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Thread: Comparing the series

  1. #1
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Comparing the series

    With the result of this Ashes series decided, how do people feel it compares to the 2005 Ashes in terms of the standard of the cricket played? Note that I'm not asking about the level of competetition or the quality of the matches, because it's no contest. Only one of the three tests so far comes close to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tests last year in terms of excitement. The quality of batting, bowling and fielding has been very high from both sides though, aside perhaps from England early in the first test, and there's probably been a general improvement from last year, IMO.

    This is particularly true in the most recent test. In Perth, every bowler in the match aside from Mahmood bowled very well, even Harmison and Symonds. We also saw some spectacularly good batting and a fairly sporting wicket. In 2005 England bowled amazingly well and Australia quite well, but the quality of batting was down a little bit on what you might normally expect. Australia had no answer to reverse swing, and England were pretty awful against Warne and couldn't handle McGrath on the one lively wicket they faced him on.

    In this series I think England have batted far better, particularly against Warne who is currently in the middle of his poorest non-India series in more than five years, and in each test they've posted a good score. The batting from 6 down has been awful, but the top order has functioned about as well as anyone could have reasonably hoped before the series. Australia's batting has been sensational, with three players averaging over 100 and in the form of their careers, and every player in the top 7 aside from Martyn/Symonds contributing.

    England's bowling is obviously down, given the loss of Jones and Harmison's poor start, but you can't fault Hoggard or Flintoff, and Panesar has done very well in his only test. Even Harmison has come good now, and the English attack in the third test was as good as you're likely to see it without Jones in the mix. Australia has added Clark instead of Gillespie or Kasprowicz, who has bowled better than anyone, and Lee and McGrath have been as good as they were in 2005. Warne's figures obviously don't match up to '05, but I don't think he's bowled poorly aside from the Brisbane test, he's just been a bit unlucky and been played very well.

    The other area which has obviously improved a long way is the fielding. The 2005 Ashes had a huge number of catches put down, and while there's been a few this year, it's been pretty good throughout, particularly from Australia. The only really poor period of fielding there's been was England on day 3 in Perth.

    I'm hoping that the wickets in Melbourne and Sydney are a bit more testing for batsman than Brisbane or Adelaide, because if England play like they did in Perth again I think we could see a couple more really interesting matches.
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  2. #2
    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    I think you're right about most of that. Certainly hope the next two Tests are closer, and I hope we snatch them, otherwise you get to dictate my signature to me

    Australia really have played excellent Cricket here. I hate to think what they'd do to a lesser side than us on this form
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  3. #3
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Agree 100%. Was just thinking the same thing myself a couple of days ago. The overall standard of cricket has been much better in most aspects of the game.
    Last edited by pasag; 19-12-2006 at 04:09 AM.
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  4. #4
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    I have really enjoyed the cricket in this series, tough, uncompromising, Test cricket. England have only played three poor sessions and are 3-0 down, I thought the Aussies played a lot more poor sessions in 2005 but were flattered by the result
    You know it makes sense.


  5. #5
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Australia's batting; Exponentially better. They cranked the juice when it as needed but were able to bat consistently and patiently too. Michael Clarke's knock in Adelaide, for sheer 'you're not gonna get me out today, boys' solidity was his best so far and it would be hard to top (I barely remember a mistake). For mine, that was the knock of the series for Australia so far. His ton in Perth almost equalled it.

    Australia's bowling; much tighter. Even under very batsman-friendly conditions, England were made to work hard and the second innings in Adelaide was the ultimate in teamwork between the bowlers. Hard to match and gave England nowhere to go.

    England's batting; Not as free-flowing but on occasion, has been quite good. Their second-innings fade-out in Adelaide and first-innings in Perth should be cause for concern because in both instances, had they pushed their positions harder, probably would have won.

    England's bowling; nowhere near as good. Some sparks of excellent bowling (Harmi and Monty in Perth) but overall, mediocre.

    Fielding; immeasureably better by both sides.
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  6. #6
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Yeah good point, and I believe Dasa mentioned something of the sort a few months after the Ashes. Whilst the 2005 Ashes was absolutely brilliant as a spectacle, if one were to judge it on the quality of cricket alone, it was fairly mediocre in all major aspects, particularly I think batting and fielding. Bowling was mixed with some brilliance (McGrath at Lords, and then Warne, Flintoff and Jones) and then crud (Gillespie and Kaspa).

    Very good post.
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  7. #7
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    The glaring disparity for mine, has been England's 2005 bowling compared to their efforts this Summer. I'm not just talking about the reversing of the ball either. Last year, they hunted as a pack, and bowled at the stumps a lot more. They were a well-oiled machine.

  8. #8
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Whilst the 2005 Ashes was absolutely brilliant as a spectacle, if one were to judge it on the quality of cricket alone, it was fairly mediocre in all major aspects, particularly I think batting and fielding.
    Yes but surely it was the brilliance of the bowling which made batting difficult and vice-versa? It wasn't so much poor batting by the Aussies as excellent bowling by the English, for example? It's not as if the matches were close because both sides played poorly. Quite to the contrary, the matches were so close because both sides were playing so well. This time, Australia appear to be batting better but also are much better at ensuring England's bowlers don't get a sniff.

  9. #9
    State Vice-Captain mavric41's Avatar
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    The quality of the cricket has been fantastic on both sides. Its just Australia has been able to withstand and apply pressure much better than England.
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  10. #10
    Cricketer Of The Year ripper868's Avatar
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    i think for excitability etc the 05 series is way ahead, but the quality of play in this series has been much higher. this series has also had it's highlights, the adelaide test, gilchrists second fastest test century in history. the result this series has certainly been more pleasing

  11. #11
    State 12th Man jammay123's Avatar
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    we played well part from day 1 brisbane and we gave it away in key sessions in which we seemed to just give up.but batting of the cons atleast has greatly improved i expect the reason for this is hussey clarke and ricky

    our middle order has the ability to do the same but just bottle it

  12. #12
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
    With the result of this Ashes series decided, how do people feel it compares to the 2005 Ashes in terms of the standard of the cricket played? Note that I'm not asking about the level of competetition or the quality of the matches, because it's no contest. Only one of the three tests so far comes close to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tests last year in terms of excitement. The quality of batting, bowling and fielding has been very high from both sides though, aside perhaps from England early in the first test, and there's probably been a general improvement from last year, IMO..
    This whole thread is becoming undone, the longer the Series goes. In terms of quality, has the following been all that great?:

    - England being skittled for 157 on a road in Brisbane?
    - England's pathetic capitulation in Adelaide (their whole mind-set on Day 5)
    - England producing a poor performance in at least one innings in every Test match.

    There were no weak, meek capitulations in 2005. Rather, the close contests were brought about from some very good bowling from both sides - whilst only quality players got runs. Players were forced to fight for runs (unlike yesterday; unlike Gilchrist in Perth).

    I just don't see this obvious gap in quality that people are talking about.
    Last edited by howardj; 27-12-2006 at 06:02 PM.

  13. #13
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    The fourth test has certainly been a disappointment from England so far.

  14. #14
    Eyes not spreadsheets marc71178's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
    The fourth test has certainly been a disappointment from England so far.
    Even at 5 down about 24 hours ago?
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  15. #15
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    I enjoyed 2005 better then this series. I guess from some of my posts I guess you lot might have figured out by now I like I good contest and I couldn't wait to watch the day's play or check the scores/highlights because it was so exciting and it could have gone either way.

    However fast forward to now and at times I have been less inclined to watch it because it has been one sided for a good portion of this series and frankly I'm not all that fussed over McGrath or Warne retiring as a result. If it were 2-2 coming into Sydney then I would really want to watch.

    But that's just me I guess.
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