The English are dreaming…


With Australia’s loss to India, England seem to be rejoicing and have already started dreaming about regaining the Ashes. Even the bookies have cut the odds for Australia to retain the ashes. Dream on, guys 🙂 … but first remember you have plenty of matches to play before the Ashes and a more important task at hand – playing India in the upcoming series.

Here are a few headlines I picked up from the English press:

  • Indian signs offer England hope of exploiting Australia’s frailties writes Christopher Martin-Jenkins in The Times

The side who beat England in Australia last time was, like India’s now, vastly experienced and extraordinarily talented. Since the start of that series Australia have lost Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn, and Matthew Hayden cannot be far from retirement. Under Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ponting, Australia have been the best team in the world since unseating West Indies in 1995. Now they are one of a leading pack that includes India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and, yes, England

  • Potty Ponting tactics speed Australia’s slide from greatness writes Mike Selvey in The Guardian

Surely now, after India’s triumph in Nagpur, even the most myopic, delusional, down under diehard (and some would seem to remain) will concede that fings ain’t wot they used to be. Australia are on the slide

  • India bring Australia back to Earth with a bump writes Simon Briggs in The Telegraph

The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and Australia certainly hit the ground with a thump in Nagpur on Monday.

I have a feeling, the Aussies are really hurting at the moment and are going to take it out on the poor Kiwis in the upcoming series 🙂

-Mahesh-

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11 responses to “The English are dreaming…

  1. The entire series was great. It had us at the edge of our seats for long periods of time. However, there has been a gripping and enthralling few games that were keenly (sometimes too keenly) contested. I think for guys like us that are cricket romantics…the pressure sometimes is too much to take. I must say that I have this site in my favorites and after cricinfo, this is the only site that I frequent. I must say the diligent postings from Mohan are a treat. It is balanced (for the most part) and very insightful and is a voice that perhaps deserves a wider audience. Many of the pundits will be well served by dipping into this well!!
    The Aussies are clearly going through a phase of regrouping as a test side. The loss of Warne and Adam Gilchrist (and Hogg for what it’s worth) has meant that suddenly the experience is lacking. It certainly was not highlighted by Pointing at the start of the series and was masked by the term “new age cricket”. I am sure they intended to deliver this brand of cricket but were finding it difficult to dig in deep to find it.
    There were several things that the teams will take away from the series. For the Aussies (on the positive side):
    • Jason Krejza has been a find…he does a great job in his art. Despite Sehwag saying that Australia did not have a quality spinney (when he was interviewed on day 5).
    • Shane Watson created his own stamp on Test Cricket and will continue to blossom as a cricketer (although he needs to watch the on field attitude…and I am sure this will impact him as he plays in the next round of the IPL)
    • Mitchel Johnson did well to pick up many wickets and further solidify his place
    • Michael Hussey continues to show that he is rock solid and reliable/dependable
    • Haddin has further established himself as a keeper batsman
    • Symonds’ spot is safe (and he would have been the difference between Australia doing great Vs doing as they did) and he will come in to replace Cameron White (although Cameron White ended up with an average of almost 30 and 5 wickets against his name, he is nowhere near the caliber of Andrew Symonds)
    For India:
    Ishant Sharma did wonderful job exploiting reverse swing
    Dhoni has clearly blossomed as a captain and a strategist
    Amit Mishra was great and has a long cricketing life ahead
    Vijay has arrived (fielding was great batting was solid)
    Gambhir, Shewag were fantastic and consistent as openers
    There is no hurry to accelerate the retirement of any seniors (Kumble and Ganguly may have been forced but let us not do anything silly around Laxman, Tendulkar or Dravid…they still have some cricketing left

    Cheers…Raj

  2. chris hutchinson

    Selvey made a very good point, two in fact.

    Australia have no great bowlers and this impacts on his captaincy.

    Cameron! If you want to be a test cricketer then listen to Richie B and see if that right shoulders of yours can bowl at 45 degrees.

    We’ll need a bit more than that though.

    Peter Roebuck! Resgin, you have turned into a goose.

    Wanting Simon Katich to lead this country because you see him cast in your mould if for silly Poms who cant remember why they came here in the first place.

  3. Is this even a reason for Punter to do what he did in that dreadful 3rd session?

  4. I had put up a link, which was not displayed.. what I meant was punter’s average against Kiwis at home. And he was in no mood to miss a test against Kiwis (and thereby an opportunity to score a double hundred)

  5. chris hutchinson

    @Gurudatt,

    I hope you’re right, he’ll need that and some more.

    His reasoning for Nagpur is curious and out of character but he did not act alone. That is obvious.

    Katich can play as well as he wants to. This bloke is not the answer, not the future.

    He is how Australia should face the next 18 months.

    1. Hayden (or Watson
    2. Marsh
    3. Ponting
    4. Clarke
    5. Hussey
    6. Symonds (or Watson depending on Hayden)
    7. Hadden (just)
    8. Krezja
    9. Clark
    10. Johnson
    11. Siddle or Nannes or Bollinger

  6. @chris

    I cannot understand your allergy towards Katich! He was the second highest scorer on the India tour! Second to Mike [I refuse to be anything other than first] Hussey! He had 349 runs (to Hussey’s) 394 with a top score of 102 and an average of 49.85! He and Hussey were the only two Aus bats with an average over 40! And yet you display this irrational allergy to him! Perhaps it is because he is a New South Wales.

    Watson as an opening batsman? You got to be kidding. Jaques and Marsh are Australia’s longer term openers. Hayden is here for now. So it has to be Hayden, Katich for now with Marsh and Jaques (injured now for a year) in the wings.

    Watson has to fight with Symonds for that $6 spot. Either that or he has to tap Brett Lee on the bum frequently 🙂

    I agree with your “just” against Haddin.

    But the most surprising ommission in your list is Brett Lee! You are kidding right?

    — Mohan

  7. chris hutchinson

    @Mohan,

    No! Not kidding with Brett Lee. Great servant but he has issues which have not yet come to light and I just wonder HOW fragile he is.

    If he was GOING he’d be first picked.

    I like your assertion re Katich! No I have no problems with NSW. He’s from WA though as you will know.

    His performance in India was good. Stats like that against an underperforming Australia do not impress.

    He has fundamental issues when someone’s got hold of him and although others didnt handle the 8-1 set up well his effort in that session when he made a hundred was absolutely disgraceful.

    Jacques! Cant have him either. I like a dead fish! Sharma would chew him up and spit him out.

    Careful what you say about Watson – even I have problems backing him up.

    He is rigid and looks ungainly sometimes but he is as straight as anyone I have seen and I think he’s worth it.

  8. @chris hutchinson

    I have to go with Mohan on this one. Katich just cannot be ignored. Don’t forget that he performed well (2 centuries) on the tour of WI as well.

    If I were to pick 14 people for the NZ tour, I would go with this –

    Katich
    Hayden/Marsh
    Ponting
    Hussey
    Clarke
    Symonds/Watson
    Haddin
    Lee
    Johnson
    Clark/Tait
    Krejza

    I like Marsh and I think he will play for Australia sooner than later – but then Jacques hasn’t done anything wrong, either – he scored a 100 in the last innings he played and deserves to be in the team ahead of Marsh. Jacques only mistake is getting injured 🙂

    But both will have to wait till Hayden retires. And Katich just cannot be dropped after his performance in India.

    Krejza is the only spinner worth picking at this time. Hopefully, this season will throw up a few more names. If you don’t have a good enough spinner, then it is probably better to go in with 4 quicks, IMHO.

    I would also pick Tait ahead of Siddle, Nannes, Bollinger or anyone else. Calls for Lee’s head is a bit premature – he has had a bad tour, but he deserves another chance.

    Watson/Symonds is actually a tough choice. I would never play Watson as an opener in a test match, though. Here are the comparisons of the two all rounders –

    – Watson is a bowling all rounder
    – Symonds is a batting all rounder
    – Watson is prone to injury
    – Symonds is more prone to go fishing

    Take your pick 🙂

  9. Actually I’m not sure about you guys – but I am somehow not happy at all that they’ve NZ test coming up so soon

    The thrashing they recieved in India needed more time to sink in.. and dig deep into themselves.. (and ultimately bring that beautiful warm feeling of satisfaction.. and content in some of our hearts 🙂

  10. chris hutchinson

    Fair calls!

    But if either of these guys were Rohit Sharma I may take your word for it.

    Katich goes missing to often especially when a ball comes at him and he has to catch it. Jacques is the same.

    If you want a side to be brought down to earth watch them field.

    They thrive on roads and slower wickets. Jacques always needs luck.

    However, I was impressed with Katich in India, there are better, younger options.

  11. @Raj Toronto

    Jason Krejza has been a find…he does a great job in his art. Despite Sehwag saying that Australia did not have a quality spinney (when he was interviewed on day 5).

    Dude, it’s Sehwag. He doesn’t treat anyone like a quality spinner. I would be interested to know who he thinks is a quality spinner. One of the tragedies of the India-SL series was Sehwag getting out so early in the 1st and 3rd tests. He was dismissed by Murali just once and never by Mendis. The one test where he lasted, he dominated them with ease.

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