Could you have done?!Originally Posted by Burgey
Could you have done?!Originally Posted by Burgey
marc71178 - President and founding member of AAAS - we don't only appreciate when he does well, but also when he's not quite so good!
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Who am I confusing him with that was in form then scored next to nothing then?Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
Martyn?Originally Posted by marc71178
Probably yes, don't know how I did that.
I think Australia are roughly equal to last year's team, meaning it's not a great side but a damn good one. I have some doubts about the bowling, McGrath has been absent for a long while, Lee is an inconsistent Test bowler at best and the back-up is unproven. McGrath's lack of play may not show up in Brisbane, but by the third Test his old limbs may be starting to suffer a bit. The batting is still very good, although here age may be a factor too.
England, however, have gone from an excellent bowling and adequate batting side to a mediocre bowling and adequate batting side. Monty's been a real find, but the back-up pace bowling is a big, big worry. OK they're better than Pakistan's third choice attack but we're talking Sami so that doesn't mean a thing. I seriously can't see England winning the Ashes without change bowlers of Flintoff's and Jones' quality. Mahmood, Broad, Tremlett or whoever will get called up will just be this year's Shaun Tait.
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Originally Posted by Pedro DelgadoOriginally Posted by Matt79
Tough to see too many grounds for English optimism. However, straws to clutch at that I can see:
- Hard to see the Oz lower order being as effective as it was over here; if not for the efforts of Lee, Warne & co we'd have won much more comfortably.
-McGrath 18 months older & missed a test due to "artefacts" (AKA GBR) in his elbow last time.
-Watson unproven as batter & hard to imagine him doing much with the ball.
-Fred has the wood on Gilly.
-Langer coming back from serious head injury which he's admitted is playing on his mind.
-Hayden struggles against top class swing bowling, if Hoggy can get any swing that is...
-Hussey due to start his sophomore slump.
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all left handers do againts right arm bowlers who swing it back into their pads but Hayden based on his recent form has improved a lot in this area thats for sure.Originally Posted by BoyBrumby
Far out...have I ever seen a more English biased summary than the first post of this thread....you tried to hide it well but it was pumping up England all the way.. So instead of trying to hide the fact that I barrack for the Aussies I will shout it from the housetops...AUSTRALIA ARE BY FAR A BETTER TEAM AND WILL WIN THE ASHES BACK
Of course he was "pumping up" England - last time I checked, the Wirral was a long way from Wollongong.Originally Posted by bluesteel
For me, the five most significant developments for the Ashes are as follows.
1) The English change bowlers, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones, have both suffered from injuries and even if the former returns, he may find it tough to carry out his naturally heavy workload. The replacements, Mahmood, Plunkett, Tremlett, Lewis or whoever the hell else they can find (perhaps it'll be Broad) simply don't compare.
2) Michael Hussey has entered the Australian middle-order and that means solidity and stability, at least based on what we've seen from him so far.
3) England have found a genuine wicket-taking spin option in Monty Panesar and this will be a consolation for the weakened pace attack. Whether he succeeds is another story, but at least he will pose a genuine threat and has shown that he can take the wickets of quality batsmen.
4) Australia will have home advantage. This means a diminished threat of reverse swing, fan support for the Aussies and everything else that comes with playing at home.
5) Kevin Pietersen has just been demolished by Mohammad Asif, to a certain extent. This doesn't necessarily mean that Pietersen isn't as good as he was last year, but it may have an adverse effect on his confidence and simultaneously give McGrath and Lee a little something to think about.
4 points to the Aussies and 1 to the English, so I'll arbitrarily predict 4-1 Australia this time around. Actually, that sounds wrong. 3-1 Australia.
It is very tough to compare to teams 12-18 months apart. But ill give it a shot with Australia.
Last time in England the Australians went in with a very shaky batting line up. Nothing like what it has been for the past year, we were inconsistant and between 4 and 6 we were terrible. Hayden went into the series underdone, he had little confidence and the fact that we only had 1 warm up game he had no touch or understanding of the english wickets. But now are ageing batting line up is getting back to something similar to what it was like before the ashes. Hayden and Langer might possibly be the last test series together opening and neither have left anything to chance, both are scoring runs. But our greatest advantage with the bat is the addition of Hussey. This guy is a phenomen and can either score runs or play defensive. We lacked a middle order batsman that could do both, he might well of been the difference a couple of times and he is very important for Australia to become successful. I would have to say that Martyn is a slight liability and would like to see both Hodge and Jacques get their riteful and deserved spot in the team.
Our bowling department has been a real problem from the Ashes. Only Warne and Lee stood up and tried to take the English on but two bowlers arent going to bowl teams out for small totals. Gillespi was shocking last time but he has changed and give him another chance. He has improved and is looking like the bowler he was a few years ago. We just didnt have the options in England and frankly over the past year it has been a real source of problem. Sure Clark has come in and taken a few wickets, even Bracken was given a chance but neither are world class bowlers. McGrath is back and is fitter then ever (hitting 100kg which is a good sign) He is a world class bowler and these sorts of guys bounce back and are up to the task after long injury spells. What is going to make or break the Aussies bowling department is the 4th seamer or the 2nd spinner. It will obviously depend on where the game is (MacGill for SCG and Adelaide) but this guy is going to either win for us or loose it. Id like to see Gillespi starting in the first game but we will see.
I can't comment on the English as I don't know enough about them and it would be pointless and ridiculous to try and say something about them.
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Am fairly sure that what Langer's said about it playing on his mind wouldn't mean to much. He had said before that he got nightmares about Shoiab Akhtar, but that didn't make him suddenly lose form. He's a tough guy, and I doubt the knock on the head will do him that much harm in terms of his batting.Originally Posted by BoyBrumby
As for Hussey, that's definitely just wishful thinking
yes, they are a better side in my view
1. Clark replaces Dizz who has been struggling
3. Ponting,Hayden better form
4. Gonna be at home, will make them a better team
5. IMO Brett lee is better
Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero
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