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Tony

Now that was out. Hit the sheds, Kamran Diaz.

7/179.

Prediction: a tie.

Tony

Bats Like A Gul slaps the winner.

bruce

It seems that half of the runs required for the Paki's to squeak out their win today were to Third Man.

All we really saw in these two tests were things we already knew - will it be enough for the selection group?

Lou

Johnson got the world's most worthless wicket to bring his average down to 72 for the series. He's been so crap in comparison with the Pakistan bowlers, I don't know where to start.

Is he the only strike bowler to ever not like bowling in favourable conditions?

Anyway, they deserved that win. Too right, they did.

Lou

Yes, Punter's field settings were a treat weren't they?

No third slip and no third man. Onya Punter.

I'm vaguely interested in what Hilditch is going to say about all this. But then this is the man who thinks Clarke should play anchor in the 20/20 team.

TKYCraig

http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/ponting-says-form-a-worry-ahead-of-ashes-20100725-10q6i.html

No sh!t Sherlock... Don't forget to have a look in the mirror too.

Tony

Bugger!

Russ

I love this line:

"I don't think Smith will put pressure on North, no. I thought the runs we got out of Smith were pretty entertaining and very valuable as far as the game was concerned. I think you can look at all of our batsmen through this tour we've faced some pretty challenging conditions at different times."

So what Ponting is saying, basically, is that the entire top order failed miserably, not just North, so he won't be dropped. And anyway, it was the conditions, not the systematic and repeated failure it is being painted as.

...

Ponting must go. Not for his batting, which has been shithouse for two years, and is unlikely to improve. Not for his captaincy, which has always been rubbish, and looks especially galling when he does the reverse Sydney and comments to journos that "well, you wouldn't have expected the pitch to seam that much either". No, Ponting must go for his hubris. For living in a demented dream-world that thinks the collection of inept flat-track bullies that make up our top 6, a klutz masquerading as a keeper, a strike-bowler who can't land a ball on the cut strip, and backup bowlers who look innocuous in the best bowling conditions any of them might ever play in, have even the remotest chance of regaining the Ashes.

With due respect to Pakistan's bowlers, who are top class, a 1-1 draw to that side, with their batting, and their temperament, after winning the toss twice is fucking atrocious. Once, maybe, you might excuse a side having a bad day, but we spent the summer, struggling, frankly, to beat, at home, some of the worst sides to ever tour this country. And then selected, injuries aside, EXACTLY THE SAME SIDE that failed, repeatedly, to post decent totals and to bowl consistent lines. And then produced performances so consistently inept that here at AGB we've taken to shrugging off collapses like a Dutchman does rain on account that noone really gives a shit what happens on the field until the first ball at Brisbane, when all anyone will want to talk about is whether Johnson is more or less useless as Harmison (as Harmison!) when his first delivery flies 10 feet down the leg side and off to the fence.

We are fucked. We are going to meet an English side that is younger, more talented, better coached, better captained, keener to do well, and more confident that they will. And lose. Not draw, or fail to get enough wins, or even be the better side if not for a few bad sessions.

But lose, and if we play the way we did on this tour, more than lose.
We are going to get flogged.

Yobbo

I think you are overrating the ability of anyone to bowl Australia out on Australian pitches Russ.

The only real danger to the ashes in the English side is Graeme Swann, none of their seamers are going to anything with a Kookaburra under Australian conditions. Bowlers like Johnson and Bollinger on the other hand, who can't swing it in England, will be extremely dangerous over here.

We lost this series because Ponting is used to always batting first because it doesn't ever swing in Australia so batting first is never wrong. Then Pakistan came out and were completely unplayable in conditions that gave the bowlers a huge advantage.

It was a terrible decision to bat but we all know the reasons behind it.

Tony

Yeah, but you'd think Ponting would have 'gone to school' on Headingley last year and Sydney in January. And I don't mean 'win toss, bat, win match'. I mean 'win toss, bowl, win match'. Winning in Sydney was not down to Ponting batting first. It was down to Ponting ignoring the Pak attack, which is ideally suited to a green pitch and grey skies, and then jagging a win through luck, Pakistani incompetence & poor captaincy.

Lou

I must admit, Russ, I laughed when I saw that about Smith from Punter. His hubris is pretty bloody funny. His loyalty to the older players in the team is touching, sort of, except when it is blankly against good sense which is regularly. But considering his own crap form, it's pretty tough to expect him to make a call on someone else's crap form. For whom the bell tolls and all that. He'll never want to watch a replay of that shot he played on Day three to get out. Ever.

Yobbo, I think you underestimate the Aussie ability to collapse. I really do. It doesn't take much to watch the domino theory in action.

Lou

Worse thing that happened for Aus was that win at the SCG. I felt it then and I still think so.

This loss can be blamed on 'English condition', lazy excuse if I've ever heard one, especially considering the amount of English conditions' experience our older players have between them.

That one wouldn't have been able to be blamed on that.

Yobbo

No Lou, the loss is due to Ponting's terrible decision to bat first in horrible batting conditions, leading to Australia being dismissed for its lowest score in more than 50 years.

What I'm saying though is that the reason these terrible decisions are made is because Australian cricketers, used to playing in Australian conditions, are largely of the opinion that bowling first is always wrong. Not just Ponting, but many of his peers in the commentary box and the ACB share this opinion. You only need to listen to the rubbish coming out of the mouths of people like Chapelli or Allan Border, along with the Edgbaston test, to understand why Ponting (and any subsequent Australian captain) is so terrified to bowl first.

Lou

Yobbo, the 'English conditions' excuse is bullshit, I know.

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