Action: second Test December 2, 2006

When Warnie met Nemesis

Hubris, in tragedy, is followed inexorably by Nemesis – the goddess of retribution, whose job it is to take mortals down a peg
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A few days ago, Shane Warne was dismissing England’s batting – in the middle at the Gabba, and in the papers afterwards. England still can’t play me, he said. Only Pietersen played me well, Collingwood was lucky, I’m all over Bell. Warne is usually a better read than most players because he isn’t bland, but this was cheap stuff. It was what the players call mind games. And what the ancient Greeks called Hubris.

Hubris, in tragedy, is followed inexorably by Nemesis – the goddess of retribution, whose job it is to take mortals down a peg. In Adelaide, she paid Warne a visit. First she rendered him wicketless on a dry, turning pitch. Then she put an idea into his head: if he couldn’t get wickets by attacking, he could go right on the defensive and bore Kevin Pietersen out.

This was an eventuality more shaming than any bowling figures. Australia had to break that partnership, and all the biggest wicket-taker in history had to offer was leg-side filth. Warne was not himself: he was reduced to Ashley Giles – another man he had been disparaging a few days ago.

Warne has often made a fool of himself off the field. Here, for the first time in Ashes cricket, he was humiliated on it.

Pietersen’s patience was formidable, a bonus to add to his exceptional talent. And Paul Collingwood played a monumental innings for someone who was heading for the 12th-man slot a month ago. When Collingwood started his international career with a few unsuccessful one-dayers in 2001, Steve Waugh said he saw something in him. Maybe what he saw was something of himself: the ability to know your game, stick to your strengths, survive on a bad day and and cash in on a good one.

Yesterday I wondered if England had built enough of a platform. O me of little faith. Today they were superb. Flintoff, who could well have flopped after an interminable wait, eased back into the runs, and then wisely yielded to the chorus calling for him to take the new ball himself. They may not win the match, but they have made a powerful point.

Tim de Lisle is the editor of Intelligent Life magazine and a former editor of Wisden

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aussie_Boy on December 10, 2006, 15:58 GMT

    I have only just read this, and I am so glad that Warne was able to make a complete fool out of you. Did you even consider the strategy behind Warne's defensive tactics in the first innings? The advantage he has is that by frustrating the batsmen down his end, he has the likes of Lee and McGrath to take advantage of this down the other end. To me this is an example of the unselfish play of Warne. Good on him. No other team could have pulled off this test victory, and Warne is the reason. Never doubt a true champion.

  • Sanjay Prakash on December 7, 2006, 5:04 GMT

    Come on Tim, Fletcher and co. I thought your team could play Warne. Who got bowled around his legs first ball. The nemesis. Yes the nemesis was the bowler. He's been doing this since 1993. Obviously you guys don't take note of the number of times Warne has ripped England apart. Continue to write Warne off at your own peril. He will win the battle of the mind and on the field.

  • Sanjay Prakash on December 7, 2006, 5:01 GMT

    I just posted a response to the last blog you had put up mentioning about the fact the english and many cricketing pundits talked on Sat about England not being able to lose the match. As you aptly put it, the may not yet win this match. I ask the question why did you think on Sat night after their big score you were not confident of the english beating the aussies.

    You english have a lot to learn about being positive. The aussies are all about being positive that's why they are the best cricket team in the world.

  • Adam on December 5, 2006, 16:01 GMT

    Pieterson won the first battle but Warney won the war! Write off the greatest cricketer ever at your own peril, you would think that the past 15 years would have taught you poms something. Lets go for 5 nil and rub Duncan Fletcher's miserable stubborn nose in it.

  • Chaps on December 5, 2006, 13:32 GMT

    and now...Nemesis visits Pietersen..can't bowl me around my legs indeed...never write off a champion

  • CD on December 5, 2006, 11:51 GMT

    It's all well and good to write off Warne and McGrath... I look at all these comments (in hindsight I must admit) and you were all writing them off based on their first innings... Cricket is a long game... Who has the egg on their faces now? :-D

  • TYU on December 5, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    yeah but Ashley Giles has been bowling leg side filth throughout his whole career and so don't you think he also makes a fool of himself on the cricket pitch every time he plays? I wonder if you said thesame thing when Giles employed the same tactic to Tendulkar and frustated him to the point that he gave his wicket away. you and the others who agree with you were probably labelling Giles a tactical genius then.

  • Ha Ha Ha Ha on December 5, 2006, 11:27 GMT

    I think the real humiliation here goes to Mr Tim de Lisle who had the insight to critique Warnes performance before the game was won. From humiliated to man of the match in a couple of sessions.

    Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi

  • Macjoubert on December 4, 2006, 20:21 GMT

    Tim's out with the bugle and he's blowing hard and fast.It's ridiculous to write off Warne because of roughly 6 sessions out of a career spanning a decade and a half, round about the same period England were routinely pulverized into submission by the Aussies, or maybe Tim wishes to be selectively amnesic? How easily Ponting negated the English attack was much too sublime, and you can expect equal grit from the others in the tests to come. If England are to equalize and then incredibly go into the lead on Australian soil,a miracle need happen, much similar to one that occurred 2000 odd years ago. Anyone see a lonely star near the Southern Cross lately?

  • Nick C on December 4, 2006, 19:14 GMT

    Nice one Vernon, nice to see an aussie making some sensible comments and not overacting because Warne and McGrath have been rightly criticised!! Warne bowled as negatively as Giles in this game and from an English point of view it's great to see the world's greatest bowler reduced to that against England who he usually torments.

  • Aussie_Boy on December 10, 2006, 15:58 GMT

    I have only just read this, and I am so glad that Warne was able to make a complete fool out of you. Did you even consider the strategy behind Warne's defensive tactics in the first innings? The advantage he has is that by frustrating the batsmen down his end, he has the likes of Lee and McGrath to take advantage of this down the other end. To me this is an example of the unselfish play of Warne. Good on him. No other team could have pulled off this test victory, and Warne is the reason. Never doubt a true champion.

  • Sanjay Prakash on December 7, 2006, 5:04 GMT

    Come on Tim, Fletcher and co. I thought your team could play Warne. Who got bowled around his legs first ball. The nemesis. Yes the nemesis was the bowler. He's been doing this since 1993. Obviously you guys don't take note of the number of times Warne has ripped England apart. Continue to write Warne off at your own peril. He will win the battle of the mind and on the field.

  • Sanjay Prakash on December 7, 2006, 5:01 GMT

    I just posted a response to the last blog you had put up mentioning about the fact the english and many cricketing pundits talked on Sat about England not being able to lose the match. As you aptly put it, the may not yet win this match. I ask the question why did you think on Sat night after their big score you were not confident of the english beating the aussies.

    You english have a lot to learn about being positive. The aussies are all about being positive that's why they are the best cricket team in the world.

  • Adam on December 5, 2006, 16:01 GMT

    Pieterson won the first battle but Warney won the war! Write off the greatest cricketer ever at your own peril, you would think that the past 15 years would have taught you poms something. Lets go for 5 nil and rub Duncan Fletcher's miserable stubborn nose in it.

  • Chaps on December 5, 2006, 13:32 GMT

    and now...Nemesis visits Pietersen..can't bowl me around my legs indeed...never write off a champion

  • CD on December 5, 2006, 11:51 GMT

    It's all well and good to write off Warne and McGrath... I look at all these comments (in hindsight I must admit) and you were all writing them off based on their first innings... Cricket is a long game... Who has the egg on their faces now? :-D

  • TYU on December 5, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    yeah but Ashley Giles has been bowling leg side filth throughout his whole career and so don't you think he also makes a fool of himself on the cricket pitch every time he plays? I wonder if you said thesame thing when Giles employed the same tactic to Tendulkar and frustated him to the point that he gave his wicket away. you and the others who agree with you were probably labelling Giles a tactical genius then.

  • Ha Ha Ha Ha on December 5, 2006, 11:27 GMT

    I think the real humiliation here goes to Mr Tim de Lisle who had the insight to critique Warnes performance before the game was won. From humiliated to man of the match in a couple of sessions.

    Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi

  • Macjoubert on December 4, 2006, 20:21 GMT

    Tim's out with the bugle and he's blowing hard and fast.It's ridiculous to write off Warne because of roughly 6 sessions out of a career spanning a decade and a half, round about the same period England were routinely pulverized into submission by the Aussies, or maybe Tim wishes to be selectively amnesic? How easily Ponting negated the English attack was much too sublime, and you can expect equal grit from the others in the tests to come. If England are to equalize and then incredibly go into the lead on Australian soil,a miracle need happen, much similar to one that occurred 2000 odd years ago. Anyone see a lonely star near the Southern Cross lately?

  • Nick C on December 4, 2006, 19:14 GMT

    Nice one Vernon, nice to see an aussie making some sensible comments and not overacting because Warne and McGrath have been rightly criticised!! Warne bowled as negatively as Giles in this game and from an English point of view it's great to see the world's greatest bowler reduced to that against England who he usually torments.

  • FlashAsh on December 4, 2006, 15:29 GMT

    Dear All

    For goodness sake let's enjoy the fact that England have made a brilliant game of it and also managed to claw back some of the impetous the Aussies gained from Brisbane, Bowling them out and having a 1st Innings lead even with a declaration!! Where would this game be if England hadn't declared and set Oz 680-700?

    As to Warne and McGrath, never pull the tail of a sleeping Tiger!! These guys have class, one bad innings will not undo 1,100+ Test wickets and they are in their own backyard. Oz cannot drop them both, not yet!!

    I'm an England fan and I'm proud of the fight we've shown, Harmison may yet surprise all the doubters, he also shouldn't be written off!! How will Ponting take to being set 300 with 45 overs come mid afternoon?? It's England in ascendency, Ok we won the toss, but then thats just cricket!! and we still had to score the runs!!

    Engalnd have also now taken on mantle of playing the more positive cricket, I bet Ponting was scared of letting Warne continue against KP as the run rate was climbing and we could have seen an earler declaration or a higher target!! Warne was bowling to order.

    On another note, Glad Lee was fined, its about time umpires stood up to Oz in own backyard!!

    Can't wait for responses!!

  • greg on December 4, 2006, 14:54 GMT

    England will pick the same team for the next game (barring injury). We've already seen Fletcher making comments about how well Anderson and Harmison have bowled (ridiculously insulting Hoggard's performance by saying that "on another day it would have been jimmy" - this comment may give the clue as to why he doesn't seem to give any weight to Panesar's bowling ability vs Giles: "both left arm 'spinners', on one day one might get a few, on another day the other"). How can he possibly change the team for the next test without implicitly accepting that he got it wrong for at least one, if not both, of the first two tests?

  • tinker on December 4, 2006, 14:09 GMT

    read tim's and andrew millers blogs during and after the gabba test.

    classic englishmen, arrogant frontrunners who turn on their team in 4 seconds flat when it goes pear shaped.

    these blogs read like they are written by over the top fans not journo's

  • Marty on December 4, 2006, 14:06 GMT

    Pietersen, on a batsman's pitch, was unstoppable until he made a mistake. Warne employed a defensive tactic to try and force this mistake; to Pietersen's credit he displayed patience. I strongly disagree that Warne's tactic was 'humiliating' (from the article). If it wasn't employed, Australia would probably be in a far worse-off position in the test match, as England might've reached their total far quicker. Tactics sometimes have to be negative for a side to avoid a loss. I'm glad Warney was able to ignore his ego and help his team out, as he managed again today in his batting.

  • Pragmatic on December 4, 2006, 13:38 GMT

    Let's write down some facts while we are at it..

    1) Did Pietersen dominated Mcgrath? Absolutely. 2) Was Mcgrath at his best at Adelaide? No. 3) In the recent series against Pakistan, wasn't there a certain bowler (with or without dope!) who bowled very similarly like a younger Mcgrath, reduced Pietersen to a walking wicket? Yes. 4) Is this the first time that Warne went around the wicket to aim at the rough pathches outside the leg stump? No. 5) Why didn't we notice it before? Because he got lots of wickets and it was hailed as an attacking move by the same people who are indignant about it at the moment. 6) How many English journalists agreed that Paul Collingwood is good enough to bat at no.4 (even after his fine 96 at Gabba)? None 7) Is it time for Maryn, Hayden and Langer to make room for talented young batsmen such as Phil Jacques, Brad Hodge, David Hussey and Chris Rogers? It's Long overdue.

  • Matt on December 4, 2006, 13:32 GMT

    I think the point Tim was trying to get across was not that Warne is a spent force, but rather to express surprise and some regret that this great bowler was reduced to such negative tactics - which is a worthy point to raise.

    Even on a flat-tracker you would expect Warne to keep innovating and trying to outwit the batsmen. This was clearly not the case in Adelaide where he appeared devoid of inspiration and even some courage.

    Rather than harp on about Warne's shortcomings on the day, however, I would rather concentrate on Collingwood and Pietersen who proved that England can compete and dominate in this series.

    As for England's negative tactics, sure they were very cautious, but I think this is because they hit the ground barely crawling after suffering nerves in brisbane & needed to get off their knees. Grinding out a big score may not have won the match (surely now a draw), but it must have done wonders for their psychology. I hope they can pick it up a notch in Perth.

    During the last Ashes series England came back from a first Test hammering with all guns blazing, but here they are away from home with quite a few injury-induced gaps in their line-up. They needed grit and resolve rather than bravado and they produced it.

    Hopefully, they have laid the ghosts of Brisbane to rest nad can start to enjoy the series with some postive intent!

  • Kev on December 4, 2006, 13:11 GMT

    Remember the might of the West Indies in the 70's and for much of the 80's? Their dominance was purely due to the 'old guard' in their side. Lloyd, Richards, Holding abnd company led the side to victory on many occassions. This Australian team have proven their worth and have maintained a fantastic standard of cricket for almost as long as that run of the WI. Much has been said about the old boys in the Aussie team. I wouldn't discard them just yet after the Englishmen had 2 good days of cricket on a belter of a pitch.

    Be careful as Perth, melbourne and Sydney loom for the visitors which is where McGrath and Warne will come into their own. It's still early and a long summer awaits. The pain for the visitors may yet linger for a long time.

  • James on December 4, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    I would just like to say that although KP and collingwood played real good cricket. I think it was collingwood that was the key, if anyone played Warne well it was him. I say this because KP playes with Warne at Hampshire, all the practise in the nets and being able to spot all his variations comes with practise and thats what he has. Collingwood on the other hand played him better as the match went on. McGrath is passed it I personally dont think either collingwood or KP could have played him this well a couple of years ago. So all in all this is a good time for our batsmen and a good time to retain the ashes down under.

  • marcus on December 4, 2006, 6:34 GMT

    That negativity has continued well into day 4. The Ashes should be a battle of wits and skill, whereas it's become a war of denial. The way the Australian tailenders played just now was completely against their nature- just pathetic. They weren't fighting a great and noble rearguard with a leading batsmen, which would justify such caution- they were simply being bloody-minded and almost certainly denying both sides the chance of victory. I don't know whose idea it was, Ponting's or Buchanan's, but if that's the level they'll stoop to to deny the opposition, then frankly Australia doesn't deserve to win the Ashes.

  • Pravin on December 4, 2006, 5:48 GMT

    I think tha the Aussies have relied too much upon the old time blokes of McGrath and Warne. There is bound to be a down-scale in every crickteres's career, but none so much as when when you reach the end of it! Also, English batsman have tried the time-tested tactic of playing down the good balls and scoring patienly when the bad ones come alonq.. much the same way the Indians did famously at Calcutta in 2001. Maybe this was the way to beat Aussies. Counter attack in test cricket is not aggression per se but attacking responsibly. Most teams have tried to beat Aussues at their own game - that is just attacking fo rthe sake of it. But i think, the old virtues of patient batting will wear down even the best of teams. And, hey the Aussies have always been impatient when the opposition waers them down! There's a lesson here for the future much in the same way that terms of 70s and 80s failed to do it to the greatest of the teams - Lyold' West Indians.

  • chris on December 4, 2006, 4:40 GMT

    gentlemen please, a couple of days batting on a featherbed pitch is no way to judge either the batsmen or the bowlers. english punters tend to see only weary aussie bowlers and jaunty bats. just imagine the boot being on the other foot eg Ponting 250, Hussey 200 and Clarke 150 with Gilchrist knocking up 80 or 90 - a total of 700 plus for the poms to chase. see how you go then!! cheers, only a few more weeks to enjoy the ashes.

  • Chanaka Wijesekera on December 4, 2006, 3:00 GMT

    Shane Warne has lost his wrong un and is now very predictable. He should call it a day. If Stuart McGill played things may have been slightly different at Adelaide.

  • Vernon on December 3, 2006, 20:58 GMT

    As an Aussie, I have been avoiding this blog for a couple of days because I knew what was coming. And sure enough, Tim got it right in my view.

    I think Warne convinces himself that it is still a legitimate attacking move. A little bit of denial I think. What really worries me is that Ponting and Buchanan allow it. Where are the checks and balances that a coach especially should bring? Similarly with the decision to play McGrath. Where was the wise counsel then?

    Well done to the Poms - Pietersen and Collingwood especially. Should make for a good series.

    Cheers Vernon

  • PK on December 3, 2006, 20:04 GMT

    McGrath's fitness is definitely an issue. In the last ashes series also he was coming back after a long break, bowled well in the first match and then was off steam for the rest of the series. A similar pattern is repeating itself here. He's still good enough on his day but his body doesn't allow him to play uninjured at 100 % for very long. Australia needs to look past him and give a chance to new bowlers. Mitchell Johnson looks like a very good prospect.

  • Richard on December 3, 2006, 15:27 GMT

    Well Tim I think England batted very well I think KP is definitly world class and Collingwood is doing a great job, however, after batting for the best part of two days and expecting the Englan bowling attack to get in a possition to force the Aussies to follow on is a real joke especially on this pitch, my granny could score runs on that wicket against Warney, I didnt realise Borat was making a new film about England cricket myths. Warne read the situation and bowled within that situation, the fact that he didnt tear through the England batting line up shows just how good a batsmans wicket this one is. England batted for far too long for the runs they got and once Ponting and Hussy were past 40 the game has been relegated to a draw, with Gilly in a prime position to bat himself back into form to Englands detriment, the situation is made for him. As for Warney and Glenn they are too wise to even think they are getting " Past It" combined they have over a thousand test wickets, England and the supporters write that ammount of talent off to their detriment. How England will wish during the course of this match and this series that they had that kind of ability to draw on will be shown. Gilly will probably score a fast hundred here with Lee and co chipping in as well, I think we will see Freddy looking around with a startled look on his face wondering who can be relied on to bowl a containig line as Warne did for Australia. Warneys bowling was far better than he has been given credit for. Finally KP AND Collingwodd well batted it was a pleasure to watch a hard grind on a brilliant batting track.

  • Calvin on December 3, 2006, 15:18 GMT

    Guys, Writing off McGrath and Warnie is like telling that Sachin and Lara are hopeless batsmen.Its just not true.Everyone has bad days in the field.As for Warnie....he could have been told to bowl negatively by Ponting.This could be because Pietersen was all over Warnie.Warnie might have wanted to have a go at Pietersen but the situation was not right for it.I mean c,mon....we all know Warnie wants to get on top Pietersen.Hes said it himself.Warnie was probly bowling like that that to force Pietersen into a bad stroke....

  • Paul Clarke on December 3, 2006, 15:05 GMT

    Normally the press would be all over the obvious here - and they aren't...

    The REAL important issue - the one that will make the glossies (maybe)

    WARNE'S HAD A FACELIFT !!!

    Or at least a rather large amount of collagen/bottox into hie fore-head / cheeks bone area - could just as easy be a facelift though.

    Why is no-one talking about this ?

    (Only half joking) ....

    Paul C

  • baggins on December 3, 2006, 13:47 GMT

    Given the situation - should Australia be the side ridiculed for not playing 2 spinners in Adelaide? Would've been interesting to see if Pietersen could keep his concetration against both of them.

    McGrath's bowling in 1st innings simply means he will no longer be trusted to pass himself fit - which will lead to him being left out of tests he believes he could've played in. That will not neccessarily be a bad change but might take some getting used to for the great man (especially if he airs his frustration to the media and starts the whispers of friction in the camp again). As an Aussie I hope the 2 days break will have healed the heel and he comes out and takes 5 in the second innings - remember that Australia were probably hoping to bat first in this test so the English supporters here should probably give Freddie some credit for his calling.

  • Tim de Lisle on December 3, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    Thanks to everyone who has chipped in. A word to Rich and Sam. Rich: there is a difference between criticising someone and being against their nation. Last week I was praising Warne for his canniness in getting four top-order wickets when not at his best. That wasn't because I was pro-Aussie. As a cricket writer you try to play the ball, not the man, still less the nation.

    Of course Warne has been far more of a good thing for the game than a bad thing. But it is precisely because I admire the good stuff - the verve, the attacking intent, the ability to make things happen when others can't - that I was dismayed by the way he bowled to Pietersen. It was, as Richard Williams put it over on the Guardian site, anti-cricket. It was un-Australian.

    Sam: you mention my Wisden past. Well, have a look at the Editor's Notes in the 2003 Almanack, which are on this site. They contain a hymn of praise to Steve Waugh's Australian team for making Test cricket more exciting. Yesterday, Warne's tactics did the exact opposite. He was doing what Ashley Giles used to do to Tendulkar, something for which Giles and Nasser Hussain were heavily criticised, by me among others. It doesn't matter who you play for, if you bowl stuff the batsman can only kick away, you're spoilng the game for the spectators. Nobody's writing Warne off, nobody's saying he is not a great bowler, but for him to be reduced to this, against England, is quite something.

  • Nick Anderson on December 3, 2006, 12:37 GMT

    I don't think anyone is really writing off either Mcgrath or Warne, although as an Englishman, seeing warne bowling that negatively was significant. Considering how much the aussies have slagged off Giles for bowling a negative line and trying to bore batsmen out (which he does)seeing probably the best bowler of all time adopting similar tactics was superb. Mind you the man who made him bowl that way isn't really an Englishman.

  • Devika on December 3, 2006, 12:10 GMT

    I'm not commenting on Tim's article, but on a couple of the posts here. I think it's unfair to say Glenn McGrath is finished. He was obviously not 100% fit, his heel was still very much injured, and besides this was just ONE innings! Glenn shouldn't have played this match. Afterall, he could barely bowl on the day before the game. There is a gap of 9 days between this match and the third one, so he would have recovered by then.

  • Josh on December 3, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    I agree that Pietersen can seriously bat. He has a similar batting intent to what Gilchrist used to have, and appears to simmply just love smacking cricket balls. Saying that Warne was 'humiliated' is an overstatement. I'd still back him for leading wicket taker of the series. I suspect this match will be drawn, but either way will be a true test of England's mettle. Assuming Australia avoids the follow on do you think England will have the guts to go for a result?? They need it...

  • Nasser Siddiqui on December 3, 2006, 9:02 GMT

    Cant bowl Cant throw

  • Henry Money on December 3, 2006, 8:55 GMT

    The way I see it is McG and Warne have not recovered from their exploits in Brissie where they managed a combined effort of 86.1 overs. In Perth I think they will be fresher especially mentally fresher. I still feel these two have plenty of wickets left to take in this series.

  • kathy on December 3, 2006, 8:18 GMT

    A cricket writer with a classical education. Nice!

  • CJ on December 3, 2006, 6:00 GMT

    oh and look out, giles is bowling over the wicket...

  • Jagan on December 3, 2006, 5:56 GMT

    This is a comment from an Indian (well, u can call me neutral.. but that I am one from the Tim block.. not necessarily Aussie bashing.. but underdog-supporting...) Is anyone gonna question me for calling English the underdogs now? Ok, to the point.. Shane Warne was surely put in place by Pieterson.. that he is a great bowler is of no doubt, but imagine Shane Warne bowling ala Giles.. the damage has been done seriously..on Warne's psyche.. Sachin did it to him in India and the results are there to be seen. If Bell can also bat against Warne next match (or innings.. whatever the case), Warne will be doing an Harmison.. going back to nets and seriously practicing...We are itching to see Freddie get it up to Warne as well.. and then wait for the fightback from the SpinKing.. Afterall, being a neutral makes it even more enjoyable...Would love to see a 1-1 scenario going into the Boxing day test (this one looks like it is gonna be a draw.. seeing the way the punter and Hussey are going about their work...)

  • Bimalz on December 3, 2006, 5:53 GMT

    Don't u think u are making too much fuss abt the warne peterson thing.... so what if he has gone wicketless and bowled a negetive line.... warne is the greatest leg spinner ever and he just had a bad match... i don't understand why do u guys try and tear apart a great player when he has a bad match. Its not like this is the first time warne didn't have a clue abt what to do.... Sachin Tendulkar has made warne look mere mortal a couple of time.

    So please have a little respect for players like warne who have been around for ever and have touched heights never thought possible.

  • Bob on December 3, 2006, 4:45 GMT

    After the first test and after Langer had made his 82 I made a comment about Langer, Martyn and Hayden. I mentioned that I thought they were bunnies and that Ponting and Hussey were the batsmen to watch in the Aussie side.

    A lot of people took issue. I would like to reiterate my position; remind people that I said this after the first innings of the first test and not during this test and restate more emphatically; Langer Hayden and Martyn have been wonderful players. They are not any longer and they are bunnies. I am perfectly willing to accept being wrong in this, But I do sincerely think think it. I base this on watching them bat.

  • Jai Sharma on December 3, 2006, 3:59 GMT

    Really amusing. When Giles bowls outside leg he is a defensive looser. But, Warnie...well, he is trying something "different"! Quite clearly, the worlds greatest spinner was reduced to a mere trundler. Admittedly, the pitch was partly to blame. But Warnie always makes great copy.

  • hemant on December 3, 2006, 2:01 GMT

    watching pietersen bat yesterday , i am convinced that comparisons with viv richards are apt.. how many batters have dominated aussie attacks downunder in the last 10 years? a few. how many have punctured reputations by sauntering down to mcgrath ? none.

  • CJ on December 3, 2006, 1:56 GMT

    oh please! you poms whinge harder then anyone when things aren't going your way, and celebrate far too enthusiastically too soon the very minute you have the better of a days cricket. 2 of you have written off 3 champions inside 2 tests. Mcgrath took more wickets in brisbane than any if the english bowlers, want to think about that? for all of the zip in the gabba pitch, none of the english were effective, to the extent that none of them took a wicket as australia compiled 200 plus in the second dig. all of a sudden you lot get the better of a gorgeous adelaide 1st innings pitch, and warne and mcgrath get written off. i think perhaps you'll regret that. And to write off brett lee is very foolish. all he needs is to get truly fired up, get his mind back on the cricket and off his newly born child. he'll take 5 in a session. just calm down poms, and win the ashes one day at a time. the one thing you might have right is that pietersen can truly bat.

  • Sam on December 3, 2006, 1:23 GMT

    Note to 'David' and of course to the ever predictable Tim de Lisle... Your eager attempts to write off Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne are indeed testament to the torment England and English fans have had to live through for a decade and more at the hands of these fine bowlers. And they are also very misplaced. David, your comments are slightly more balanced and nuanced than Tim's (which really comes as no surprise) but they still smack of that 'please let the nightmare be over' mentality. England played superbly on a batsmen's pitch, and McGrath and co were made to work harder than they had for a long time. And that is the nature of any contest. No player will dominate every single match - it is impossible. But as we all know, a champion is a champion because they will respond as such. Which is what McGrath and Warne will do. Writing off a player because the other side played well over an innings is a knee-jerk reaction and something certain fans seem all to eager to do. Come back to reality, realise that a contest swings to and fro, and enjoy it without having to disrespect great players with cheap comments. A special note to Tim: You were an editor for Wisden once. Start behaving like it.

  • Rich on December 3, 2006, 0:24 GMT

    David - neither I nor Tim in his intial piece mentioned either McGrath or Lee. I quite agree with what you say - except that Brisbane offered pace and zip. Are you joking? Maybe the stereotype has it that it does, but that one we got last Test offered almost as close to nothing as the current one.

    I honestly have read no Aussie tabloid press (how can I? I live in Britain) and I can't say I'm remotely surprised they savage England at every go. Without reading it, I can't really comment further.

    The point I was making is that Warne not coming back and taking 6-40 or something at some time in this series is quite close to inconceivable and it's so utterly predictable what the response will be of those on this blog.

    Damien Martyn hit the nail on the head when he talked about Lillee and "things that don't need to be said". Obviously, Tim has a blog here and the whole point is to say (or write) things, but still some things need saying and some don't. For me, such things about Warne fall into the don't. Let's just wait until he has more than one really bad game.

  • Step on December 2, 2006, 22:13 GMT

    Oh yes. It most certainly is " REALLY neccessary to gloat about it so much and pour out such vitriol"!

  • David on December 2, 2006, 21:21 GMT

    There is nothing anti-aussie in these comments as, by all accounts, the aussie media have equally critical of the australian attack. Rich, may I direct you towards the aussie media, who had been so critical of englands performance on the 1st day.

    Much has been made of the england managements eagerness to reunite the 2005 winning attack. Less however has been made the similar policy of the australian selectors. McGrath may have made a decisive impact on the 1st test, but that was played on one of the more pacey and zippy pitches in the world today. Adelaide is more typical of test wickets around the world today. It is for this reason that I beleive that McGrath has had his day. The man is a legend and should have the courage and dignity to admit it.

    Lee on the other hand has all the pace any bowler could wish for. What he lacks is the nouse a world class bowler ought to possess. He is predictable and prosaic.

    Much like Harmison for england, these two bowlers are being picked on past reputation rather than current deeds. It seems that the aussie selectors are nervous about selecting the lesser experienced but blatantly more dangerous bowlers of tait and johnson.

    Let us not forget that each of these bowlers has troubled england in recent times.

    Maybe the humbling of warne in this match could be overplayed. The pitch, whilst offering turn is as docile as they come and this did make englands task simpler. His day will come again.

    Pietersen has however demonstrated that he possesses the final key skill of a world class batsman: patience. His content at padding away warne ball after ball was as satisfying as watching him skip down the wicket and caress the ball through wide mid on. This man has it all.

  • Rich on December 2, 2006, 17:21 GMT

    Tim, you may be right about everything you say here, but such articles exemplify the reasons for the attitudes expressed many times on your blog - that you're shamelessly anti-Aussie in everything that comes forth from your keyboard. Attitudes, I might add, that I personally have no doubt are utterly incorrect.

    I'm as pleased as the next Englishman that England have got on top of Warne, but is it REALLY neccessary to gloat about it so much and pour out such vitriol?

    Of course, you may be completely unbothered about those incorrect perceptions - if so, that's quite fair enough, but well... all I can say is that I'd personally prefer to do my utmost to dispel them.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Rich on December 2, 2006, 17:21 GMT

    Tim, you may be right about everything you say here, but such articles exemplify the reasons for the attitudes expressed many times on your blog - that you're shamelessly anti-Aussie in everything that comes forth from your keyboard. Attitudes, I might add, that I personally have no doubt are utterly incorrect.

    I'm as pleased as the next Englishman that England have got on top of Warne, but is it REALLY neccessary to gloat about it so much and pour out such vitriol?

    Of course, you may be completely unbothered about those incorrect perceptions - if so, that's quite fair enough, but well... all I can say is that I'd personally prefer to do my utmost to dispel them.

  • David on December 2, 2006, 21:21 GMT

    There is nothing anti-aussie in these comments as, by all accounts, the aussie media have equally critical of the australian attack. Rich, may I direct you towards the aussie media, who had been so critical of englands performance on the 1st day.

    Much has been made of the england managements eagerness to reunite the 2005 winning attack. Less however has been made the similar policy of the australian selectors. McGrath may have made a decisive impact on the 1st test, but that was played on one of the more pacey and zippy pitches in the world today. Adelaide is more typical of test wickets around the world today. It is for this reason that I beleive that McGrath has had his day. The man is a legend and should have the courage and dignity to admit it.

    Lee on the other hand has all the pace any bowler could wish for. What he lacks is the nouse a world class bowler ought to possess. He is predictable and prosaic.

    Much like Harmison for england, these two bowlers are being picked on past reputation rather than current deeds. It seems that the aussie selectors are nervous about selecting the lesser experienced but blatantly more dangerous bowlers of tait and johnson.

    Let us not forget that each of these bowlers has troubled england in recent times.

    Maybe the humbling of warne in this match could be overplayed. The pitch, whilst offering turn is as docile as they come and this did make englands task simpler. His day will come again.

    Pietersen has however demonstrated that he possesses the final key skill of a world class batsman: patience. His content at padding away warne ball after ball was as satisfying as watching him skip down the wicket and caress the ball through wide mid on. This man has it all.

  • Step on December 2, 2006, 22:13 GMT

    Oh yes. It most certainly is " REALLY neccessary to gloat about it so much and pour out such vitriol"!

  • Rich on December 3, 2006, 0:24 GMT

    David - neither I nor Tim in his intial piece mentioned either McGrath or Lee. I quite agree with what you say - except that Brisbane offered pace and zip. Are you joking? Maybe the stereotype has it that it does, but that one we got last Test offered almost as close to nothing as the current one.

    I honestly have read no Aussie tabloid press (how can I? I live in Britain) and I can't say I'm remotely surprised they savage England at every go. Without reading it, I can't really comment further.

    The point I was making is that Warne not coming back and taking 6-40 or something at some time in this series is quite close to inconceivable and it's so utterly predictable what the response will be of those on this blog.

    Damien Martyn hit the nail on the head when he talked about Lillee and "things that don't need to be said". Obviously, Tim has a blog here and the whole point is to say (or write) things, but still some things need saying and some don't. For me, such things about Warne fall into the don't. Let's just wait until he has more than one really bad game.

  • Sam on December 3, 2006, 1:23 GMT

    Note to 'David' and of course to the ever predictable Tim de Lisle... Your eager attempts to write off Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne are indeed testament to the torment England and English fans have had to live through for a decade and more at the hands of these fine bowlers. And they are also very misplaced. David, your comments are slightly more balanced and nuanced than Tim's (which really comes as no surprise) but they still smack of that 'please let the nightmare be over' mentality. England played superbly on a batsmen's pitch, and McGrath and co were made to work harder than they had for a long time. And that is the nature of any contest. No player will dominate every single match - it is impossible. But as we all know, a champion is a champion because they will respond as such. Which is what McGrath and Warne will do. Writing off a player because the other side played well over an innings is a knee-jerk reaction and something certain fans seem all to eager to do. Come back to reality, realise that a contest swings to and fro, and enjoy it without having to disrespect great players with cheap comments. A special note to Tim: You were an editor for Wisden once. Start behaving like it.

  • CJ on December 3, 2006, 1:56 GMT

    oh please! you poms whinge harder then anyone when things aren't going your way, and celebrate far too enthusiastically too soon the very minute you have the better of a days cricket. 2 of you have written off 3 champions inside 2 tests. Mcgrath took more wickets in brisbane than any if the english bowlers, want to think about that? for all of the zip in the gabba pitch, none of the english were effective, to the extent that none of them took a wicket as australia compiled 200 plus in the second dig. all of a sudden you lot get the better of a gorgeous adelaide 1st innings pitch, and warne and mcgrath get written off. i think perhaps you'll regret that. And to write off brett lee is very foolish. all he needs is to get truly fired up, get his mind back on the cricket and off his newly born child. he'll take 5 in a session. just calm down poms, and win the ashes one day at a time. the one thing you might have right is that pietersen can truly bat.

  • hemant on December 3, 2006, 2:01 GMT

    watching pietersen bat yesterday , i am convinced that comparisons with viv richards are apt.. how many batters have dominated aussie attacks downunder in the last 10 years? a few. how many have punctured reputations by sauntering down to mcgrath ? none.

  • Jai Sharma on December 3, 2006, 3:59 GMT

    Really amusing. When Giles bowls outside leg he is a defensive looser. But, Warnie...well, he is trying something "different"! Quite clearly, the worlds greatest spinner was reduced to a mere trundler. Admittedly, the pitch was partly to blame. But Warnie always makes great copy.

  • Bob on December 3, 2006, 4:45 GMT

    After the first test and after Langer had made his 82 I made a comment about Langer, Martyn and Hayden. I mentioned that I thought they were bunnies and that Ponting and Hussey were the batsmen to watch in the Aussie side.

    A lot of people took issue. I would like to reiterate my position; remind people that I said this after the first innings of the first test and not during this test and restate more emphatically; Langer Hayden and Martyn have been wonderful players. They are not any longer and they are bunnies. I am perfectly willing to accept being wrong in this, But I do sincerely think think it. I base this on watching them bat.

  • Bimalz on December 3, 2006, 5:53 GMT

    Don't u think u are making too much fuss abt the warne peterson thing.... so what if he has gone wicketless and bowled a negetive line.... warne is the greatest leg spinner ever and he just had a bad match... i don't understand why do u guys try and tear apart a great player when he has a bad match. Its not like this is the first time warne didn't have a clue abt what to do.... Sachin Tendulkar has made warne look mere mortal a couple of time.

    So please have a little respect for players like warne who have been around for ever and have touched heights never thought possible.