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Thread: Comparing the series

  1. #16
    Hall of Fame Member steds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripper868
    the quality of play in this series has been much higher.
    Only from one side.

  2. #17
    Cricketer Of The Year ripper868's Avatar
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    I still think england have been better this series than last, its just that australia has been so much better than in the last series it has made england look a shambles, at least the tests have lasted for five days which is a welcome change.

  3. #18
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    I don't really know about a jump in quality all round, either. Obviously Australia's standard has dramatically lifted, and we're not carrying a Dizzy or Kaspa in the bowling lineup, even if Lee has been a bit unimpressive in general (good today tho). And the batting's gone through the roof, with the introduction of Hussey in particular.

    But England's bowling has been pretty indifferent in the main, with the odd really good spell here and there. The surfaces probably haven't helped, nor the absence of Simon Jones, Flintoff's hot and cold spells and Harmison's listlessness. I guess it all depends on what you class as "quality of cricket" - if you mean batsmen having it more their own way, then maybe, though that to me is reminiscent of the flat road = great wicket judgement that commentators always seem to make. As I said in another thread related to the closeness of the contest, I think the conditions, certainly in the first half of the series probably made England's performances look better than they were, simply because the first three tests were pushed into fifth days.

    Basically though, I think you've got one team raging in top form, and the other well below their best. I'd agree with howard that the last series saw far more of a tug of war between bat and ball, which generally, IMO produces a better standard of cricket as it's more a zero-sum, push me, pull you kind of contest. The conditions definitely offered more for the bowlers (than the first three tests did here at least), but 400 and thereabouts totals were still being scored.

    Beyond this, captaincy has played it's part, too. When you're not quite up there, personnel-wise (in comparison to your opposition) you really need a good captain. Last time, Vaughan appreciably had the better of Ponting, while this time around, Ponting (who is still very defensive, but whose onfield presence and manipulation of his field has certainly improved) really had Flintoff's number.

    A tight contest doesn't always mean a better quality of cricket, but I certainly wouldn't describe the quality on show from both sides here was high.

    It's obviously not regarded as outrageous a comment as it was last series, but I'd say it's pretty obvious that we haven't seen England's best, and that's had a fair say in the outcome. Of course, saying that about Australia in '05 brought jeers, because it was taking something away from England's victory.
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  4. #19
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    I don't really know about a jump in quality all round, either. Obviously Australia's standard has dramatically lifted, and we're not carrying a Dizzy or Kaspa in the bowling lineup, even if Lee has been a bit unimpressive in general (good today tho). And the batting's gone through the roof, with the introduction of Hussey in particular.

    But England's bowling has been pretty indifferent in the main, with the odd really good spell here and there. The surfaces probably haven't helped, nor the absence of Simon Jones, Flintoff's hot and cold spells and Harmison's listlessness. I guess it all depends on what you class as "quality of cricket" - if you mean batsmen having it more their own way, then maybe, though that to me is reminiscent of the flat road = great wicket judgement that commentators always seem to make. As I said in another thread related to the closeness of the contest, I think the conditions, certainly in the first half of the series probably made England's performances look better than they were, simply because the first three tests were pushed into fifth days.

    Basically though, I think you've got one team raging in top form, and the other well below their best. I'd agree with howard that the last series saw far more of a tug of war between bat and ball, which generally, IMO produces a better standard of cricket as it's more a zero-sum, push me, pull you kind of contest. The conditions definitely offered more for the bowlers (than the first three tests did here at least), but 400 and thereabouts totals were still being scored.

    Beyond this, captaincy has played it's part, too. When you're not quite up there, personnel-wise (in comparison to your opposition) you really need a good captain. Last time, Vaughan appreciably had the better of Ponting, while this time around, Ponting (who is still very defensive, but whose onfield presence and manipulation of his field has certainly improved) really had Flintoff's number.

    A tight contest doesn't always mean a better quality of cricket, but I certainly wouldn't describe the quality on show from both sides here was high.

    It's obviously not regarded as outrageous a comment as it was last series, but I'd say it's pretty obvious that we haven't seen England's best, and that's had a fair say in the outcome. Of course, saying that about Australia in '05 brought jeers, because it was taking something away from England's victory.
    TBH, I said this about Aus the last time out, but I reckon part of the reason we haven't seen England's best is because Australia have played so well.
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  5. #20
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeraintIsMyHero
    TBH, I said this about Aus the last time out, but I reckon part of the reason we haven't seen England's best is because Australia have played so well.
    Yeah, it's always gonna be part of the reason, but some folks seem to treat it as all the reason, when I genuinely do think that sometimes sides are rusty, low on confidence walking in, or just out of form for various reasons, and they perform below their best. It happens, and I think you can tell the difference most of the time between a side not quite performing and a side simply being strangled by a dramatically superior side, that did all it could. How well Australia have been playing could never account for how godawful Harmison was in those first couple of tests, for instance.

  6. #21
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
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    Yea, if England bowled at their Ashes 2005 level, it would likely be 2-1 Aussies, and not 4-0 whitewash.
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  7. #22
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Yeah, it's always gonna be part of the reason, but some folks seem to treat it as all the reason, when I genuinely do think that sometimes sides are rusty, low on confidence walking in, or just out of form for various reasons, and they perform below their best. It happens, and I think you can tell the difference most of the time between a side not quite performing and a side simply being strangled by a dramatically superior side, that did all it could. How well Australia have been playing could never account for how godawful Harmison was in those first couple of tests, for instance.
    Yeah, fair comment. On the other hand, Hoggard has bowled better than he did in the last Ashes, but his stats are worse, because IMO Australia have dealt with him better, particularly Hayden as the series has gone on.

    I suppose Flintoff being nowhere near as good as lasyt year has made a difference as well; when we were on the ropes last year Flintoff would score a quick 50, or take a couple of wickets. This year his batting has been disappointing, and his bowling, while still good, hasn't had the same effect, due to not being as good and admittedly a small amount of bad luck here and there.

  8. #23
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    Barring a miracle, Flintoff was always going to be dissappointing, whatever he did, it's harsh on him to expect him to perform like he did in 2005, every year.
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