December 29, 2010

Melbourne Test 2010-11

England have made a fatal mistake

Alan Tyers and Jarrod Kimber

Jarrod has won the toss and will describe a fearsome future of Australian resurgence…

Ricky Ponting and Andrew Strauss, heading in opposite directions, Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 4th day, December 29, 2010
In what will henceforth be enshrined as a ritual humiliation for a losing Ashes captain, Ricky Ponting is forced to wear a miniature light tower on his head at the post-match pleasantries  © Getty Images
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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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Posted by Ravinder on (January 6, 2011, 16:43 GMT)

With Greg Chappell as coach, Australia will head in one direction ... down.

Go Australia Go... Down

Posted by Graham on (January 1, 2011, 21:24 GMT)

Amused by Akhilesh Pendharkar comment below

"Beating a mediocre side like Australia does not mean they are the world champions."

Actually England ARE world champions.....

Posted by vijay on (December 31, 2010, 5:39 GMT)

Ha ha.. please first appreciate England's victory. It is not a mistake if somebody wins or beats some team convincingly. I am not saying Australia will not bounce back. Let us think of present first and congratulate England.

Posted by Akhilesh Pendharkar on (December 31, 2010, 4:56 GMT)

I dont think Australia will ever have bowlers of the Calibre of Shane Warne and Glen Mcgrath, and there in lies the reason for their mediocrity. A superlative performance by England as has been their form of late and consistent show to climb to No 1.

Beating a mediocre side like Australia does not mean they are the world champions.

Posted by Emmerson Marshall on (December 30, 2010, 17:28 GMT)

As a West Indian (Bajan to be exact), a cricket lover, one who still thinks that good test cricket is the pinnacle of all sports, and one who has matured enough over the years to a point where the game takes precedence over country, I am delighted to see England playing very good existing cricketing and winning in Australia. Congrats to England. It should be noted that this Australian team is not a weak team and does not take the game lightly. These facts should put in perspective the quality of cricket that England is currently playing. I am hoping that India win the series in South Africa and then eagerly anticipating an England-India series in England. Hope beyond hope for a five match series. Australia will regroup quickly, rebound with force and looking to get back to winning ways. This will give us cricket lovers four (England, India, Australia and South Africa) very good to watch during next two to three years. Hurray for good Test Match Cricket; Long live Test Match Cric

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