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Thread: Main problems each side needs to confront before start of series...

  1. #16
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox
    Australia
    • Middle Order
    • Fourth bowler
    • McGrath

    England
    • Injuries
    • Middle Order
    • Make up of attack


    Maybe Langer's position might come under threat, I don't know. Whether or not they play two spinners, and an all-rounder, is also an issue that needs to be sorted out.

    WRT the last point about England, if Giles isn't fit, or even if he is, I wouldn't be suprised to see England play 5 pace bowlers. I don't think Giles will be as effective in Australia where the pitches are a bit quicker, and you can't quite "take the pace off the ball" like you can on the slightly slower pitches of England. And if he's missing, then I think that their next best bowler isn't a spinner.

    What else will the sides concern themselves with in preparation for the series?
    Is it really likely that the pitches at The 'Gabba, Adelaide, The MCG and The SCG are going to be especially slower than the pitches we saw in 2005?
    In any case - it's not like Giles was effective in 2005 other than in the first-innings' at Edgbaston and Old Trafford.
    Yes, IMO it'd be much better to go in with 5 seamers, even if 1 of them is Harmison. I've been saying that ever since I examined the situation. And yet, we're still living in the dark-ages, because we still have the "you must have variation" argument dominating most selection issues.
    For me, you simply pick your best bowlers, and only rarely is a spinner one of the best bowlers in either England or Australia.
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  2. #17
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
    While England's batting is the key worry, there's also some questions about how well their bowling attack will perform in Australian conditions. Harmison and Hoggard had a poor time of it last tour
    And of course Hoggard hasn't made any improvements at all since then...
    Giles is likely to be fodder on Australian pitches outside of Sydney, but I do think that England needs a spinner, since they should be able to carry him for use on 4th and 5th day wickets due to the five-man attack.
    Really - what is it about fourth- and fifth-day wickets?

  3. #18
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc71178
    I would be very shocked that they'd play 5 pace bowlers - the 5th man wouldn't have enough to do or add enough variety to the main 4.
    Variety isn't important if they're all threatening to take wickets (which, of course, is unlikely if 1 of them's Harmison, but still - it's the ideal).

  4. #19
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Wright
    Don't forget Australia's problem of not having an adequate captain.
    Really, I fail to see how Ponting is inadequete. Not the best captain going around, no, but he's no more inadequete than Geraint Jones is as a wicketkeeper.
    I don't see how Ponting's captaincy is likely to adversely affect Australia's chances next winter.


  5. #20
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox
    I certainly think that the 4th bowler is still a definite problem for Australia. Clark did a good job in SA, but if England show the same aggressive attitude on what will be much better batting wickets then whether it's Clark or Gillespie, I expect them to struggle again.
    Why's that?
    Generally if you show an aggressive attitude against accurate bowling you'll pay for it - we've seen that often enough in recent Ashes Series.

  6. #21
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaminda_00
    Bring in MacGill and Australia have no 4th bowling problem...
    They haven't?
    So someone taking 3-120 or something of that order every Test isn't a problem?

  7. #22
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox
    Then you have to play an all-rounder...

    I still think that Aus selectors refuse (and rightly so, IMO) to play only two pace bowlers (well, in Australia anyway)
    Ahem...

  8. #23
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Why's that?
    Generally if you show an aggressive attitude against accurate bowling you'll pay for it - we've seen that often enough in recent Ashes Series.
    If you are referring to the last Ashes series, I think that Australia showed an impatient attitude with the bat in hand. While England's batsmen showed an aggressive intent throughout, which clearly unsettled Australia's bowlers.

  9. #24
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    8 years is a decent stretch. They've shown in the last 3 or so years a clear reluctance to head into a game of cricket without two recognised medium pace or quicker bowlers.

  10. #25
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheEpic
    So, I would think very carefully before you make these sort of comments about England's pace attack, which has proved itself all over the world over the past couple of years against better batting line-ups than the current Aussie one.
    Which batting lineups are better than the current Aussie one? You could make arguments for South Africa or India, but I'd be interested to see why you think either of them are clearly better, especially given the recent poor performances from the likes of Smith, Sehwag and Tendulkar. Australia still has comfortably one of the strongest batting lineups around.

    Anyway, I wasn't writing off the English attack (at least, that wasn't my intent), I was simply saying that I think they may struggle to have the same impact as they did in England. That's why I said there were "some questions", rather than "England's bowling is crap", for instance.

    If I'm being presumptuous in questioning how well Hoggard will translate his recent excellent performances into Australian conditions, you are certainly doing the same in assuming that Jones will be fit and in form come the Ashes. He might be, but he hasn't played any test cricket in six months, and he's never played in Australia extensively. Personally, I think Flintoff and perhaps Hoggard are likely to have good series, but I think England will struggle to mount the same diverse challenges of an in-form five man attack that they offered last time. If one bowler struggles you can certainly cover it with good bowling depth, but if Jones is unfit or Harmison gets belted around or Giles doesn't play or whatever, it makes things much more difficult. England have a very good pace attack, but it's much more difficult to bowl (especially swing) in Australia than many people realise, and I think you might find that England's attack doesn't look quite as lethal over here.

    We are, after all, discussing concerns, rather than foregone conclusions. We'll see how they go.
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  11. #26
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheEpic
    That's a rather silly approach to take. I don't know how you can have any feasible doubts about Matthew Hoggard, as he has surely shown in South Africa last year, and then again in Pakistan and India this winter, he can adapt to any condition and has become a fantastic bowler since the last Ashes tour. Most people write off Hoggard as only effective in gloomy English conditions on green pitches, but it has been shown time and time again that this is not the case. I expect him to top the wickets tally.

    Never ever write off Harmison on a bouncy track either. He can lose confidence and pace at times, but if the pitch suits him the shaky Australian middle order will find it difficult to cope.

    I also fully expect Simon Jones to be as great a danger as in the 2005 series. He will have plenty of cricket before the Ashes to get back to full fitness and rhythm providing he is injury free, and this is dangerous for Australia. He can reverse swing any cricket ball, as was shown on previous England 'A' tours, and he has also added traditional swing alongside bristling pace to his locker. He is nearly the finished article, providing he can shake off various niggles.

    So, I would think very carefully before you make these sort of comments about England's pace attack, which has proved itself all over the world over the past couple of years against better batting line-ups than the current Aussie one.

    WATCH OUT!
    Really... how many particularly good batting-line-ups have we faced of late?
    India's was terrible by their standards - no Ganguly, Laxman facing just 1 ball in the series, Tendulkar not even at the races, Sehwag with some overdue rubbish, another opener who's done little at Test level, and two far-from proven middle-order players.
    Pakistan were, of course, better - but still, aside from Inzamam, it wasn't exactly formidable - a stopgap opener, Butt (who scored far more runs than he ever has against anyone else), Younis (who didn't do much in his 2 games), Mohammad Yousuf who did nothing until that dropped catch at Lahore (and who's generally done nothing against strong attacks in any case), one very poor excuse for a batsman (Raza), a far-from-proven batsman-wicketkeeper, and a glorified slogger.
    Australia had a pretty weak line-up - Martyn and Gilchrist who were both due a lean trot; Clarke who's still to suggest he's Test-class; Katich who was pretty poor for whatever reason; Hayden who was, finally, worked-out; and Ponting and Langer who were both nowhere near as good as normal (both got some good balls, but also played more than their normal share of bad strokes).
    Before that there was South Africa, who weren't up to much aside from Kallis - Amla, Hall and Tsolekie who're barely worth mention; van Jaarsveld, Boucher and Pollock who were below-par; Smith who was WAY below par; Dippenaar and Rudolph who are very far from proven Test batsmen; Gibbs who had 1 good game and 3 very poor ones; de Bruyn who inexplicably got just 1 game; and de Villiers who was messed-around far too much and only opened in half his innings.
    Then there was New Zealand and West Indies... most of whom, despite a good batsman or two, did little of note.
    Really, we haven't faced a strong batting-line-up since South Africa in 2003. Even Sri Lanka in 2003\04 were far from convincing.

  12. #27
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox
    If you are referring to the last Ashes series, I think that Australia showed an impatient attitude with the bat in hand. While England's batsmen showed an aggressive intent throughout, which clearly unsettled Australia's bowlers.
    I was referring to 1998\99, 2002\03 and to a lesser extent 2001.
    In each series which England's batsmen tried to dominate when, purely and simply, the bowling would not permit such an approach to be successful.

  13. #28
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    And of course Hoggard hasn't made any improvements at all since then...
    Of course he has. That doesn't mean that he will bowl as well as he did in India though, it's a new environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Really - what is it about fourth- and fifth-day wickets?
    They tend to turn? Actually, especially in Australia, pretty much all the pitches will turn a little bit later in the game (not the WACA, normally, or Hobart), even if they don't early on, and having a spin option will be quite valuable. As I said in my first post, the only situation in which I think England should pick five seamers is if Giles is missing and another seamer puts their hand up in a significant way in test cricket between now and then, like Anderson for example if he keeps bowling well. A spin option means variety, and variety means the ability to exploit different conditions, and if you're dealing with a pitch like Adelaide (for example) which is usually flat for the first few days and turns significantly later, England will be missing a trick if they can't take advantage of it.

  14. #29
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox
    8 years is a decent stretch. They've shown in the last 3 or so years a clear reluctance to head into a game of cricket without two recognised medium pace or quicker bowlers.
    Oh, right... sorry, didn't realise, you should've said "in the last 3 years or so".

  15. #30
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Really... how many particularly good batting-line-ups have we faced of late?
    India's was terrible by their standards - no Ganguly, Laxman facing just 1 ball in the series, Tendulkar not even at the races, Sehwag with some overdue rubbish, another opener who's done little at Test level, and two far-from proven middle-order players.
    Pakistan were, of course, better - but still, aside from Inzamam, it wasn't exactly formidable - a stopgap opener, Butt (who scored far more runs than he ever has against anyone else), Younis (who didn't do much in his 2 games), Mohammad Yousuf who did nothing until that dropped catch at Lahore (and who's generally done nothing against strong attacks in any case), one very poor excuse for a batsman (Raza), a far-from-proven batsman-wicketkeeper, and a glorified slogger.
    Australia had a pretty weak line-up - Martyn and Gilchrist who were both due a lean trot; Clarke who's still to suggest he's Test-class; Katich who was pretty poor for whatever reason; Hayden who was, finally, worked-out; and Ponting and Langer who were both nowhere near as good as normal (both got some good balls, but also played more than their normal share of bad strokes).
    Before that there was South Africa, who weren't up to much aside from Kallis - Amla, Hall and Tsolekie who're barely worth mention; van Jaarsveld, Boucher and Pollock who were below-par; Smith who was WAY below par; Dippenaar and Rudolph who are very far from proven Test batsmen; Gibbs who had 1 good game and 3 very poor ones; de Bruyn who inexplicably got just 1 game; and de Villiers who was messed-around far too much and only opened in half his innings.
    Then there was New Zealand and West Indies... most of whom, despite a good batsman or two, did little of note.
    Really, we haven't faced a strong batting-line-up since South Africa in 2003. Even Sri Lanka in 2003\04 were far from convincing.
    Wow, look at that. Every batting lineup in the world is so, so unbelievably bad!

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