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Jarrod has won the toss and will describe a fearsome future of Australian resurgence…
Jarrod Kimber writes The last time Australia lost a home Ashes series it propelled them to become the best, most professional, loudest and scariest team in Test cricket. England created that monster. This time I expect more of the same. England have probably done the worst thing possible here. They’ve unleashed the Australian spirit. The Australian spirit has fangs and can transform seemingly ordinary cricketers into beasts of cricket. The Steve Smith who could have gone around world cricket making opposition fans chuckle will become one of the greats of international cricket. One look at his face and you will know you are looking at defeat. Phil Hughes’ name will be whispered by broken bowlers. James Pattinson will wreak havoc on the team that used and abused his brother. Oh, it shall be grand. I thank England for their professionalism, better team and outstanding performances, as without them Australia might have been stuck in this middle ground of mediocrity. Hail, England, the great Australian Saviour.
Alan Tyers writes For me, the most satisfying thing about England retaining the Ashes is not the victory itself, the resounding nature of it, or even the enjoyment to be taken in the humiliation of the Australian cricket team. All of these, the last especially, have been delightful in their own right, but a more profound satisfaction comes from knowing that we don’t have to listen to any more comparisons between Shield cricket, where, apparently, a whole nation bats like their life depends on it / sledges like men / cuts off their own feet if they bowl a no-ball, and the inevitable unfavourable comparisons with the English game, where everybody is called Rupert and is just in it for a bit of a laugh.
It’s not so much that England beat a team with Phil Hughes and Steven Smith in the top six, it is that the much-vaunted machine that is Australian sport could not find any better cricketers than that pair of jokers. Sure, we retained the Ashes, and very possibly we will win the series. More than that, though, I am looking forward to a few years without having to be told “what is wrong with English cricket” by Aussies, because, truly, Australian cricket is in a right state, and it’s going to take more than spirit to fix it.
Jarrod replies While Glamorgan and Derbyshire have showed how important they are to world cricket during the Ashes, I’m still backing Ricky Ponting and Greg Chappell to help in the betterment of the Australian side. They’re Australian after all, and that still means something.
Alan replies Ricky and Greg have certainly had their part to play in the worserment of the Australian side of late, but – who knows? – maybe they are the men to turn it around. There will certainly be no shortage of angry people with crazy advice to help them. I look forward to the inquest and the breast-beating public enquiry very much.
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