Monday, July 13, 2009

Close but still a gap

One wicket. Is that what this Ashes will turn on? No, not really. Still, when this Ashes series is done and dusted, its going to be hard to not look back at this match and summon up a series of "what-ifs". England will be hoping the "what-ifs" fall their way, and the Aussies will hope the edge they showed in this test persists over the next few. They did, after all, take 19 wickets, score 674 runs at a decent pace, and win about 12 out of 14 sessions of play. England, on the other hand, failed to convert starts, often batted carelessly (though I'm not going to include Pietersen in this particular indictment), and bowled a lot of dross. If there is some hope for the English team, it is that the Aussie bowling lacks a little edge and might fail to land a knockout punch in the same manner as their illustrious predecessors. Their batting though, looks solid, and while it will suffer the odd collapse, will do so less often than the English will.

Before the series, I'd called it 2-1 for the Aussies. The lack of penetration in the two teams' bowling attacks, the weather, slow pitches and the presence of two captains who aren't exactly the world's shining lights, prompted me to call two draws in this Ashes. I'll hang on to that prediction for now.

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Blogger Nikhil Mahen said...

After England's performance, somehow that 1 in the 2-1 prediction doesn't seem very likely.
They bowled for long long time, and the batsmen seem oblivious to the bowler at the other end.

I may be jumping the gun, and England may come back strong (History is full of such comebacks),
but no one in the team seems to have the intensity or the bite to take down the Aussies.

I predict a 2-0 or a 3-0 result, but then again, like i mentioned before, I might be jumping the gun.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Nikhil: Thanks for your comment, and welcome to the blog.

The 1 in that 2-1 is just because there is a little tenderness in the Aussie middle-order.

As far as taking on the Aussies is concerned, India and South Africa have had their shots but no one has really dominated them. You don't get to be world champions without having some real backbone.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Ashtung said...

A 2-1 result is what I felt too but that last session and following reactions suggest that England will only get harder to beat and the Aussies just might crack under pressure. It s a young team after all and carries no more than Pontng and a legacy of what it was 5 years back.

The captain himself is behaving as if he were denied a once-in-a-lifetime lottery after coming too close to win it.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm throwing my lot in with Nikhil, 3-0 or 2-0. Conventional wisdom says you need to be able to take 20 wickets to win test matches. I can't see England taking 20 wickets on any pitch.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

Ashtung: I'm keen to see whether the frustrations of the first test play on the Aussies minds. But I think this Aussie team will be quite tough to beat if they get slightly more helpful pitches.

JK: The bowling doesn't command respect, sure. But I think the Aussies might help them by batting loosely once or twice.

Anyway, I think it'll be an interesting series for sure

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

England's attack looks more balanced attack than the Aussie attack but I do believe Aussies are mentally more tough.

I have a feeling that England's side is underestimated a bit.

7:09 AM  
Blogger Ashtung said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:41 AM  

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