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Slater said on radio this morning that under the current rules Warne would have to play Victoria first to get selected and that there is little likehood of that happening this summer, as he's not contracted.

I still have visions of Plugger Lockett riding a bike on the boundary line wearing a jumper 2 sizes too small. Tim Watson one of the few good comeback stories.

Agree though, Poms will be competitive. Stable batting. Fair depth in bowling, they are building up a fair swing arsenal (and about time Harmy was shown up as a fraud) and Monty bowls so much better at home. Can't wait for the Ashes, even with no miracle Le Bogan comeback.

The part I like best about the "Warne comeback possibility" story is the conditions attached. I also like how he's got the engine revving again after being captain and coach of the Royals ...

This was the same man who - along with chief cheerleader Chappelli - used to rubbish coaches? Or was that only Buchanan specific ?

Also , I wonder how much Jamaican rum Stu Macgill consumed last night ...

And the Poms have a keeper who can catch....from Newcastle NSW.

Its not as if its exactly going to be phyisically demanding for the fat-bastard. Straya should just keep him on ice till we play england every other year, I can't see us getting a better spinner then warney in the next decade

Did the grate man DK Lillee get a wicket with his 1st ball in his comeback? Playing for Tassie in the Sheffield Shield? Seem to remember something like that happening.

Against all the odds, warnie turns in a magnificent performance, scoring vital runs and taking 40 wickets in 5 tests. His legend grows.

Australia lost that series in 05 and they would be mad to bank on him in 09.

As to comebacks, there was also the Big Fish turning out and rucking very well for the Bombers in 2002. I seem to remember him outgunning and even outpacing Josh Fraser one MCG Friday night. It's true, comebacks rarely bear fruit but Warne is no ordinary player.

I really should be working on a report at the moment, but let's not get carried away about a) our ordinary attack, b) how competitive England are, and c) how good Tim Ambrose is behind the stumps.

I'm of the view that we've still got a bloody good attack, which was more than a match for India over the summer. I don't rate England at all - have a look at Cricket With Balls for an assessment that I wholeheartedly agree with - they're obdurate, don't get on with it, draw matches they should win and lose matches they should draw. They are perennial underachievers. There's an argument that they MIGHT raise their game when they play us, but I don't think we should get too excited....

Plus Ambrose is rubbish. See Cricket With Balls again.

I was always a believer that it was worth putting Terry Alderman out there against the Poms for maximum psychological effect, even if they had to wheel him out there in a wheelchair. Imagine the panic if Warney lined up.

And imagine the look on McGill's face. That'd be worth it alone.

On the other hand, precisely when - and how - are the present crop going to step up if he comes back?

If Ricky thinks he can do the job? Ricky better concentrate on his own job.

I didn't say the Poms were better right now, just that they could be OK next year, especially with the inclusion of a fit and firing Freddie. And that Lee will be nearly 32 this time next year, which is pretty old for his kind of speed merchant. Stuey Clarke looked a little slow against India. Has he lost a yard? He only looked dangerous in Melbourne on a tricky deck. At least he doesn't leak runs when he's off speed. Johnston should be better next year. And Cabernet Magilla is still a very handy leggy.

I was surprised England didn't run through the Kiwis the other night. MOnty was looking dangerous, Broad was pretty nippy and Sidey was moving them around. I thought after Tauf gave Taylor elbee off a dodgy call the Kiwis might fold, but the Dodgers couldn't cut through.

Haven't seen enough of Ambrose. Is he better than Hack Jones?

I had the idea that Ambrose was a better 'keeper than Jones or Prior, but then he let through 16 byes in the first innings alone against Inzid the other day. I'd say he's about as good as Jones with the gloves, and maybe not as good a bat as Prior. Ultimately, if he was better than any of the cast of thousands that England have been trying behind the stumps in recent years, he would have been picked earlier, wouldn't he?

Without getting too arrogant about it all, I think the only cricket really worth watching over the past few years has been us versus whoever we're playing. Look at India. They pushed us all the way last summer and as soon as they were playing South Africa they managed to get bowled out for 80 or something. England played out of their skins to win the 2005 Ashes, and then promptly capitulated to Pakistan 2-0.

That said, I can't REALLY see a team that has played as unenterprising cricket in recent times as England pushing us too far next year. We got ambushed last time, it won't happen again. I don't think we're as good a side as we were, but England just aren't good enough.

I agree with most of this, but you're telling me you were ambushed in a 5 match series? Ha!

Fair point I suppose. Maybe we should replace "we got ambushed" with "we were under-prepared".

One of the things that has changed in the Australian set-up since the 2005 Ashes has been the loss of the "Mr Nice-guy" image, and I think that's significant, too. 2005 was one of Ponting's first series, and I'm not quite sure if he was aware of his persona as captain by then. Do we remember all of the cameraderie and smiles and "have a good game, guys" stuff in 2005? How often have we seen that since? Ponting's decided that to win he has to be a ruthless c*** and not give an inch, EVER, to the point were I really don't like the man, and his team have followed. What really pissed me off last Australian summer with the Injuns was that through all of their shrill protests and carry-on you got the feeling that they just MIGHT have had a point, and we are bunch of pricks on the field at times.

But put that into an Ashes series and I think you've got a different story altogether. The Injuns got under our skin. I don't think the Poms will, because they'll react differently. Are the likes of Ian Bell, Andrew Strauss, Ambrose and Monty REALLY tough enough to withstand that sort of behaviour? I'm guessing not, much though I don't always condone it.

The more that I write about this the more I'm looking forward to it.... pity I won't be in the UK by then.

I'll see your "we were ambushed" and "we were under-prepared" and raise you a "it was a fluke".

As to the ambushing. We'd only ever seen about five minutes of Jones and we'd never played against Flintoff. Sure, we knew they could bowl, but here they were in 2005 performing like a pair of Malcolm Marshalls. Top that with Harmlessson occasionally managing to put the agate on the spot, and Giles pinching the odd wicket with nude balls, and England - through karma, kismet, luck, good management, timing, Samantha's nose twitch, call it whatever you want - were able to offer up a pretty damn good attack.

As to the fluke. Well, pretty much everything went right for England and everything went wrong for Straya. Surprise tactics (cross-ref that in the "ambush" category), Flintoff closing his eyes and swinging and snicking sixes, McGrath stepping on a ball, nobody subs direct-hitting the stumps, Gillespie suddenly losing his pace, Straya not picking Michael Hussey (we would have won had he played) and of course the umpiring completely dudded Straya.

Katich in the second innings of the fourth Test, just as we were staring to build an awkward target, is the one that pissed me off the most:

Harmison to Katich, OUT: just short of a length, pitching outside leg, straightening, hit on the pad, loud shout for the lbw and Aleem Dar thinks long and hard and gives it. Unlucky for Katich there as that one pitched well outside leg.

Image the English nerves had we managed another 70+ runs.

Still, I'm not about to hang it on the umpires. Despite creating lots of chances, Straya has been VERY lucky with the umpires in recent years. I even forgive Billy Bowden for giving Kaspers out at Edgbaston. In real-time, it looked out.

Did I mention Edgbaston? Oh, that's right. Ponting. Toss. Sob.

one does not fluke three tests ( the two they won and the other they would have but for rain).
Remember too they won with the thinnest batting lineup I have ever seen.

Sidebottom is a good lefthander who swings the ball. ( Remember how good our yobbos are against a swinging ball and the poms have a decent cricket ball not a silly kookaburra which should have been banned a century ago!)

Agree on Broad. Flintoff is much better in England. So is Monty and Hoggard is better now against our leaden footed batsman.

It comes down to whether the Poms perform with the bat.

If they do they could very well win.
I was certain they would win last time. Not as confident this time.

You were certain they would win last time - what, in 06/07? You must be joking. England have a sprinkling of average to good players. KP might have wandered off to greener pastures by next year (he has form, you know), or may have a WRI (wallet related injury) like Haydos. It will be a good series. Not sure it will be a competitive series.

Perhaps Warnie could return as coach? He's certainly got the youngsters in India dancing to his tune - and the one big area where Oz have fallen down on in the last 10 years of supremacy is bringing through young talent.

Don't forget the big turning point of 2005 was McGrath proving his ball control skills were shite.

2009 will be close, but all the stars need to be in perfect alignment for us to win again. Freddie fit, a decent batting line up (Cook - Key - Carberry - KP...)

Watch out for Broad though - the guy's going to be a real handful. And he's got an attitude to match his old mans.

Oh, and we reckon we've got ourselves a leggie who lands 6 out of 6 on the cut strip (unlike Salisbury...!!!)

I mentioned McGrath up top, Mark, and I reckon the planets aligned in 2005.

Straya should just keep him on ice till we play england every other year

As an England man myself, this prompts such a groan of despair inside that I can barely bear to think about it. Warne could quite easily bowl another decade if he doesn't wear out from overuse - he's a fucking leggie after all, they last forever. Clarrie Grimmett bowled in Tests until he was 44, Tich Freeman was 48 when he left Kent to play in the leagues, and O'Reilly was at least 41 when he retired as well.

Last time the Ashes were held in England, he nearly won the fucking thing all by himself - the rest of Australia gave him nothing.

If any of youse are at all interested, considering DK didn’t exactly set the world on fire and only played first class. (Only?!! Back when it was really popular, I once played a couple of seasons of A-grade indoor cricket in a strong competition and I thought I was the f*cking duck’s. But anyway…)

He got 4-99 in his comeback, and his season bowling stats were: 6 matches, 16 wickets @ 37.50, with a quite tidy economy rate.


But I’ll be buggered if there’s anything about getting a wicket with his 1st ball. I fear my recollection is wrong, but I did register that question on a “ask the guru” section of a stats site ---> shame on me for having such a boner for trivia that I'd actually waste time doing that.

Here’s the comeback game scorecard:

http://aus.cricinfo.com/link_to_database/ARCHIVE/1980S/1987-88/AUS_LOCAL/SS/TAS_ SOA_SS_15-18JAN1988.html

I see he played with Troy Cooley the gun bowling coach, and noted with glee that the ‘keeper Soule had a first initial of R.

Ty: There are a lot of us here who wish Warne could be wheeled out in perpetuity against England. It's the least we could do for the muvver country.

Biggy: Maybe DK got a wicket first ball in indoor cricket.

Bah. Good riddance to that overrated Bogan muppet. He retired just in time so that the Indians wouldn't smash him out of the park like they always did

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