As for Flintoff at 6... even ignoring this series, his record doesn't aim up to it. When he is in top form, he is capable of being passable there. But really, averaging in the 30-33 range is not quite good enough for that position. You have to average mid 30s at worst IMO, and even that would only work if you had a very reliable top order at another batsman of similar quality at 7.
Also we only needed to draw the game, so bringing in a batter who'd been around the squad for ages made more sense than bringing in a bowler from nowhere, especially as Tremlett was injured too.
As for the myth about our fast bowling resources, I did read it occasionally on CW, but please don't ask me to find the thread. I think it was around May when people were saying that beyond the four who played in the ashes, we had Plunkett, Mahmood, Tremlett & Anderson coming through and we were seeing some sort of golden age. IIRC Richard was disagreeing with the idea, and he wasn't a bad judge. tbf I've also read elsewhere, although you probably don't frequent those particular groups.
My biggest gripe is that even the 2005 four weren't all they were being cracked up to be, in that there was too much reliance on Fred & Jones. What we've seen from Harmison this winter has been a continuation of the trend over the last 2 years, and really shouldn't shock anyone who's actually followed the side. Hoggard, with all due respect to a guy I admire enormously, is not the sort of world class opener that you'd want in a side that aspires to be number 1 or 2 in the world.
I do think what we're looking at is a better than average number 7 rather than a genuine number 6. If we had a keeper and another bowler who could be relied on to make runs at 7 & 8 it wouldn't be such a problem. But we haven't, and we won't win a lot with a tail starting at number 6.
I think people are reading far too much into the 5-0 scoreline. The gap between Australian cricket and English cricket is certainly not that great. In professional sport, if your confidence is down (England's was shot after the result in Adelaide) then a good team will take advantage over the remainder of the Series (as Australia would have done if Edgbaston had have fallen their way in 2005). And, as your confidence continues to errode over a long five Test series, the bigger the gap will get (in that particular series).
Hmmm, from what I've seen, Mahmood will never get that much bounce. Same sort of thing as Lee.Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie