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 General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem

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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Sat 2 Dec 2017 - 9:54

It's the whole 'punching Nazis' dilemma all over again, isn't it?  


Win the toss and... bowl?



Word of warning: if England lose this one, I don't know whether I'll be posting much more in this thread until the series is over.  I can't do the 'cynicism to compensate for partisan considerations' thing like you can, Athers.  Two whitewashes in a row, while not entirely unexpected, would be a bit much.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Sun 3 Dec 2017 - 8:43

It's probably a bit too early to say whitewash, but England's chances of winning do seem to be going down the toilet right now. I was chatting with someone irl today and we both agreed that Gabba and Waca matches are basically auto-wins for Australia, and England are pissing this specific match, the one touted as their best chance of a win, down the gurgler right now.

I know Root's going to get a lot of flack for his decision to send his bowlers in, but I actually think it's unfair. Australia is in a dominant position partly because, at long last, they've started to bring back slow disciplined batting, but also because the English bowlers have utterly failed the team and Root. He should by all rights have been able to expect to go out there yesterday and have his strike bowlers dismantle Australia's top order, especially once the night session began. Instead they've been lacklustre and lacking any real fire. I missed the first half of the first session but apparently Anderson and Broad weren't looking happy to be bowling from the very first over.

On this wicket England's current predicament is less Root's call and more due to his bowlers utterly failing to perform in a arena they by all rights should have been extremely potent in. And now because of it the entire team is demoralised and facing a near-impossible target going into the night session against a bowling attack that will cause severe damage to the top order.


On a more positive note, one I rarely tend to sing, the selectors have been proven right this match. Marsh and Paine have both performed extremely well, Paine getting a hand injury early on and still gutting out a solid half-century, and Marsh has finally come good scoring a more-than-quality century after overturning a couple of dud LBW calls.


Looks like the end of the innings is nigh, but facing over 410 runs on this wicket I doubt in England's chances to recover. Can't say I'd blame ya for not following the series, England has a way of losing series in a deeply unappealing way when they lose them.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Sun 3 Dec 2017 - 16:33

Let's be honest: if you're letting Shaun Marsh score consistent runs, you probably deserve a whitewash. I fully expect England to lose the last two Tests by an innings. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Mon 4 Dec 2017 - 9:15

Honestly it's less "letting" and more complete incompetency of the bowlers attack.  I feel the first over Lyon came to the crease yesterday summed up the English bowling effort perfectly.  Here was a spin bowler with orders to hit out, and he does so executing the exact same huge shot every ball leaving his stumps wide open.  He does this every ball of the over and even does it on his first ball of the next one after Marsh switches the strike over with a single.


And how does Broad, a quickie, respond to this display of reckless incompetency with the bat?  By continuing to aim the ball at Lyon when the stumps are completely and utterly undefended in any way shape or form.  The entire over I was practically screaming internally to just send one or two at the stumps, but no, he just kept sending completely ineffectual bouncers at a man clearly trying to sky a ball.  


And so instead of getting Lyon out for a duck he instead added a dozen or so runs to the tally and allowed Australia to instead declare.  Don't get me wrong I get the idea, hoping that he'd nick it or so forth, but if a batsman is leaving their stumps unprotected constantly you send the bloody ball at them.  


Now they've all rolled over for barely half of Australia's total, proving that the pitch is perfect for bowlers.  Those who put the effort in on this wicket are rewarded.  And therein lies the reality, outside of Overton and some spirited but ultimately impotent bowling from Ali Englands bowlers aren't trying.  


Of course Lyon's antics with the ball cannot be understated, he's on absolute fire today.  That caught and bowled was absolutely fantastic stuff.  Every australian bowler has pulled their weight today, and the result is nothing short of the absolute obliteration of the English batting order.  I can see why you were saying the team is largely past their use-by date a while back, there's a distinct lack of passion on display that I suspect some newer blood with something to prove would be showing.  After the last two days you might just be right about a whitewash being on the cards.  Can't say I'm particularly happy, I was looking forward to more tight matches like the first one.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Mon 4 Dec 2017 - 20:57

Broad and Anderson have given Englanders a headache for ages over their inability to (a) pitch it up and (b) aim at the stumps, especially with the new cherry in the first innings.  Oh well, at least Anderson and Woakes have rescued some pride, although I heartily doubt Vince et al.'s ability to chase down whatever Australia set.

As for 'past their use-by date', did I say that?  I've got many criticisms, but that ain't one of them.  Not regarding the batsmen anyway: if anything, they're too green.  Stoneman, Vince, Malan.  All relative newbies, all unproven, all doing not an awful lot to prove at the moment.  Re. the bowlers, then yes, maybe Jimmy's reaching his sell-by date, but I don't think he's the main problem (short of wasting the new ball as mentioned above).  That would be picking a bowling attack that is entirely RMF to RFM, plus Ali.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Wed 6 Dec 2017 - 21:39

And that's that. Cruel behaviour, though, from Australia. To just for a day be rubbish enough to give England hope... and then to destroy them soundly the following morning. That's mean, that is. That's toying with emotions. Mental disintegration at its finest.

Anyway, might see you at the end of the series. I've got a feeling that's the closest we'll see to an England victory, and they'll just go to pieces now.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Wed 13 Dec 2017 - 8:21

Guess who's looking likely for selection in the Perth test?


Can we PLEASE MOVE ON from the bloody Marsh Brothers already? For faffs sake. Rolling Eyes

On the bright side (as an aussie supporter anyway) it looks like Englands just going to continue infighting and making excuses, so I doubt there'll be much resistance from them. Not great for the sport though, when the ultimate series is essentially decided because of one teams own ineptitude and disunity.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Fri 15 Dec 2017 - 16:56

Well this match's certainly going to have a conclusion!  


Either Australia's learned how to bat or the wickets a massive batsmans wicket (and those are super fun to watch too!) and this match's going to be a not-thrilling draw.  

Also Mitchel Marsh dropped a catch day 1, Handscomb on the field as a temp takes a blinder.  

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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Sat 16 Dec 2017 - 14:04

Unaltered image live from the latest Ashes test!




Sorry, had to be done.  England are just that outmatched and at this point I can't help but have some fun with it.  

The sad thing is Root'll be criticised and yet it mostly isn't even his fault.  He's been given two sheet strike bowlers and an opener so far past his use-by date it's a surprise people don't catch a wiff of mouldy milk as he walks onto the field.  

I still think this could be a draw, it is a batsmens wicket after all.  That said it also gives to those who try hard enough, so England don't get to hide behind excuses.  This test has been like watching something from the old Steve Waugh era, and just like matches from that era if England lose this one expect them to be absolutely slaughtered in the next two.  

Just another typical summer of cricket.  A team comes to tour, puts up a good fight the first test, then proceeds to get more and more demoralised as the series wears on until Australia puts the boot down.

On a more positive note I'll freely eat my humble pie now, the selectors were in fact correct to put Mitchel Marsh into the squad. I honestly feel sorry for England, 549 runs and England hasn't even gotten past the batsmen yet!
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Sun 31 Dec 2017 - 11:12

Gosh that was a lame match.  While I'm not going to do what some might be tempted to do and poopoo the feats certain batsmen achieved, I am going to lambast the pitch.  I thought we'd moved past the days where we made pitches that gave bowlers so little that it was impossible to actually take wickets.  And they go and make the boxing day match with one?  What a farce.  

Cook was mighty impressive and showed why he's still in the squad, from what I've heard it was a tough pitch to actually score on (suffice to say I'm utterly unsurprised the australian team threw most of their wickets down the toilet on said pitch because of an incapability to take their time), and Smith continues to demonstrate why he's the number one batsmen currently playing.

But still poor show.  A pitch that is impossible to take wickets on helps nobody.  Any talk of a dead rubber for this match will only intensify now, as England was deprived of a real chance to take a match (and therefore the chance to play for the chance to make the final scoreline a respectable 3-2) and Australia is no longer playing for a whitewash.  I'm sure the English team will be giving it their all, if only because each player will be attempting to put on enough of a show as to avoid being made one of the inevitable scapegoats in the postmortem of this series, and Australia will likely be playing for a win to send England scurrying home with a paltry 4-0 scoreline, but as a viewer that last match left me mighty deflated.  

Suffice to say they're lucky that they aren't going to have their schedule clash with the Australian open this year, because otherwise I know what I'd be watching.  Or would like to watch, alas odds are high I won't have the time this year.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Fri 12 Jan 2018 - 17:05

So, the Ashes are over, everyone has had a week or so to either finish exulting in their teams victory or finish weeping for their teams loss, and it's time to look back on the series that was.  Right?  Or am I just talking to thin air still?  Lets find out!  Worst case scnerio I can turn this thread into my personal party-room where I post increasingly pushed anime reaction images!



So, test 1.  Things started out pretty well for England and Australia, it was a pretty back-and-forward contest between the two sides for the majority of the test with Australia just edging ahead where it counted until the last day and a half where they drove it home with a formidable bowling attack and a stunning partnership between the openers.  

The second test took a worse turn for England.  Captain Joe Root decided to bowl first, a call that I maintain was the correct one.  Adelaide has shown that a bowling side can do very big things.  Unfortunately the bowlers, specifically Broad and Anderson, the two strike bowlers, remained absent and Australia built a quality total.  Things went in Englands direction late in the match, but it was too late and Australia again romped home.  I blame a aging bowling attack and the possibility that England hadn't had enough time to detox from the loss to this match's direction.  

The third test was Australia's all the time every time.  Momentum had been built, and on top of that Australia was playing for a series win.  Combine that with the WACA conditions and this match was never really in contention.  As an aussie supporter though...



The fourth test was the biggest fizzler I've had the misfortune to watch in recent memory.  A demoralised England facing an Australia on a pitch that gave nothing to bowlers resulting in nobody getting out ever.  At this point pride was still on the line, the nature of the match was a sour one.  Whoever made that pitch, well, I hope they don't make next years.  

The fifth test. . . Was anybody watching by the time that rolled around?  I wasn't, and thus can't comment.  

The series in general, well, as an Australian fan I can't say I'm all that satisfied with the direction the team is headed.  ur batting lineup is as frail as ever, if we didn't have Smith we'd have been properly stuffed if I'm honest.  England learned how to get Bancroft out very quick, was the experiment worth the selectors destroying Renshaw and his moral?  No, no it was not.  Bancroft also needs more time in the oven, so what did we gain going forwards?  The Marsh brothers finally performed, but they can be unreliable as history has shown.  Ultimately we end the series once again desperately needing batsmen who can hold the crease with regularity.  

Still the boys won, so f*** yeah!  Ashes are ours for two years, woohoo!  

Meanwhile England weren't up to snuff.  Their bowling attack needs some desperate revitalisation as their main strike bowlers are either getting on a bit too much to handle the workload or don't seem to have the same intensity necessary for this level of play.  Their batting was also lackluster, Root found himself having an inverse to the usual effect of being made captain and never really fired, Cook fired once.  The new number 2 and 3, Vince and Stoneman were the big highlights, and from my perspective often some of the biggest threats.  


Final Rating: 6 out of 10 A decent series that started off with all the fire and competitiveness one would want from the sports biggest rivalry, but unfortunately began to lose said intensity as it wore on.  A decent enough series, better than the last Ashes, but ultimately nowhere near as exciting or engaging as the two series preceding it.
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PostSubject: Re: General Cricket Thread - Ashes in Postmortem   Fri 12 Jan 2018 - 18:00

I... guess I'm back?

But my gracious that was a load of cobblers wunnit?  From England I mean.  Unless this is playing the long game to get double-Marsh into the Test squad for an extended period, in which case chapeau gents, your Machiavellian genius knows no bound(arie)s.  

You're damn right on the bowling attack.  Trouble is, when you play half your cricket in England, and most of your non-test FC cricket in Spring/September, dibbly-dobbly filth gets wickets. Result: you get a group of right-arm fast-medium bowlers who can swing the ball around corners with assistance... of which there is ball-all in Australia with the Kookaburra.  There's a deeper more ingrained problem than selection, although that's certainly faulty.

The even deeper more ingrained problem is that Australia will probably lose the Ashes straight back in two years.  End-to-end stuff where home advantage says everything.  I hope England can be the bigger cricket association and give Oz some decent warm-up sides, allowing them to practice against the swinging Duke.  Then we might have some close cricket for once.


Looking forward for Australia, Bancroft was a mistake and there's naff-all bowling depth, but everything else is probably good for a few years, and should challenge South Africa who I believe they're playing soon.  For England, I'd keep Stoneman and Malan.  The next series is in New Zealand where it probably will swing, but they have to resist the urge to play Anderson/Broad/Woakes/Stokes/Moe and actually try to give some more interesting bowlers some practice.  They will, of course, play Anderson/Broad/Woakes/Stokes/Moe and not give some more interesting bowlers some practice.

The best thing about the near future is that they'll probably play James Vince at 3 in NZ.  Where, again, it swings.

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