Day five at Adelaide

Sweet as a nut.

And didn’t it all seem rather easy in the end – despite our fears of rain or Australian resilience.

As soon as Hussey went – oh, the joy of seeing the back of his silly white nose – the proceedings soon resembled a particularly facile exercise in pea-shelling.

For now, let’s just enjoy the moment – and savour the gorgeous sensation of an innings victory over Australia. Wasn’t it marvellous to watch their batting disintegrate this morning, in the way England’s has so many times before.

It’s been 24 years since we last won a live Ashes test down under. Many of us can barely remember it.

We were brilliant at Adelaide. Australia, as Ricky Ponting might say, were pretty bloody ordinary.

But as weather-beaten England followers, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t provide a reality check.

It’s possible the Aussies will be so psychologically damaged by this defeat that they’ll never recover. Equally, so wounded is their pride, Ponting’s side may find a way to fight back. Between now and Perth, they have ten full days in which to dust themselves down and regroup.

England, meanwhile will face disruption on two fronts. First, Jimmy Anderson now leaves the squad to spend four days flying to and from Burnley to attend the birth of his second child.

Secondly, Stuart Broad must be replaced, which changes the whole balance of the team.

Poor, poor Broady. How much he must have looked forward to this series as one of the pinnacles of his career. In the end, he took two wickets and faced one ball. Not much to tell his grand-children about.

So – plenty of talking points. What changes will Australia make? How do England keep their feet on the ground? And should we pick Tremlett, Bresnan or Shahzad?



  • An amazing 90 mins play. Michael Vaughan said, on TMS, that he didn’t think England could have done anything better. It is hard to disagree.

    I think england will favour Bresnan for much the same reason as Aggers. They will want to ensure that they score plenty again. The weight of runs has crushed Australia. We know Anderson and Swann can bowl sides out and Finn is looking better and better.

    I realise that will look like conservative old England but I’m not convinced. We’ve batted them out of the game and then attacked with the ball. Expect the same approach.

    I’d still love to see Tremlet bounce the Australian’s out at the WACCA

  • Ummm. I wonder if Broad’s injury has had anything to do with his workload? Anderson could be next. Just putting the cat amongst the McGraths.

    I dislike Tremlett as he has a suspect temperament, and never seems to bowl as fast as he can and should. However, if the WACA pitch has anything like the pace and bounce of previous years, he should play. Why else select him in the squad? Broad is a tall bowler, so choose a like-for-like replacement. After the huge amount of runs we’ve scored, I don’t think we need to worry about runs from No8. Swann is an adequate 8 any way. I also have less worries about Tremlett’s temperament now that he’s coming into a winning team.

    I would change my mind however if the WACA pitch looks different. Apparently it’s not the fast deck it used to be – in which case, we shouldn’t forget about Shahzad. Lets see who performs well in the next warm up game, but I definitely see Tremlett as the reserve for Broad/Finn, and Shahzad/Bresnan as the replacement for Anderson.

  • The Broad replacement is a tricky one for the England selectors. Shazad and Bresnan are both military medium, perhaps the cricketing equivalent of Ed Milibland.

    Tremlett has had many chances and been consistent only in his failure to deliver.

    I’d like to see a left-field selection from England. Darren Pattinson is currently playing for Victoria and took career best figures a few weeks ago. Fate has decreed the Victoria vs England is the next game …

    WRT Australia, I give you this “ignored by the selectors” xi:

    Hussey, D
    White, C

    My point is a simple one: the weakness of Australian cricketers is very much overstated, currently.

    • I’m not so sure. I think perhaps the strength of England’s cricketers has been overstated.

      Rodgers – had a relatively poor year for Derbyshire
      Jacques – hasn’t been the same since his injury, and was poor for Worcestershire last year
      Hussey D – good player, but quite old and surely not better than his brother
      Ferguson – highly rated, but 1st class average in the mid-30s
      Hodge – again, an elegant batsman but well past his best
      White – good player, no arguments there
      Paine – a good player, but nothing special
      McDonald – not an effective bowler, bits and pieces player
      Clark – do you mean Stuart? Approaching his 35th birthday and now medium pace
      MacGill – didn’t realise he was still playing?
      Nannes – very good bowler, and surprised he hasn’t played for Australia more, but again he’s in his mid thirties.

      Most of these players are approaching the end of their careers. Having seen the Eng v Aust A game on TV, I think Australia have a few worries, The youngsters, especially the seam bowlers, look well below the standard you’d expect from Australian reserves. Of course, you may have seen more of them than us, in which case we could be wrong … just going on the evidence we’ve seen thus far. What do you think?

      • Nannes has been, and is, injured I think.

        Add Sean Marsh to this list. Australia seem to have plently of options on the batting, making it weirder that North has retained his spot.

  • Broad’s is certainly a great loss – but in this series thus far that has not been an account of his batting. Remind me how many balls he faced in the first two tests? No critique of his batting, simply to say that the top order are performing as we would like and don’t at the moment need to be bolstered.

    All the comments before Adelaide were along the lines that neither side would be able to take 20 wickets in a match. Well, we proved that wrong – with Broad at the forefront – even if he didn’t get the return he deserved in wickets.

    What might this mean? We need to pick as a replacement the most likely match-winner with the ball. Some might say Tremlett… not many would vote for Bresnan… Personally I like the look of Shahzad and I’d like to see what he could do.

  • It’s been 24 years since we last won a live Ashes test down under. Many of us can barely remember it.

    Some of us cant remember it! I was only 1 at the time!

    and as a proud yorkshireman i’ll take either Bres or Shahzad, with the latter being my preference

  • Bresnan is the obvious like-for-like replacement for Broad. In a five-man attack I think this would be the best option. However, in a four-man attack I think a full-time bowler in necessary. We can probably manage without the batting.

    One school of thought says prioritize defence – pick Bresnan for his batting and solid all-round performance – make sure we don’t lose is our no. 1 priority, as we already have the lead. However, I’d favour the more aggressive school of thought – bowl them out and win the Test. The series will be over, we will be on our way to 4 – 0.

    If it’s a classic fast, bouncy WACA pitch, I’d say pick Tremlett. Perth has changed, though, so if the pitch is less helpful to a tall seamer, go for Shazad and get it reversing. The Aussies have been terrible against the swinging ball. Long may it continue.

  • THA – so essentially your position is that England should pick Tremlett, Shazad or Bresnan?


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