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I reckon Pat, sitting up there in the Blue Mountains honking stubbies and heckling the neighbours and wildlife, summed it all up pretty well in the post below. I'll add a couple of things when I work out what those things are. It's end of term, OK, I'm winding the brain down.

I drank a lot last night, and I'm still a bit unsteady, so I've not composed a serious post either.

You have to give credit to the journos who have to do this for a living. It's a lot easier writing without a deadline.

That thread you linked to has given me such joy - reading it now that the Ashes have returned. Surely Flute deserves a special treat. Perhaps a letter signed by all who commented on AGB, tainted with a particularly nasty strain of E. Coli.

And Vaughny, his bollocks must be fit to burst. No doubt he's off castrating himself like that Welsh soccer fan a few years back.

CS was spot on the mark: "At least we know the Poms would never have a chance in Oz. Ponces."

Tony,

I watched practically ever ball in this 3rd Test - but would you believe I missed the last, Ashes winning wicket. Bugger!

Anyway, that run out pictured above was among my top 5 "Moments in Cricket". Not only was it the first time I've ever seen Warney completely non-plussed at events around him, it provided an insight into precisely how shrewd Punter's mind really is. Additionally, it spelt the end of two cricketing careers - Jones and Fletcher. The former being simply a victim of Fletcher's, the latter simply asked to be crucified from his first day in Australia.

Take care and sing this like a bell,,,,,,,

"Five NIL"

"Five NIL"

(pause)

"Five NIL"

"Five Nil"

Sing it loud, sing it clear.

Bilbo

Tony, I have to say, mate, where's your boys' sense of occaison? See now, us English aren't too good at winning things, but when we do, we try and make it as shakey, flawed, nerve-racking and ropey as possible - adds to the tension. Last time round things went to the last day. You boys kill it off in 15. Where's your sense of style? Of occasion? That's the problem with you Aussies - you relentless, resilient, bastards.

Well played though.

Wicky: It's at moments like this that the flood of media is so great that you don't know where to start writing about it.

Pat: I was going to put a link in directly to taunt the Flute, but I decided to see if anyone noticed. Well spotted. I'm very surprised he hasn't been moved to comment. I left a comment at his blog but got no reply. I wonder, is he hiding under his doona?

Bilbo: It was at that moment that I knew we had it won. Yeah, we probably had it won earlier, but that was the moment I said to myself "That's it."

Alistair: Last year was far too much for me last year. I can do without senses of occasion of that kind. Killing it off in 15 was almost too long for me. If they'd done it in 12 I wouldn't have minded, although I would have missed out on Day 5 in Adelaide which would have been a blow. Of course, if I missed out on it I wouldn't have missed it ... I think I'll stop typing now.

Did you see this, Tony?

http://tinyurl.com/yaxnx2

We're back to our default setting now. Winning it last time was giddying.

Some great posts in the previous threads, but I would just add this:

At no point did anyone in Pomerania think this was a turkey shoot with us carrying the guns; even our bookies had the Aussies as huge favorites.

What this series has shown clearly is that if you don't have the bowlers then you don't have shit. And if you don't have the bowlers when playing Oz in Oz then it's a long old tour. I think it was Hutton or some other old timer who said somthing like "to beat Australia in Australia you have to be 20% better than them". Add into the brew a raging Punter and an improved attack - gotta love Stuey Clark, the line and length demon - and we were heading south into lots of trouble.

However, if I were an Aussie I would have a slightly uneasy feeling in the bottom of the stomach underneath all the beer and champagne. Of the three England collapses only one was an allround effort from the bowlers, the other two were courtesy of the McGrath and Warne wrecking ball. Two utter champions. History doesn't record two such bowlers playing at the same time for one team - 1200 wickets between them, scorching stuff.

Here's a prediction,; in two/three years time Australia, Pakistan (if Asif and Akhtar are allowed to play) and Australia will be continually swapping the number one spot in test cricket. Warne and McGrath gone, Lee and Tait struggling with injuries, Clark moved into accountancy at age of 35, leaving an Aussie attack reminiscent of the early 90's. You will always have a strong batting line-up, but they will only keep you in games, not win them. Only then will we see just how good Hussey, Clarke, Jacques, Rogers etc really are.(I leave Ponting out of this - all-time great)

This series will be seen as the last hurrah of a great outfit.

Er...make that Australia, Pakistan and ENGLAND swapping number one spot.

No..really.

Alistair,

I like your summation, "you Aussies - you relentless, resilient, bastards."

Yep, that's about right.

It's national character thing.

I'm an ex-pom. I know how you guys regard the game. "Twee"? "Play up and play the game, old bean", "I say, Cholmondley-Smythe, that's just not cricket" and so on and so on.

We on the other hand regard cricket as a religion as much as an Islammic Mullah does Islaam.

We eat our young if they can't bat, can't bowl, can't feild, can't swim, can't play Aussie Rules and so on and so on.

We just had a few days off in that Summer of 2005.

Give my regards to Elsie at the Pig 'n Whistle. She pulled a lot of things besides pints ;)

Bilbo

Woody,

",,,,,,This series will be seen as the last hurrah of a great outfit,,,,,,"

We Aussie hear this every time we win. You are the eternal optimists. It got you through The Blitz.

Mate, it rarely happens. Look at the admin of English Cricket. Yer letting that Jaappy Fletcher RUN English Cricket. He's not even English. He has no vested interest in English Cricket. He's "a contractor". Contractors have no soul, no loyalty, no "raison d'etre". I was a contractor - an engineer. We're highly paid scum.

But dream on anyway mate,,,,,,

Bilbo

I think Woody is onto something with the Aussie bowling. Warne & McGrath still manage to snag crucial wickets at crucial times, but at least Clark has managed to get amongst them. But nor does there appear to be anyone coming through to step into their stead. Look at the three contenders: Tait - bullshit action, crock; Watson - crock; Johnston - jury out.

Warne is the key - I hope he NEVER retires. He, more than any other person, is responsible for Straya's dominance in the last 10 or so years. Is he the best cricketer of all time? No bullshit. Bradman included. Warne is the best match-winner.

Just by the way, file this under scurrilous. I heard a little whisper that McGrath & Warne may retire after the Ashes. It's probably rubbish, but who doesn't love a good rumour?

Top article that, Alistair. And I assume "Ally's Tartan Army" isn't your own private bodyguard.

Yeah, Shane Warne was awesome. In 1993. All he's done for the last five years or more is clean up the tail. It's a national disgrace that Stuart MacGill isn't bowling regularly for Australia. He's by far the better bowler, now.

Had to be said. :p

I noticed that Vaughny didn't realise that "Phil McKracken" was a joke name. Stupid pommy wanker.

I heard today on the news that the cricket is over or something and that we (oz) won. So when can we expect your blog to be readable again? Soonish I hope.

I disagree that Warney is played out. His presence as a leg spinner, the best bowler in the world right now, a brilliant cricket brain, and source of wisdom for a captain, is priceless. We'll miss him badly when he quits and I believe it will be within the next 12 months.

Cricket is a team game. In some respects that's where England stuffed up. Too much reliance on individuals and reputations.

I do however agree with McGrath when he said that Warne applies the pressure - constantly. Warne may not get a wicket but he puts so much pressure on the batsman that it assists other bowlers to knock 'em over. McGrath's words, but my paraphrasing.

Bilbo

A major difference is, unlike last series, Australia have good bowlers other than McGrath and Warne. Lee was wholehearted last time, but he ultimately avearged over 40.

Tone, it wouldn't be altogether surprising if they did call it a day; how d'you top reclaiming the urn and giving the poms a good kicking? Beating Sri Lanka and India? Not quite the same resonance.

In all my years watching cricket there has been no one who comes close to the constant menace of Warney. As a pom, the stomach tenses every time he starts warming up. I couldn't even say I mind the constant appealing; the guy is magnificent theatre.

McGill - couln't say how good he is or was; most Aussie bloggers tend to think he gets wickets due to Warney building pressure.

Good to see Punter going for the jugular; give some spice to the last two tests.

Applying pressure is everything in an ashes series. As soon as we lost Simon Jones last year we struggled to bowl you out(second innings Trent bridge, first innings the Oval).

Bilbo: I agree to an extent on Fletch. He instigated a few good things, but not fighting to keep Cooley and his ludicrously conservative approach show he's past his sell-by date. Him and that pussy Gravney have to be kicked out. They got all the major decisions wrong. Even if they'd got them right we still lose this series, but at least we show initiative.

It may sound a little funny but I reckon the poms played a hell of a lot BETTER this series than they did in '05, they played shit then - we just played shitter.
Who are they missing?

Vaughny, overrated and I doubt very much that he would have had any impact on the series over here.

Simon Jones, fair call - might have been able to get his reverse swing going but hard to say, conditions here compared to England are chasms apart.

How many catches have gone down this time, not that many - much to my chagrin, I love bashing Geraintmuchofakeeper Jones. And fuck me if Pieterson hasn't finally figured out to hold one or two.

Umpires were pretty good this time, ok Straussy got a raw deal a couple times there but he's shit anyway so it doesn't really count.

The poms were able to string together a couple of good sessions this time, but their handy knack of losing wickets in clusters kept me pretty confident of an aussie victory.
Until the poms learn how to string good DAYS, not just sessions together, they'll have to rely on the umpires, weather, and the aussies having a bad day to win a series.

P.S. Don't forget Bracken Tone, he's become quite handy of late. (I admit I rubbished him early)

P.P.S. How much of a dickhead is Fletcher for letting Cooley go, thanks mate!

"Just by the way, file this under scurrilous. I heard a little whisper that McGrath & Warne may retire after the Ashes. It's probably rubbish, but who doesn't love a good rumour?"

I've got a horrible feeling you might be right Tony. Did anyone else catch Ian Healy just at the were wrapping up the highlights after the win? He hinted very strongly that they might not be around much longer. When Mark Nicholas probed a bit further he backed down a bit, but had this really sort of guily, knowing look on his face. Bad omens.

It's all over the news today that both are considering retiring after the ashes. They will be sorely missed but Bracken + MacGill are great replacements.

By the way, MacGill and Warne rarely play together, he gets his wickets on his own, and at a better strike rate than Warney does.

The only problem that I see with MacGill is his age - 35. Aside from that his international and domestic returns show that he is quite capable of being the test spinner, if only for a couple of years.

The question is do the selectors then be utter bastards and select a younger spinner?

Bracken does indeed seem to be the forgotten man, but his advantage is that he has some international experience. Certainly Clark, Johnston and Bracken make up a none too shabby pace attack.

McGill- second rater, and a prima donna.

Look elsewhere for the next great Aussie bowler. McGill ain't it.

Warney can retire gracefully as one of the best cricketers this country has ever produced at any level.

Murph, You possom shagging,Kangaroo humping piece of dogs turd. I hope Russia by passes europe and most of the world and just nukes your house (and maybe pakistan,india,wales,scotland,liverpool)
Yes it has taken me 20 months to think of that reply

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