Really? Didn't notice the rest. Nice moment anyway.
Really? Didn't notice the rest. Nice moment anyway.
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Well, well, well, a convincing Aussie win to level the series and promise a thrilling end to this Ashes series. Much credit has to be given to the hosts for battling back from a hammering at Adelaide to inflict there own confidence crushing victory, and thoroughly deserved it was.
Johnson and Harris found the Perth conditions very much to their liking, while Hussey's frustrating yet outstanding form continues to ensure he carries the Aussie top six.
As for England's batting it was inept and hopefully a performance that will not be repeated in this series. We have seen England struggle when conditions are spicy like at Perth, Jo'burg, Headingley, etc, and there was a number of dismissals over the two innings that the batsmen should be fuming with. It also seems to take a pitch like this for the Aussie attack to look effective. We know on flatter tracks they struggle to remain disciplined, lack any real penetration, and so it'll be interesting to see what's prepared at Melbourne.
I do believe we can bounceback though, just like we did after Headingley. This doesn't seem to be a group of guys that will mope around and feel sorry for themselves.
As for the next Test, rumours abound that Finn may be rested, ie dropped, and I for one am all in favour of that move, which brings Bresnan and Shahzad into the equation. At this moment in time I personally would edge towards Bresnan being included but I'm sure there'll be much speculation over that in the following days.
Collingwood is another player whose position in the side may come under scrutiny, but I believe England will, and should, persevere with him. Maybe a sensible move would be to demote a place in the batting line-up, but he should for me certainly take to the field at the MCG.
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It would be hard to see us coming back from this if there hadn't been one or two precursors over the years. I'm hoping for a repeat of the SA tour in 2004/5 when we played like absolute amateurs in the 3rd test but then cleaned up in the 4th.
I suppose it all boils down to Johnson. If he bowls like he did in the first innings, then we're pretty much stuffed. If not, then our batsmen just need to stand up and be counted instead of only fighting over who could find the biggest white flag to wave.
As for Finn vs Bresnan vs Shahzad - I dunno. Finn looked a real liability in the 2nd innings despite taking a few wickets. I really don't rate Bresnan, but I suspect that Shahzad isn't quite all he's cracked up to be. If this is another 'result' pitch and Swann ain't going to get a bowl after Day 3, then perhaps we'd actually be better playing four quicks. Maybe. It'd be a brave man to make that particular call.
Strauss needs a better game as captain though. Sloppy for much of Day 1 and ill-judged for much of day 3. Not his finest effort imo.
You don't know what you're going to get with Johnson the following session let alone the following Test, so it could conceivably be back to the Johnson that gets slapped about at Melbourne. He's had his one Test where he looks a potential world class bowler and clean striking lower order batsman.
It would be a brave man to leave Swann out, and possibly a crazy one. Without knowing whether the pitch will turn later in the game or at least offer enough for Swann to be effective, then to leave him out would be a huge gamble. Although he wasn't brilliant at Perth was still underbowled in that second innings.
I agree I don't think it was Strauss anywhere near his best as captain in that last Test.
Johnson looked more than world class - if he bowled all the time as he did in the first innings we'd already be pronouncing him an all time great. He was getting that late inswing that is so deadly to right handers and was incredibly accurate. It really was a case of Dr Jekkyl and Mr Hyde when you compare his Brisbane and WACA performances.
I think it's fair to describe him as something a bit above world-class when on form. As an ardent McGrath fan I'm pretty unwilling to disregard consistency just for the sake of it. But I've certainly never seen anyone else bowl a spell as good as Johnson can. I've seen bowlers match his express pace, awkward angle, hooping inswing, raw aggression and pinpoint accuracy, but not all at once.
I guess it's all a bit surplus to requirements when any of those attributes coupled with the last one is generally more than enough, but it's pretty damn good to watch.
That spell was as good as anything I've seen since Ambrose 7-1 at Perth in 92-93 tbh. It doesn't mean he's necessarily above world class, but that spell would have troubled anyone, from any era. It was fast, accurate and physically threatening. I still can't get over the ball that got Collingwood. Honestly, he's no Bradman but FMD, how often does a bloke batting five in a test line up miss a defensive shot by a foot?*
*Current Clarke and Ponting excepted
The difference in this test (apart from the extra juice in the wicket) was the lines our bowlers bowled. Siddle was (apparently) a bit sloppy, but the other 3 were on target for most of the match. Makes it hard to rack up scores of 500+ when you have guys bowling decent lines for 4 days.
As I said before, I think the main difference overall between the two teams was the efforts of the bowlers. With England being much better for most of the first two tests. The Australian effort was much improved as a whole this test. I think the English batsmen being 'in the form of their lives' was played up in the media after they got runs on flat decks against a very poor bowling effort. Full credit to them for doing so, but the only bat who truly looked like he was in some form and could score runs anywhere during this test was Bell.
You may be right about the Aussie bowlers being ill-disciplined on flat wickets though. I guess we might have the opportunity to find out in Melbourne. If Australia can keep bowling consistent lines it'll be interesting. If not, England will probably find themselves 'in the form of their lives' again.
Last edited by Son Of Coco; 20-12-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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His bowling at the WACA was some of the best fast bowling that I've witnessed. The batsmen didn't throw their wickets away, Johnson earned their wickets with unplayable deliveries.
Johnson's problem has always been consistency. When he's on song he's virtually unplayable, particularly for right handers. When he's off he's no better than a third grade trundler.
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