July 24, 2009

Ashes

Australia are just not hairy enough

Jamie Alter

This clean-cut look is doing the Australians no favours in the battle for the Ashes – and they must swear more, says Harry Pearson on his Guardian blog.

Don't get me wrong, Lee seems a nice and amiable lad and is doubtless popular with mums, it's just I'm not sure if that's what you really want from a strike bowler. Fast bowlers need to be crazed and angry. Bob Willis steamed in with such a wild and psychotic look that the fact the embodiment of evil in Twin Peaks shared the same first name was surely no coincidence. I bet David Lynch saw the highlights from Headingley and yelled: "Screw Dennis Hopper! That's the madness I'm looking for!"

Nearby, Mike Selvey says Ravi Bopara must learn there is a time and place for embellishment. When it comes to Test batting, 'how many' is generally a better guide to ability than 'how'.

Bopara's Test career has been brief but no cricketer in the history of the game has so troughed and peaked in his first few innings, with three successive noughts against Sri Lanka followed by a trio of centuries against West Indies. Somewhere in between lies the truth.

Writing in the Times, John Woodcock says Andrew Flintoff deserves plaudits for his feats at Lord's. Like Michael Holding in 1976 and Bob Willis in 1981, the England allrounder has taken this place in a pantheon of match-winners.

In Chennai looking to set up a cricket academy, Matthew Hayden tells the Times of India that watching Australia trailing 0-1 in the Ashes series wasn’t easy for him, especially after being in complete control over the first Test in Cardiff. But the former Australian opener doesn’t believe that there is anything wrong in the Australian side and that they can fight back in the series.

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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