The Ashes 2013-14 December 11, 2013

Unfair to blame the coaching staff

Andy Flower has created an excellent environment and any criticism of him and the set-up is missing the mark. It's the players who have failed
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There was a sombre atmosphere in the dressing room in Adelaide after our defeat. We let ourselves down. We didn't play anywhere near to the standard we can and we have made life very difficult for ourselves.

I was as guilty as anyone. In the second innings, on a very good wicket, I hit a full toss to mid-on. It was a hugely disappointing way to go and was pretty hard to take for a while. But one of the things you learn is that you have to let that go and prepare for the next innings with a clear mind. I actually feel in good form. I feel a big score is just around the corner.

I have absolute confidence in my team-mates too. Kevin Pietersen, who has proved himself a great player, did really well in the second innings and is just finding his best form, while Alastair Cook is probably the best run-scorer I've played alongside. He is in a little dip in form at the moment - the sort of thing that we have all experienced as part of the natural cycle of the game - but you know with him that big runs are only ever just around the corner. Joe Root was fantastic in Brisbane and showed what a fine player he is going to be for many years, and Michael Carberry has also done really well. Matt Prior looked back in form by the end too. We just need to perform together.

It went wrong for us before we batted, though. The bowlers performed well again but we failed to take our chances, and instead of us bowling them out for 350, they ended up with 570. That changed the whole dynamic when we batted: they could keep attacking fields and you go into your innings under that bit more pressure. Spending the best part of two days in the field doesn't help either.

Then we batted poorly. Mitchell Johnson is quick and he is bowling well. But he is no quicker than he used to be and not as quick as Shaun Tait, Brett Lee or Shoaib Akhtar. He is difficult for the tail, but us top-order batsmen have to find a better way of dealing with him. We shouldn't be putting the tail in the position where we are reliant upon them for runs.

So we had a long talk after the game. There was no talk for the sake of it; it was an honest appraisal of where we've gone wrong and what we have to do to put it right. And yes, there were some strong feelings. The batsmen haven't been giving the bowlers a chance.

Of course the confidence has taken a blow. But we believe in ourselves and in each other and, hand on heart, I know we can come back into this series.

Mitchell Johnson is quick and he is bowling well. But he is no quicker than he used to be and not as quick as Shaun Tait, Brett Lee or Shoaib Akhtar

I'd be disappointed if everyone in the room didn't feel the same way. Playing for England is a privilege that should never be taken lightly, and if you are not, at the very least, prepared to fight and put your body on the line, you should not be in the shirt. You'll see no shortage of fight in Perth.

The margins are never quite as big as they seem. Even after we beat Australia at Lord's by what seemed like a crushing margin, we knew we had been in a hell of a scrap. They showed they can turn things around and now we have to do the same. Test cricket is never easy and we know that if we get them batting under pressure and keep them out in the field for longer, we can still win this.

It is natural that when things go wrong, people go looking for answers and people to blame. Well, the people to blame are the players. We are the ones who step over the white line and we are the ones who missed our chances in the field and failed to bat well enough.

It's most unfair to blame the coaching and back-room staff. I have played in a lot of England teams and I can guarantee that the present set-up is the best I've seen and as good as it gets. My own batting has improved hugely since Graham Gooch became involved in the set-up, and we have access to all the help and advice we could ever want or need.

I've never found the dressing-room atmosphere particularly intense. It is never the happiest place when you have just lost, but Andy Flower has created an excellent environment and any criticism of him and the set-up is missing the mark. It's the players who have failed.

But we have an opportunity. If we retain the Ashes from this position, it will be the greatest triumph that any of us have experienced. It would be a special achievement and something of which we can be hugely proud.

We have been down before. We were beaten in the UAE, we were beaten by South Africa and we lost a big game in India.

We have shown we have what it takes to fight back before and I truly believe we can do it again.

A fixture in England's middle order for almost a decade, Ian Bell has played in four Ashes-winning sides

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 12, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    if u rate johnson not as quickest as lee, tait, akhtar then u guys could had played him easily... let I'll see howmuch u'll score in Perth ( Johnson's homegtound& toughest pplace to bat on the planet).....

  • on December 12, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @Ian Bell: Whatever you may say, overbearing coaches cut through the psyche of the players, in a very negative way. Just liik at OZ now under Lehman; and almost the same team under Mickey Arther. ( Of course, your loyalty is laudable)

  • drlimpel on December 12, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    @SurlyClinic I'll admit that was a bit of an exaggeration, but like you said all three were much more consistent with their pace, especially Tait and Akhtar, who I felt always went flat out, something which ended up shortening their careers as well. Its probably not the wisest thing to do for that reason but at the same time the least you can do is keep the mantle of being the "fastest ever" with them LOL. Oh and just to reiterate my point, the fastest delivery Steyn has ever bowled is a good five clicks below Lee, Akhtar and Tait's best. I have always felt he is much more comparable to a healthy, fit and firing Shane Bond in terms of both pace and skill.

  • SurlyCynic on December 12, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @drlimpel: I agree that those three were the quickest of recent times, but to say they 'barely got down to the 140s in their spells' is exaggerating just as much. I remember seeing the likes of Lee and Akhtar in the high 130s at the end of a long day. Everyone gets tired. And as bowlers get older they pace themselves and ramp up to full pace more seldom, like Steyn does now. When he first started he just bowled flat out, now he bowls within himself when the ball swings them ramps it up later in the day to break a partnership if the ball is old.

    Steyn's fastest balls recorded are right up there, but Lee, Tait and Akhtar were the consistently fastest bowlers of recent times.

  • drlimpel on December 12, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @pretoria no that's because neither dale steyn nor morne morkel are anywhere near Lee, Akhtar and Tait in terms of pace. They are incredibly crafty bowlers, especially Steyn but they are not the fastest ever by any stretch of imagination. I can't understand for the life of me why people keep saying otherwise; the former trio barely ever got down into the 140's during their spells, Steyn and Morkel rarely go beyond that mark, the difference is as clear as night and day.

  • pretoria on December 12, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Forgive me, but I cannot help to point out that Mr Bell mentions everybody bowling over 140 clicks but do not mention Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Have the scars of two series defeats in England not yet healed? Is his experince at the Wanderers still a gaping wound?

  • brisCricFan on December 12, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    This article from Bell sounds a little like the desperate calls at half time in a football match when your side is 3-0 down and hasn't made it into the attacking half after they kicked off... yes, it is possible to turn it around but the question is more are your boys up to it after the first half's punishment...

    Where the coach has to take the blame is in the preparation, knowing the pitch conditions and getting his players conditioned to what they are going to be coming up against... And lets face it, Brisbane played as the Gabba has done for the last 30 years that I have been going there, Adelaide (surprisingly given the first drop in pitch) played just like the Adelaide of old, and I can bet you pounds to pennies that the WACA will play with all the pace and bounce it always has. One thing they should have known about in advance was how these pitches would play - and there aren't too many grounds in the world you can be guaranteed of that. That just leaves then the players!

  • Insult_2_Injury on December 12, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Perth is a 'test' of England's depth and selectors mettle. Let the tall timber loose with the ball and bench Swann & Panesar, neither of whom have shown any form. Even when the Aussie bats were being subdued in England, the bowlers were giving them half a chance. The Poms have been comprehensively out played here because the bowling is insipid. Sure the bats have only made one score over 200, but the bowlers are using the same wicket and the Aussie bats haven't suddenly become world beaters. England has to win 2 of 3 to retain, that has to start now, but is unlikely to as history suggests England count on predictability.

  • Buggsy on December 12, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Not sure why people keep on about Root being at no. 3. He's by far one of the most technically correct batsman in the team, has a great attitude and plenty of talent. He's completely wasted down at 6.

  • ShutTheGate on December 11, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Bell played some great shots in his first innings @ Adelaide and was really enjoyable to watch.

    But I think the crux of their problem is summarised here "We have shown we have what it takes to fight back before and I truly believe we can do it again."

    It's like their subconscious is wanting to hang onto the past and previous glory which is contrasted to the Australians attitude of we need to do whatever we can to improve to get to where we want to be in the future. One teams mental image is in the past the other is in the future. So far mentally projecting forward seems to be more effective.

  • on December 12, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    if u rate johnson not as quickest as lee, tait, akhtar then u guys could had played him easily... let I'll see howmuch u'll score in Perth ( Johnson's homegtound& toughest pplace to bat on the planet).....

  • on December 12, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    @Ian Bell: Whatever you may say, overbearing coaches cut through the psyche of the players, in a very negative way. Just liik at OZ now under Lehman; and almost the same team under Mickey Arther. ( Of course, your loyalty is laudable)

  • drlimpel on December 12, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    @SurlyClinic I'll admit that was a bit of an exaggeration, but like you said all three were much more consistent with their pace, especially Tait and Akhtar, who I felt always went flat out, something which ended up shortening their careers as well. Its probably not the wisest thing to do for that reason but at the same time the least you can do is keep the mantle of being the "fastest ever" with them LOL. Oh and just to reiterate my point, the fastest delivery Steyn has ever bowled is a good five clicks below Lee, Akhtar and Tait's best. I have always felt he is much more comparable to a healthy, fit and firing Shane Bond in terms of both pace and skill.

  • SurlyCynic on December 12, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    @drlimpel: I agree that those three were the quickest of recent times, but to say they 'barely got down to the 140s in their spells' is exaggerating just as much. I remember seeing the likes of Lee and Akhtar in the high 130s at the end of a long day. Everyone gets tired. And as bowlers get older they pace themselves and ramp up to full pace more seldom, like Steyn does now. When he first started he just bowled flat out, now he bowls within himself when the ball swings them ramps it up later in the day to break a partnership if the ball is old.

    Steyn's fastest balls recorded are right up there, but Lee, Tait and Akhtar were the consistently fastest bowlers of recent times.

  • drlimpel on December 12, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @pretoria no that's because neither dale steyn nor morne morkel are anywhere near Lee, Akhtar and Tait in terms of pace. They are incredibly crafty bowlers, especially Steyn but they are not the fastest ever by any stretch of imagination. I can't understand for the life of me why people keep saying otherwise; the former trio barely ever got down into the 140's during their spells, Steyn and Morkel rarely go beyond that mark, the difference is as clear as night and day.

  • pretoria on December 12, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    Forgive me, but I cannot help to point out that Mr Bell mentions everybody bowling over 140 clicks but do not mention Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. Have the scars of two series defeats in England not yet healed? Is his experince at the Wanderers still a gaping wound?

  • brisCricFan on December 12, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    This article from Bell sounds a little like the desperate calls at half time in a football match when your side is 3-0 down and hasn't made it into the attacking half after they kicked off... yes, it is possible to turn it around but the question is more are your boys up to it after the first half's punishment...

    Where the coach has to take the blame is in the preparation, knowing the pitch conditions and getting his players conditioned to what they are going to be coming up against... And lets face it, Brisbane played as the Gabba has done for the last 30 years that I have been going there, Adelaide (surprisingly given the first drop in pitch) played just like the Adelaide of old, and I can bet you pounds to pennies that the WACA will play with all the pace and bounce it always has. One thing they should have known about in advance was how these pitches would play - and there aren't too many grounds in the world you can be guaranteed of that. That just leaves then the players!

  • Insult_2_Injury on December 12, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    Perth is a 'test' of England's depth and selectors mettle. Let the tall timber loose with the ball and bench Swann & Panesar, neither of whom have shown any form. Even when the Aussie bats were being subdued in England, the bowlers were giving them half a chance. The Poms have been comprehensively out played here because the bowling is insipid. Sure the bats have only made one score over 200, but the bowlers are using the same wicket and the Aussie bats haven't suddenly become world beaters. England has to win 2 of 3 to retain, that has to start now, but is unlikely to as history suggests England count on predictability.

  • Buggsy on December 12, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Not sure why people keep on about Root being at no. 3. He's by far one of the most technically correct batsman in the team, has a great attitude and plenty of talent. He's completely wasted down at 6.

  • ShutTheGate on December 11, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    Bell played some great shots in his first innings @ Adelaide and was really enjoyable to watch.

    But I think the crux of their problem is summarised here "We have shown we have what it takes to fight back before and I truly believe we can do it again."

    It's like their subconscious is wanting to hang onto the past and previous glory which is contrasted to the Australians attitude of we need to do whatever we can to improve to get to where we want to be in the future. One teams mental image is in the past the other is in the future. So far mentally projecting forward seems to be more effective.

  • Nutcutlet on December 11, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    OK. That's the talk. We look forward to seeing the walk on Friday.

  • on December 11, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    does it really matter to Johnson what bell says. if he thinks Johnson can't hurt the Englishmen who are willing to take a hit he's totally at wits end and should get a few words of wisdom from the Sri Lankans and Graeme smith...

  • jackiethepen on December 11, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    Bell is in the thick of it but that is not the best place to see what is going wrong and why. Yes the players can bat better, put their game right, etc. etc. And we do expect loyalty within the camp. But I am not impressed with a coach who blames the batsmen for all the failures when there have been glaring problems behind the scenes. Problems of selection of bowlers, the endless search for No 6, the breakdown of Trott. We know that stepping out of line is severely dealt with, so we wouldn't expect Bell to say otherwise. He put his hand up for No 3 and got sidelined. Even a senior player is pushed aside for a newcomer if he takes the fancy of the coach. Of course Bell is going to praise Root. And Root deserves praise. But he doesn't deserve no 3. Meanwhile we blunder on. Bell might like the 'atmosphere' but clearly KP didn't and neither did Trott who complained to Warks of being burnt out. Questions ought to be asked. Doesn't the buck stop with the Director of Cricket? That's his job.

  • on December 11, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    All the talks of Oz improved overnight does not make sense. Oz had a very very good bowler in Harris last time around (in fact he bowled better than Anderson in Eng only to be let down by his fellow batters). No team will win if you don't score runs. They lost one test by 70 odd runs and other one rained out (from a winning position). Oz did a better job than scoreline suggests.

    Ofcourse there are differences from that side. Johnson had been a match winner earlier too (he has improved a lot from McDermott inputs and IPL to some extent). Bailey is always a good batsmen, Warner turned form. Everything one expected on the batting front happened. England should have taken note of these, they were basking in the past glory and selective food for Royal Prince!.

  • Westmorlandia on December 11, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    His assessment of the match is more or less honest, though his assessment of his teammates' batting form is probably a bit optimistic.

    The hardest thing might be the fielding. Good fielding feeds off confidence. Maybe batting first is really important - if they can get runs on the board for the first time, they will feel that they're in the match and the confidence will start coming back. If they bowl first, I think they'll be nervous in the field.

  • khanc on December 11, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    I think confidence is one thing but this article is well past that towards complacency. Adelaide was not UAE/India where one could say conditions were alien, we can write one off. Before Adelaide, this could have been argued. But after Adelaide, if you are still talking of maintaining the status quo, you must be deluded. England will lose this series, and if they still do not fix their act, be losers for many years to come.

    After this series, Andy Flower should be fired. Yes, he did a good job, but it's time to go. Cook should be dropped from being a captain, I dont know who goes in his stead, maybe Bell, but they need to find him. The only automatic selections should be Cook, Root, Pietersen, Bell, Broad, Anderson and Panesar; and even there, Cook, KP and Anderson are sort of on probation - if they continue to be ineffective, they are out.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on December 11, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    Australia need 3 days more of good cricket to win the Ashes, England need 15. You do the maths.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on December 11, 2013, 13:20 GMT

    Wise words from Bell. Don't rock the boat if you want to play for England - just ask Nick Compton. Of course coaches make a difference. Everyone has noticed the difference with Oz now that Lehmann is in charge.

    With Arthur gone and Flower under pressure, perhaps the era of the micro (atomic?) managing coach is over. I am sure a lot of the players secretly hope so.

  • on December 11, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    So why is Bell hiding behind Root and letting him bat at number three if the coach is not responsible for pulling the strings?

  • CricketMaan on December 11, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    That mentoin about India by any English player in press will keep coming back and haunt Indian fans for few decades unless we can turn it around. A lot have forgotten that India did win in England in 2007 was it?(with some help from weather gods) but that is irrelevant to the current players or fans!!

  • twomarktwo on December 11, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Bell really is a class act. On and off the field. Humble and honest. The Australian cricket team could take a leaf out of his book.

  • on December 11, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    It's utter nonsense to give so much credit of a success to a coach or to blame him for the failure. English and Australian media is full of this stupidity. They praise their coaches for all the glories. It's always players not the coaches who make results. Coaches may be have a 5-10 % hand, nothing more. West Indies of 80s or Austrlia of 90s and onward were not great teams because of their coaches. They were great because they had great players.

  • dreamliner on December 11, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    My personal view on our batting performance is that whilst the shot selection has for the most part been decent, the shot execution has been found to be lacking. this is normally down to lack of application, concentration levels, or indicated more worrying trends such as an out-of-form batsman. Our bowling is under par and unable to restrict Australia to within a gettable target so lets get rid of the specialist spinners Monty and Swann out, Moeen Ali (allrounder) and Robson in; both will add another 100 runs at least, and get KP to apply himself with the spinning ball to jump start his thinking. And seam bowling changes: Stokes or Broad out (they both made 29 runs in the 2nd test and broad took 3 wkts; 1 more than Stokes), Bresnan or Mills in- Mills is the highest EPP wicket taker and the only one to have taken wickets in each of the three EPP innings on this tour. KP should be reminded to convert his 50s in to 100s or else he is next on the chopping board.

  • BradmanBestEver on December 11, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    The spin doctor is out in force. You were not allowed to play well because the other team played better.

    You could not handle the pressure matey

  • BobFleming on December 11, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    @Naresh28 - That's nonsense I'm afraid.. Australia picked the exact same bowling line up on a flyer at Brisbane, and a slow one in Adelaide. England, meanwhile, picked a giant on the bouncy track, and a spinner on the flat track.. How, exactly, is that evidence in favour of horses-for-courses?! If anything, it suggests that you pick your best bowlers regardless of conditions.

  • Naresh28 on December 11, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    I cannot believe that Anderson is just not threatening a bowler on Oz pitches, he was brillant in England. This just goes to show that a team needs - horses for courses policy. Oz have chosen the right bowling combo for their pitches. Well played to Oz they are in line to regain the Ashes though the work is not complete.

  • heathrf1974 on December 11, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    The only thing I could point out is if the English team are enjoying their cricket. Both Flower, Gooch and Saker have done an excellent job. They are very profession, but seem to lack a bit of humour around the side. The only problem is their heads. They need to lighten up.

  • Biggus on December 11, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    If the coach deserves credit for the team winning he has to be prepared to put up his hand when the team loses too. I can't help but think that much of England's disarray in this series somehow involves either Flower or Cook having lost the instruction manual on the flight over. It is a bad plan that cannot be changed.

  • DaisonGarvasis on December 11, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Ooooppsss, did Bell talk a bit too much here? Mitchell Johnson will surely have Bell's number written down somewhere when they come out for the third test. For Joe Root to talk about before second test is one thing but to go out and put it in writing before WACA is different. Johnson may not be as quick as Tait, Lee or Akthar but he is quick combined with accuracy. And to spice it up you have the WACA. Lets see who wins the BELL-JOHNSON Battle.

  • on December 11, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Looks like everyone is in good form and ready bound for a big score. The scoreline clearly doesn't show that.

  • ramab on December 11, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Well that was a candid article by Bell. Be it players or coaches, if they take credit or get praised during victories, they are going to be blamed as well during the losses. That is the nature of this business. I feel that golden run that England had kind of ended after the retirement of Strauss.

  • Kolpak1989 on December 11, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    I don't think anyone is buying this, Ian. You personally batted well in the first innings in Adelaide, but the rest of the team were atrocious. Despite all the talk, as soon as Australia put together a decent session or two the English heads will go down just like they did in Brisbane and Adelaide and we now know that Alastair Cook doesn't have the ability or the imagination to lift his team and force wickets when nothing is happening. Australia will go 3-0 up in Perth and I doubt that the margin will be close.

  • on December 11, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    This article with Ian's view has really pumped me up as a viewer. Though, I am supporting Australia in the series and I will continue to do so, I felt for Ian and his team, too. All the best to both the teams.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on December 11, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    i think england felt ashamed. everytime they refer to johnson, they also include few other names too. It clearly indicates johnson playing in their mind. I also hopes oz never let bell to score in this ashes which he thinks around the corner. But it is not that easy.

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  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on December 11, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    i think england felt ashamed. everytime they refer to johnson, they also include few other names too. It clearly indicates johnson playing in their mind. I also hopes oz never let bell to score in this ashes which he thinks around the corner. But it is not that easy.

  • on December 11, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    This article with Ian's view has really pumped me up as a viewer. Though, I am supporting Australia in the series and I will continue to do so, I felt for Ian and his team, too. All the best to both the teams.

  • Kolpak1989 on December 11, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    I don't think anyone is buying this, Ian. You personally batted well in the first innings in Adelaide, but the rest of the team were atrocious. Despite all the talk, as soon as Australia put together a decent session or two the English heads will go down just like they did in Brisbane and Adelaide and we now know that Alastair Cook doesn't have the ability or the imagination to lift his team and force wickets when nothing is happening. Australia will go 3-0 up in Perth and I doubt that the margin will be close.

  • ramab on December 11, 2013, 3:55 GMT

    Well that was a candid article by Bell. Be it players or coaches, if they take credit or get praised during victories, they are going to be blamed as well during the losses. That is the nature of this business. I feel that golden run that England had kind of ended after the retirement of Strauss.

  • on December 11, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Looks like everyone is in good form and ready bound for a big score. The scoreline clearly doesn't show that.

  • DaisonGarvasis on December 11, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Ooooppsss, did Bell talk a bit too much here? Mitchell Johnson will surely have Bell's number written down somewhere when they come out for the third test. For Joe Root to talk about before second test is one thing but to go out and put it in writing before WACA is different. Johnson may not be as quick as Tait, Lee or Akthar but he is quick combined with accuracy. And to spice it up you have the WACA. Lets see who wins the BELL-JOHNSON Battle.

  • Biggus on December 11, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    If the coach deserves credit for the team winning he has to be prepared to put up his hand when the team loses too. I can't help but think that much of England's disarray in this series somehow involves either Flower or Cook having lost the instruction manual on the flight over. It is a bad plan that cannot be changed.

  • heathrf1974 on December 11, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    The only thing I could point out is if the English team are enjoying their cricket. Both Flower, Gooch and Saker have done an excellent job. They are very profession, but seem to lack a bit of humour around the side. The only problem is their heads. They need to lighten up.

  • Naresh28 on December 11, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    I cannot believe that Anderson is just not threatening a bowler on Oz pitches, he was brillant in England. This just goes to show that a team needs - horses for courses policy. Oz have chosen the right bowling combo for their pitches. Well played to Oz they are in line to regain the Ashes though the work is not complete.

  • BobFleming on December 11, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    @Naresh28 - That's nonsense I'm afraid.. Australia picked the exact same bowling line up on a flyer at Brisbane, and a slow one in Adelaide. England, meanwhile, picked a giant on the bouncy track, and a spinner on the flat track.. How, exactly, is that evidence in favour of horses-for-courses?! If anything, it suggests that you pick your best bowlers regardless of conditions.