Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Post-Edgbaston blathering

Right. So things are looking harder than ever for my pre-Ashes prediction that Australia would win 2-1. Their batting is, as all other batting line-ups in the world, vulnerable to good swing bowling, and no matter what I might think of Anderson as a person, he is a quality exponent of that trade. Onions follows closely on his heels, and the combination was enough to trigger that alarming Aussie collapse on the second morning.

Comfortingly for Australia, Flintoff looks headed for the masseuse's table while Broad seems keen to win the Mohammed Sami Award for the Fast Bowler Given As Many Chances As Possible to Keep his Average Above 4o in Test Matches (our Mohammed made it to 50 runs per wicket, so the boyish Stuart has some catching up to do).

Then, of course, there is the Aussie bowling where Mitchell Johnson is on track to become the Matthew Hayden of 2009 (he will probably pick up his first five-fer in the second innings of the fifth test as England press for a declaration), Hilfenhaus and Hauritz are striving for amiability, and Siddle, after being All Menace and Few Wickets to Show For It, is now just hoping to get into the W column.

England, however, are riding the Strauss wave, and in doing so, are hiding some of the cracks in their own line-up: the failures of Bopara and their reliance on the lower-order to really take the initiative, for instance.

This is definitely not the Ashes of 2005 - the weaknesses of the team ensures that. But the lack of a definite edge that either opponent has over the other ensures that the remaining two tests will be just as keenly watched as the first three. Its definitely getting me out of bed in the mornings, and thats a good sign.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anderson is a much improved bowler and in the Caribbean he did bowl well on some of the flattest tracks ever seen.

He is maturing as a bowler but for some reason people rate him on the basis of what he did in the past but I again say he is a much improved bowler who can't be underestimated.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who saw him bowl on the Caribbean tracks when he bowled some lion-hearted spells would say that he is mentally a lot more tough now.

11:24 AM  
Blogger noisms said...

I'm a long time reader, but this is my first comment. I enjoy the blog - keep it up!

This series is shaping up to be mightly interesting. The quality on both ends has plummeted since 2005. But because the teams are so finely balanced every single session is utterly unpredicatable, and thus compelling.

I'd be interested to know what people in India and South Africa, even Sri Lanka, are thinking while looking on. All those three countries are looking far better than either England or Australia at present. Amazing what a difference 4 years makes; in 2005 the Ashes nations were best in the world by a country mile.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Vikas Yadav said...

Flower did right by giving chance to onions to grow as better bowler.

You have mentioned name of Mohammed Sami let I give another bad record associated with him;he have thrown 17 balls in a over consisting of wides and no balls as i thinks.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Samir Chopra said...

GB: For sure. He wasn't fully matured when India toured in 2007, and looks a bit better now.

Noisms: Welcome to non-lurking! I think Ashes history ensures a certain baseline interest and talking up. After that, the cricket has to do the talking. I think all the countries you mention would be happy if they could get some rivalries like that established. The India-Australia one comes the closest.

Vikas: I agree. And thanks for that Sami record. I'm always looking out for those! :)

3:09 PM  

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