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Thread: Great Ashes series but.....

  1. #1
    International Coach Zinzan's Avatar
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    Great Ashes series but.....

    Although this is the most exciting and enthralling test series I remember. I can't help thinking that some of the cricket has been pretty average to below par.

    There is certainly a good argument that both sides are putting tremendous pressure on one another causing mistakes, but I'm referring to the high level of no-balls (from both sides), the incredible amount of relatively easy dropped catches, (Pietersen 6 or so on his own). The inconsistency and lack of swing by the Australian bowlers. The lower order batsmen showing up the top order on several occasions.

    Hey I'm not complaining, because I've never been so engrossed in a test series, but wonder if anyone else shares this view

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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Yeah, but I think you'll find this often happens in series of high standard between two strong teams, especially when the results are close. It's certainly true of most of the close series I've seen anyway that the rate of dropped catches, poor shots, inaccurate spells etc goes up.

    edit: having said that, this is definately not the highest standard close series I've ever seen. Australia haven't been at their best, they've been missing the best bowler in the world and they've fallen apart a couple of times without having really been undone by good bowling. I think it's been a high standard series, but not on the same level as Australia in the West Indies 94/95, which had a West Indies side in decline but with a new generation like Lara, Ambrose and Walsh at their peak, and an awesome Australian side that fought tooth & nail to beat them. Steve Waugh's performances in that series rank alongside anything I've ever seen with the bat, and Ambrose and McGrath were simply awesome with the ball.
    Last edited by FaaipDeOiad; 01-09-2005 at 04:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaaipDeOiad
    Yeah, but I think you'll find this often happens in series of high standard between two strong teams, especially when the results are close. It's certainly true of most of the close series I've seen anyway that the rate of dropped catches, poor shots, inaccurate spells etc goes up.

    edit: having said that, this is definately not the highest standard close series I've ever seen. Australia haven't been at their best, they've been missing the best bowler in the world and they've fallen apart a couple of times without having really been undone by good bowling. I think it's been a high standard series, but not on the same level as Australia in the West Indies 94/95, which had a West Indies side in decline but with a new generation like Lara, Ambrose and Walsh at their peak, and an awesome Australian side that fought tooth & nail to beat them. Steve Waugh's performances in that series rank alongside anything I've ever seen with the bat, and Ambrose and McGrath were simply awesome with the ball.
    I don't remember it, but the scorecards suggest that there were some pretty ropey pitches in that series!

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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg
    I don't remember it, but the scorecards suggest that there were some pretty ropey pitches in that series!
    Yeah, quite right, two real green tops. The first test was a tough one, and the third test was just a menace. Steve Waugh's 63 in that third match is widely acclaimed as one of his best innings, and its the one with the famous photograph of him standing up to Ambrose with Richardson pulling Ambrose away. He made 63 against a rampant Windies attack out of a team score of 100 odd, and even though the Windies won the match he set the scene for the next test, where he scored 200 and took Australia to a series win. Definately his finest moment as a batsman.


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    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinzan12
    Although this is the most exciting and enthralling test series I remember. I can't help thinking that some of the cricket has been pretty average to below par.

    There is certainly a good argument that both sides are putting tremendous pressure on one another causing mistakes, but I'm referring to the high level of no-balls (from both sides), the incredible amount of relatively easy dropped catches, (Pietersen 6 or so on his own). The inconsistency and lack of swing by the Australian bowlers. The lower order batsmen showing up the top order on several occasions.

    Hey I'm not complaining, because I've never been so engrossed in a test series, but wonder if anyone else shares this view
    I wonder how much this may be due to the lack of cricket (apart from the ODI's) being played by these guys before the tests. I thought the same about the SA tour during the winter and, given the modern schedules, this may well be the norm, with a lot of players slightly underperforming in tests.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Although this is the most exciting and enthralling test series I remember. I can't help thinking that some of the cricket has been pretty average to below par.

    There is certainly a good argument that both sides are putting tremendous pressure on one another causing mistakes, but I'm referring to the high level of no-balls (from both sides), the incredible amount of relatively easy dropped catches, (Pietersen 6 or so on his own). The inconsistency and lack of swing by the Australian bowlers. The lower order batsmen showing up the top order on several occasions.

    Hey I'm not complaining, because I've never been so engrossed in a test series, but wonder if anyone else shares this view
    It's what happens in a tight series. Sides put pressure on each other so that players you'd ordinarily expect to do really well fail and the pressure does make sides drop catches too. Certainly the fielding hasn't been the greatest this series but the batting from England has been excellent and the bowling from both sides (excepting Gillespie and Kasper) has been world-class. It's the high-standard and high-pressure which has caused it. Gillespie may have been able to get away with bowling like he has against other teams nad may well have eventually bowled himself back into form but the standard of batting against them has meant they look like second-rate plodders. McGrath and Warne have shown just how very good they are and the English bowling has been, well, outstanding in a word. It has been so good, in fact, that I don't think they'll ever again bowl as well as a team. There's just been no let-up for the Aussie batsmen and they haven't liked it!

    I think it's been a high standard series, but not on the same level as Australia in the West Indies 94/95, which had a West Indies side in decline but with a new generation like Lara, Ambrose and Walsh at their peak, and an awesome Australian side that fought tooth & nail to beat them. Steve Waugh's performances in that series rank alongside anything I've ever seen with the bat, and Ambrose and McGrath were simply awesome with the ball.
    I distinctly remember Lara coming into the series in fantastic form and having a fairly average series because the Aussie bowlers bowled so well to him. He came so close to really getting away a few times (especially the 88 he made in the second Test - THAT was a great knock and he was only undone by a freakish catch by Boonie at short mid-off) but because of the high-standard of bowling by Reiffel, Julian and McGrath, he just couldn't make the break-through.

    I also remember Ambi was well below par and was probably past his peak by that point. He really went missing for the first two Tests and only really got going in the Test you mentioned on a nasty green-top. Then in the final Test, again he went missing and from what I remember of the Australian innings of 531, bowled absolute tripe when his team really needed him. His average for the series was around 20 but in reality, that third Test where he took 5/45 and 4/20 (9 wickets in the match out of a series tally of 13) flattered the rest of his series. He didn't really bowl that well at all. Kenny Benjamin was more threatening on a consistent basis.

    Walsh, on the other hand, was who kept the WI in it. 20 wickets at 21 and he bowled almost 50 more overs for the series than Ambi did. He was amazing, even on the rather flat deck the second Test was played on where he took a bag.

    Steve Waugh; 429 runs at 107 with one hundred and three 50's. 'nuff said. Was the reason Australia won. Reiffel and McGrath were definitely the most threatening Aussie bowlers all series too. I remember thinking about McGrath that if he didn't deliver in that series, after a pretty average summer in Australia against England, that his place in the side would be under threat. Boy, did he bowl well in a pretty tight series.

    As for the decks, only the third Test was a genuinely nasty deck. The 2nd and 4th Tests were roads and the first Test was a decent pitch but good bowling got rewards.
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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top_Cat
    I distinctly remember Lara coming into the series in fantastic form and having a fairly average series because the Aussie bowlers bowled so well to him. He came so close to really getting away a few times (especially the 88 he made in the second Test - THAT was a great knock and he was only undone by a freakish catch by Boonie at short mid-off) but because of the high-standard of bowling by Reiffel, Julian and McGrath, he just couldn't make the break-through.
    Lara had a decent but not spectacular series, but my point was merely that he was part of the new generation for the West Indies and at that stage in his career was a genuinely feared batsman. As far as Ambrose bowling poorly is concerned... well I think he was more countered by excellent play really. I think to a certain degree his personal battle with Waugh took its toll on him, because Waugh so clearly got the upper hand. Ambrose was obviously a great bowler but anyone can be beaten mentally, and he was. Also, while the first test wicket obviously wasn't as bad as the third one, it would be considered a serious green top these days. It had visible grass and practically everything moved off the seam.

    Anyway, I'm sure you remember the series better than me (and probably have the whole thing on tape ), but my point was just that it was a close series with very high standard cricket between two excellent teams. Nobody was putting down 7 catches in a day or bowling spells like Lee at Edgbaston, both sides bowled brilliantly and usually got some help from the conditions and largely the batting was good too, with Waugh obviously the stand-out.

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    International Coach tooextracool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinzan12
    The lower order batsmen showing up the top order on several occasions.
    with regards to the australian lower order outperforming the top order, AFAIC in the end it all comes down to planning. vaughan and england have had plans and fields for every one of the top 7 and they've executed it perfectly. the original plans for the tailenders-warne,lee etc was to bounce them out, which obviously didnt work very well.
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    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinzan12
    Although this is the most exciting and enthralling test series I remember. I can't help thinking that some of the cricket has been pretty average to below par.

    There is certainly a good argument that both sides are putting tremendous pressure on one another causing mistakes, but I'm referring to the high level of no-balls (from both sides), the incredible amount of relatively easy dropped catches, (Pietersen 6 or so on his own). The inconsistency and lack of swing by the Australian bowlers. The lower order batsmen showing up the top order on several occasions.

    Hey I'm not complaining, because I've never been so engrossed in a test series, but wonder if anyone else shares this view
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voltman
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