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So what went wrong?

tooextracool

International Coach
Disagree with that. Think the Australian bowlers have generally stuck to their task and bowled with greater discipline that England's on the whole. The only time we ever really threatened to get away from them was the first day at Lords and even then to dismiss us for 425 after we were 196/0 & 302/3 was a pretty decent recovery.

Johnson was obviously a disappointment on the whole, as was Clark in 3 of the 4 innings he was given, but Hilfenhaus (especially), Siddle & Hauritz all emerge in credit for me. The only criticism I can level is that they didn't really produce the match-turning efforts that our chaps managed at various times. Johnson must take most of the responsibility here; he was presumed to be the spearhead coming in, but failed to live up to his billing for whatever reason(s).

No, for me the batting folding at crucial times was their biggest problem. The first innings efforts at Lords, Edgbaston & The Oval were what cost the Australians the series, ultimately.
Australia's bowlers, Johnson excepted, might not have been shockingly poor with the ball, but much like in 2005, they simply weren't able to get as much out of the pitch or the conditions with the odd exception of Headingley. Let's face it, no one in the Australian side swung the ball like James Anderson did at Lords or at Edgbaston in the first innings (whilst Hilfenhaus bowled well throughout he was never really destructive). Siddle was pretty much innocuous until he got to Headingley and Johnson was a joke for the series for all bar the 2nd innings at Headingley. Hauritz was average and Clark had one good innings.

Its like I said earlier, Flintoff, Broad and Anderson all had spells that were head and shoulders above any spell bowled by their Australian counterparts. Two of those spells were match winning spells. For me, unless there was some serious help in the pitch a la Headingley, the thing that struck out most was the fact that the Australian bowlers almost always looked to get less out of the conditions especially in terms of swing than England and although that might be because of Murray Mints but that is a question for a rainy day.
 

Top_Cat

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Australia's bowlers, Johnson excepted, might not have been shockingly poor with the ball, but much like in 2005, they simply weren't able to get as much out of the pitch or the conditions with the odd exception of Headingley. Let's face it, no one in the Australian side swung the ball like James Anderson did at Lords or at Edgbaston in the first innings (whilst Hilfenhaus bowled well throughout he was never really destructive). Siddle was pretty much innocuous until he got to Headingley and Johnson was a joke for the series for all bar the 2nd innings at Headingley. Hauritz was average and Clark had one good innings.

Its like I said earlier, Flintoff, Broad and Anderson all had spells that were head and shoulders above any spell bowled by their Australian counterparts. Two of those spells were match winning spells. For me, unless there was some serious help in the pitch a la Headingley, the thing that struck out most was the fact that the Australian bowlers almost always looked to get less out of the conditions especially in terms of swing than England and although that might be because of Murray Mints but that is a question for a rainy day.
That they were out-bowled in general isn't really in dispute, I reckon. Not a surprise with such an inexperienced attack and that guys like Anderson have been good for a while now. But ascribing that as a reason for the loss is wrong, in my view; reckon the batters' first innings' in this series got Aus in far more trouble.
 

AaronK

State Regular
Nothing really.. just like other cricket teams.. Aus had one bad day.. when they did what pakistan does best..collapsing.. before that they day they were on top..
 

tooextracool

International Coach
That they were out-bowled in general isn't really in dispute, I reckon. Not a surprise with such an inexperienced attack and that guys like Anderson have been good for a while now. But ascribing that as a reason for the loss is wrong, in my view; reckon the batters' first innings' in this series got Aus in far more trouble.
Whilst I dont deny that the batting messed up during that innings, I just dont ascribe to that theory. The bowlers failed to take 20 wickets in 4 out of 5 tests this series. Yes, they took 19 wickets in 2 of the games, but the bowlers were largely to blame for the fact that they couldn't get the 20th wicket at Cardiff in 11 odd overs which would have retained the Ashes for them. That statistic does not lie for me, the batting failed in one inning but it delivered in almost all of the other innings. The bowlers not being able to take 20 wickets in 4 tests against a batting as poor as England's is for me the most important fact to take away from the series
 

Jamee999

Hall of Fame Member
In this series the way the teams went when they were batting badly was the reverse from recent Ashes series.

When England didn't bat well, or lost early wickets at key points, we generally managed to hang in there, where as Australia collapsed - especially in first innings.
 

JBH001

International Regular
In addition to the points about Australia's bowling, and TEC is spot on that those 3 spells from Freddie, Jimmy, and Broad were better than anything bowled by an Australian; and the fragility of Australian batting in their first digs; England's lower order also deserve a mention. Often came to the party when England's middle order crumbled and either scored good runs or soaked up good time. Strauss had good fortune with the toss too, but as Benaud once said, a lucky captain is a good captain.

Also, while Monty and Jimmy were fantastic at Cardiff. Spare a thought for Collingwood - soaked up 4 hours or so for his 70.
 

Son Of Coco

Hall of Fame Member
I think England generally batted better than we did in this series and the bowling was about even. We had one or two blokes who were below par in the bowling department (Mitchell Johnson especially so) in all of the tests bar the 4th and so did England. Apart from Headingly for us and Lords for them I can't think of a match where the bowlers on either side bowled well together as a unit.

The most frustrating part of watching this series is knowing a small improvement in either are would probably have seen us keep The Ashes as England weren't outstanding either. They were better than us though which is the important thing.
 

Pothas

Hall of Fame Member
Do not think you can say that England batted any better than Australia did, generally the Australian batsman were far bettter but they all failed at the same time, and those two occasions cost them. I was on the whole very dissapointed by the English batting, only Strauss and Trott really comes out of this series well, Prior just about ok. Swann and Broad did really well but the top 6 (apart from Strauss were poor.
 

tooextracool

International Coach
I dont think England batted very well this series either, but I wasn't expecting them to. For me the Ashes would come down to how well England would bowl and whilst I was hopeful about Onions, Broad, Anderson and to a lesser extent Harmison being difficult to face, I was mostly disappointed with the lot of them at the end of the series. However, the 3 of them all bowled impressive match turning spells at some point in the series so it does make me hopeful about them once again for SA.

Regarding the batting, Cook, Bopara and Collingwood were a real let down. Prior failed to convert his starts and if he's batting at 6 he really needs to score 100s. I am hopeful about Trott but still not convinced and Strauss was very good but he too struggled to convert his conversion rate in the series. I am not really sure what to make of Ian Bell at the moment, he seriously frustrates me in that he fails to convert his scores, but he was very impressive on his way to 72.
 

Pothas

Hall of Fame Member
I dont think England batted very well this series either, but I wasn't expecting them to. For me the Ashes would come down to how well England would bowl and whilst I was hopeful about Onions, Broad, Anderson and to a lesser extent Harmison being difficult to face, I was mostly disappointed with the lot of them at the end of the series. However, the 3 of them all bowled impressive match turning spells at some point in the series so it does make me hopeful about them once again for SA.

Regarding the batting, Cook, Bopara and Collingwood were a real let down. Prior failed to convert his starts and if he's batting at 6 he really needs to score 100s. I am hopeful about Trott but still not convinced and Strauss was very good but he too struggled to convert his conversion rate in the series. I am not really sure what to make of Ian Bell at the moment, he seriously frustrates me in that he fails to convert his scores, but he was very impressive on his way to 72.
I have always rather stood up for Bell but I would be pretty surprised if he is ever really sucesfull as a number 3 but if England play 6 batsman (I think they should) then he can do a pretty good job at 5 or 6, you can say what you want about him only scoring when other have and all that but he is a pretty good test number 6 and will score runs against most sides. A middle order of Pietersen, Trott, Bell and Prior seems quite decent to me, I am sure he can do just as a good job as Collingwood in that role. Just have no idea who should bat number 3.
 

pup11

International Coach
AUS tactic in dropping Hughes quite sensibly was to pick Watson since he presumably could bowl, so as give AUS 5-bowlers in the 3rd test.

Watson did 50% of the job since he negated Flintoff. But the next half was incomplete since the two overs he bowled was awful.
That's why I think it was an awful selection, Watto is a potent enough bowler to fill in as a 5th bowler, but he hardly had any overs under his belt leading into the third test, and more importantly it was foolish of us to expect Watto to open the batting, and also consistently chip in as a bowler, therefore clearly we would have been better off sticking with our proper opener, instead of pushing Watto to do that job.

As for Flintoff, he was never much of factor as bowler after the Lord's test, was he, so don't know what big feat Watto achieved by negating him.
 

vic_orthdox

Global Moderator
As much as I love the guy, you've got to think that taking McDonald over there instead of an extra batsman was a mistake. In the end, he was never close to getting a game.

Oh, and things that make me laugh include certain posters who bag Ponting's captaincy because of team selections...
 

pup11

International Coach
tooextracool said:
Whilst I dont deny that the batting messed up during that innings, I just dont ascribe to that theory. The bowlers failed to take 20 wickets in 4 out of 5 tests this series. Yes, they took 19 wickets in 2 of the games, but the bowlers were largely to blame for the fact that they couldn't get the 20th wicket at Cardiff in 11 odd overs which would have retained the Ashes for them. That statistic does not lie for me, the batting failed in one inning but it delivered in almost all of the other innings. The bowlers not being able to take 20 wickets in 4 tests against a batting as poor as England's is for me the most important fact to take away from the series
Nope, don't agree with this, it very easy to blame our inexperienced bowling attack for this debacle, but I think the blame lies firmly with the batting line-up, we had three shoddy 1st innings batting performances in this, and unsurprisingly for most of the time we were on the receiving end in all three of those tests.

Its also pretty easy to say that we should have taken that last wicket at Cardiff, and tbh 9 times out of 10, we might knock over Jimmy or Monty in that sort of situation, but at times you just need to accept that some things are just not meant to be, on that Cardiff pitch where English bowlers were just able to take 6 Aussie wickets, it was a very good effort on the part of our bowlers to get us that close to winning the game, but unfortunately we weren't good enough to take that final wicket.
 
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vic_orthdox

Global Moderator
Pretty easy to give the bowling attack stick about not taking 20 wickets, but it wasn't like they were blessed with the chance when they were bowling in the third innings already 200 runs behind in two of the Tests.
 

Johnners

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
As much as I love the guy, you've got to think that taking McDonald over there instead of an extra batsman was a mistake. In the end, he was never close to getting a game.

Oh, and things that make me laugh include certain posters who bag Ponting's captaincy because of team selections...
AWTA

Also partially agree with TEC that our bowling was a big problem. However, I still think the batsmen are just as much to blame. It really shouldn't be too much to ask of the batsmen to not collapse in a heap everytime the opposition has a good spell of bowling.
 

Top_Cat

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Pretty easy to give the bowling attack stick about not taking 20 wickets, but it wasn't like they were blessed with the chance when they were bowling in the third innings already 200 runs behind in two of the Tests.
Not to mention the short turn-around time between bowling in England's 1st dig vs 2nd dig.

Lord's especially; as I said at the time, having to front up to bowl again having bowled your guts out less than a day before, around 200 runs behind in the game, etc. Big ask. The bowling was pretty manful this series.
 

pup11

International Coach
Tim Nielsen said:
"I must admit I thought it might have spun later in the game." "But I thought on the first two or three days even though it was dry there were some little green bits of grass, which I thought meant there might have been a bit of moisture underneath keeping that grass alive. I certainly feel as though I misread the wicket in that regard"
Australia admit Hauritz error

I can't believe this, was he hallucinating or something, because from what I saw, there wasn't a signle blade of live grass on that deck, I also find the argument from Ponting that "England too misread the pitch otherwise they would have played two spinners" to be pretty lame, they simply didn't pick MSP because he isn't good enough.
 
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