we closer to that now. Factor out the weather and I wouldn’t give us a better than 1 in 4 chance.
It’s game over. Only Aus bottling it can win the game for England now. Draw or humiliating loss for team ECB
How can it be “game over” when you lead by 200?
Is this another “English thing” that Australians don’t understand?
Is there a contest to see who can wet the bed earliest?
This must be the new version of “taking the positives”.
Do you want a pat on the back for prematurely conceding defeat?
How very English.
That would be nice of you thanks
Can I have a pat on the back too?
Pretty much sums it up alright. What makes it all the more irritating is that, for the last couple of years, we’ve been talking about how our lower middle order is the strongest in world cricket. With Broad coming in at 10, that’s a long batting line-up for any bowling attack. Now, as you say, we’re pretty much cooked once they get past Bairstow and Malan.
Australia will sail past 403, of that I have little doubt. Smith could probably do it on his own, with a cigar in his mouth, to quote Michael Vaughan.
Oh well, at least we’ve concentrated our efforts on one-day cricket, eh? Get this pesky test series out the way and the real cricket can begin!
Yeah Ben Stokes is a big part of that of course but I thought before the series that the last four wickets wouldn’t add much for England.
The lower order players just don’t face the kind of fast hostile bowling the Aussies have plenty of. Woakes is more capable than he is showing, and while Overton is talented he isn’t a banker run scorer at CC level and Broad and Anderson were always going to be on borrowed time.
Fast bouncy conditions were never going to favour Moeen so its been disappointing that its mostly been Nathan Lyon getting him out this series but he wasn’t batting much worse than anyone else until Malan and Bairstow separated themselves by scoring hundreds.
The way the English cricket media has piled the blame on Malan has been nauseating. The guy makes 140 and they blame for not making 160 or 260 or for attacking Lyon (which they’d all said England needed to do) while handing out ‘get out of jail’ cards to some above and below him in the order reeks of favouritism and agendas. And “the tail” starts at No.9, not at No.7….
Our tail starts at 3, Simon :-)
I completely agree re: Malan. I really don’t understand why the top scorer is the villain here. He had no idea that the remaining batsmen would get knocked over so cheaply. He did his job magnificently well.
Spot on James! Mind you, having seen much of Malan at Middlesex my feeling was that it would only be a matter of time before he did something like that. Saying it, I take nothing away from him. He did a sterling job and he was magnificent. In Stoneman and Malan, whatever their shortcoming might be, we have found two cricketers who understand what is necessary in a game situation and apply themselves accordingly. The unfortunate thing is that they are both thirty and are not young bloods with a potentially long career ahead of them. For now they are doing us proud and that is what matters. Hats off to both of them.
I don’t think too many were condemning him – but it is fair to note that Malan was furious with himself for getting out to that shot, played against the spin…. and the collapse followed.
Any blame, such as it is, probably attaches to Moeen.
I agree., malan should answer for his shot as it was very poor .. reckless
However, moeen is completely to blame yet again. Woeful and spineless. He’s a feather bed bully.. nothing more, nothing less.
You’re rather putting words in my mouth there.
And just how do you propose Malan “answer for his shot” ?
Management rip into him, media and fans. He then goes out in all future games and doesn’t do it again
If you watch, he pre meditated his shot as his shoulder dips before the ball is released.. pre meditation means it was a god awful shot. Nothing ‘positive’ about it.. why people seem to think positive and reckless are the same I don’t know. Positive is using feet but still playing the ball on its merits.. what he did was white ball reckless mode.
Stoneman did it sweeping yesterday and luckily got away with it.. if you rely on luck then it will run out and you won’t be consistent which is the mark of a good player.
Gosh. I’m not that down. Not yet.
The blew it. But get Smith early, and Australia are 200 behind with little proven batting left.
That said, we don’t really look like getting Smith. As I said at the other place, if he scores another 20, who would bet against him passing 200 on this deck?
If Overton can’t bowl, we are screwed.
Nah.. we have ball… umm.. Curran…. umm.. half fit wood (who hasn’t bowl fast for over a year now)..umm..
Smith – wonderful to watch. But in the last test we tried an around the wicket approach which to some extent worked. Anyone got any idea if he has ever had to face a decent left-armer? And if so how did he get on?
I have always been a fan of the Bradman pick-up. Tennis players use it for their forehands.
Once saw a youngster (Lancashire U13) in a net timing it beautifully using it. He was there because his father was playing in a 1st Team League match. I very nearly sought the dad out after the match to say that that was how Bradman batted and to suggest, ‘if anyone tries to stop your son doing that, tell him to mind his own business’, but thought he’d wonder what planet I came from.
Anyway, that winter, off he went to Headingley for North of England nets and came back with the back-lift ‘properly’ sorted out. By 16 he was just a club First Team player. The magic had gone.
It’s similar but not quite Bradman’s I think. Similarish grip but Bradman hit through the ball with a haymaker, Smith more circumspect. Also Bradman didn’t raise his bat with his stronger lower hand, he did so by pushing his top hand and pivoting about the bottom hand. Vertical bat lift compared to Smith’s merely high.
No idea how either of them could play an off drive… Smith’s is notable. I’ve tried it myself as a lefty batting right handed and it’s only possible if you swivel the bottom hand around the handle, yet Smith doesn’t appear to.
Anyone know what weight bat he uses?
Well, there you go. He scored another 20. And passed 200.
Meanwhile Ben Stokes made 93 off 47 balls in a T20 for Canterbury on Thursday …
You support Canterbury don’t you, Pete? You’re not making me feel any better mate :-(
I wouldn’t get too disheartened yet. It’s the Waca where one wicket can bring 6.
Difficult place to start an innings, difficult to get someone out once set.
Which, as I’ve moaned incessantly, is where England’s bowling falls down flat.
I noted that you posted how it was “time for Jimmy, Broad, Root and Cook to prove it”.
No wickets and 27 runs between the four (and a missed catch from Captain Root). Meanwhile it’s apparently Malan’s fault. Ho-hum.
That hadn’t escaped my attention. Glad someone else is keeping an eye on them.
Very well said, Gareth. A bit of media group-think appears to be going on.
James – spot on.
From what I saw Smith had his favourites carpet slippers on, the fire lit and a plump Labrador at his feet. Apart from the last ball of the afternoon session, he has been entirely untroubled by England’s early eighties. He knows that any test side with proper intention doesn’t lose their last six wickets for 35, from that position.
The post mortems on this series have already begun. Has Root been undermined by his senior players, decisions in Adelaide that will surely require closer scrutiny. Loved his cricket but loathed his pronouncements, but maybe KP had a point!
This is really bordering on self-parody.
The game is completely in the balance yet some of you seem
desperate to concede. It really is a strange tic and it’s part of the reason Australians regard English fans as slightly neurotic.
Seriously mate – if you think English fans are all slightly neurotic and you’re just here to take the piss, then a blog written largely by English cricket fans might not be the place for you.
Your constant sniping is getting pretty bloody annoying, frankly.
He makes me chuckle.
I’ve known quite a few convicts who can’t open their mouths without whingeing about something. It’s not uncommon.
This lad is a good troll tbf
James’s fears were well founded. Possibly an insight into the thinking inside the English team
Yeah he made it look easy all right.
The opening 15 overs of the last 5 innings have brought us 5 wickets. So even when our attack is at it’s most potent a wicket every 90 balls just doesn’t cut it.
Meanwhile we’ve managed 8 wickets with balls over 40 overs old in 141 overs. A wicket every 106 balls.
If I removed tail end wickets I suspect it would look even grimmer.
Good job we don’t have a wrist spinner in the hutch else it might seem nonsensical.
I’ve got to say that some of the captaincy in this series has been… Interesting.
England take the new ball and Anderson bowls two and a half overs before Woakes has the piss taken out of him by a number 6 averaging 22. Two and a half overs.
England’s best, if injured, bowler, no sign.
It might be hot out there but I don’t know many clubs that would keep Woakes on. Complete inability to bowl to a field, absolutely no threat yet he gets the new cherry. Other than his pink ball 4/36 he’s been woeful. Borderline embarrassing. His 2/178 with the red ball thus far was a bit predictable.
Which really contributes to England’s problems. Even of the batsmen we’ve dismissed for under 30 it’s taken over 50 balls to do so. Which in Oz where just getting past the first 40 overs is a minor victory means even those convicts who’ve given their wickets away have still done a job on the whole.
But it isn’t entirely Woakes’ fault. Not that he’s been unlucky or bowled better than his figures suggest. When he’s bowled crap his captain moves the field rather than bollocking him for bowling the wrong line. He could do a job just hanging it outside off stump and has at times, though when he’s tried to do anything else he’s just looked like he’s giving throwdowns.
Very good player in England. Clueless in Australia.
So now I’ve jinxed him I expect a hatrick!
Anderson is useless outside green tops
Board used to be at least useful but he’s become less streaky and more useless. He’s now slow and past it
Woakes has never been good enough but is the best of the rest
Stokes is still regarded as world clsss but would have been Just Sam useless Sam he’s not quick and less accurate.
Roland jones.. hahahahahaha.. if anyone thinks he’s the answer go have a few beers
Same with Curran
Simple truth .. our system and board isn’t producing the right type of cricketer with the skills or mentalities required to succeed (and every nation is the same !!)
Amateur Cricket is being dumbed down just as badly and yet no one even on here is honest enough to admit it.
Hell, you just roasted woakes without a mention of how utterly crap moeen is .. the guy isn’t anywhere near good enough with bat or ball and yet people weee actually calling g him a top six batter and ‘world class’ has been said in this very forum about it.. utterly clueless
I haven’t spared Moeen previously. I’ve tried spinning with a cut finger though and sorry but trying to do an Overton just doesn’t work. It’s not a case of taking the pain, you rely on the feeling and pressure sensitivity to bowl well.
Saying that on top form and firing he’d still be crap in comparison to Malan’s leggies. It’s Australia.
“Anderson is useless outside green tops”
The remarkable thing about Jimmy is that he’s been bloody good everywhere. I seem to dimly remember some quality slower balls and such a decade or so ago.
Jimmy learns. The reason I’m so bloody frustrated with him at the moment is that he isn’t for once. From playing Lancs league as a 15 yr old he became rapid within a couple of years and straight into Lancashire’s plans once a tea lady did their scouting job for them.
From club to county to Test in 2 years? He was a Tuffnell fielder at first. He sorted it out to the point of awesomeness.
500 Test wickets later he’s bowling shite. Well meaning and skillful but shite is shite. I couldne give a damn if his almost gallon would have been 15 wickets elsewhere, you bowl to the conditions.
And frankly his mates aren’t helping. Jimmy is proper. He’s a Northern lad not some prissy prep school twat who needs cuddling in cotton wool if he’s cocked up.
Find a way. Learn. Play elegant or play ugly, the best bowlers we’ve ever produced performed in Oz with less pace than Jimmy has now. Bedser, Barnes, Appleyard, they didn’t carry on bowling seam up when there was no swing or seam.
This is the Ashes, hospitalize them with beamers if you need to, just get them out.
Overton the only bowler who looks like taking a wicket. I think he’s a good find.
Swann thinks they’re bowling well.
Oh and it’s the batsmen’s fault for “giving off negative vibes man” or something.
I got nothing.
So Australia has taken the lead, Smith has a double ton and M Marsh has his first Test century. Unless England can hang on for a draw (or if Australia has a 2nd innings collapse to beat all), I’d say this article was pretty prescient.
Indeed. Smith and Marsh have been excellent today.
Australia may not need a second innings to collapse in. I think that Steve Smith is aiming for a tripple tomorrow morning and leaving England to chase 300 to make Aus bat again.
Nice to see Broad’s century warmly received by the crowd. :)
Well we bowled brilliantly. Outstanding effort that everyone in England can be proud of.
Oh except those pesky batsmen who only faced up to the fastest seam attack ever accurately recorded, despite Marsh’s dobblers, and who ignorantly threw away their wickets after merely scoring centuries.
What form of crack are Swann and Vaughan on?
One can only presume their tongues were tied after competing for space in Broad and Anderson’s butt cracks. I’ve yet to see the first three change go for gallons with a single wicket to their names who bowled well. 305/1 does not under any circumstances constitute bowling well. It’s crap. Of the utter variety.
Overton was immense. Nuff said.
Ali though… Is it just me or has he got his feet all wrong? I did get excited at one point when he bowled a 52mph delivery as a variation in his 15th over after all the others being 53mph. Luckily we had Root to bowl some 53mph identical deliveries after about 110 overs.All of which was a nice variation from our seam attack, other than Overton who may be banned for the next match after changing his pace occasionally, which did it’s best to keep Australia guessing by bowling at 83mph.
So in desperation we turn to Malan. Who, whilst a bit of a roller rather than giving it a rip, did an excellent impression of a leggie. Sadly at 53mph and without any close catchers but…
Does Root even know what he has available in his team? After watching Ali bowl injured shite for two matches on strangely slow and turny wickets we finally see that Malan can easily outbowl him…. Can anyone think of a passage of play where a leggie might have been useful?
I think it was his 11th ball where he went wider on the crease. Ungentlemanly conduct.
If I didn’t know better I’d think an Indian bookie had offered very appealing odds for a Smith 250. Careful Jimmy you are looking threatening with the new cherry… 15 balls is all you get then Woakes can play him back in.
Imagine being Stoneman watching the half volleys being served up to make his epicness look inadequate. Or Overton bending his back despite a broken rib to bounce the bastards when perfectly fit bowlers consider it a bit too hot to bother. Or Malan watching Ali bowl and Root bowling and wondering whether he is chopped liver.
Worst day’s play I’ve ever seen from England? Yeah, probably.
I have questions.
Is there another player anything like Craig Overton anywhere on the County circuit?
Jamie Overton his twin..
About 10 mph faster than him by repute.
It’s like banging an old drum for me but I just don’t get why some of these guys are removed from playing for their counties, trouser upto £1m a year and spend half the summer on the golf course. Rip up this bullsh*t system and get them back to playing every week with Test played when applicable. I’ve got an old Cyril Washbrook annual from 1949 when he was berating the lot of the cricketer – but that was when they played six days every week. This lot of pampered pansies want sorting out.
It’s almost as though Australia produces more ruthless, more resilient cricketers.
Australia is in just as bad a mess. State Cricket is failing, grade Cricket is worse than ever and your test team is as poor as any. It just happens to be better than this England side.
Again, if I was Aussie I’d be seriously worried about my own side..
What’s left outside Lyon and these three?? Pattinson? Are any others actually even close t as good or will you spout about a bunch of white ball bowlers
Batting.. you have Smith, Warner seems to be declining which is a worry.. apart from that, thenrest is crap just like England.
As I said before a ball was bowled.. both sides are poor in a world of poor test cricket. It’s the modern systems which are producing white ball skills and mentalities and so compromises test ability .
Still, keep,trolling fella.. it’s quite amusing
Though with caution on my part as I recall sneering about that idiot nervous schoolboy the convicts thought could bowl legspin and bat at number 7. Think his name was Smith. No relation I assume.
They know how to pick em. And have even been known to pluck players straight out of club cricket.
The poorest thing to my mind has been the captaincy on both sides. It isn’t exactly Border vs Brierley is it?
Feel free too. We will continue to feel,sorry for ourselves here.
Possibly as good a chance as Smith will ever get tomorrow to beat Lara’s record. The game is virtually won and he needs 172 off a demoralised, exhausted pop-gun attack. If he puts his foot on the gas he could be there by tea.
I will be very angry if it turns out that there is fixing going on here. As Mike Chaffin wrote, why on Earth was Anderson taken off so soon ? Why, on the previous day, was he only brought on when Steve Smith was already on 47 or so ? I think something similar happened at Brisbane. Smith will certainly fancy a triple hundred now and M Marsh at least a double. They will probably bat on and on, knowing that England are likely to be skittled out cheaply second innings. I feel sorry for Malan, Bairstow, Stoneman and Overton, all of whom have played well in this match but have been let down by their colleagues and their captain.
England’s only away victories in more recent times have been in India 2012-13 and then the last tour to South Africa. It’s not enough for me to win in favourable English conditions but then play so ineptly abroad. I feel Bayliss should stick to coaching the ODI squad and someone new needs to be found for the Test squad. The ECB needs a shake up and stop being so obsessed with meaningless T20 cricket. Out with Strauss and the inept selectors.
Before the tour started, I felt that Australia would win 3-1, their pace bowlers would be the key. This has been true so far, not forgetting Lyon’s spin too. As things stand we could be looking at another 5-0 humiliation. It is just not good enough.
Praying for huge centuries from at least two England players in our second innings, time for Cook and Root to step up to the plate and hoping Malan and Bairstow can continue their good form.
I don’t believe there’s any fixing. I do suspect Anderson only bowls when he feels like it. “No skipper, it’s not working for me. Give someone else a go”. Of course I could be wrong.
Same for Broad I’d say.
Just to be explicit I don’t think any fixing has gone one either, incompetence is a better explanation.
Something doesn’t smell right though. Vaughan and Swann were right in that the bats were more than a little unimpressed by the bowling, though them trying to make out that anyone was unimpressed with Overton smacks of Alistair Campbell or Comical Ali.
I get the impression that Anderson could shell 7 catches and go for 7 runs an over without receiving a questioning comment from either of those two. Which is fine, most people know that Swann and Anderson were besties for instance.
Blaming the batsmen though is a cunts trick.
Being the great I am is great as long as you deliver.
Why is it wrong to blame the batsmen? They’ve under-performed. How do you assess Root’s contribution so far? Smith has made two huge scores. What has Root done? What has Cook done?
Roots been dog poo and has always had issues nicking off outside off but people here and the Media won’t acknowledge it
Cooks been dog poo for a while and is finished unless we play dire teams
Vince isn’t upto it but he’s at least fighting this innings
Malan it’s too early but he won’t avg more than 40
Stokes is over rated by England
Moeen is over rated
Broad and Anderson are finished outside of the uk
Way too harsh really. Anderson has been good in patches. Its not his prime conditions and he’s certainly not worth his ICC ranking in Aus but is more than useful (And I say this as no fan of him).
Broad has been dog poo no doubt, and Cook also. Would be dropped if he wasn’t from the right sort of family. Root I’m not sure, he’s a great bat but has never really done well away from home. Steve Smith has scored 10 of his 22 centuries away from home, JR has 3 of 13. He will never break into the ranks of the really all time greats until he can improve that record.
Moeen is decent option as a batting allrounder but hasn’t been great this series. His bowling isn’t really threatening though if played with respect or conditions really suit.
“ENGLAND BAT DEEP”… yeah deep in the trenches they sure are!
I’ll be interested to see the stats for Cook, Root, Ali, Broad and Anderson after three Tests. Anderson has had some great spells but collectively that senior group has been poor. Those are England’s five most experienced players and they haven’t delivered. That’s going to make it hard to win. And it’s not the fault of “management” that they haven’t come to play.
Of course, supporters here will find it more comforting to point the finger at the ECB.
It’s not the fault of “management that they haven’t come to play” (though I’d argue that is more a case of they are not good enough). However, they are the best England have got and isn’t one of the jobs of “management” to develop new talent? Why doesn’t England produce fast bowlers? Maybe because they wickets at first class level seam a lot so there is no incentive to bend you back (and then bowlers get exposed on the flatter wickets produced for test matches). Or maybe it’s the amount of overs they bowl per season blunting their pace or maybe they know they can have a longer career bowling medium pace than if they bowl fast. Maybe the counties don’t care about producing players for England. These are issues that “management” could and should address. Let’s also not forget that the last time England got their arse kicked in Australia, the response of management was to sack one player and then act like every thing was going to be OK. Just maybe they could have done a little more?
Cook, Root, Anderson and Broad are among England’s best players of the past 50 years. Your complaint is that the ECB hasn’t developed anyone better? That’s a bit unreasonable.
Sometimes you just have to accept that the other team is better, particularly in their own conditions. There might not be some big overarching explanation that implicates “management”.
The current Australian side is further along in its development and has more top-line, Test-quality players in their prime. And they’re playing at home. And England’s most experienced players haven’t done enough. That’s the explanation of the result.
The sacking of KP is its own saga. But that’s not why England are struggling four years later.
“Cook, Root, Anderson and Broad are among England’s best players of the past 50 years. Your complaint is that the ECB hasn’t developed anyone better”
No, my complaint is more about developing new talent who will eventually replace these guys. But since you raised the issue, how many English bowlers in the last 50 years have a strike rate under 55 or an average under 25? How many English batsmen in the last 50 years have an average above 50? It is a very short list and it is reasonable to ask why we don’t produce more world class players.
“The sacking of KP is its own saga. But that’s not why England are struggling four years later.”
The way KP (and others) was treated is an example of how the ECB runs the game. They have made a number of decisions in recent times that don’t seem in the best long term interests of English cricket. You can argue that sacking KP was the right thing to do but they needed to do more.
Again (because I know you can’t hear it too many times) no one is denying that Australia are a better side, especially at home. I picked them to win 4 -1. However, you are looking at this series in isolation and say your senior players aren’t doing enough. Most of us have been foolish enough to follow England for a very long time, have seen this happen before and are asking why does this keep happening.
Well, I am going to pray for rain in Perth on day 5 ! It’s either that or we need another big partnership from Malan and Bairstow.
Those two played very well in the 1st innings and I’m sure they will show some fight.
If were making up an imaginary combined XI from the two teams so far, I think it would be…
Stoneman – has shown good fight and temperament
Warner – fast scoring at his best
Root – only 2 half-centuries this series but still deserves his place
Smith – in great form and has a massive average
Malan – deserves a place for his century at Perth
Bairstow – in good form but England have had him coming in too low down the order
M Marsh – just made a huge score and bowls a bit too to relieve the pace bowlers
P Cummins – fast and effective, can bat a bit too
M Starc – in great form
N Lyon – was excellent in Brisbane and Adelaide
J Hazelwood – has been superb so far
I just don’t think any of England’s bowlers would get into this team on present form. Moeen has been disappointing with ball and bat. Anderson has bowled well at times, but hasn’t got the pace any more, he was quicker earlier in his career.
Bairstow would be the wicketkeeper, and Smith would have to be captain.
Surely Shaun Marsh would have to be in there mate? Probably ahead of Root I think…
Ground staff drying the pitch out with hairdryers?
Where’s the line between that and pitch tampering?
Botham also laughed off any suggestion that the pace of Australia’s quicks will see them rip through an unsettled England batting order, pointing out that Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Patrick Cummins have a chequered history when it comes to staying on the park.
“What do England’s batsmen have to be worried about? A bit of pace? When was the last time any of the Australia pace attack played in all five matches of a series?” Botham wrote. “Of their current crop only Mitchell Starc has done it in 2015 and that didn’t go so well for Australia as I remember.”
Botham is an idiot. He’s the worst ex-pro out there, and there’s stiff competition for that title.
They have indeed.
I do think it reasonable that administrators should bear some of the blame for failing to develop bowlers who can prosper in Australian conditions. And while the choice available to the selectors was limited, the attack we have fielded has very, very little variety, and a spinner never likely to take a hatful of wickets on these pitches.
(In passing, it’s notable that Malan has already scored more runs than any English batsman made during the last Australian whitewash. Against what has turned out to be a very good Aussie attack.)
Aus will be utter pants next time they tour England. It’s the ‘play away’syndrome. Every team are home town heroes now apart from SA and they lose often enough as well.