Australia Win The Ashes
Warning – if you know nothing about cricket then this post will make no sense to you.
What I love about this drubbing, this annihilation, is how we’ve gone about showing up all the comments received from Commentators and Press alike. For some reason Australia continues to be heavily criticized; over appealing, fielding placements, negativity, age; the list goes on and on…
In Brisbane the wicket was glorious on days 1 and 2 while Australia were batting but it became a mine field when England’s turn. The curator had not done his job as England succumbed to a dismal first innings score. Punter and his men chose not to enforce the follow on and came out to “exorcise the demons” and expose this shallow commentary by scoring one for 200. Suddenly the pitch was a batsman’s paradise again. If Mr Brisbane Curator can please come forward and tell us all how he managed to make a wicket deteriorate and then mend itself we would be most grateful…
In Adelaide the wicket was too friendly to the batsman. Cricinfo scorecard staff bored all with their continuous mocking of the pitch and the general state of the game. Respectable commentators on Channel 9 and Sky Sports showed us that they clearly must have an agenda going into the games else they wouldn’t remark and dwell over such things. Only one man, Richie Benaud, was able to show the intelligence necessary to deliver the game we so love. He said a Test Match is a 5-day affair. How right he was. Once again a curator of many years was receiving unnecessary negative attention for preparing a pitch that could only end in the most boring of draws. Forget not that Adelaide has produced consistent results despite the batter friendly conditions. Now we have one of the most remarkable test finishes in history to show for it…
People seem to quickly forget that no matter what surface you play on, the batsman must score runs and the bowlers must take wickets. England scored runs. Lots of runs. Collingwood was, a bit unfairly, made to look like a genius. He is not. Collingwood chewed up 2 days of cricket in his efforts and to make matters worse, completely forgot how to score runs on the 5th day, a day that may have turned out quite differently if he had have scored 20 more. Australia came out and scored lots of runs (we expected this) but more importantly, came out with the menace needed to win the game on the 5th day. Kudos to England for self destructing from such a position. It goes to show that even a wonderful pitch means nothing if you play in the wrong state of mind.
Australia were again criticized for their negative tactics in containment bowling to Pietersen. What a master stroke it turned out to be. What a shame that Australia would receive more unbecoming comments about their tactics come game 3. Who’s winning three-zip?
In Perth Ricky Ponting was blasted for placing up to seven boundary fielders when Pietersen came out. Defensive tactics are still tactics. Pietersen proved this true twice. First by hitting a catch to McGrath (who does look old in the field) and second by not taking full advantage of the conditions. We were wonderfully treated to “how it’s done” by Mr Gilchrist in the 2nd dig. By the way, his form and contribution been overly criticized as well. Flintoff (and I laugh here) placed just as many boundary fielders as Ponting, but did not receive the unjust commentary for it. Where Pietersen hit catches and played ugly swipes, Gilchrist showed that fielders mean nothing when a true demolisher sets to work. He smashed a 57-ball hundred (which would have been faster had Hoggard bowled to him) and showed how Pietersen is not even close to the same mold as a Gilchrist or Viv Richards. He could only resort to arrogant remarks from the middle, something Gilchrist picked up on as he could be heard calling Pietersen a “smart arse” over the stump mic.
Moreover, Pietersen needs a lesson or three in shepherding the tail. He can take a page from Mike Hussey’s book, or simply look over to Sangakkara’s most recent efforts in New Zealand. These two farm the strike, put away the bad balls and turn it on (and off) when necessary. Pietersen’s efforts smack of selfishness and arrogant pride; nothing more than doing what he can to maintain his average against Australia. He scored just 4 runs while Flintoff scored 41 (at one stage) and then repeatedly handed over the strike to the tail in the early parts of the over. In both innings! Fortunately Harmison and Panesar made his efforts somewhat worthwhile in the first innings, but there was no way tail enders can bat beautifully twice-in-a-row.
This series has been more than a drubbing. More than Australia desperately seeking to retain the urn. It was been a wonderful testament that it’s the players in the middle who matter, and no manner of external criticism makes a difference. I sincerely hope you’re all scratching your heads over this one. Continue to make your un-towards remarks. Continue to criticize selection, captaincy, age and everything else. Because in the end, the only thing that matters, is that Australia has a winning formula and the rest of the world is playing in a race for distant second…
I think I would probably like cricket if I ever got around to watching it. It just seems like the kind of sport I would enjoy watching. I don’t think I’d actually be a fan, though. I just don’t think I have the heart of a sports fan.
Of course I am completely biased. 😉 If you want to grab a quick look, spend 13 minutes watching one of my favourite games of all time. It’s the highlights of the 1999 World Cup Semi Final between Australia and South Africa. It’s a low scoring game by modern standards but the finish is breath-taking…
Australia v South Africa – World Cup Semi Final 1999 – Google Video
Mate, did you write all that? I haven’t read your Bio yet but that is awesome writing and I can only assume that your field of employment must be in relation to writing, journalism, etc. Let me check now and see if I’m on the ball or not 😉
Howzat? Out for a duck. It seems as though we’ve maybe got a bit more in common than just two Aussie ex-pats living Stateside with an American wife and two kiddies. I was an avid reader in school but never did that well in English, and it’s only now in my later years that my writing skills have blossomed to the point that I impressed myself with a proposal I put forward last year that I couldn’t believe I’d written, it seemed so professional. That’s not putting you down or taking the mickey in any way, rather it’s a compliment. It seems as though you’ve honed your writing skills blogging over the last few years, which is an activity that has benefited my writing skills as well.
Well I can’t spend too much time here. I just checked my email at work, saw you’d left a comment (the wife told me last night she’d found your blog and was amazed at the similarities in our lives) so I thought I’d pop on over here and say G’day right back atcha 😉
I’m going to add your Blog to the list of Blogs on my site so I can catch up on more of what you’ve been doing on my own time, not on the government’s 😉 I know the reputation government workers have, and in some cases it’s well deserved, I don’t want it to be in mine 😉
Cheers, and look out for further comments from me over the next day or two, quite possibly in some of your oldest entries 😉
You are brilliant mate. You’ve also got a sensational blog and you’re going into my Bored list. Thanks so much for spending so much time here! No one’s ever done that before.