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Dennis Lillee - probably the finest mozzer we've ever had in international cricket - was saying in the local paper on the weekend that the head favoured England, but the heart said Australia would win.


Sounds to me like he favours England. That could be crucial.


Sly little dig of the night (sly as a Chapelli, I mean): when Chapelli got into Atherton about having no cause to recognise the crystalware. Heals and Chapelli going at was well worth a look though.


That Chappelli dig at Athers bordered on the nasty. Pity we never got to see Chappelli on stage with Beefy Botham. That would have been well worth a look, too.


Tait's been cut from the squad. So it's now down to Johnson and Clark. Ponting will probably bowl if he wins the toss............................


Ponting wouldn't dare bowl ever again. Not even if the pitch was as green as ... well, grass.


I wouldn't mind seeing Australia bowl first. Early nerves and all that. Though I'd prefer Ponting didn't choose to. I'd like to see Johnson play too, but without Watson to cover he probably won't.

snr nubis

My tip is that Mitch will play, bit of left arm variety on his home track. Clark has the line & length of McGrath, which is great if McGrath ain't playin! Hope the poms win the toss, they'll b 3 down by lunch. Re A2A, watched about 5 minutes, that's all I could handle, preferred the ABC doco on the tied test & the Fox highlights of Ashes 2001.


Russ & Nubis: I'd prefer we batted and were 0/100 at lunch like in 1994.

Nubis: I'd forgotten the ABC show was on and will try to catch in on ABC2. When the ads came on Nine I instead switched over to Foxtel to watch the first Ashes test from 2001.


Tony, optimally, yes, 0/100 would be nice. But I expect England to bowl tightly and aggressively like in 2005, so I'd be happy with 1/60.

Nubis, for me the selection of Johnson vs. Clark depends a lot on Brett Lee. If he bowls his traditional mix of short fast tripe then Clark's line and length might be needed to haul the runrate in. If he bowls with a little accuracy, then Johnson is worth the risk. We'll know soon enough anyway.


Is Johnson accurate? I've never seen him bowl other than in pyjamas.


A2A was about the slowest two hours of television I've seen in years. If the Tubs & Slats' comedy stylings give any indication of the quality of Channel 9's commentary to come, we're in for a dour season indeed. We can but pray there's some acrimony between Heals and the saddest has-been in Australian cricket to keep things interesting.


I missed the T&S show, H. Sounds gruesome.

The brainstrust standing right behind me burst out "Too right, Slatts is a sad has-been." What you might call a correct mistake.


You might indeed. He certainly has-been sad, at any rate. And I've yet to see Chappelli on Dancing on Ice, to be fair.

Paul B

Don't know if you've seen it, Tony, but on the BBC website there's a very interesting article by Jonathan Agnew (here), who says that he'd pick Giles over Panesar because the English tail would approach the size of that of a Stegosaurus with Harmison, Hoggard, Anderson and Panesar in it.

It's basically a question of whether England should play to bowl out Australia twice or play with a draw in mind, bat as long as possible and let the Australian media crucify their team for not being able to bowl out the pathetic Poms.

As negative as it sounds, I reckon Aggers has a point. Although he's a better attacking bowler, Monty isn't going to take many wickets at the Gabba. It's, obviously, crucial.

PS: I was glad to hear that Tait won't be playing - he's got a weird action that seemed to blindside a lot of our batsmen last year and in the warmup games this year. This guy that's replacing him, that no-one in England has ever heard of, must be pretty useful.

Yorkshire Soul

I was at the WACA last week watching Gilchrist battering the ball all around the park, I hope he's got it all out of his system before the Ashes starts, some hope.

I think it's going to be a close series, shame I've had to come home to Blighty just before it starts.


Well, the mention of the ABC has given me the slightest of openings, so I' taking it. Check this out:
Aren't EMI Pommy owned? I haven't heard of any threats against those Barmy pricks ('Convict Colony' to the tune of 'Yellow Submarine', etc). Maybe they will go after both, but how pathetic is this on EMI's part?


No, I didn't watch it.

Scott Wickstein

I'm not saying anything. Ever.

I will just spit chips and fume incoherently.


Paul, most of the pundits here are saying things along the lines of "if England pick Giles, they are playing for a draw, and so they will lose." Not sure I subscribe to that. One of the best ways to beat Australia is to stop them scoring and wait for them to get themselves out. On the other hand, Australia have a noted weakness against good off-spin of the likes of Monty. So from a bowling perspective it's probably even for Giles and Panesar. So you/Aggers are probably right that Giles is in for his batting.

YS: I sincerely hope Gilchrist HASN'T left his form at the WACA.

What are you fuming about, Wicky?


Tony, Panesar is equally as adept at holding up an end as Giles is. From a bowling perspective there is no contest: Giles will give you, on average 3/120 per test; Panesar, 4/120. Again, on average, the question is whether Giles extra 20-30 while batting is worth more than the extra 20-30 runs the opposition makes because he is bowling.

But cricket is not played on averages, it is uneven, and for me, Panesar would have given England a lot more options on the last two days when Brisbane takes turn. I suspect Flintoff had a hand in selection too though. He under-bowled Panesar at times against India and Sri Lanka. It wouldn't surprise if he held the traditional view that spinners are cart-horses for load-sharing, not for wicket-taking.


Don't get me wrong, Russ, I think it's a timid selection based on England's concern about a long tail.


If they are worried about a long tail, why play 5 bowlers?

They could get away with not playing Anderson/Hoggard and playing a batsman in their place. Flintoff is their best bowler in any case, why do they need 3 specialist seamers, especially with Collingwood in the side?


The point is England went for Gilo over The Monster because he is a better batsman.

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