November 30, 2010

Brisbane Test, 2010-11

The most shambolic Oz performance? Hardly

Alan Tyers and Jarrod Kimber
Marcus North celebrates having Andrew Strauss stumped, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day, November 28, 2010
The next Jason Krejza: you heard it here  © Getty Images
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Alan has won the toss and will write first. His chosen subject is: “Australia. Ha, ha, ha”

Alan Tyers says Well, that was fun. There can’t be an English fan alive who didn’t enjoy the sight of Michael Clarke spilling his slip-catching practice, or Mitchell Johnson’s five-wides bouncer. Finally Steve Harmison can relax: at least his Brisbane nightmare ball went to second slip, not through second leg-slip.

After all we’ve put up with for the last couple of decades, watching Australia stumble through a second innings of 150 overs for one wicket (and that from danger man M North) was like watching the final 20 minutes of I Spit On Your Grave.

Was it the most shambolic Ashes performance by Australia in living memory? Yes. Is there reason to hope that they might be similarly rubbish at Adelaide? Well, cautious optimism: any side with Mitchell Johnson anywhere near it can always produce that little bit of magic. The sort of magic you might get from a children’s entertainer bursting his balloon animals and crying about his divorce to a room of stunned six-year-olds.

Jarrod Kimber says I can understand Alan’s excitement. England drew a Test match. There is no other culture on earth that can take gratification out of a draw like the English. For the average English sports fan a draw is like winning the lottery on the day Cheryl Cole has promised to shout you an ale or two. I’ve always suspected the games of football and cricket were designed for this very reason.

To say this is the most shambolic Australian performance in living memory is a tad harsh - neither Cameron White nor Scott Muller bowled in this match. What I saw was two ordinary sides bumping up against each other like awkward drunken teens trying to chest-bump. Both sides took 11 wickets, both sides looked like it might take them three lifetimes to get another wicket, and both sides ended up with a draw.

Actually Australia have been quite smart. England’s preparation was flawless, and Australia’s was a bit muddled, so someone must have called Kevin Mitchell and asked for the Gabba pitch to get a bit of draw in it. A practice pitch. Now they're ready to start the Ashes.

Alan replies And now the media are revolting, the selectors are looking for a sacrificial lamb and the bowlers are knackered and wondering where their next wicket is coming from. It’s a pre-Christmas miracle: the England mid-nineties outfit is alive and well, and they’re playing in Baggy Green.

Jarrod replies I've always assumed the Australian media was revolting, I'm not sure this Test had much to do with it. All this madness will be ended when Marcus North takes 12 wickets at the Adelaide Oval and restores regular programming.

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Posted by Pradeep Goorha on (December 21, 2010, 17:37 GMT)

Well, England cannot win 5-0 against Bangladesh - riding the crest or wallowing in the trough. After years of pedestrian performances, with some recent good showings they can be excused for believing they are an invincible lot. They should have known that when Mitch Johnson runs up and bowls his usual stuff, Zimbabwe would consider themselves well into the game. The problem is Johnson wakes up from the wrong side of the bed on one day every year. On that day he sees the three stumps rather well and swings the ball inward from the right-hander's off-stump. He is by no means unplayable, but his USP is that after hundreds of overs of balls going to the slips and leg-slips (pity, the poor wicket-keepers), he can on that particular day bowl the ball like a pacer should. Batsmen - partcularly those who have recently started to think of themselves as seventh cousins of Wally Hammond - are stunned by that regular ball that a half-way decent batsmen would drive with a modicum of assurance.

Posted by Samuel on (December 4, 2010, 21:16 GMT)

Alex, I live in England, and nowhere has any media publication or England fan claimed we would win 5-0 that I know of.

Posted by Willie Cosmic on (December 2, 2010, 6:15 GMT)

I can't help but think that the Poms (and I say that effectionately) are being led into a false sense of security regarding their own form. So far all their matches have been played on batsmen's paradises, Adelaide, Hobart, Brisbane (as it turned out- We got 600 there last time) & now Adelaide again. With MJ "rested" (and hopefully BH will join him), the attack should be a bit more threatening & accurate, create more chances & leak less runs, although having said this I still think that Adelaide is likely to be a 2nd draw. The wickets which do a bit are Perth MCG & SCG. I'm starting to believe that Perth is the key match of the series & that the winner there has a good advantage. After Adelaide- provided the right attack is selected- It will depend on little things like the toss, openers, how much fight there is in the tail of both sides, fielding (we must improve) and hunger. England have a great chance to keep the urn but we're not without hope. Can't wait for the rest of the series.

Posted by EL on (December 1, 2010, 23:37 GMT)

Everyone is jumping on Ausie bowlers for bad bowling. Well, talk about good batting from English Bats in the second inning. Spilling catches is part of the game and one fielder can have a bad field day or the team performs poorly in one inning and on top the next. That is part of test cricket when you have two innings and five days. Lot can happen in 30hrs on the field. That's all folks

Posted by Alex on (December 1, 2010, 23:33 GMT)

Jarrod you hit the nail on the head "I can understand Alan’s excitement. England drew a Test match."

I personally loved the way the English media and fans were predicting a 5-0 whitewash their way.... Once they think they're in with a chance they start carrying on like over excited school children...

Posted by ksalik on (December 1, 2010, 21:31 GMT)

well!!! few months ago ponting was talking about the white wash....so how cum he could make such a kind of a pitch...senseless.. aussies are being criticised beacause they came in a position to loose from the position of strength... this aussie attack xcept for siddle never look threatening to take 20 wickets neither it deserved111 so justice been done

Posted by Arjun on (December 1, 2010, 20:43 GMT)

Not really a reply there-more of an elaboration on the previous point

Posted by asghar on (December 1, 2010, 14:39 GMT)

c`mon guys if the test ended as an easy win by the aussies u would`nt be saying things about their bad bowling.people sure go crazy when they fail.

Posted by lavi on (December 1, 2010, 10:31 GMT)

great work man...had lots of fun reading this one even in the midstof my semester exams...... keep the good job up!!!!

Posted by jake on (December 1, 2010, 9:18 GMT)

Alan,you might win the battle but we've won the war years ago. ha,ha.Get the chip off your shoulder mate.

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