Brisbane Test, 2010-11 November 26, 2010

Luck or strategy?

So, Australia owned day one in Brisbane
31

In the third Australia v England post, we crow about / pick over the ruins of England’s first innings at Brisbane. Jarrod will bowl first, appropriately enough…

Jarrod Kimber says I’d heard a lot about NuEngland. A team so professional that it was impossible for them to fail. Toilet breaks were sorted into groups and then analysed by a backroom staff of thousands. Nothing could go wrong. This was the team that would finally end the torture in Australia.

And then I see them at the Gabba.

Pathetic.

Ian Bell saved them. Ian Bell, the little ginger guy who hides behind his hat when talking to the media. Straussy did a Harmy, only with the bat. KP tried to get out to left-arm spin. Colly forgot to bring his shovel out with him. Prior and Broad just gave Siddle a birthday present.

As rubbish as England were in the 90s (that’s really pretty rubbish), if they sent out the worst English side from that period (it would probably be a tough decision) they’d have made at least 270 today at the Gabba. I was hoping for a contest. Now I’ll just have to enjoy the Brisbane weather.

Alan Tyers says Well, I can put up with a lot. But to compare this side, dreadfully though they may have batted on day one at Brisbane, to the mid-1990s shower… there is a limit. I imagine that Andrew Strauss’s team will pursue a class action libel lawsuit against Mr Kimber, and I for one hope they win. Nobody should be compared to Hicky and company without serious thought for the impact it could have on their families

England can take heart from two things, I guess. Firstly: aside from Peter Siddle, Australia’s bowling was pretty useless. Mitch was his statutory waste of eight pints of blood, Ben Hilfenhaus looked tame. And Xavier Doherty couldn’t even get Kevin Pietersen out.

Secondly, Australia got lucky. Until Siddle’s titanic efforts, they had been reduced to bowling wide of the stumps and hoping for mistakes. Okay, England obliged. But maybe they can learn from their mistakes. Birthday hat-tricks aside, this is still a very moderate Aussie team, and England cannot bat as badly again.

Jarrod replies “Lucky,” Tyers says? There was no luck about it, this was all in the plan. The Aussies have spent months working on their “short outside of off” plan to Strauss. And if you think Watson bowling a straight one was luck, then you just don’t know cricket. The only luck Australia had was the fact that the state of Victoria happens to be on their island.

Alan replies I dunno about this. Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day, and I reckon these solid-but-unspectacular seam attacks have a couple of excellent spells per series in them each, max. Sure, day one at Brisbane was Australia’s, but how many more top bowling performances have they got to come? England might have felt like they lost the series on day one, but they shouldn’t – and neither did Australia win it. As for Victoria, I expect Jarrod just likes the place because is named after one of Australia’s previous monarchs…

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anonymous on November 27, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    @ George Jenkins ' Never mind, though. We can give the South Africans a good game.' Everytime England play you're generally giving at least two South Africans a good game.....

  • asimations on November 26, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    both teams look ordinary the ashes go to trashes who care for over hyped contest

  • Rishabh on November 26, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    England have every chance to get back..(which i hope they do) The aussies' bowling wasn't great sparing Siddle..If England bat well in their second innings.the game will be theirs.

  • Raj on November 26, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    @Tushar,

    Please go to your water cooler and listen to the arguments there. If you didn't understand this piece, or choose to ignore, why do you waste your time writing a comment on the article. You Indians will never understand the historical importance of the Ashes. If you don't want to read, then move on.

  • Adrian on November 26, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Sorry, but to write day one or two firmly in anyone's corner seems a bit premature. You can't say aus bowlers got lucky unless you are prepared to say the same for England. The fact is, we have 15/40 wickets down and I think both sides are in with a real chance- the most interesting thing for me was swann's treatment. If aussies can dominate him it puts alot of pressure on the 3 pacemen plus collingwood...

  • naushad on November 26, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    This is cricket....but i still say that england in this ashes is far better team than australia.......u ll c in second inning in the way KP ll bat....i predict england win by 4-1 in this ashes......

  • Anonymous on November 26, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    "England cannot bat that badly again"

    Say , who was the last English batsman to average more than 50 in more than 15 Tests ....thinking ... thinking .... Right! Ken Barrington who retired in 1968.

  • abdullah farooqui on November 26, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    i hope england play well in the next inning and win this match and than onwards win the series but also wants ponting to tons of runs in ashes so that he could come close to sachins record which somewhat is unbreakable

  • affie on November 26, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Aussies were better, luck factor is always there for everything, why call it a luck? did any umpiring decision was lucky or else? nothing like that, Aussies were better of the two and so are on top. hopefully all series will go like this, mean aussies on top. English are only paper lions.

  • usman on November 26, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    they aren't as good as people suggest... even against pakistan who is very very weak due to the non availability of players they didn't really dominate with the bat that much... they would have a good long partnership... just one and the rest would flop... that was the story of all the innings of that series... just that pakistan was worse with no partnerships at all...

  • Anonymous on November 27, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    @ George Jenkins ' Never mind, though. We can give the South Africans a good game.' Everytime England play you're generally giving at least two South Africans a good game.....

  • asimations on November 26, 2010, 18:14 GMT

    both teams look ordinary the ashes go to trashes who care for over hyped contest

  • Rishabh on November 26, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    England have every chance to get back..(which i hope they do) The aussies' bowling wasn't great sparing Siddle..If England bat well in their second innings.the game will be theirs.

  • Raj on November 26, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    @Tushar,

    Please go to your water cooler and listen to the arguments there. If you didn't understand this piece, or choose to ignore, why do you waste your time writing a comment on the article. You Indians will never understand the historical importance of the Ashes. If you don't want to read, then move on.

  • Adrian on November 26, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Sorry, but to write day one or two firmly in anyone's corner seems a bit premature. You can't say aus bowlers got lucky unless you are prepared to say the same for England. The fact is, we have 15/40 wickets down and I think both sides are in with a real chance- the most interesting thing for me was swann's treatment. If aussies can dominate him it puts alot of pressure on the 3 pacemen plus collingwood...

  • naushad on November 26, 2010, 13:44 GMT

    This is cricket....but i still say that england in this ashes is far better team than australia.......u ll c in second inning in the way KP ll bat....i predict england win by 4-1 in this ashes......

  • Anonymous on November 26, 2010, 10:18 GMT

    "England cannot bat that badly again"

    Say , who was the last English batsman to average more than 50 in more than 15 Tests ....thinking ... thinking .... Right! Ken Barrington who retired in 1968.

  • abdullah farooqui on November 26, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    i hope england play well in the next inning and win this match and than onwards win the series but also wants ponting to tons of runs in ashes so that he could come close to sachins record which somewhat is unbreakable

  • affie on November 26, 2010, 9:10 GMT

    Aussies were better, luck factor is always there for everything, why call it a luck? did any umpiring decision was lucky or else? nothing like that, Aussies were better of the two and so are on top. hopefully all series will go like this, mean aussies on top. English are only paper lions.

  • usman on November 26, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    they aren't as good as people suggest... even against pakistan who is very very weak due to the non availability of players they didn't really dominate with the bat that much... they would have a good long partnership... just one and the rest would flop... that was the story of all the innings of that series... just that pakistan was worse with no partnerships at all...

  • luke lister on November 26, 2010, 8:39 GMT

    And alan who will england turn to to blame this time? unfortunately theres i no hand of maradonna, simeones baiting of beckham, a broken beckham foot, ronaldos baiting of rooney or a lampard disallowed goal to pass the blame on to. all england may aswell do is place billboards at airports saying 'welcome to england... land of promise, without delivery.... the land of excuses'. every major sporting competeition that england hype up they crash and burn and pass the blame elsewhere. time to face it... england are chokers

  • rk on November 26, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    match evenly poised on day2. all eyes on hussey. get him early and poms can can hope

  • Chandrasekhar on November 26, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    I for one, dont like hard working people (because I am not harworking) and it seems England have worked really really hard for this series. It would only serve them right if they lose 5-0 ( 3 innings defeats, one 200+ run defeat and one 10 wicket victory) which would also go some way in convinving people the futility of hard work.

  • M Ally on November 26, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    I agree with @GJ Rees about the Aussie attack, but not with his prediction. With Bollinger and Harris in for Johnson and Hilfenhaus, it'll be too close to call, so home advantage (= unrelenting pressure) will see Aussies regain Ashes. Doherty will be key at Adelaide and Sydney.

  • Muhammad Ehsan on November 26, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    Too much talk this Ashes by England, based on Australia's performances in previous few months English are thinking they have won Ashes before it even kicked off which can only be self destructive, except for Graeme Swann they don't have any super class bowler who has been roughly treated on first appearance, Kevin is struggling and rest team depends more on natural instincts rather mixing thoughts and game plans+extra ordinary abilities. I see Australia growing as series progresses.

  • Francois on November 26, 2010, 7:41 GMT

    Fair comments all round. Siddle had a good day, and will keep running in, but if the Aussies rely on Johnson etal to win them the series, it will be a repeat of the last Ashes series. Time for the selectors to get serious, replace Johnson with anyone who can actually bowl the ball where they want it to go, and replace North with any batsman from any grade team in the country, and the team will look stronger immediately. Then the POMS will be shaking like the team of the 90's

  • Rob on November 26, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    Oh please, 260 is pretty reasonable.

    For England anyway.

    One thing for sure - they'll do a "Jamaica" at least once and get bowled out for under 100.

  • annadurai on November 26, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    i really don't know why many guys are underestimating aussies. They are very formidable at home. it was clearly evident on day one at the gabba Except for bell no one played well. It was a dream spell by siddle after along lay off and the only bowler to take a hatrick on gabba and all the wickets are from excellant deliveries and also key batsmans. england has never performed well in australia.don't ever say it is a weak bowling attack. Even indians struggled in india and south africa struggled in sa.To make it a bettar attack bollinger should replace johnson and steve smith or mcdonald should replace north in the playing XI

  • Mittal on November 26, 2010, 6:05 GMT

    Nice one Alan....I am sure you got the last laugh in this steamy discussion with Jarrod.. England is a better side than Australia in the current situation and I completely agree with you that Siddle got a fantastic lucky spell for the series...Lets see if he can repeat the magic in the upcoming matches..or even the second inning..

  • ©hinaman on November 26, 2010, 0:14 GMT

    england saved by the Bell, huh?

  • Matt on November 25, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    I saw one major difference yesterday. Australia showed plenty of bottle, England not so much. Rudyard Kipling once nailed it. Battles don't as much of the time as you'd think go to the best group but rather the bunch that wants it most. Australia lead one day to nil.

  • Kris on November 25, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    "these solid-but-unspectacular seam attacks have a couple of excellent spells per series in them each, max"

    Dont those guys get parades in Trafalgar Square?

  • GJ Rees on November 25, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    This is probably the weakest bowling line up Aussie could put out, and they were saved by an inspired Peter Siddle. Name me the Pommie batsmen that were got out rather than threw their wicket away? England has thrown away a huge opportunity here to put on 500 and strangle an under siege team into submission.

    First hour this morning is pivotal. England need early wickets and should get conditions to suit. They need quick wickets and I personally believe their attack is well suited to the Gabba. Take the odds and back the Poms to win. you heard it here first.

  • Chris on November 25, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Well siddle said after the game his first spell was too short .he balled fuller in the second spell and was rewarded . good ball control to take left,right,left handed batsmen sorry but that is not luck. englands middle order have proven to be vunerable to collapse and today that happened.

  • paul on November 25, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    To a lot of, shall we say, more excitable journos (and most of the English media) a sporting performance is either superb or abysmal. There is nothing in between. So we see above. One says England were utter garbage and the other that Australia have executed a master plan. I think the truth is somewhere in the more boring grey area. Siddle indeed had the day of his life, and England certainly did not nearly make a par score on this wicket. Bell and Cook might have saved them from much worse, but this looks a 450 first innings pitch to me. England have scored about 200 under par and will be hard pressed to make this deficit up. This Australian team scored 428 and 478 in the first dig in India, its hard to see them not doing likewise here.

  • Anonymous on November 25, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    "...they had been reduced to bowling wide of the stumps and hoping for mistakes. Okay, England obliged." That's not getting lucky - that's clever tactics that worked. As they did against Bell, who is clearly fragile mentally, despite being in sublime touch, desperately yearning for that maiden Ashes ton, after numerous 50's. Seriously - what top class batsman gets out when the opposition have most of the fielders back on the boundary? As for Australia's dependence on Siddle's efforts, you might as well say that, but for Bell's great innings, England would have struggled to make 150.

  • Pankaj on November 25, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    England on day1 showed positive intent, aggresion ...so its wrong to compare today with 2007 harmison howler series start.

    Peter siddle was not in aussie plan until last week so to say its all part of plan is incorrect. Aussies were in jail when poms were crusing post tea....aussie got lucky with siddle's outstanding spell. So it was luck!

    But other than siddle nobody looked threatening ...it is unlikely that siddle will be able to repeat this effort 9 times more in next 9 innings.

    So I feel if england doesnt let day1 results affect their approach and come out with positive intent like they did on day1 then they wont handover urn to ponting. Day2@gabba shall define this series!

  • Tushar on November 25, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    I have read this article and the ones before in this "Blog". What is the point of this one, its not witty neither is it offering any insight, information or analysis that we have come to expect of cricinfo.

    I love Page 2 as most of it is very clever but this is just a waste of space. 2 guys arguing, If I wanted to listen or read that I could just walk up to the water cooler and with the help of my Protean friend instigate the token Aussie and English fellow at work!!

  • George Jenkins on November 25, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    A correction needed : England can ALWAYS bat that badly again. I've been agonising over them for sixty years now, and have watched the pattern of their efforts in Australia repeat itself over and over again. I shook my head in wonder at all the 'this time we've got it right' comments in the media in recent weeks. Apparently our pundits never learn. I'm somewhat glum to find my pessimism justified yet again! Never mind, though. We can give the South Africans a good game.

  • Srinivasan on November 25, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    As a neutral, the match was good to watch. Although England did give it away, they ahve every chance of getting back. As Alan says.. they cant fail twice against this mediocre bowling line-up of the aussies. Being Indian, I do hope that England could restrict Ricky Poning and keep him away from Sachin's Record. I am happy that this match is not heading for a draw!!

  • Shravan on November 25, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    Thats exactly what i thought... :) Well written...

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  • Shravan on November 25, 2010, 18:07 GMT

    Thats exactly what i thought... :) Well written...

  • Srinivasan on November 25, 2010, 18:22 GMT

    As a neutral, the match was good to watch. Although England did give it away, they ahve every chance of getting back. As Alan says.. they cant fail twice against this mediocre bowling line-up of the aussies. Being Indian, I do hope that England could restrict Ricky Poning and keep him away from Sachin's Record. I am happy that this match is not heading for a draw!!

  • George Jenkins on November 25, 2010, 18:43 GMT

    A correction needed : England can ALWAYS bat that badly again. I've been agonising over them for sixty years now, and have watched the pattern of their efforts in Australia repeat itself over and over again. I shook my head in wonder at all the 'this time we've got it right' comments in the media in recent weeks. Apparently our pundits never learn. I'm somewhat glum to find my pessimism justified yet again! Never mind, though. We can give the South Africans a good game.

  • Tushar on November 25, 2010, 20:01 GMT

    I have read this article and the ones before in this "Blog". What is the point of this one, its not witty neither is it offering any insight, information or analysis that we have come to expect of cricinfo.

    I love Page 2 as most of it is very clever but this is just a waste of space. 2 guys arguing, If I wanted to listen or read that I could just walk up to the water cooler and with the help of my Protean friend instigate the token Aussie and English fellow at work!!

  • Pankaj on November 25, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    England on day1 showed positive intent, aggresion ...so its wrong to compare today with 2007 harmison howler series start.

    Peter siddle was not in aussie plan until last week so to say its all part of plan is incorrect. Aussies were in jail when poms were crusing post tea....aussie got lucky with siddle's outstanding spell. So it was luck!

    But other than siddle nobody looked threatening ...it is unlikely that siddle will be able to repeat this effort 9 times more in next 9 innings.

    So I feel if england doesnt let day1 results affect their approach and come out with positive intent like they did on day1 then they wont handover urn to ponting. Day2@gabba shall define this series!

  • Anonymous on November 25, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    "...they had been reduced to bowling wide of the stumps and hoping for mistakes. Okay, England obliged." That's not getting lucky - that's clever tactics that worked. As they did against Bell, who is clearly fragile mentally, despite being in sublime touch, desperately yearning for that maiden Ashes ton, after numerous 50's. Seriously - what top class batsman gets out when the opposition have most of the fielders back on the boundary? As for Australia's dependence on Siddle's efforts, you might as well say that, but for Bell's great innings, England would have struggled to make 150.

  • paul on November 25, 2010, 21:37 GMT

    To a lot of, shall we say, more excitable journos (and most of the English media) a sporting performance is either superb or abysmal. There is nothing in between. So we see above. One says England were utter garbage and the other that Australia have executed a master plan. I think the truth is somewhere in the more boring grey area. Siddle indeed had the day of his life, and England certainly did not nearly make a par score on this wicket. Bell and Cook might have saved them from much worse, but this looks a 450 first innings pitch to me. England have scored about 200 under par and will be hard pressed to make this deficit up. This Australian team scored 428 and 478 in the first dig in India, its hard to see them not doing likewise here.

  • Chris on November 25, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Well siddle said after the game his first spell was too short .he balled fuller in the second spell and was rewarded . good ball control to take left,right,left handed batsmen sorry but that is not luck. englands middle order have proven to be vunerable to collapse and today that happened.

  • GJ Rees on November 25, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    This is probably the weakest bowling line up Aussie could put out, and they were saved by an inspired Peter Siddle. Name me the Pommie batsmen that were got out rather than threw their wicket away? England has thrown away a huge opportunity here to put on 500 and strangle an under siege team into submission.

    First hour this morning is pivotal. England need early wickets and should get conditions to suit. They need quick wickets and I personally believe their attack is well suited to the Gabba. Take the odds and back the Poms to win. you heard it here first.

  • Kris on November 25, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    "these solid-but-unspectacular seam attacks have a couple of excellent spells per series in them each, max"

    Dont those guys get parades in Trafalgar Square?