Monday, July 20, 2009

Nice way to set up the Ashes

I picked Australia to retain the Ashes 2-1. The English win at Lord's takes care of the "1" part of that prediction. Can Australia take care of the "2"? Strange as this might sound after the 115 run drubbing at Lord's, I still think they can. I do not think the Aussies will bat and bowl as badly as they did in the first innings of this test. Some of that improvement might come about just because Johnson will get dropped for Edgbaston; some of it will come about because North, Katich, Hughes, Ponting, Hussey and Clarke, is still a decent batting line-up capable of scoring heavily. But England's bowling, if it continues to be as high-quality as it was in this test, will make life hard for my prediction. Sure, Flintoff could break down again but no Australian should be hoping for an opponent to be injured in order for a victory to come through.

Before the series started, one could have easily dismissed the Ashes hype on the grounds that both teams were flirting with mediocrity (perhaps England more than Australia). But the results and the drama of the first two tests have ensured that this will be a cracker of a series and a wonderful advertisement for test cricket. Ponting and Strauss remain slighly duff captains in my opinion, but there is enough kindling on the fire now to set up a nice blaze.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

North is a ok batsman but he plays with hard hands so he can be very vulnerable outside the off stump and of course England have Swann who is a good bowler against lefthanders.

It is clear to me that SA quicker bowlers just gave room to Hughes but England's quicker bowlers leaving the first innings at Cardiff have not done that. If England's quicks continue to not give him room he is in trouble as he basically looks for room outside the off stump.

Huss is a good player but the bowlers have started to bowl short pitch stuff at him as he is an instinctive puller and bowl that odd full ball and his average is going down dramatically.

Finally it is is not just Freddie but after a lackluster game at Cardiff Swann has come good. He unlike other modern day spinners likes bowling to lefthanders as he bowls around the wicket and Australians have 4 to 5 lefthanders and add to it the much improved Anderson I would say England's attack looks more balanced especially if Harmison comes back in place of Broad.

Contrary to what many think I do feel both sides are evenly matched but Aussies are probably a bit more mentally tough.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

7:10 AM  
Blogger Ashtung said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:43 AM  
Blogger Ashtung said...

England defied history to get the next one. Pardon me for gloating but 'I told you so'... Although Mr. Ponting, having dropped the whining, is bound to bounce back... I too see it 2-1 Australia now

4:45 AM  

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