November 10, 2010

Australia? Don't make me laugh

Decisive man-by-man proof that the hosts will be toast in this year’s Ashes
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As the cricket match-fixing scandal pinballs around between annoying, disappointing depressing and alarmingly sinister, this blog will ignore for now the murky morass that threatens to swamp the international game, forget about the potential implications of Zulqarnain’s unscheduled London jaunt, and distract itself from the grim realities of reality with an altogether chirpier topic (from a pre-Ashes England supporter’s point of view) – Australia being not very good anymore. Not bad – just not very good.

I have outlined in previous blogs the reasons why England are unbeatable and heading for a thrashing, and why Australia are in prime position to administer that thrashing, like a grumpy 19th-century headmaster who has been doing strength and conditioning work on his caning arm in readiness for the arrival of a particularly objectionable and naughty boy. Here, to conclude this decisive proof that England or Australia will win or lose the Ashes, is unarguable, laboratory-tested, player-by-player evidence that Australia are definitely going to lose.

Simon Katich Bums-off-seats left-hander has scored just 134 runs at an average of 22 in his last three Tests, and red-facedly owns up to a 1980s-Australia-throwback Ashes average of just 33 in 11 Tests. Furthermore, he has scored fewer Ashes runs in Australia than Monty Panesar.

Katich is also reported to be suffering from an existential crisis of confidence after accidentally seeing video footage of himself batting (Cricket Australia had successfully protected him from seeing himself for years, using a series of increasingly convoluted distractions, including puppet shows. Katich loves puppet shows. Can’t get enough of them. He owns DVD box sets of all TV puppet shows. And if that is not true, let him sue me.) “Oh my god, no,” he said, dumbfounded, after watching himself ungainlily nudge a leg-side boundary. “I thought I played like David Gower.”

Shane Watson Like most of his team-mates, Watson is on the slide. Admittedly he has not slid as far, fast or slidily down that slide as some, but after averaging 65 in 2009, he has posted a figure of only 38 so far in 2010. This clearly does not bode well for the New Year Test in Sydney, and the less said about Watson’s 2012, when he looks set to average 16, the better.

He averages only 30 when Australia lose the toss (compared with 47 when they win it), suggesting that Ponting’s coinflipwork and Strauss’s head-or-tail preferences could be crucial to Watson’s success or failure. He also has the third worst conversion rate of any Australian top-six batsman with 10 or more Test fifties – he has turned just two of his 14 scores of 50-plus into centuries.

Rumours that he is an allrounder may prove unfounded. As a bowler, he has never taken more than two wickets in a Test innings in Australia, and has no Ashes wickets under his belt. He bowled just eight overs of purest garbage in 2009, so will have some persuading to do to convince England that he is not rubbish. Mind you, Glenn McGrath was in a similarly unconvincing position after his wicketless Ashes debut in 1994-95. If only Australia had done the decent thing and permanently jettisoned McGrath after that match, as England sportingly disposed of the obviously superior Martin McCague (two wickets in the at Brisbane Test)... if only England had stuck with Gloucestershire left-armer Mike Smith after his wicketless Ashes bow in 1997... if only, if only...

Ricky Ponting Anyone telling you that Ricky Ponting has not declined over the last few years is either talking about a different Ricky Ponting, or has been poisoned with a mind-altering potion, or has seriously misheard the question, or is Ricky Ponting, or is trying to wilfully engage you in an unwinnable argument whilst their accomplice steals your electrical goods and/or priceless collection of David Boon memorabilia.

Australia’s “Best Since Bradman” has, for the last four years, been approximately Australia’s 27th-best since Bradman – he has averaged 43 in his 41 Tests since the pivotal Adelaide Test of 2006-07, with six centuries (stats eerily similar to Ian Bell’s over the same period, a time in which Ponting proudly boasts the 43rd best Test batting average in world cricket, behind, amongst others, willow-wielders extraordinaire Darryl Tuffey and Brad Hogg, and current table-topper Kane Williamson).

The self-styled “Tasmanian Ian Bell” has averaged over 50 in just three of his last 12 series, having done so in nine of the previous 10, and has scored only one Test century in 16 Tests since the Ashes opener of 2009 − a double against Pakistan after Mohammad Amir dropped a possibly-with-hindsight-although-equally-plausibly-perfectly-above-board-but-still-suspiciously-easy sitter when the Australian captain was on 0.

And if the series gets tight, Australia might as well drop their captain for the final two Tests – over the last four Ashes series, he has averaged under 30 in Tests 4 and 5.

No Australian captain has ever lost three Ashes series. Ten years ago the prospect of Australia losing three Ashes series in the rest of eternity seemed remote. But then again, they said man would never walk on the moon. Ponting is all set to become Australia’s Neil Armstrong.

Michael Clarke Beset by media and public grumblings, largely due to insufficient runs and insufficient Aussieness, Clarke has averaged just 21 in his last four Tests, including only one score above 15 in his last seven Test innings. After a golden period from 2006-07 up to Headingley 2009, in which he averaged 62, he has averaged only a middling 42 since the Oval Test.

Michael Hussey Hussey’s almost unprecedented career rocket has altered its course from heading to a place amongst the all-time great, towards crash landing amongst international cricket’s plodding journeymen in three anti-climactic years. Has averaged 25 in his last seven Tests, and just 34 in his last 34, with a pitiful three centuries and a strike rate of 43 (compare this with his first 20 Tests – an average of 84, eight hundreds, and a strike rate of 53). He was once within touching distance of Bradman. Now he rubs statistical shoulders with Wavell Hinds, Manoj Prabhakar, and Chris Tavaré. Could still bump his average back up into the 80s this Ashes, but only if he scores 2500 undefeated runs in the series. This seems unlikely. Hussey has averaged 35 or less in seven of his last nine series, and 25 or less in five of his last 11.

Marcus North After smiting three centuries in his first six Tests, North has averaged 29 in his last 13 matches. Traditionally in Australia, this leads to impeachment by Parliament and disappearance to the Dirk Wellham Memorial Gulag, 150 miles outside Darwin. North has been out for 10 or less in more than half of his 32 Test innings, and his five ducks make him the most regular duck scorer in the Australian top six since the 19th century. To where some Australian supporters seem to want him to emigrate.

Brad Haddin The new Adam Gilchrist – in that his most recent performances have not been particularly impressive. Haddin averages 20 in his last five Tests, and 31 in his last 10 since being injured during the 2009 Ashes. In stark contrast to Watson, Haddin averages 33 when Australia win the toss, and 48 when they lose it. The selectors must be bold, and speculatively drop one or the other. Or both, to be on the safe side.

Mitchell Johnson Eleven wickets at 43 in his last four Tests, has failed to take more than one wicket in 10 of his last 14 innings - Johnson is becoming the Australian Steve Harmison. If Harmison bowled one of the great series-losing balls in Ashes history in Brisbane four years ago, Johnson bravely attempted to steal his thunder with one of the immortal series-losing spells in Ashes history with his geometry-expanding effort at Lord’s. Having come to England with a reputation as a bowler who could bowl unplayable balls, he proved that reputation well deserved - albeit that the balls were only unplayable due to their being unreachable.

Increasingly expensive, Johnson conceded more than 3.5 runs per over in none of his first seven series, but has done so in four of his last six.

Since apparently breaking through as a top-class allrounder against South Africa in 2008-09 (400 runs and 33 wickets in six Tests), not only has Johnson explored all regions of inconsistency with the ball, he has averaged just 13 with the bat – further evidence of him stepping snugly into the Harmison mantle.

Nathan Hauritz Since filling his boots against the staggeringly, persistently inept West Indies and Pakistan last Australian summer, Hauritz has taken 10 wickets at 65 in his last four Tests. Statistics can, and often do, lie, but if Hauritz is a genuine match-winning Test-class spinner, then his first-class bowling average of 43 must be in line for Porkie Of The Year. Successor to Shane Warne. In the same way that Graeme Smith is the successor to Rudolf Nureyev. He is OK.

Peter Siddle Since helping skittle England in their tactically masterful fourth Test complacency-inducing megacapitulation in Leeds, Siddle, who skipped away from Headingley thinking he had cracked Test cricket, has taken just 15 wickets at 41 in six Tests. He averages almost 35 in Australia. He has been injured for a while. He is not as frightening as McGrath, McDermott, Merv Hughes, Lillee or Thomson. Or as good. He is OK.

Doug Bollinger Has never dismissed an Englishman in a Test. Largely through lack of opportunity, admittedly. Has also been injured, and might not play in the first Test, extending his lifelong habit of not dismissing Englishmen in Tests. Startlingly inept batsman. Possibly hair-replacement-themed teasing victim.

Ben Hilfenhaus Has never taken five wickets in a Test innings, nor six wickets in a match. Has only played one Test in Australia, and is an English-style bowler who averages 38.7 outside England. He is OK. If Australia pick him and Bollinger, they will lose. The last time they picked two seam bowlers with tri-syllabic surnames – Gillespie and Kasprowicz in 2005 – they lost.

So there it is. It is or isn’t looking good for Australia.

On previous Ashes tours, England’s positive statements in advance of their inevitable first-Test mincing sounded not so much like men clutching at straws as men pointing their fingers nervously at what they thought might be a straw, and mumbling something about being confident that it was probably a straw, and that they were definitely planning to try to think about clutching it. This time their public confidence is well founded. England are quite a good team. As are Australia. It will be a draw. A glorious draw.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anonymous on November 15, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    Re. Harhajan Tendulkar:

    How does that work? You play 87 test matches with a high score of 66, hitting 21 sixes. In the next two you then score 69, 115 and 111*, with 13 more sixes.

    If this goes on, I calculate that by his 100th Test, Harbhajan will have hit a further 71 sixes and will have raised his career batting average to a healthy 31.5, with a top score of 384. Should be worth watching.

    Markinspain

  • Posh Tim on November 13, 2010, 21:52 GMT

    Super stuff. Marvellous responses too from the likes of 'Deano' and 'paul jepson', who without the excuse of not having English as a first language, just don't get it. Andy, maybe you need a 'thicko filter' for your articles, with smileys and huge emoticons at appropriate points to identify jokes to certain readers? O(zzz) - I just made that up, it's an Aussie yawning at some of his countryman's moronic comments, that threaten to undermine the great tradition of winding your mates up.

  • Ricky Ponting on November 13, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Andy... you shooted me at my slot...

  • CricketPissek on November 13, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    seriously.. what's wrong with you morons who think Andy is a serious and biased writer? Have you buffoons not read the other articles? He's showing through his own brand of humour that both teams can win or lose as effectively! Seriously, a big bunch of you need your brains examined. On the other hand, if his sense of humour doesn't resonate with yours, that's fine as humour is subjective. But you all look like imbeciles if you don't understand the context of this article with the other 3!

  • Toby on November 13, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Well done you thick literal Aussies - it's supposed to be a joke, you fools. Incidentally, Andy, Simon Katich got Vaughan out in '05 Ashes when he was on 160-odd - so he has got an Ashes wicket.

  • 45 runs on November 12, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    The only thing I love more than Andy's column are the responses from people who are seriously suggesting he has got his analysis wrong. Ricky Ponting is not a Tasmanian Ian Bell. More a Tasmanian John Crawley. Or Tasmanian Graeme Fowler. Or Tasmanian Wayne Larkins. Hang on, that was David Boon.

  • Bob on November 12, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    What a try hard. Leave the comedy to the comedians Baldy

  • hamburgla on November 12, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    V funny mate keep up the good work

  • Steve Wood on November 12, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Very funny!

    AMused by some of the comments saying you're biased and so on.

    If people had read the article and previous blogs, they would be aware that this is the fourth in a series where you have explained 1) why England will definitely win, 2) why England will definitely lose, 3) Why Australia will definitely win and 4) why Australia will definitely lose.

    Genius writing, as always! "Mohammad Amir dropped a possibly-with-hindsight-although-equally-plausibly-perfectly-above-board-but-still-suspiciously-easy sitter" Quality!

  • Tsvi on November 12, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    great!

  • Anonymous on November 15, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    Re. Harhajan Tendulkar:

    How does that work? You play 87 test matches with a high score of 66, hitting 21 sixes. In the next two you then score 69, 115 and 111*, with 13 more sixes.

    If this goes on, I calculate that by his 100th Test, Harbhajan will have hit a further 71 sixes and will have raised his career batting average to a healthy 31.5, with a top score of 384. Should be worth watching.

    Markinspain

  • Posh Tim on November 13, 2010, 21:52 GMT

    Super stuff. Marvellous responses too from the likes of 'Deano' and 'paul jepson', who without the excuse of not having English as a first language, just don't get it. Andy, maybe you need a 'thicko filter' for your articles, with smileys and huge emoticons at appropriate points to identify jokes to certain readers? O(zzz) - I just made that up, it's an Aussie yawning at some of his countryman's moronic comments, that threaten to undermine the great tradition of winding your mates up.

  • Ricky Ponting on November 13, 2010, 16:47 GMT

    Andy... you shooted me at my slot...

  • CricketPissek on November 13, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    seriously.. what's wrong with you morons who think Andy is a serious and biased writer? Have you buffoons not read the other articles? He's showing through his own brand of humour that both teams can win or lose as effectively! Seriously, a big bunch of you need your brains examined. On the other hand, if his sense of humour doesn't resonate with yours, that's fine as humour is subjective. But you all look like imbeciles if you don't understand the context of this article with the other 3!

  • Toby on November 13, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    Well done you thick literal Aussies - it's supposed to be a joke, you fools. Incidentally, Andy, Simon Katich got Vaughan out in '05 Ashes when he was on 160-odd - so he has got an Ashes wicket.

  • 45 runs on November 12, 2010, 12:32 GMT

    The only thing I love more than Andy's column are the responses from people who are seriously suggesting he has got his analysis wrong. Ricky Ponting is not a Tasmanian Ian Bell. More a Tasmanian John Crawley. Or Tasmanian Graeme Fowler. Or Tasmanian Wayne Larkins. Hang on, that was David Boon.

  • Bob on November 12, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    What a try hard. Leave the comedy to the comedians Baldy

  • hamburgla on November 12, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    V funny mate keep up the good work

  • Steve Wood on November 12, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Very funny!

    AMused by some of the comments saying you're biased and so on.

    If people had read the article and previous blogs, they would be aware that this is the fourth in a series where you have explained 1) why England will definitely win, 2) why England will definitely lose, 3) Why Australia will definitely win and 4) why Australia will definitely lose.

    Genius writing, as always! "Mohammad Amir dropped a possibly-with-hindsight-although-equally-plausibly-perfectly-above-board-but-still-suspiciously-easy sitter" Quality!

  • Tsvi on November 12, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    great!

  • Barnaby on November 12, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    If the pound is getting him down, there is a job for Andy in my old Econometrics department at Sydney Uni if he wants it - It may involve waking the dead though. Superb article, the genius alchemy of fact and fantasy :o)

  • Mark on November 12, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    A fault...

    Two seam bowlers, Clark and Mcgrath???

    5-0...

  • Peter Terry on November 12, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    Great article. Any Oz-bashing is good for me, but it helps when it's funny. And then, um... "ungainlily". Ungainlily? Is this cricket writers' onomatopoeia?

  • Yash jai on November 12, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Hey i think Watson , ponting and bolllinger (evn john son)gonna proove what they are and then u english guys better start kicking ur ass!!!!!!!!11

  • Jordo on November 12, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    Ponting has scored 4 half centuries in his last 5 Test innings... Your indepth, four year stat search doesn't mean a damn thing when it comes to recent form, which is the only thing that means anything. As for Watson, two 50's and a tonne in the bag over his last 5 innings sure as hell wipes Andrew Strauss like a dirty arse (one 50 from last 5). Clarke has also belted the bejeezers out of the Poms each time he's faced up (four 100's, 5 fifties - average of 55 overall and 77 at down under).

    Absolute load of dribble, the whole lot. Sounds like a sour old pom who thinks he can go out and flog hundreds each and every innings.

  • Ian on November 12, 2010, 1:24 GMT

    Whilst this is a funny piece, as an Aussie I can't help but cringe how accurate some of the commentary is. The Mitch Johnson commentary is absolutley spot-on.

  • Andy on November 11, 2010, 23:53 GMT

    Awesum!! keep it up Andy!

  • Andrew Spry on November 11, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    Article would be better titled 'Zaltzman? Don't make me laugh...'

    Much closer to the truth

  • chandra on November 11, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    Its one of the best articles i have read so far....I think ricky ponting should be sacked from the side since he is the negative impact for the team.I think its time for clark to take up the mantle.He has taken aussies from #1 to #5 rank team.its a big shame.RIcky is a spent force. I think england will rock this ashes..

  • chari on November 11, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    andy....nice and funny article. england is gonna win. let the ashes begin

  • chari on November 11, 2010, 18:13 GMT

    andy....nice and funny article. england is gonna win. let the ashes begin

  • James on November 11, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    Keep it coming Andy. You're a very funny man, and that's what it's all about really-Poms winding up Aussies and vice versa. As an Aussie who's lived in England for ten years, I've certainly received my fair share of ribbing over the last couple of Ashes series here. It's the special love/ hate relationship we have. Long may it continue...:) But just remember, it's not just the Ashes, it's the Ashes Down Under, and the Baggy Green would still stand a chance, even if Ponting's men were replaced by eleven drunks, rounded up from the local pub, ten minutes before the game.

  • Tom on November 11, 2010, 16:43 GMT

    Very funny!! - to those muppets complaining about how biased this is; that is the whole point! It's supposed to be a joke, just as the previous blogs about how useless England/good Australia were !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Zombie on November 11, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Ya rite..ask d blogger to get updated... Shane Watson got a century in India recently. Clarke scored a century though in a losing cause in last test. Ponting was d highest scorer 4 Aus. Thy dont call Hussey Mr.Cricket for nothing. Marcus North got a century in Ind. Dougie wil b d highest wkt-taker for Aus(if he plays all d matches). Cant say mch abt others. We wil have competion 4 sure,Aus myt win it to,Lets not forget Ashes r in Aus n not in Eng!!! :-P

    Note:I aint an Aussie supporter but U can neva write thm off!

  • dom behan on November 11, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    thats hilarious. i thought the funniest part was when you describe yourself as someone riding the coat tails of some guy who is on some american show. you must be funny.

  • Masroor on November 11, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    England might struggle there but Australia are not a great team either.Mental side of the game will play a role!

  • bips on November 11, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    brilliant The icing was the point of "trisyllabic surnames of bowlers".

  • Qaiser Shahzad on November 11, 2010, 7:29 GMT

    Andy, I admire your wit and sarcasm but then cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. While personally I would like to see the 'ugly aussies" fall, I wonder the poms have the requisite self belief and confidence to show on the cricket field as much as they are showing in the media. In any case, they are going to provide you enough ammunition for you to thrash them.

  • Liam Fallon on November 11, 2010, 7:22 GMT

    I love the numpties that take this article seriously and get defensive. Also, the Dirk Welham Memorial Gulag? Classic.

  • Peter on November 11, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    The funniest thing about this article is the photo at the top of your melon. That's one funny looking head, even for a pommy...

  • tc on November 11, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Brilliant...the peice about Hussey needing to score 2500 runs to get back the avg to 80's and the other stats are awesome...amzingly Hilarious..wud love to read more of u..

  • Sohrab on November 11, 2010, 5:58 GMT

    Brilliant piece! Ashes already has started [for me]. And England 1-0 up. Someone from Oz should come up and write a counter piece as 'pom bashing'.

    As much as you tried to present all the stats lightly, I for one can't take Hauritz's stat as a joke. He is strange [as a test spinner]. Forget about taking wicket, have you ever heard an opposition specialist bowler's bowling actually allows batsmen to have some light batting practice [in a test match]? Or, to help [new] batsmen to get used to with the pitch?

    If a spinner fails in a test in India in 5th day, he has no future. I figure even Bangladesh can name atleast 3 spinners who are better than Hauritz [Shakib, Razzak, Enamul/Shuvo/Mahmudullah].

    Smith, Katich, Clarke and that impressive new left hand spinner would be much better spinning option for Aussie.

  • salman on November 11, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    very nice article , was laughing on each sentence ,....guys guys guys this is comic column... dont take it on ur nerves

  • Merv on November 11, 2010, 4:56 GMT

    Well done! I just wish we were playing England, except we seem to be playing several players lured from South Africa, Ireland, Zimbabwe and who knows. Is there no ability in England to produce cricketers any more with out importing them?

    Seems a shame to see the home of cricket being reduced to a team of hired mercenaries.

  • sarang on November 11, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Articles come out good. I believe that an England team analysis on the same line would help.

    Even if top 6 Australian batsmen are going to score 3 Hundreds each in the Ashes, at the end of the series their average would be about what has been discussed over the article.

    But question is whether the 100s come at the right time for them.

    I also have a feeling that England have a chance of a lifetime to retain the Ashes coming to Australia but they are away and Australia are at home.

    We also have to take a clue from the recently concluded Bangladesh - Newzealand series.

    On paper England might seem strong, but i feel that the team which pumps more agression in approach will win.

    All in all a good article

  • Mike on November 11, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    As an Aussie supporter, I take great exception to this entire atricle....not.

    Brilliantly hilarious bit of statistical maipulation par excellence. Bravo.

  • Farhan on November 11, 2010, 4:38 GMT

    Well done!!! I know you made a lot of Australian fans unhappy with this...but a lot of cricket lovers happy...

  • Ravi on November 11, 2010, 4:31 GMT

    Andy Z is possibly the only reason why Page 2 is worth visiting. And for showing that statistics are only as good (or bad) as you can choose to make them look.

  • Manee on November 11, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    My Man you are the best. Just stupendous, one crazy helluva guy with brilliant sense of ticking the nose of the best. But same time you are right there with the facts which cant be ignored. Keep up the best My Man. I would hope you post a blog everyday and make us feel at home.

  • Oneil on November 11, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    Wow! Dude!! You trashed them like as though they are Trash of the titans. Well, as I see it, Australia, should bat, bat, bat, bat and Bat to be even be able to believe that they can get close to Eng line up. Funny how entire Oz cricket team considered themselves unbeatable while all along, it was just three great people in Gilly, McGrath and Warney. I agree with what you said, Oz are dead meat. Although Eng might be pointed out as SA B side, Oz cannot not even be considered Club English side. So, I'll relax and see the guts of Punter to answer his critics in the best possible way....scoring tons of runs. Just a word of joke, Ricky, best since Bradman? Then I guess Bradman is not all that good.

  • Sudeep on November 11, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    Well done Mr Andy another gem I look forward to your articles as much as the sunday cartoons. I am neither an Aussy or a Pom but I am eagerly awaiting their clash as much as India's South African Tour

  • Bill on November 11, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    Funny stuff here, maybe Australia should just pinch some players from South Africa and claim they're Australian.

  • Vishal on November 11, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    "Ponting is all set to become Australia’s Neil Armstrong." :D :D

  • fair dinkum on November 11, 2010, 3:14 GMT

    So Siddle isn't as good as Lillee, Bollinger hasn't had a shot at them yet and Hilffy has more than three syllables in his surname, trembling in my boots. You reckon Johnson is on par with Harmisson. not on these wickets he ain't. Hauritz bashing is a national pass-time but he bowled well last year at home and matched Swann in the last tour. The batsmen's averages over 3 or 4 tests are meaningless and Strauss won't be able to get the pitches doctored this time. And where is it funny?

  • Myer on November 11, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Biasness! England have nothing to prove unless they can retain the ashes in Australia. It's a balance scale so far, from Australia to England in England, to Australia from England in Australia and from Australia to England in England. Many criticize Ponting as the first Aussie captain to lose the ashes twice and boast of England victory of the 2005 ashes but the last time England came in Australia if their is any question of English men being white then the white wash they received in the 2007 ashes closes all question. Now they back in Australia will they this time be not white wash but blench wash?

  • Umair Hoodbhoy on November 11, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman is brilliant, the best writer ever to have written on Cricinfo.

  • Nathan on November 11, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    lol awesome stuff as usual. Very funny.

    There's more comedy and amusement in one Andy Zaltzman paragraph than all the articles by Andrew Hughes and the other page 2 writers combined. I think the comedy should be left to Andy alone because he is the only one who is actually funny.

  • loki on November 11, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    You can't exactly measure class by their averages or form, England has had great run, but they are not exactly undefeatable, they might win the series though, but totally neglecting Australia like they are bunch of stand up (& walk around) comedians is just Andy's sense of bad humor.

  • Anonymous on November 11, 2010, 2:35 GMT

    I'll give your work some credit, nice work Andy.. It gives you Poms some confidence and expectation so its an even better feeling when we whitewash another home ashes series when you actually came expecting to win.

  • Anonymous on November 11, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    Good one ! "been approximately Australia’s 27th-best since Bradman" - Like this. I hope , it a hype that Autralians are trying to create, "Gabba pitch" etc etc.

    Remember, India beat Australia at Perth (Jan 2009), which they say is the fastest in the world. Australian's are much a weaker side now.

  • Kigan on November 11, 2010, 2:26 GMT

    Dude....nice shiny forehead you have there, do put a big "L" there when England lose.

  • Toby on November 11, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    By geez when i thought a sad englishman couldnt get any worse iv just read the biggest load of verbal diahhrea in my life.... when u pommies go down i hope u realise how much of a tool you are... lol once again the biggest load of rubbish iv heard... lets make one for the pommy team, it certainly wouldnt be as good as bangladesh

  • zainab on November 11, 2010, 1:57 GMT

    not bad man!

  • AJ on November 11, 2010, 1:43 GMT

    Wel i cant believe i read this truck load of shit from a guy who is first a comedian...was a disaster at Cricket himself...Dude...dunt write off Australia jus yet..u may b in for a surprise...

  • shashi on November 11, 2010, 1:31 GMT

    tri-syllabic surnames

  • hari on November 11, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    Andy, why don't you meet up with Dougie Bollinger in England & get tips for hair replacement, then you could have sufficient hair to lose later on ..... Great article, mate

  • teg sidhu on November 11, 2010, 1:25 GMT

    Love this article. I think Australia is going to lose and they should too. They think they are too good for the rest of the world and I think they are piece of........., you know what.

  • peter bryant on November 11, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    it would seem the phrase "sense of humour" and irony has bypassed our sub-continental friends.i agree with you about the aussies and i reckon this is the weakest australian squad to have contested the ashes since 2009.

  • Smasher on November 11, 2010, 1:12 GMT

    u damned all the aussies!!! its damn!!

  • Ricky Ponting on November 11, 2010, 1:07 GMT

    I am the captain, but I am not batting for everyone in the side and I am not bowling for everyone... as a matter of fact I am quite content doing neither

  • PRITAM on November 11, 2010, 1:05 GMT

    It's strange to see many readers commenting and accusing Andy of being biased towards England (mostly my compatriots.indians). Take the chill pill guy , it's a humorous column and let it be there are many other places on cricinfo to discuss rankings, stats etc. It'll be a serious disgrace to this column if taken literally and seriously. Keep up the good work Andy, "you self styled British S. Rajesh"......how bout that

  • diz on November 11, 2010, 1:04 GMT

    Nice article but you could have been a bit more harsh on Johnson and Hauritz, they will lose it for australia.

  • Rory on November 11, 2010, 0:47 GMT

    haha quite liked it and i agree with the comments on ponting (which coming from an australian is a reasonably big deal). i'd love to check out the stats of cook, strauss, bell, pietersen and anderson in australia. by memory, strauss only managed to hit his first fifty of the tour in the 3rd one-dayer. i could be wrong, it may have been the first or second. what also makes me chuckle is the fact that as i write this, england sit at 1/12 against south australia and managed last weak, a first innings total of 8/220-odd against the table-footers western australia. admittedly they came back impressively and won that match. can't wait- will be a brilliantly tight series with a 2/2 draw and england to retain the urn (the buggers)

  • sachin on November 11, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    very true article, depicting real scene of current aussie team...time to get rid off clarke, ponting, hussey & north.....hodge deserves second chance...but aus to lose even if he plays this ashes

  • Marcio on November 11, 2010, 0:39 GMT

    Couldn't agree more about Johnson (is that his real name, or just his nickname?). Did he ask his Mum before he had those tats done? Anyway, Mitchel Starc is a much taller and better 20 year old version of him, and will soon replace him (I predict, the sooner the better). Australia actually have an abundance of very good players available. What they are lacking is a team - as in putting the best men on the field and playing as a team. Despite all the haters on cricinfo.com (it's infested with them), the future looks pretty bright, as long as the management gets its act together. The current management is a complete shambles. I mean what is all this one-day and T20 stuff doing here right before the Ashes (in India and Aust)? Why schedule it, then send players home from India, or away to play state games for the current SL series? They have lost the plot. Meanwhile England has a very sensible build-up, arriving weeks in advance and settling in. Why can't CA do the simple things right?

  • Krishna on November 11, 2010, 0:34 GMT

    "The selectors must be bold, and speculatively drop one or the other. Or both, to be on the safe side." Amazing sense of humour Andy.. I laughed my heart out.....keep rockin..

  • paul jepson on November 11, 2010, 0:26 GMT

    Who the hell is Andy Zaltzman? Says he was born in obscurity - your still there mate! Australia is a much greater sporting nation than England and always will be. The English are seriously underating our side. England should stick to what they are good at, producing gay popstars and leave the heroic feats of manly performance to the boys from Oz.

  • Big Vern on November 11, 2010, 0:26 GMT

    You are a c*%t, a typical un showered member of the english middle class, I hope you eat your words, Zaltzman?????????, hahaha that doesnt sound very english.............

  • alan sullivan on November 11, 2010, 0:17 GMT

    Very funny,indeed, Andy. Unfortunately for an Aussie, your humour masks more than a kernel of truth. I think , however, it will be a great series. Australia may not be as good as it was but it is still a very good and competitive side especially at home whilst this is the best English side to tour in recent memory.

  • Vikram on November 11, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    Vicky Arora, Mahesh, Ashish i salute you guys, such true comments.

  • Vikram on November 11, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    what a load of BULL. this is SO biased. especially going down to the last 2, 3, 4 tests, how could this idiot write like that? the statement about bollinger, "Has never dismissed an Englishman in a Test" because he hasn't played an ashes test? and hilfenhaus has been doing great, what he said about watson and katich and clarke is MORE bull. what he said about johnson, north, ponting, hussey, haddin is TRUE. what he said about siddle is bullshit because he has been injured. MORE THAN HALF THIS ARTICLE IS COMPLETE BS. made me cough 1000 times as to the extent of which this is BULL

  • TJ Ramadoss on November 11, 2010, 0:09 GMT

    I would love to see an article from you comparing English and Australian players via their positions in the line up. More like Johnson vs Panesar... doesn't Johnson bowl spin that turns so much at high pace, away from batsmen... that induces a wide signal? In those lines... All respect to Johnson, I expect him to fire this time. Anyways keep it up and try and dramatize the game day by day. These articles are so much FUN!

  • Demon Rob on November 10, 2010, 23:56 GMT

    damn, it all sounds too true!

    fortunately new selector chappell is going to spring a major surprise and pick a team of Klinger,Hughes,Hodge,DavidHussey,Ferguson,SPDSmith,Paine,Starc,Mckay,Krejia, and a couple of fast bowlers who aren't injured, and that might just work!

  • m narayanamoni on November 10, 2010, 23:55 GMT

    many things are written about aussis performance. The simple truth is they have lost langer,hyden,mecgrath,warne, gilgrist who are all really match winners. Moreover support bowlers like gillespie,flemming,kasproviz,lee are all missing.Windies experience the same difficulty a decade back. It is turn of aussie now. We will face the problem sooner than later.

  • MinusZero on November 10, 2010, 23:39 GMT

    Hilarious story, blunt and true. Ponting is definitely on the slide, as are Hussey, North, Watson and Johnson. I would like to see wholesale changes to the team. While they are down in the rankings, whats the harm in blooding new players for years to come. Sticking with the grandfathers of the team is not the long term view the selectors should be taking. They have been burned in the post Warne/McGrath era and it stands to continue when Ponting, Katich and Hussey retire (or forced to retire) at around the same time.

  • Anti-Christ on November 10, 2010, 23:32 GMT

    Ponting 12250 runs @ 54.68 Bell 3863 runs @ 42.92 Dream on!!

  • Jeremy Wong on November 10, 2010, 23:18 GMT

    Hi Andy. Even tho I'm an Aussie, I am sort of worried about our chances this summer, and reading your article has made me a tad more worried... That being said, England have their problems too don't they? LOL Anyway, I hope that whatever the result, the cricket will be pulsating and of the highest standard. Your writing style reminds me a little of one of my other favourite cricket writers, a former Middlesex player named Simon Hughes whom I think you might know. Cheers and look forward to more insightful and hilarious postings!

  • landl47 on November 10, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    Great to see a bit of fun- although I notice that no-one is seriously disputing your judgement of the Australian players. I love to tease the Aussie fans, they react so splendidly. Keep up the good work; whoever wins or loses, it's still a game.

  • Tom on November 10, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    Very funny article.. To all those people claiming bias, you do realise this article is in jest? he has also written articles "why australia will win", "why england will win" and "why england will lose"? The whole point of the article/s is to show if you look at statistics and form you can come to any conclusion you want to when analyzing the game.. well done Andy once again

  • Joey on November 10, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    hey Andy - your assessment of each player may be true, and you're entitled to that. for your sake i do hope that Australia gets a thrashing, or the pie you very well know might end up on your face.

    just to maintain and keep this "funny", here's something worth laughing about: in the last few years, england and india - and perhaps a host of other countries go gaga whenever they beat the Aussies. every time Australia loses a match - it would have to be the opposing team's best match ever! ever ever!!! and they make all sorts of noise about how great they are blah blah blah. does england get that too when they lose? no, not really. everyone wants to beat Australia. everyone wants to beat the crap or thrash the best.

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    Entertaining read, but I have to disagree with this comment: Johnson explored all regions of inconsistency with the ball. If anything Johnson has been the only consistent player in the team. Consistently awful that is. If there is one man that is single handedly capable of losing us the Ashes, it's him. He lost us the ashes last year and he's going to do it again. Get rid of him.

  • ANDREW CLARK on November 10, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    ENGLAND WILL WIN.AUSTRALIA HAS PAST THEY BEST DAYS.

  • Hazza on November 10, 2010, 21:36 GMT

    Bring back Stuart Clark - the stats don't lie. Years of Oz strength has allowed selectors to make decisions based on politics and spurious extrapolated plans, rather than immediate form and quality. Thankfully all you have to do is look at the stats of the great England strike bowler, Anderson, in Australia, to know that Oz have it in the bag!

  • Glenn Manning on November 10, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    Haha its funny only because its trying so hard to make the Aussies stats look bad..you can make the stats look like you Poms want but seriously if you think this series is going to be easy..then keep dreaming... Aussies to win 3-2 in a tight series

  • Akshay on November 10, 2010, 21:07 GMT

    Absolutely hilarious. I wonder how you can keep producing brilliant articles one after another. Keep it up, looking forward to the next one.

  • krisx on November 10, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    To be fair to Bollinger, it's possible to take a five-fer in each Ashes innings in the series, and still be labelled a bowler who has never dismissed an Englishman in a Test.

  • david byer on November 10, 2010, 20:56 GMT

    Andy, I think you should die. You have reached an untoppable peak recently & the only way ahead is down - I would just die if i were you; that way you'll stay a legend forever!

  • deano on November 10, 2010, 20:27 GMT

    Andy, after reading your own profile I reckon you should worry about your own game and leave the aussies alone.

  • Deano on November 10, 2010, 20:25 GMT

    Andy mate, when Australia beat England 5-0 you should go and kill yourself and get off cricinfo. In every player you're always trying to find one bad stat and then make shit out of it.

    These guys are all players who have proven themselves in the past and I hope they show you're ugly face why they will get their number 1 ranking back.

    And I think your just a faggot who criticises players that you don't like. I never want to hear this shit again on cricinfo!

  • subramanian on November 10, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    that was a funny piece yet reading between the lines also a thought provoking one pointing to how much the Aussie selectors and Punter have deluded themselves. The one genuine talent who stood up in the time of crisis Phillip Hughes is no longer in the team. Aussie policy of not injecting youth is baffling . There is apparently no dearth of talent but why players like Mitch Starc Peter George are being sidelined from the test squad is unbelievable. Also Hauritz is like a Christmas gift to England truely reminscent of the Boxing day Spirit which they are going to lap up gladly. The current Bowling attack with the johnsons, siddles hauritzs seems eerily similar to the India bowling attack of the late 90's with guys like Ankola, Kuruvilla etc,. Enough said. One more thing, sack Punter from captaincy, He cannot / can never win a close match. Only way for him to win is with the help of umpires( Sydney 2008 ) or with the help of match fixers( Sydney 2009 ).

  • ABC on November 10, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    this is what you get who a comedian writes about cricket and you all follow

  • nikg on November 10, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    gee is this bloke high. the aussie team isnt this bad. watch out england your gone!!!!

  • Stark on November 10, 2010, 19:35 GMT

    @ Mahesh

    You do realise that Pak had a very powerful bowling attack but still lost!

    Although, you can argue they were absolutely rubbish in the field and the batting was...........

    But your right that if you have powerful batting or bowling attack, there's a good chance of success in Aus.

  • zubair on November 10, 2010, 19:31 GMT

    simply love it.. waiting for another viewpoint on England...

  • Matt 5 on November 10, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Love this, awesome blog just like the rest by Andy. I notice that someone mentioned that Ian Bell's average since he came back into the side is 53.... the question I'd like to ask is against which opposition has he made these runs? (This is a rhetorical question just in case anyone was wandering.) I'm sure if you look up Ian Bell in the dictionary you'll find the definition to be "Cheap runs". I think I could have a Batting average above 50 playing against some of the opposition that Bell has played against and I havn't picked up a piece of willow since I was 17!

  • DS on November 10, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Oye Andy, you deserve a raise mate. Zaltman household can do with some extra zingy 'Ash'istmas cheer. What say ?

  • Rohit on November 10, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Well said Andy! Most hilarious line read "Mohammad Amir dropped a possibly-with-hindsight-although-equally-plausibly-perfectly-above-board-but-still-suspiciously-easy sitter when the Australian captain was on 0".

  • ISHAN on November 10, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    Angelo Matthews and Lasith MALINGA played really well.

  • rahul on November 10, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    andy...dont underestimate austrailia....they hav potential and can run through any team.....lets ashes begin.....

  • safwan umair on November 10, 2010, 18:58 GMT

    lolol ..... andy at this rate it shud be a sound thrashing ..... 5-0 to england ...... an Aussie would see the glass as half full, ur seeing it half empty.....and that too with some exceptionally pessimistic glasses .... lol

  • DJS on November 10, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    Andy, nice touch of constructive criticism, but when you are down under no stats matter. England stats are not pretty either and moreover they played most of their test at home. Their batsman suffered when they faced quality bowling from pakistan, dont get me wrong here but an aussie team in their home soil is more dangerous than any other team. Mark my words Watson is going to make huge difference between these two teams. Gabba awaits for England, if peterson cant score in this series, I dont think England are going to pose a threat.

  • tjsimonsen on November 10, 2010, 18:12 GMT

    Great article Andy (as the two other in the series - and many previous)! Though a couple of the commenters above could do well by looking up "irony", "satire", and "humor" in a dictionary before posting misguided comments.

  • Vinod on November 10, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    It was humorous but your prediction will not be the result. The overconfidence over england will come to end at the Ashes. They will lose for sure. This time it will not be 5-0, may be 3-1.

  • Vinod on November 10, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    It was humorous but your prediction will not be the result. The overconfidence over england will come to end at the Ashes. They will lose for sure. This time it will not be 5-0, may be 3-1.

  • Piripi on November 10, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    Nice work Mr Z, and fascinating to see there's the odd reader who fails to note the "cricket, satire, whimsy" by-line or to read your biography, and misses the point completely. Graeme Smith the successor to Rudolf Nureyev? Marvelous!

  • Sid on November 10, 2010, 18:03 GMT

    too good mate!!

  • Wildcard on November 10, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    I'm very sorry Andy, but I'm not sure that you quite understand that cricket nowadays is a science and has left people like you behind. Do you honestly believe that Australia hasn't done their homework? And added to that, it is very difficult for any team to beat Australia in Australia. Those who have done that are few and far in between.

    The Baggy Greens will win back the urn. Go Aussies, Go!!!!!

  • Biggles on November 10, 2010, 17:45 GMT

    Brilliant article, Andy Zaltzman. But ....

    .... I give you PRIOR warning: the BELL will toll for the Aussies as England romp to victory at a brisk TROTT to the tune of a STRAUSS waltz. SWANN will COOK Ponting's goose with his BROAD grin and spin and Steve will FINNish it off. Best put the Bollinger on ice now ....

  • jesus on November 10, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    loved the one about johnson and harmison

  • JimDavis on November 10, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    I heartily agree with your comments re M North and emigration. very funny.

  • Rahul on November 10, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    Outstanding article! Loved the piece about Watson and the toss.

  • Kris on November 10, 2010, 17:43 GMT

    I guess people who are commenting didn't read the earlier pieces by Andy. Once they read them, they will understand why he wrote so.

  • Srivatsan on November 10, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    Andy,

    So lets assume if England draws with this team. Will England stop playing cricket then?? hehehe

  • js on November 10, 2010, 17:33 GMT

    brilliant, well written and superbly humerous, enjoyed it. i wonder what his australian version would have to say about the english team, would be a joy to read

  • jay on November 10, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Nice one Andy. But this one is surely not comical except at a point or two!!!! anyways nice stat work. Cricinfo may hire u as next statisticiaN.....

  • srinivas on November 10, 2010, 17:15 GMT

    Just because the Aussies did not complain does not mean that no one didn't notice the number of umpiring decisions that went against Aussies in both the series played in England. Why don you do a stats on how many decisions went against Australia in an Ashes series played in England and how many went against England in an Ashes series played in Australia? That will tell you who will win this series. There are only two things that can terrorise Australia. 1. Australia's inability to bring in a support spinner for hauritz, like Ohja for Harbhan and Vettori for Patel. 2. Weak middle order. Even then I still believe 5-0 is possible, cause England is crap.

  • Ska on November 10, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    And here I was blissfully and ignorantly reading away your article when I get to the comment section and say to myself: Here come the South African taunts. I'm neutral to RSA, ENG and AUS and I don't care where their players come from. What I do care about is the excitement and the thrills of an Ashes contest! Get over it - I hate to use the word - 'blokes'.

  • M Alem on November 10, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    Don't forget England had some trouble against Bangladesh, the worst team in cricket. England had tons of problem with an ordinary player like Tamim Iqbal. Austrlian batsmen are light years ahead Tamim. Do not write off Australia.

  • M Alem on November 10, 2010, 17:09 GMT

    Don't forget England had some trouble against Bangladesh, the worst team in cricket. England had tons of problem with an ordinary player like Tamim Iqbal. Austrlian batsmen are light years ahead Tamim. Do not write off Australia.

  • kundan on November 10, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    wow andy, this is the first time i am reading an article y u and i am imp-awesomely-ressed...ur style of writing is mind-blowing!! will love to read from u again!

  • Dinesh on November 10, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    It felt like I was reading a piece from PGW'S Jeeves! The bit about being reasonable and dropping Mcgrath after his first test - I agree with!

  • astopal on November 10, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    Andy you are right, i mean australia's win loss ratio since feb 2007 against the current top 5 ranked(Allegedly "as described by the aussie supporters who still have to come to terms with the exodus of their golden generation of cricketers) teams is 0.8, England is 0.57. SA are at 1.14, SL at 0.66 and India 1.86 " This ashes is like fight for the tin(read as 4th spot in the rankings)

  • Niraj on November 10, 2010, 16:49 GMT

    A vast majority of people from sub-continent fail to understand and appreciate the sense of humor:)

    Stop thinking from heart guys;)

  • Shashank on November 10, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Blasphemy! How can you write an article without mentioning Sachin? I demand that you take it down and rewrite it by including SRT. And maybe the new moustache sporting KP as well. That will surely send a shiver down the Aussies' spines.

  • Umar on November 10, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    I am surprised that they let you write an article. Very poor writing skills. The article is very incoherent and you might consider hiring something who can write for you

  • anirudh on November 10, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    fantabulous article!katich in crisis after accidentally watching footaga of his own batting - he thought he played like gower! and ponting,the self-styled tasmanian ian bell!priceless!

  • anirudh on November 10, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    fantabulous article!katich in crisis after accidentally watching footaga of his own batting - he thought he played like gower! and ponting,the self-styled tasmanian ian bell!priceless!

  • Parag on November 10, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Haha, 3 years ago any sentence with words Ponting and Bell together would have been uttered to say something on lines of "Bell was seen shining Ponting's shoes at MCG". See where we have come from those days!! Ricky isnt even preparing for Ashes opener, I guess he himself is writing hatemail to zaltman at this very moment. Thats ur half ashes victory!!

  • rajagopalan on November 10, 2010, 16:26 GMT

    Great sense of humour. Thoroughly enjoyable.Use of statistics to support your opinion is admirable.Has become your fan and look forward to reading your articles.

  • Shabbir Indori on November 10, 2010, 16:21 GMT

    Hi I love it man.I hope that everything will go according to you.But Australia is Australia please dont take them lightly.Best of luck to Andrew and his team.

  • DS on November 10, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Andy you're looking like you could be Boris Johnson's dad. Get a haircut and get a better writer. Oh, and by the way, your comments on this miserable Aussie cricket team are unfortunately right on the money. It'll be a rout! *groan*

  • Osama Bin Liaqat on November 10, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    Ecxellento!!! This is the most hilarious piece of yours i have read. Truly amazing. I am a strong believer of this that an Indo-Pak clash and Ashes start at the same level no matter who is in what form but judging by the recent stats and performances i would also go for England. Keep up the good work! And i loved the part where you described how Ricky is going to be the next Neil Armstrong of Australians!!!

  • naveen on November 10, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    brillinat. but please note that they are wounded tigress. if you allow everybody wll become tigers.

  • FB on November 10, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    The best was "Tasmanian Ian Bell", which sounds like a species of animal, and the " Mohammad Amir dropped a possibly-with-hindsight-although-equally-plausibly-perfectly-above-board-but-still-suspiciously-easy sitter" hahahaha. I didn't double check your stats but if they're right then Australia look pretty bad...on paper.

    Btw you didn't sing any glowing praises of Tendulkar! I'm so mad!!!!!

  • Srini on November 10, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Aussies at home are never a push over even though the team may be a bit low on confidence of late due to less than expected results. I expect them to surprise everyone and bounce back. I predict 3-1 series win for them.

  • Ram on November 10, 2010, 15:59 GMT

    Awesome. Great for laugh and some are true. Loved the comment about Ricky Ponting. This time he has another thing coming.

  • BRR on November 10, 2010, 15:58 GMT

    Very funny indeed. Keep it up.

  • Sal on November 10, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Highly amusing as always Andy, reading the Tasmanian Ian Bell comment drew dark looks from the workplace in my direction.

    I understand that people, particularly for whom the English language and culture are not native to them might not instantly get that this is supposed to be a mickey take, however there's no excuse for not actually reading the other comments and figuring out that this is not a serious peice. So, to the Subcontinent in particular...

    IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FUNNY!

  • Gaurav on November 10, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    Your article is more entertaining than the forthcoming Ashes series could possibly be. Few people might not take it seriously but the sort of hardwork you have done in gathering these statistics and then presenting in this way is worth serious appreciation.

  • Dave on November 10, 2010, 15:43 GMT

    Andy, do you get paid for this rubbish? It's unfunny and you're trying to hard. ESPN should demand a refund and you should disappear back into your hole.

  • mohammed khalifa on November 10, 2010, 15:38 GMT

    in cricket anything could be happened at at any time is the old time beauty and today,s, fixing but i agree with andy because the way ricky ponting is giving statements regarding australian expected victory vs england shows a heart of defeated shepherd i did not hear stuff like that from border,chappel or steve. the strenth and belief inevitable for victory is missing in ponting and his men and i would like see uk,s swann do very good and quick with rest.

  • Andy J on November 10, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    Great article! Funny to see people taking this so seriously too! Not sure which is funnier!!!

  • rupesh patel on November 10, 2010, 15:27 GMT

    put aussies in it's place, they have been in your face for 10 some years, let them have it, good work

  • rupesh patel on November 10, 2010, 15:26 GMT

    put aussies in it's place, they have been in your face for 10 some years, let them have it, good work

  • Sachin on November 10, 2010, 15:20 GMT

    Please someone show this to ricky & surely aus are gng 2b whitewashed

  • Khalid Umar Khan on November 10, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    Lovely...Very Good Analysis...Makes us happy in these difficult match-fixing times...England will win by all means...they are mentally very tough of late...

  • Akshay on November 10, 2010, 15:13 GMT

    Someone commented saying "good for a laugh at least" .. I would say .. good for a laugh at max .. Incredible work as far as the stats are concerned but apart from that, i think the comments were totally uncalled for .. Its a lot easier to sit at home and write stuff like this and critisize people but to be playing out there is a completely different thing .. the pontings and the husseys are not people born everyday .. instead of pinpointing what they have failed to do over some time now, why dont people just admire them for what they have done for such a long long time ? Well, all i would like to add is that DO NOT say anything about this team coz you never know what you gonna get from them .. if they lose the ashes ( which even i believe is very much on the cards), i would say its a game and the better team deservedly won it but if they win it, i would like to see a piece on it by this very same author !

  • Khalid Khan on November 10, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    KhalidKhan from Jeddah Saudi Arabia Andy…I liked your style & humor. You have very well analyzed the upcoming Ashes Series in a lighter mood. There have been troubles and conspiracies around. People like you are very important to divulge others in the lighter side of the facts & figures. Being a die-hard fan of cricket, I feel it will be a very fascinating series & England will prevail this time. Ricky will lose his third Ashes series and will be consigned to history forever.

  • Ribas Shareef on November 10, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    I am not totally agree with article. Beating australia in australia is bit difficult. May be they dont have legends like Mgrath and Warne to win matches all over the world but still their bowlers can give them a hard time in seaming wickets. Last time Oz thrashed england by 5-0 margin it was fully one sided. This time atleast we can expect some good cricket. Finn is not tested in australia, Jimmy's record in australia is not very convincing and they cant expect wonders from Broad, only one bowler from england will cause some problem to australia is swann but for him too much to do. This time they dont have Flintoff so his allround contribution is missing as well. At last if you count the number of matches won by End in australia for the past 10 years will nullify all your statistics Andy.

  • Bradman on November 10, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    AWESOME!

  • CricketPissek on November 10, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    ha ha. one ha for andy's brilliant, and the other for the commentors who obviously didn't read his other articles showing how both teams WILL win or lose the ashes. these guys' humourlessness is hilarious

  • JagguTheThuggu on November 10, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Awesome writing! Facts gift wrapped in satire! Opinions packaged in pun! You just now added 1 more to your fan base. Don't let the humourless, the witless and the punless whittle your penmanship. Look forward to many more blogs. Almost an Art Buchwald of the cricketing world.

  • will on November 10, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Excellent research. Proof that stats never lie :)

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Well if aussies read this, be rest assured england will be trashed. My bet aus 3-1

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    fuck off

  • Anil on November 10, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    For last few articles from Andy, there is a trend in the readers' response. The number of respondents seemingly taking a blow to their noses steadily crashlanding and the number of respondents gaining goosebumps all over their body surfaces is reciprocating well--skyrocketting. Great. Some interpretations: (i) The nose-brokens have learnt that Andy's garbage is not for them and are keeping away--just as the jackle thought grapes to be too sour to go after; (ii) The nose-brokens have learnt that the thing that they took as blow was instead a gentle tickle, and are embracing the former-garbage as sweet-smelling garlands; (iii) Andy, in his fervent attempt to eliminate any trace of criticism (and unintelligent misinterpretations) from the nose-brokens, is actually posting the complements from goose-bumpers only. Whichever is true, the show must continue! Cheers.

  • colin hammond on November 10, 2010, 14:25 GMT

    Very funny. Particularly liked the Hauritz / Graeme Smith dig (which even they might find amusing!)

  • Santi on November 10, 2010, 14:20 GMT

    English batsmen are even pathetic. Why talk of Katich when Cook is even more miserable ? If bollinger, hilfenhaus and Mitch cant, then even Anderson, Broad and Finn also ll struggle. The diff B/w both sides is SWANN. Eng ll win hands down.

  • Preman on November 10, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    My brain says Aus, but my heart says Eng

  • Hayden on November 10, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Ah, the English Ashes squad - the greatest English team South Africa has ever produced.

  • Prasad on November 10, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    @Mahesh

    You really dont know much about sarcasm/satire do you...

  • mike on November 10, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    jokes aside, australia will win this ashes comfortably.

  • Nitin on November 10, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    Personal favorite quote: "No Australian captain has ever lost three Ashes series. Ten years ago the prospect of Australia losing three Ashes series in the rest of eternity seemed remote. But then again, they said man would never walk on the moon. Ponting is all set to become Australia’s Neil Armstrong."

    Love you, Andy. Keep it up!

  • Shay on November 10, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    @Mahesh: (the only teams over the last 20 years to have been competetive in australia have been west indies (92-93 and 95-96), india (03-04 and 07-08) and south africa (08-09). all five squads had either strong batting (india), a powerful fast bowling line-up (south africa) or both (west indies). england have neither) - That's well said. I fully agree with this. To beat Australia in Aus is to have a massive edge in one department, a powerful bowling line up. Unfortunately England do not have this, which is why they will lose - Even though Aus are not in good touch.

  • Louis on November 10, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Very funny stuff, as always Andy. Ozi Ozi Ozi!

  • garbage on November 10, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    This article is nothin but to convince eng they're actually good...well i can do a better job explaining the english playing eleven,even worse than u can...stop appreciating even before commencing...we'll see who has the last laugh....we saw the same in 2007,it was 5-0...5-0 is better than 2-1 provided both were on home turf.....u don't make me laugh..let's see who has the last laugh.....

  • Dominic Griffiths on November 10, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Entertaining! A brilliant and ferocious use of statistics Andy. I'd like to see a similar article on England (in a slightly more favourable light of course...)

  • Don Carr on November 10, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    AH, but. Look at Bill Lawrie's record and see the wood despite the trees! Does it seem possible that in thirteen test matches in Australia, one player would never be out lbw? Remove the factor responsible for this and the Australian record is played three, won one lost two. Now perspercacious observers, I will give you a clue - Lawries's record was umpire related.

  • Rangarajan on November 10, 2010, 13:32 GMT

    andy, Dandy, I am going to sue you for writing such a hilarious piece and almost I got fired for giggling loudly at work. thanks dude for making my day

  • balachristy on November 10, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    hope this article will prove wrong at the end of the series,we are clear about andy's head why it has become a pitch at oval.

  • Praveen on November 10, 2010, 13:29 GMT

    Nice one... should bookmark the page though and refer back when the Poms are trashed by the Oz's. 5-0 in favour of Oz?

  • Julius on November 10, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    i love australia and hope to dear God that they absolutely smash england 5-0....but at this stage that does not seem likely. reading this article is such good comic relief with all the built up tension around the upcoming series.

    the comments on mitchell johnson are my favourite.

    great work!

  • aditya on November 10, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    seriously funny specially d “I thought I played like David Gower.” part simply hilarious.yr post in very refreshin in dis days of doomsday prophecies for cricket

  • faisal amin on November 10, 2010, 13:18 GMT

    Excellent stuff....does seem like that aussies are going to loose the series unless they take help from those mysterious forces, in distracting the englishmen, which work with britich newspapers in hatching fixing stories

  • Jon on November 10, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    I love it how you talk about katich scoring less runs in australia in an ashes series then monty... Good joke except the fact is england haven't won in australia since?? well i wasn't born and that was 21 years ago. You win the 20/20 world cup and u think you are going to win the ashes. All I can say is good luck. You'll need it more then your yips coach. You heard it here first. The poms won't win a test match in australia this year unless it is a dead rubber.

  • Jon on November 10, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    I love it how you talk about katich scoring less runs in australia in an ashes series then monty... Good joke except the fact is england haven't won in australia since?? well i wasn't born and that was 21 years ago. You win the 20/20 world cup and u think you are going to win the ashes. All I can say is good luck. You'll need it more then your yips coach. You heard it here first. The poms won't win a test match in australia this year unless it is a dead rubber.

  • dr jha on November 10, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    you posted this so early in the morning... get a life andy...:) sleep till late :) nice peice by the way... :)

  • Fahad Riaz on November 10, 2010, 13:06 GMT

    I am not an aussie supporter at all, but I think Andy Zaltzman might need to mince his words at the end of ashes ....!!!

  • ajf on November 10, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    This Australian side seems different. All sides go through rough patches, and the Australians of the early Border era were no different, following on from the great Chappells and Lillee and Thomson era, they too struggled for a while. But they had balls, and grit, and could play nuggety cricket when down. When talent is lacking, you can make up for so much with determination and sheer bloody mindedness.

    This side doesnt have that. Its time for Ponting to go as captain. Super batsman when in form, but right now, in a decline, they need a new kind of leader, one who can get the most out of what is increasingly becoming an average side.

  • ajf on November 10, 2010, 13:04 GMT

    This Australian side seems different. All sides go through rough patches, and the Australians of the early Border era were no different, following on from the great Chappells and Lillee and Thomson era, they too struggled for a while. But they had balls, and grit, and could play nuggety cricket when down. When talent is lacking, you can make up for so much with determination and sheer bloody mindedness.

    This side doesnt have that. Its time for Ponting to go as captain. Super batsman when in form, but right now, in a decline, they need a new kind of leader, one who can get the most out of what is increasingly becoming an average side.

  • Adam Hills on November 10, 2010, 13:00 GMT

    Very entertaining...and the comments from upset Aussie after smacks of concern and desperation. It will be very tough to retain the Ashes in Australia...but I think we might just do it.

    Come on England!

  • Zimbrowski on November 10, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    This article would have been funny as all hell if the truth didn't hurt so damn much! I'm surprised you didn't mention England's ace in the hole, the man destined to help you retain the Ashes, Andrew Hilditch.

  • shanmugasundaram on November 10, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    i am an indian but zaltman comments are biased.rubbish

  • Jonty on November 10, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    very nice article to read... funny etc... but when it comes to ashes australia r a diff team.... and english fans just in a frenzy tat australia had a recent white wash against india and the previous ashes victory.... england s a good team tats it and can be rated par with australia.......all other s just a hype given by u guys... every1 knows the way england played cricket till last yr.... most hyped team in the history of cricket

  • kotur on November 10, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    Hi Z beware! Aussies are deliberately keeping low to misguide you & England. They want to spring a surprise in Brisbane and Greg Chappel is going to steer them.

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Bordering on genius. Zaltsman (I assume you're Jewish) have you ever tried your head at Gemara learning?

  • Subhasish Sircar on November 10, 2010, 12:16 GMT

    Simply brilliant!

  • Lord Emsworth on November 10, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    If Sri Lanka could thrash Australia in the recently concluded ODI series in Aussie land, and besides utterly trounce them in the single 20/20 match played, I cant see why England who are strong and bond better cant win the ashes.

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    Ashish and Mahesh - Andy is a comedian - this is funny! Don't take it too seriously guys!

  • Spokesperson on November 10, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Zalzman should be appointed as the spokesperson of English team to fend off the mental pressurizing tactics played by Aussies before and during the game. Good fun in reading the article, keep up the good work.

  • Ray on November 10, 2010, 12:05 GMT

    A bit harsh on some of the new players; they haven't really played that much yet. But genuinely funny. Can you write one on England too? Trashing both sides will put you in the enviable position of being able to say "I told you so" no matter wht happens.

    And Andy, can they move you and a couple of other guys to the main page and drop Page 2 altogether? Much of the humour here is abysmal, the page where everyone has something to say about Page 2 (like any of them even knows what it is) being a prime example. It's like a not so funny film becoming worse when it starts taking itself seriously.

  • siddhartha on November 10, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    this is all as true as sun rises from east........

  • Zeeshan Ahmed on November 10, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Hilarious! How can you judge Aus Players based on last 4-5 tests...They gonna give tough time to England and it won't be that easy!

  • manish from india on November 10, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    All this will not matter comes the first ball of gabba. Be ready for great contest

  • KC on November 10, 2010, 11:57 GMT

    In an increasingly aggressive build up to the Ashes, and with the Aussies going out of their way to shoot themselves in the feet "English-style", this article is the best thing I have read in some time. Bravo.

  • janiya on November 10, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    aussies are sinking down. They are gonna finish their era like west indies had in70's...

  • Jack on November 10, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    Do people even read the comments before they post one themselves? Especially when they've been dimwitted enough not to realise this isn't a completely serious column.

    "i just read through the whole article just to know how much filth one can write in a single piece. well done Anduuuuu"

    Vicky Arora

    Well done Vicky for missing the point as far as a Johnson delivery does the pitch.

  • Happy on November 10, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    obviously i hadn't read the other posts n misinterpreted ur intention wit stats. U've rightly pointed out a close series with 2-2 all 5-0 eitherway :)

    i wud advice to leave the cheap stat tactics for cricinfo staff and bring on the witty with no disclaimer cricket "gyan"!

  • Kabir on November 10, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Where is Sachin on this list?

  • Ash on November 10, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    hahaha!! Good laugh. 2-1 England methinks

  • Alex on November 10, 2010, 11:45 GMT

    The best and slightly disturbing things is that I've been personally convinced by each one of these four sets of statological scat - but glad you left this one till last - I will sleep easy until the first/last ball bowled by the Aus/Eng strike bowler ends up in the hands of square leg/the keeper precpitating what will be the greatest series thrashing/ draw since, erm, the last one.

  • Happy on November 10, 2010, 11:43 GMT

    You make me laugh... mostly with ur wit but this time m not pleased with excessive use of stats to put ur point across.... numbers r mere illusion. btw do a similar article on english team and u wud find out why it is at least going to be a close series with Aussies winning in the end.

  • The Legspinner on November 10, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    I hereby promulgate Zaltzman's Law , that it is impossible to distinguish between a serious cricket article and a satirical one unless otherwise mentioned.

  • kapilesh on November 10, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    the best mockery in order ponting ,johnson and north.but you i am not happy with the mockery of gilchrist when you stated haddin as new gilchrist .

  • Asura on November 10, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    Zaltzman, you got it right mate on the Aussie team. Can you do the same analysis on the English team?

  • jeroen on November 10, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    All I can say as someone who lived about a decade in New Zealand and followed all of the main sports while I was there is that you can never underestimate the Aussies. They may have an average team at the moment, but 9 times out of 10 they are mentally stronger than the English.

  • B S Kumar on November 10, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    Hilarious! Katich has fewer Ashes runs than Monty Panesar!??? Outrageous, regardless of context! Do Australia want this Ashes? I mean, really, really want it? There was a time when wanting it more meant for better performances from Aus. but what is it down to now? Hiring MS Dhoni as non-playing captain?

  • sidd on November 10, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Andy good work in collecting data & i think during data collection u lost ur mind so u need treatment urgently bz u described data individually & u got forget that cricket is a team game , i would not say much rest be told by the series result bz england is going to loose Ashes.

  • Leena Moin Aziz on November 10, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    its quite hilarous but most of it is backed up by evidence so its not funny but the truth..Although it might not be as easy as it sounds on paper but my gut feeling is that England should be able to clinch the sereis and thus end a long and successful reign as captain by the great Ponting...its going to be intriguing non the less. Asia's first women cricket commentator..at your service ;-)

  • Jafa on November 10, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    Some of your finest work, Andy.

    "the Dirk Wellham Memorial Gulag, 150 miles outside Darwin"

    Classic!

  • Bala on November 10, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    Funny especially "If Australia pick him and Bollinger, they will lose. The last time they picked two seam bowlers with tri-syllabic surnames"...expected more for the pup..possibly lara bingle :)

  • Tony in Moscow on November 10, 2010, 11:11 GMT

    Brilliant Andy! The Dirk Wellham Memorial Gulag!!! LOL!! Absolute Gold !!!

  • srkrishnan16 on November 10, 2010, 11:04 GMT

    Aussies are winning it this time! The English sound too arrogant! Arrogance more often than not, leads to downfall! So will it! Go kangaroos!

  • Muhammad Owais on November 10, 2010, 10:58 GMT

    Great Article, treat to read. Best part is "No Australian captain has ever lost three Ashes series. Ten years ago the prospect of Australia losing three Ashes series in the rest of eternity seemed remote. But then again, they said man would never walk on the moon. Ponting is all set to become Australia’s Neil Armstrong"

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 10:52 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson is the Aus Steve Harmison. Started gloriously, but now the only way is down. His efforts at Lord's undoubtedly lost the Ashes for Oz in 2009.

    "Having come to England with a reputation as a bowler who could bowl unplayable balls, he proved that reputation well deserved - albeit that the balls were only unplayable due to their being unreachable."

    Classic.

  • hj on November 10, 2010, 10:47 GMT

    hmm,it seems andys hair is on decrease for seearching so much statistics,well done but these statiscts doesnt prove so thrilling to be honest.england is coming with overcooked cook,kp's ghost,trott the turtle who is rather doing good .swann and broad are good in british condition but even against bangladesh they struggled when the sun was out and they are gonna get a lot of that down under.i am hoping ur stats can save their soul and6y

  • Rob on November 10, 2010, 10:41 GMT

    Loved the Article Andy - The only thing you left out was this will be the first time in ashes history Australia play against the South African B side - none the less it will be an eventful tour I'm sure

  • Tony Cook on November 10, 2010, 10:30 GMT

    Very entertaining - good for a laugh, at least!

  • paul on November 10, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    classic article from zoltor the great! keep them coming

  • Ramesh on November 10, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    You are the only person who brings in some humour into the article. Keep it up.

  • Ben Hall on November 10, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    Brilliant!

  • praveen on November 10, 2010, 10:19 GMT

    for ricky..u used self-styled “Tasmanian Ian Bell” ...tht hurts man...awesome piece..again...ur blogs should be titled "The Hurt Locker".....thxs..and keep it comin..

  • Ashish on November 10, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Dear Andy, Your comments are completely biased and not up tp the facts. The truth is england now relying on the players who are not from the england itself. And about your prediction i am sure you wont be able to write your new articles once you see england lossing the cup.:-)

  • Raza on November 10, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    in words, you can pick out a 1000 negatives in a 100% positive person!

    so i suggest let the series start. Its Ashes, its always a different set of same player in ashes for both teams!

  • max on November 10, 2010, 9:55 GMT

    Thats brilliant

  • nilam on November 10, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    Beg your pardon sir, It is the same Ricky Ponting. Except the fact that we are talking about his bowling and keeping abilities, I am sure hasn't declined in those departments!

  • Dave S on November 10, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    Andy - you are spectacularly entertaining. The entertaining comments from people who have failed to understand that this is a comic column is on the decrease which is a shame to a degree but implies that you words of wisdom are hitting a more appreciative audience. Keep it up! I think I may be looking forward more to your columns than the overnight score updates from the Ashes.

  • nilam on November 10, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    Beg your pardon sir, It is the same Ricky Ponting. Except the fact that we are talking about his bowling and keeping abilities, I am sure hasn't declined in those departments!

  • lizzyp on November 10, 2010, 9:52 GMT

    And a draw Mr Z, is all that England need .......... Nuff said!!

  • Vicky Arora on November 10, 2010, 9:50 GMT

    i just read through the whole article just to know how much filth one can write in a single piece. well done Anduuuuu

  • Mahesh on November 10, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    you englishmen rate yourselves too highly: "This time their public confidence is well founded. England are quite a good team."

    you seriously expect to be competitive in australia?? the only teams over the last 20 years to have been competetive in australia have been west indies (92-93 and 95-96), india (03-04 and 07-08) and south africa (08-09). all five squads had either strong batting (india), a powerful fast bowling line-up (south africa) or both (west indies). england have neither. australia is going to win with reasonable comfort....

  • Jackie L on November 10, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    Hilarious as usual. I am a big fan. It is a brilliant example of how to play with stats as well. Bell's average since he came back into the side is 53. Eat your heart out Ricky.

  • Aaron on November 10, 2010, 9:44 GMT

    Best line: describing Ricky Ponting as "The self-styled “Tasmanian Ian Bell” " If that doesn't earn you some hatemail nothing will. Keep up the goodwork!

  • prudhvi on November 10, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    go aussie go, u r d best cricketing nation in d world. make it 5-0 . punter rocks

  • John on November 10, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    Awesome... hope aussie team read this before they start sledging and use negative tactics for which they are famous for jus to win a test in any way or jus create a fuss shoulderin players as dey did for sulieman ben. showed how cheap the aussies specialy haddin and johnson an behave. hope they don play with umpire on their side jus as bucknor was for them in ind aus series. Simon Katich article was the best... waiting for ashed to get over and as usual ponting will spit jelly bean gums in his palms and without any shame he ll say "we played well"..lol

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    seriesouly why did you have to come out of your mothers snatch?

  • Anonymous on November 10, 2010, 9:32 GMT

    "Ponting is all set to become Australia’s Neil Armstrong." hahah...good one

  • maaz abid on November 10, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    All rubbish critics. Whoever is writing this rubbish is terrible,extremely against the aussies.THE PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE HOW GOOD AUSTRALIA ARE. THEY JUST LOVE TO CRITICIZE THEIR FAULTS. ANYWAYS,THE AUSSIES ARE GOING TO WIN THE ASHES,NOT ENGLAND. SO BEWARE.

  • S Iyer on November 10, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    That was funny :), specially the Ponting part.

  • purusharth on November 10, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    Andy,

    i really like your humour. i have a request though. please replace the profile sketch (top left) with one that truly captures the scalp covering whatever (i wont call it hair) in its present density (like the true picture of your).

  • Rahul J on November 10, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Ponting is all set to become Australia’s Neil Armstrong. great wrap up to your proof that England or Australia will win or lose the Ashes... cant wait for your blogs...

  • Sam Lukins on November 10, 2010, 9:00 GMT

    Andy ... another cricket expert and funny guy from england that doesn't get what us Australians are really about. It will be a terrible thing to lose the Ashes to england on home soil, but what you poms don't get about us, is that we are gonna get over it in a second because summer is here and in australia there is so much to look forward to. we will still win the ashes.

  • barrycrocker on November 10, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Strewth! Crikey! Let's just hope sports psychology shrinks in Aussie dressing room don't allow this article to leak out to the boys - far too much truth here for our own good.

    Phillip Hughes to replace Simon Katich at eleventh hour and do a Michael Slater on the first day of Gabba test match - predicted score Aus 2/400 stumps first day.

    Hey is Greg Matthews still playing third grade cricket???

    Yeah yeah!

  • Abhi on November 10, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Fabulous!! Hilarious to the extent that I slipped out of my chair laughing so hard at work...thankfully in a room and out of public view. Look forward to your next column...

  • Oliver on November 10, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    I want my 10mins back after reading that drivel.

  • Jonathan on November 10, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    hahahahaahaha. this is absolutely ridiculous. you've basically named every single australian player and criticised them. this is australia a consistent team with tactics and can turn around a bad losing streak to a 5-0 ashes win and 5-0 odi wins and twenty wins. hahahahahahah

  • jarrod on November 10, 2010, 8:45 GMT

    reading this is only funny because your comments seem to have as much quality as your cricketing ability.

  • Vinay on November 10, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    Good effort to collect the details ....

    Can you compare the same with England batsmen and bowlers with their performances in Australia especially in Ashes.... You have written story of coin one side ,,what about other side of coin... I think u forgot about Ashes is in between AUS Vs ENG , not SA/IND Vs AUS. who is in form from England side Cook, Peterson, Colingwood , I am not sure who is in from from ENG.

    So from u r point of u , AUS should win only when Ben Hilfenhaus should take 5 wickets... he is not yet taken 5, so AUS should loss ....great analysis....

    Please don't forgot the 2-1 win against SA in their home with this same squad !!!!

    My point of view here is the Ahses Team

    1. Philip Huges 2. Shane Watson 3. Ricky Pointing 4. Michael Clark 5. Callum Fergusion 6. Usman Khawaja 7. Bradd Haddin 8. Ryan Harris 9. Xavior Doherthy 10. Ben Helfanhaus 11. Doug Bollinger 12. Michell Johnson

  • Marcus maher on November 10, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    A moderately funny article, that would have been really funny, if the writer didn't sledge like a girl.

  • K.G.VENKATESH on November 10, 2010, 8:34 GMT

    Whatever best team you have, you should make use of it. Just giving past record and crying over it will not slove any problem .One thing is certain australian selectors does not have any foresight. The movement they lost 2009 series ,they should build a strong team to counter 2010-2011 series. Andrew Hilditch writing on wall is high and clear

  • waterbuffalo on November 10, 2010, 8:30 GMT

    Can't wait for the Gabba. Have a strong suspicion it's all down to the toss, if England win, and score 400 plus, they'll be fine, if Oz bats first and puts up 400 plus, they'll win. England will play for a draw and that's bad news if they bat 2nd. I think Eng's middle order will have to undertake some sort of rescue mission because I can't see the top order scoring 200-3. Eng have been a bowler short ever since Freddie quit, so I'd put Oz as slight favourites to win the 1st Test.

  • bhushh on November 10, 2010, 8:28 GMT

    Ponting - Armstrong comparison is hilarious :D and Johnson is still an all-rounder, with consistently bad performance with bat as well as ball :)

  • johnny bravo on November 10, 2010, 8:25 GMT

    So who is this loser writing this whpse name I can't even be bothered trying to remember and what is the point of these dumb articles.

  • sanketh on November 10, 2010, 8:24 GMT

    the ricky ponting part was hilarious. simple but very effective.

  • Peter on November 10, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    I think even Ricky Ponting might admit that he's currently engaged in a mega-decline.

  • dr jha on November 10, 2010, 8:15 GMT

    you posted this so early in the morning... get a life andy...:) sleep till late :) nice peice by the way... :)

  • trhgrt on November 10, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    what a idiot

  • Biggus on November 10, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Tee-Hee.....'Dirk Wellham Memorial Gulag'.....Fine shot!

  • rahul on November 10, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    "tri-syllabic surnames" = instant classic

  • Dobes on November 10, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    At least the title for this post was accurate -- a complete lack of laughs.

  • Dirk on November 10, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Oh fantastic stuff! The last paragraph might be one of the funniest things I've ever read! Ah!!!!

  • Jacob on November 10, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    I have the feeling that if England do the unthinkable (and probably more difficult task than many hope), and win or draw the series that most English fans won't quite know what to do with themselves. Like the oft-beaten child who joins the clergy after leaving home, the fans will decide that it was either, their imagination, or some sort of cruel joke. Everyone knows that the real sign of a quality test is beating England in England, something England haven't done since the 2001 Ashes.

  • Ezee-T on November 10, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    The Ashes aren't what they used to be. As a South African I'd usually be inclined to watch The Ashes based on the fact that one of these teams is the best in the world at that particular time. Can't say that anymore............ If i were you guys I'd give the Ashes to the India vs South Africa series cause the more compelling cricket will be in South Africa this summer.

  • Decorum on November 10, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Well, I'm convinced. There's really no point in having the Ashes series, then, and we may just as well take the urn and give it to England. Or Australia. It will save a lot of bother, anyway.

    BTW, you neglected to mention that, like Bollinger, Ponting has never taken an English wicket, so far as I know, but this is perhaps offset by Strauss' equally poor record of Australian wickets.

  • mary on November 10, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    johnson "unplayable balls" was funny

  • Pavan Aditya on November 10, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Absolute cracker...

  • Dave on November 10, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Genius analysis!

  • Ravi Sharma on November 10, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    Brilliantly written. Funny and with "funny" facts!!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Ravi Sharma on November 10, 2010, 6:32 GMT

    Brilliantly written. Funny and with "funny" facts!!!!

  • Dave on November 10, 2010, 6:48 GMT

    Genius analysis!

  • Pavan Aditya on November 10, 2010, 6:52 GMT

    Absolute cracker...

  • mary on November 10, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    johnson "unplayable balls" was funny

  • Decorum on November 10, 2010, 7:02 GMT

    Well, I'm convinced. There's really no point in having the Ashes series, then, and we may just as well take the urn and give it to England. Or Australia. It will save a lot of bother, anyway.

    BTW, you neglected to mention that, like Bollinger, Ponting has never taken an English wicket, so far as I know, but this is perhaps offset by Strauss' equally poor record of Australian wickets.

  • Ezee-T on November 10, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    The Ashes aren't what they used to be. As a South African I'd usually be inclined to watch The Ashes based on the fact that one of these teams is the best in the world at that particular time. Can't say that anymore............ If i were you guys I'd give the Ashes to the India vs South Africa series cause the more compelling cricket will be in South Africa this summer.

  • Jacob on November 10, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    I have the feeling that if England do the unthinkable (and probably more difficult task than many hope), and win or draw the series that most English fans won't quite know what to do with themselves. Like the oft-beaten child who joins the clergy after leaving home, the fans will decide that it was either, their imagination, or some sort of cruel joke. Everyone knows that the real sign of a quality test is beating England in England, something England haven't done since the 2001 Ashes.

  • Dirk on November 10, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    Oh fantastic stuff! The last paragraph might be one of the funniest things I've ever read! Ah!!!!

  • Dobes on November 10, 2010, 7:21 GMT

    At least the title for this post was accurate -- a complete lack of laughs.

  • rahul on November 10, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    "tri-syllabic surnames" = instant classic