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- As featured in The Independent.
"I don't think that they'll come close to us to be honest."
- Steve Smith before the Ashes
Appreciating cricket's greatest legend ever - HD Bird...............Funniest post (intentionally) ever.....Runner-up.....Third.....Fourthcricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990-15/4/2006
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As far as I'm concerned he failed to make a 29-plus score from 5 starts - and had he been less unlucky I'm absolutely convinced he'd have got at least 1 big score from 1 of those 3 unlucky ones.
As I mentioned - I don't give marks for being lucky. I don't give a damn what happens after someone's been lucky - it shouldn't have had the chance to happen.& even if Symonds was lucky twice he capitalised on his luck.
Richard, will you ever just accept that luck and bad luck is something that happens in equal amounts to all players and that marking them down for being lucky is as aimless as marking someone up for being unlucky?
Strauss was rubbish, he got 3 bad decisions, but even in those innings he looked like Australia's bunny, like he was to a certain extent last year, in two series against the best team in the world he has averaged 30, he's not unlucky, he's just not good enough.
LOL @ Richard`s ratings. Gun.
Jesus brings life eternal
Haha, Richard's ratings are hilarious. 6 for Strauss? 3 and 4 for Symonds and Hayden, and 6 for Langer, who was clearly the worst Australian player in the series?
I'll give it a go.
Strauss: 3 - Real disappointment. Was obviously one of the crucial batsmen for England in the series, and had a highest score of 50. Had some harsh luck with decisions, but made problems for himself with some poor dismissals to the short ball early in the series and never really came back.
Cook: 4 - Not a great series either, though he certainly showed some promise and scored a good century. Dismissed the same way far too many times. England never really got off to a good start in any innings, which hurt throughout.
Bell: 4.5 - One of England's better batsmen in general, but didn't make enough of his starts and just generally came up short again against Australia. His mental failings were symptomatic of the team at times, particularly his ridiculous dismissal in Adelaide.
Collingwood: 6 - Was excellent early in the series, and his work against Warne in particular was stellar. Clearly among the best across the first two tests. Faded quite badly later in the series though. Caught well.
Pietersen: 9 - Great throughout. Clearly the standout batsman for England, and his battles with Warne and McGrath were great viewing. One of the few English players who kept playing well right through the series, even after it was lost. Establishing himself as one of the top batsmen in the world.
Flintoff: 4 - Terribly disappointing. Never could have expected too much from his batting, but it was even worse than one might have imagined, and while he never bowled absolutely terribly he lacked the fight which defined him as a player in '05. Aside from Brisbane never looked a real threat, presumably due in part to injury. Captaincy was aimless.
Jones: 2 - Horrible with the bat, decent with the gloves.
Read: 4 - Not much good with the bat, but at least showed a bit of fight, unlike Geraint. Keeping was more or less flawless.
Hoggard: 6 - Not a brilliant series by any means, but he did bowl quite well at times, and would have returned better figures against other sides. Dedication in Adelaide was admirable, and was a key contributor in the one game where England actually kept it tight.
Harmison: 3 - Absolutely horrible in Brisbane, and very bad in Adelaide. Got better from there and he actually bowled relatively well in the last three tests, but the damage was already done.
Mahmood: 1.5 - Non-event as a player. Only thing he managed to do with any success was knock over the tail in Melbourne and bowl one or two good deliveries along the way. Hopeless with the bat, despite being picked in part because of his ability in that area.
Anderson: 2 - Another major disappointment. Generally fodder throughout except the odd over in Brisbane and the Sydney test, where he bowled a couple of good spells.
Panesar: 5 - Added something to the team after Giles was belatedly dropped, and bowled pretty well in general. Got taken apart once or twice, but always kept trying, and even stuck around with the bat. England's most impressive bowler after Hoggard.
Giles: 1 - Waste of space. Bowled decently in the first innings in Brisbane, but was an absolutely shocking selection ahead of Panesar and never did anything after that point to justify it. Should never have played one test, let alone two.
Langer: 4 - Batted pretty well in Brisbane and had a hand in setting up the series, but was pretty poor thereafter. Picked the right moment to retire.
Hayden: 6 - Had a pretty poor start to the series with some strange dismissals and a couple of good deliveries, but came back quite well in the end. Was lucky to get through the period on the first evening in Melbourne, but his application to get through the second morning and make a big score was crucial to the result.
Ponting: 9.5 - Stunning in Brisbane, very good in Adelaide, and then the series was more or less gone. Captaincy was much improved, and while he tailed off later in the series it never had a major impact on the result. Would have broken the 600 barrier if he'd been able to bat the full amount of times.
Martyn: 1.5 - Had to go really. His shot in the second innings in Adelaide wasn't the shot of a test player. Disappointing way to end his career, but picked the right moment.
Hussey: 9 - Phenomenal. Wasn't dismissed for anything under 50 until the 4th test, and was unlucky to only get one century. Application was simply incredible throughout.
Clarke: 8 - Probably takes the "biggest surprise" award, though it wasn't so much of a shock that he did well, merely the degree to which he did. Worked hard on his shot selection and reaped the rewards.
Symonds: 6 - Another big surprise. Innings in Melbourne was a real stunner, and he played with great discipline in Sydney too. Wasn't out to Panesar in Melbourne IMO, and while I don't really rate him as a test player for the future, you can never take that innings away from him.
Gilchrist: 6 - Pretty good series, all round. Disappointing with the gloves in Melbourne and got out cheaply a number of times, but kept well elsewhere and had a fairly productive series with the bat. His innings in Adelaide and Sydney were absolutely crucial, and while the innings in Perth didn't matter as much, it was an amazing knock anyway.
Warne: 7.5 - Not his best Ashes series, but he still turned two games around with brilliant spells. The 5th day effort in Adelaide will go down as one of his finest moments. Batted very well throughout.
Lee: 5.5 - Horrible in Brisbane and the first innings in Adelaide, pretty good thereafter and probably outdid his 2005 efforts. Bowled a couple of great spells but generally needs to be more consistent if he's to be a successful opening bowler post-McGrath.
Clark: 9.5 - Didn't bowl badly in a single innings in the series, simple as that. Didn't quite turn games singlehandedly the way Warne did, but with some more chances at the tail he might have taken more big hauls.
McGrath: 7 - Very solid series, but not quite his usual destructive self. Best performances came in the first and last tests to round out a good end to a great career. Showed in Brisbane that he can still exploit helpful conditions better than anyone.
It's cold on the outside they say
But the cold leaves you clear while the heat leaves a haze
He was unlucky and to suggest otherwise is stupid. It doesn't get much worse than 3 bad decisions in a row.Strauss was rubbish, he got 3 bad decisions, but even in those innings he looked like Australia's bunny, like he was to a certain extent last year, in two series against the best team in the world he has averaged 30, he's not unlucky, he's just not good enough.
He could have been better, that's why I didn't give him 8 or 9 out of 10, but he was nowhere near as bad as a 4 or so.
Richard - saw every single ball of the Ashes?
Anyone who claims they did is a liar.
I'd be willing to bet that no-one in history has watched every single ball of a 5- or 6-match Test series (and quite conceivably of a 2-, 3- or 4- too), including players and the most attentive of match-reporters.
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