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Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 5th day

Cheer up Australia, there's always the North star

With no consideration of reality, Marcus North has already been tipped as a future captain this summer, and this fantasy paints him as Australia's bowling saviour

Peter English at the Gabba

November 29, 2010

Comments: 124 | Text size: A | A

Marcus North celebrates having Andrew Strauss stumped, Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day, November 28, 2010
Marcus North, spin superstar © Getty Images
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Marcus North must be the first name in the XI for Adelaide. If he's dropped for the trivial issue of an absence of runs, how else will Australia get a wicket? With no consideration of reality, North has already been tipped as a future captain this summer, and this fantasy paints him as Australia's bowling saviour.

Don't be so narrow to focus on North's single on Friday or his string of batting failures over the past year. The crucial moment for Australia over the second half of the first Test was Andrew Strauss's stumping. Who was the bowler who delivered the poster ball? That teasing, flighted, wide, drifting, spinning, deadly offering? It was Australia's No.6.

The series is only five days old but already these are desperate times for the locals. Anything is worth a try after seeing how the attack performed. Peter Siddle said before the game the aim was to show it was the best in the world. It wasn't even the most successful in Brisbane. They've got to ask for more from the North star.

Australia's selectors think loyalty to specialist spinners is over-rated, so hand North the role and pick another batsman. On this performance it looks like Australia will need the extra runs over the next four Tests. A tail-ender who makes a century every four games and removes the opposition skipper is invaluable. Let North come out and publicly target Strauss for the rest of the series; let Mitchell Johnson concentrate on aiming for the pitch.

The surface at the Gabba over the final two days provided excellent practice for what should be a similarly barren wicket in Adelaide from Friday. If you're a brave Australian, peek at the scorecard and see that North excelled with 1 for 47 from only 19 overs. Ignore the second-innings total of 1 for 517 declared and search for the positives. Like Coke in the early 1980s, North is it.

Spinners are meant to take wickets in the latter stages of Tests and North got his brilliantly planned breakthrough in the middle session of the fourth day. England were only 188 way back then. Some players, like Doug Walters and Mark Waugh, have that North-like knack of breaking up a partnership before it ruins team morale. Sure, he couldn't repeat the success during the 329-run stand between Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott, but he only got seven overs today.

The most trouble Xavier Doherty, the left-armer on debut, created was when he hit a crack two balls in a row before lunch. Sadly, the person in danger was the wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. Well, he would have been if he'd moved down the legside. He didn't and the eight byes added to his 17 for the innings. It was sloppy all-round for the hosts, with five missed chances - some were hugely difficult - and a slew of sundries.

In the eyes of the selectors, Nathan Hauritz became a worse bowler when he was barely used in domestic games in the lead-up to the series. Hauritz's Test reputation has been enhanced by his non-selection. He could be satisfied if it meant he would be considered for a quick return, but the conservative panel would not countenance such a severe back-flip.

Ponting pushed for Doherty, his Tasmania team-mate, and the move showed the captain's desperation to have a bowler who would follow his orders. Hauritz and Ponting clashed over technique and method in India last month and the spinner lost his place. North will also do whatever his leader wants. In his fragile position he has to.

Doherty had Ian Bell caught in the deep when he was hitting out in the first innings and also removed the No.10 James Anderson. In the second innings, he was as damaging as an indoor plant, returning 0 for 107 off 35 overs. Of the nine spinners who have been trialled since Shane Warne retired, Doherty sits in the lowest bracket along with Cameron White and Beau Casson. Solid state bowlers don't help teams win urns.

Hauritz has been the most successful of the "Not-Warney Nine" and has an enviable home record of 38 wickets at 29.65 in nine Tests. But Hauritz isn't going to be in Adelaide and North isn't going to be dropped, so make North the 10th specialist and get on with it. Best to get some use out of him.

North not only out-performed the specialist spinner, he out-bowled the rest of Australia's attack when the game was in the balance. When you look at a glass it can be half-full or half-empty. In this dream, see North's wicket, not his run.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Peter English

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 2, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

@ raghu1122000, YOU CAN COMPARE ASHES WITH INDIA VS. PAKISTAN SERIES. SAME THRILLING AND EXCITEMENTS YOU TALKING ABOUT IN ASHES ALSO TAKE A PLACE IN INDIA VS. PAKISTAN SERIES.

Posted by HostileJ on (December 1, 2010, 7:15 GMT)

@dax75:All I'm saying is that Aus faught back to put themselves in a winning position without much pressure (other than when hussey and haddin started batting together.one of the best partnerships I have ever seen!) cos Eng only made 260.Eng on the other hand had to fight back from 220 behind with 2.5 days to go,which generally (against Aus) means you can sweet kiss the test goodbye.@raghu1122000:I didnt mean disrespect to other test series.I dont even support Aus OR Eng (go SA!) but because of the sheer rivalry and history behind the Ashes the importance of any psychological advantage is critical.If Eng had to win this Ashes somehow they could pin Aus down for the next Ashes as well.thats what Aus did to them for 10 years.My prediction for this next game is another draw.Trott,Pietersen and Collingwood will rack up runs for Eng - Punter,Clarke and North to rack up runs for Aus.Good game to watch.If theres a result - it will be cos someone took 5 in a session..maybe swann,maybe siddle

Posted by Dax75 on (November 30, 2010, 16:49 GMT)

@Hostile J, Almost as good as the Australians being over 120 odd runs down with 5 wickets in hand, to end up 221 ahead. England should have won the game after having Australia in the position they were in, the tail, or if you could call it that, is next to useless with the bat. England underachieved in this test, how come only a few could see that? Australia saved the test, not England.

Posted by Dax75 on (November 30, 2010, 16:24 GMT)

Ashu123, the Adelaide pitch is reportedly going to be a runfest, oh joy!

Posted by raghu1122000 on (November 30, 2010, 15:44 GMT)

@HostileJ FOR "but this is the Ashes.U cant compare this to any other series in the world"

The most thrilling matches and the most stunning comebacks... far more difficult than what cook and strauss achieved have been seen in aus vs WI andd aus vd Ind matches in the last 10-15 years.. so sorry dude.. yes for the sake of the history you cannot compare this to anopther series.. for the sake of cricket.. there are other series which have more thrilling contests..

Posted by HostileJ on (November 30, 2010, 13:00 GMT)

Fairfan:good point.U could argue that the test bordered on boredom here and there.If I was Strauss I might have made a game out of it by batting faster and declare by the 3rd session of day4,but this is the Ashes.U cant compare this to any other series in the world.The urn is everything to these 2 sides so why jeopardize u'r hold on the prize by trying to achieve a result that seemed highly unlikely by the end of day2?I also think Eng's decision to declare later were justified by the way Ponting and Watson batted in the 2nd dig.Aus wouldve backed themselves to chase anything cos that wicket was so flat,and Eng was well aware of that.Aus have to come out and try and win the 2nd test on the back of a test that they surely thought they had in the bag.few sides come back so strong from 200+ behind and that will stick in Aus's minds!Aus have to come out aggressive in the 2nd test,which could play into Eng's hands.Aus backs to the wall is always dangerous for any side,so this'll be a cracker

Posted by SettingSun on (November 30, 2010, 10:15 GMT)

Swann usually starts a series quite slowly, he'll be ripping it in the second test. Plus, that was two wickets more than Harbhajan would have gotten on that surface.

Posted by raghu1122000 on (November 30, 2010, 10:06 GMT)

@vichan.. pardon me but refresh my memory.... barring marcus was it the same english side of 2005 ashes win that was crushed 5-0 in australia,,,

Posted by spun_thru-thg8 on (November 30, 2010, 10:04 GMT)

The article should have been titled "cheer up Australia a higher ranked, over -hyped side containing the "worlds best spinner" refused to set you a challenge on the last day of the opening ashes test depsite gaining the initiative on a dying pitch", given Norths inconsistency, Clarkes incapacity and Ponting, Hussey, katichs infirmity wouldnt the man whos chasing Shane warnes test wicket tally be unleashed upon an ailiing Aussie line-up. Apparently not, nor would the fearsome English pace attack that didnt need a practice run at Hobart be backed to seize the initiaitve on a cracking deck. Hypothetically if Australia did win the series by one test would Andrew Strauss reflect on an opportunity lost or would he like most of us comfort himself by reflecting on their being no chance of result on the brisbane pitch where the quality of international fielding was the only loser. Mitchell Johnson had a shocker but rated along side the "fearsome" Swann and Broad, he wasnt so far behind.

Posted by Rukus_NZ on (November 30, 2010, 8:22 GMT)

Have people forgotten that it was only recently North needed a "Career saving innings" and he did with a century against India, only to back it up with consectutive scores of less than 5 - His consistantcy is average and just because he got one wicket when the other bowlers couldnt doesnt mean he is instantly the man. Have many Australian fans felt that perhaps, the English batsmen were on fire , and that one mistake lead to a wicket, and that thier bowlers were all striuggling?

Posted by Dubby49 on (November 30, 2010, 6:57 GMT)

Was this article meant to be taken seriously? Actually since North took all the English wickets to fall in the 2nd innings, that's almost as good as a 10fer.

Posted by manav599 on (November 30, 2010, 5:52 GMT)

Though many huge players have retired in the recent past from Australia but undoubtedly Sharne Warne has hurt them the most.After Warne we have seen lots of times they cant even take the last 2-3 wickets (this time they couldnt takes 1st 2) . Like the last Ashes in England Panesar,Anderson ensure a draw. Maybe they should import someone from India or Pakistan who has no chance to play here. That would be better than anyone from Australia except North though ;). Now seriously they should ask Warne or Macgill to train 1 genuine spinner.Or maybe give a chance to Kreja-12 wickets on debue and you never see him again.Seriously guyz there is a problem in Australian Cricket beyond Captaincy and Consistency.

Posted by funkybluesman on (November 30, 2010, 5:52 GMT)

Of course, when having a go at the Aussie spinners, remember that Graeme Swan, currently ranked 2 in the international bowling rankings, got 2/161 in this match too, and the aussies had only barely started their second innings.

So it's not like he did wonderfully while the aussie spinners did terribly.

Posted by Lara4ever on (November 30, 2010, 5:35 GMT)

Hilarious travesty on North and OZ by Peter English... Was rolling on floor laughing reading the well-composed Parody though I'm a great fan of Ozzie cricket.. Really amuses me that many people took this article objectively and on a serious note.. Dougie the need of the hour for Oz.. He will definitely give oz some respite if not glory.. I'd back North for one last chance and if he fails he should be rusticated for ever in favour of Callum or White... D Poms can go in unchanged

Posted by Saddles on (November 30, 2010, 4:35 GMT)

By the end of this Ashes series there are likely to be three players hanging up their baggy greens - Ponting, Hussey and Katich. They are all 35 and can't / won't keep going for ever. That leaves a big hole in our batting stocks and no one is jumping up and down shouting "pick me! pick me!" at the moment. As for a new captain, who should the mantle go to, the cripple at no. 4? He's been plagued by this back problem all his career apparently - you can't captain the team from a hospital bed. Stick with North, if he was from NSW or VIC we wouldn't be hearing any moans or groans would we?

Posted by fairfan on (November 30, 2010, 4:21 GMT)

HostileJ - You seem to have forgotten that in 2001 in Kokata India were 274 runs behind Australia and went on to win the match by 171 runs. They could do so by scoring at a rate of 3.69 in their 2nd innings. The reason why this Test match became a bore in the later stages was due to lack of intent from both sides. I am afraid through out this Ashes we will see such monotonous cricket as both sides are very weak on batsmanship. Barring Ponting, Hussey and Petersen there is no one else to look forward to for exciting stroke play.

Posted by Lahori_Munde on (November 30, 2010, 2:48 GMT)

Let our team be abusive, sledge, cheat and behave like roudies once again. And I am sure we will then regain our winning way once again

Posted by pakistanitiger786 on (November 30, 2010, 0:48 GMT)

i don't agree with the indians...this is after a very long time i have seen a pitch like this in australia..in asia..you see a lot more like thz..it was a good starter..england making a strong statement and ozs not leting their weapons down in front of english men..thats what test cricket is all about..my best wishes to OZs...they have given so much to the world of cricket..

Posted by smudgeon on (November 30, 2010, 0:14 GMT)

So, what you're saying is that Marcus North could be the new Greg Matthews? I'm loving the logic!

Posted by OutdoorMiner on (November 30, 2010, 0:12 GMT)

Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson did drop 2 catches that should b taken at any level of cricket, and there were 2-3 other hard chances. Hard to get wickets when your fielders can't catch

Posted by wezwaz on (November 29, 2010, 23:53 GMT)

On the other hand, Swann proved himself completely useless in this match, never mind how ineffective Doherty was. He has been built up with high hopes on this tour. He won't have any effect and will be taken to the cleaners. Expect more from his batting than his bowling. Make no mistake, he's in for a long, hard tour.

Posted by SRT_GENIUS on (November 29, 2010, 22:53 GMT)

I wonder if Sachin would hit North for 6 sixes when India play Ashes in Gabba next year. It's really surprising to see fine cricketers like KP cant learn from the Maestro.

Posted by Biggus on (November 29, 2010, 21:40 GMT)

@Cloverfield-The Sydney pitch is always a turning wicket and the rest of the wickets here display a range of characteristics, hardly what you would expect if we were doctoring wickets to suit.

Posted by DiggersRus on (November 29, 2010, 21:31 GMT)

I agree with much of the sentiment on this page... I would not read too much into the result of the last 2 days of the match. The runs come from an insipid pitch. As we could see when Australia were put in to bat on the final day... If there was a 6th day I am sure that there would have been another massive 4th innings tally.

Posted by Ashu123 on (November 29, 2010, 20:29 GMT)

this really was a boring test. im afraid of how the other tracks are going to be when the gabba(supposed to be the best aus pitch) was so dry.

Posted by alubukhara on (November 29, 2010, 20:11 GMT)

Hmmm. I smell a rat in the incredible turnaround in the game. Australia went from a position of total strength to almost complete failure. Perhaps the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit should look into this game. You never know. After all Ponting must be thinking of his post-retirement income, and bit of spot fixing won't hurt. Some of the balls bowled by Mitchell Johnson should also be scrutinized. My mother-in-law can bowl more straight than that. Also some of the dropped catches made the Pakistani fielders look good. That dropped catch that Ponting half claimed to have taken, should also be in the spotlight--it looked an earnest enough effort, but may have made him some good cash.

Posted by mukund111 on (November 29, 2010, 19:44 GMT)

lol..I had to look up the section 5 times to realize i wasn't reading page 2..:)

Posted by USfan on (November 29, 2010, 19:39 GMT)

@ 'Peter English at the Gabba(naitor)' I'm sure you could have hoped that this work of the most elegant prose and wit would have ellicited some strong responses. BUT, did you even dream of the actual results exemplified by all these 'comments'??!! What a wonderful way to toss a mega-tankerload of kid-glove-wrapped 'crude petrol' onto the fiery crucible that exemplifies this, and every, Ashes series. Sir, you have single-handedly forged a new layer of existential 'patina' which radiates from that tiny Urn that so magically represents two of the world's finest cricketing programs, sports-lovers, nations and peoples. I DO so hope and pray this masterpiece of cricketing prose is WIDELY circulated so that all current students of the game can appreciate it, AND allow it to feed all of our shared passions! (ips: Do NOT take my username as representing an 'American' perspective nor view, but rather just the location of a neophyte cricket-lover baying from 'the wilderness.' har har har)

Posted by alfredmynn on (November 29, 2010, 19:25 GMT)

The complaint that subcon pitches don't suit bowlers of any variety (and haven't for quite some time) is a valid one. If you guys prepared raging turners that caused matches to terminate in 3 days, that would be preferable to the current state of affairs. A featherbed once in a while is ok; the Gabba's history shows that such matches are rare indeed. However, it is indeed worrying that such pitches are apparently becoming the norm even in oz.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (November 29, 2010, 18:44 GMT)

Great article and so funny! The Australian dilemna shouldn't really be so hilarious EXCEPT for the humourless way Australians are reacting! Reminds me of the nursery ryme about the old lady who wanted to feed her children and the line "... and we she got there - the cupboard was bare!" Come on Aussies ... you've got laugh! How appropraie that the ball (toted as the Aussie secret weapon) is called the Kookaburra? COME ON ENGLAND!

Posted by cricketsimpleton on (November 29, 2010, 17:35 GMT)

Ha ha .. this article should have been in page 2. Aussies can find positives only by this way. Even doherty out scored punter in the first innings. So Can punter/ clarke step down for the 2nd test and doherty can fill their spot. Atleast Hodge or blizzard can fitl in and do some justice to that spot.

Posted by palashboss on (November 29, 2010, 17:20 GMT)

absolutely agree with cloverfield. every team will want pitches that suit them.nothin wrong with that.if india prepared roads for the nz series,what is this? a concrete layered pavement?? huh.. stop cringing at subcontinent pitches. fact is that the aussies no longer have the attack to threaten. digest it, mates. and learn to accept the good with the bad.................. another point is the rankings system. it always seems good when aus or saf is at the top.as soon as india gets to no.1,the whole system becomes a farce. just go and check the records.india have lost only 2 tests in the last 2 years and not a single series.compare that with other sides and u will know that if india have not been terrific, they have been far too ahead of the rest of the field.

Posted by westindiancanadian on (November 29, 2010, 17:11 GMT)

Bang on HostileJ!!! this match was in the balance until just before lunch on day 5!!! 2 or 3 wickets in the early morning session would have changed the entire game as the Aussies would have set a more attacking field and gone for the throat of England. England batted with just the right mixture of attacking and defensive strokes that Ponting just got frustrated and praying that McGraw and Warne would come out of retirement. He could not buy a wicket and now has to reside to the fact that Australia peaked a few years ago and must rebuild.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (November 29, 2010, 16:19 GMT)

Having watched the entire game, I thought, England was more scared of losing, than being positive and go for a win. Even after crossing their mile stones, both Cook and Trott, dead batted their way to declaration. That was the most timid batting I have seen in a very long time. England was scared of losing the match rather than forcing a result. That was the bottom line. Also, with so many cracks appearing on the pitch, Strauss did not bring on "the world's best spinner" Swanny right away with more aggressive field setting. And why not throw the ball to KP? He is a decent spinner too. Just take a chance and at least try to rattle Oz. No siree!! No risk taking there by England.

Having said that, I don't remember the last time when Aus scored only 220 runs in 80 overs in a test match. I guess, both teams were scared of losing, and wanted to make sure this match ended in a draw. Reminds me of the old Ind/Pak test matches, where it was more thrilling to watch the grass die on the field.

Posted by CMIS on (November 29, 2010, 16:14 GMT)

I think this is a bit harsh. Picking on an individual who wants to play for his country is not on, not from a serious journalist. The inference of course is that the selectors are crap, but the reality is that this Australian team, minus Ponting, is just not good enough. Their pace attack (if one can use attack while describing them) is one-dimensional. The selectors left out their best bowler in Bollinger. And I can't for the life of me understand all the ruckus about Johnson. Why is he expected to deliver? It's one of the strangest things that an underperforming player with glaring technical deficiencies has been persisted with for so long. His only performance of note was against South Africa, and he has been consistently ordinary since then. What, we are left to wonder, does he have on Cricket Australia and Ponting? England are the far superior team, again minus Ponting, who is the best player on both sides. England 2-1 with Ponting blazing away as Warne did in 05, I say.

Posted by DesiCricketfan on (November 29, 2010, 15:57 GMT)

NORTH SHOULD STAY, NORTH SHOULD STAY.. We want NORTH to play, We want easy wicket and North's wicket is the ONE. This article is PATHETIC...PATHETIC... PATHETIC. OMG, my 10 year old have more sense than "Peter English". For Australia, stop being biased over the regions and make changes. Drop Ricky as Captain, Drop Johnson, Bring Dougie back... This is good for England. Australian team is panicking and This Ashes will be for ENGLAND GO ENGLAND....

Posted by iwannabehayden on (November 29, 2010, 15:50 GMT)

australia didn't lose, it was nsw's eleven that did. honestly how many state players go to nsw to end up playing for their country. all the successful australian players in this side (except haddin), rein from other states. if you want a spin solution, let someone play for a few tests hey, what did hauritz do wrong? (except move to nsw!) wake up australia, its embarassing.

Posted by the_blue_android on (November 29, 2010, 15:43 GMT)

Bloody aussie flat tracks...they probably needed to play 10 days to get a result. The curator should be given the contract to lay down Australian freeways.

Posted by mensan on (November 29, 2010, 15:42 GMT)

I wonldn't say Gabba is the new Dubai or Abu Dhabi; it's even worse. The tests over there were far more competitive and interesting than this one!!

Posted by inswing on (November 29, 2010, 15:07 GMT)

Featherbed wicket with mediocre bowling attacks. Batting records all around. What is this, SL vs. India in SL? Wait, even that had some decisive results.

Posted by TestOfTime on (November 29, 2010, 15:02 GMT)

Hilarious article. Mr.English, this is a brilliantly written piece. "A tail-ender who makes a century every four games and removes the opposition skipper is invaluable. Let North come out and publicly target Strauss for the rest of the series" is so funny i laughed out loud like a school girl and am now in danger of losing my job. Keep them coming

Posted by beard_fear on (November 29, 2010, 14:58 GMT)

Two average performances in India - a wasteland for visiting spinners - was all it took for Nathan Hauritz to be thrown to the garbage heap populated with half a dozen other post-Warne spinners. Phillip Hughes was dumped after making 4 and 17 at Lord's last year. Usman Khawaja and Callum Ferguson both fell out of favour after one bad tour match for Australia A. Inexplicably, Marcus North remains immune from this phenomenon.

Posted by vichan on (November 29, 2010, 14:21 GMT)

@raghu1122000 you said this is "England with its strongest side in decades": hmmm...I think this is England's strongest side in 5 years. And I think the 2005 team would have beaten this Australian side at the Gabba relatively easy, as their strength was in the bowling and the batting is roughly on a par as today (with 5 of the same top 7).

Posted by Lovetesh on (November 29, 2010, 14:20 GMT)

I liked the satirical tone of the article. Author did his best to cheer up fans after a boring test. Despite all the hype, this series could be a dull affair as both the teams seemingly lacked the firepower to take 20 wickets. If groundsmen need to put extra juice in the wicket to compensate for lack of bowling abilities, let's do it for the sake of test cricket.

Posted by mrgupta on (November 29, 2010, 14:10 GMT)

@Biggus: Few days ago there was an Article which said South Africans are looking forward for having bouncy pitches in Ind-SA series as they failed to get wickets against a relatively weaker team Pakistan. Why wud they want this? Does it not sound like taking "Home Advantage"? Read this article and think before you comment. Name one nation in Cricket which does not want to make wickets to suit its own strength?

Posted by Clyde on (November 29, 2010, 13:39 GMT)

This time English is right. He is a bit like North, in this respect. Now, could North be captain, not play most of the time, and come on as the 'phantom bowler', like the 'phantom raspberry-blower of old London town'?

Posted by Clyde on (November 29, 2010, 13:29 GMT)

What Oz needs is some bowlers who bowl a light ball instead of a heavy one, so it doesn't get damaged from all the banging it in and they can get a bit of swing out of it. There was time when any school player who did not make it swing or cut was accused of being 'straight up and down' and was regarded as not worth a second over. I should think Cook was more bored than anything else by having to go on over 200.

Posted by Salim_123 on (November 29, 2010, 13:14 GMT)

If Australia wants to get back the urn i am saying IF then start from the top. Fire the Chairman of Selctors and get somebody who can take Australia from the mess they are in. For haven sake bring back Philip Hughes and send Watson at 6. That leaves Johnson, please please drop him and bring bollinger.

Posted by Marcio on (November 29, 2010, 13:12 GMT)

Fresh from the glory of only just failing to get those last 9 pesky Australian wickets, the English have failed to even ask the blatantly obvious - why Strauss waited so long to declare? Why did he have to get nearly 300 on the board half way through day 5 before he declared? One can only assume he actually believed that Australia might score, say 250 + in 3 hours, if he declared 45 mins earlier. I mean, why hasn't anyone criticised such lame, negative, unimaginative captaincy? He clearly has no faith in his bowlers at all. And at the end of Day 5! What it does tell you is that even Strauss knew that this pitch was a real gimme, and that even Steven Hawking could have smashed it around here.

Posted by Yotta on (November 29, 2010, 12:23 GMT)

I'm amazed with how quick this idea is being dismissed by everyone. I find it unfortunate that Clarke (back) and Katich (Thumb/Shoulder) are unable to bowl more often as between them and North we would have at our disposal three quality part time spinners of distinctly different styles (and when fit possibly more dangerous than any of the other options available) Its hard to justify his place in the team on batting performance alone, but if Australia's spin cycle continues it becomes a less crazy notion and if he's fit enough to bowl 40+ overs/innings looks almost positive. I wouldn't be so fast to dismiss Doherty though, he looked decent if you consider i) he was on debut, ii) he bowled on a first day and a distinctly flattening pitch, and iii) as JD60 pointed out he would have had another two wickets in the second innings if it weren't for sloppy fielding and inconclusive reviews, iv) he had better match figures than Warne did on debut at the traditionally more spin friendly SCG

Posted by tragicmagic on (November 29, 2010, 12:14 GMT)

I wouldn't read anything into this match other than both teams have popgun attacks on flat wickets. If we are going to get a result in this series we need juicy wickets please, and may the toss favor Australia :)

Posted by Roger_Allott on (November 29, 2010, 12:12 GMT)

The Aussies' sense of humour seems to have become rather fragile recently! Ponting's weakness as captain was shown up shortly after he took the job. It's about time that he stepped aside to allow someone else a shot at organising the team. North and Johnson should certainly be dropped for the second test. I wouldn't drop Hilfenhaus though as some are suggesting.

Posted by cloverfield on (November 29, 2010, 11:59 GMT)

@Biggus - With due respect to you too, as far as I can remember, teams like Autralia and South Africa always prepared fast and bouncy pitches. Weren't these ptiches prepared with the intention of suiting the home team? Will South Africa prepare a turner when India visit them next month? If people criticize India for preparing turners then other countries need to be criticized in the same vein.

Posted by mrgupta on (November 29, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

The Land of Bouncy and sporing pitches... Australia... 875 runs scored on day 3,4 and 5 at the loss of 7 wickets. 300+ runs scored on last day with just 1 wicket loss. Atleast the Indian pitches were better than this "Sporting" wicket. The test matches played in India are much more interesting than this one, this was the Father of "Dead Pitches. The Most boring Ashes test ever.

Posted by rajrele on (November 29, 2010, 11:46 GMT)

the key points are 1) england were too fidgety in the 1st innings, 2) Siddle bowled straight 3) Ponting needs to explain how a team 220 behind with 2 days saves a game ? 4) 517/1 is the best in the matches going on right now and to come in the circumstances it did is surprising 5) All in all england win the points here, I thought after day 3 aus would surely win but if you bowl 152 overs and cant get more than a wicket its a big concern, analysts may want to see how many tests have been saved against aus in this situation in the past 3 years even, answer will be zero, so all in all England have well and truly joined the fight.....

Posted by raghu1122000 on (November 29, 2010, 11:43 GMT)

@sgroggins..... and yet england with its strongest side in decades cannot win against aus...

speaks volumes about the strength and character of the aussies..they are weak, on decline, no great players left(barring ponting probably) , on decline yet england is struggling to get them out....I rest my case..

Posted by HostileJ on (November 29, 2010, 11:42 GMT)

For the majority that seems to think that this was a boring match I would like to ask how much knowledge you actually have in terms of test matches and test series?When you are 200+ runs behind by the end of day 2,your 1st objective is time.You simply have to at least bat to the last session of day 4.IF you do manage to achieve that and have a decent lead the game becomes purely psychological.Test cricket is about momentum thats achieved by either keeping sides in the field OR to bowl sides out in 2/3 sessions.momentum is critical for a series cos test cricket is built around breaking your opponent psychologically.the more often you do it,the more games you will win.Not getting runs are easier to resolve than not taking wickets - thats a massive psychological burden.If Aus wins the toss in Adelaide they can change this perhaps...but if England win it and play half as well as they did in this test...Aus can be in for a very long series if they dont improve their bowling.Hats off to Eng!

Posted by TheGecko on (November 29, 2010, 11:41 GMT)

This is as good as any page 2 article, if not better! Demote Andrew Hughes to page 1 and promote Peter English to page 2, I say!

Posted by SUNDOS on (November 29, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

How the mighty are falling.A few years ago,the likes of Brad Hodge/Stuart Law/Ashley Noffke coudnt find a place in the team.The motor mouth/spoilt brat duo of Ponting and Clarke ensured a quick banishment of the likes of Symonds,the overdose of 20/20 cricket have reduced Australia's pace attack to meek shadows of the giants who strode the cricketing world like the champions of the past.Johnson needs a break,rehabilitate Lee and quickly,risk the blasphemous,by playing 5 out and out bowlers.Mr Gatting so many years ago you conquered the lion in his own den.Andrew Strauss you a re a worthy successor.

Posted by vswami on (November 29, 2010, 11:33 GMT)

Two wickets on last two days in front of empty stands ! What a bore. Blaming the same pitch on which McGrath and Warne took wickets by the buckets is lame. When bowlers have to use their guile and they cant, everyone immediately blames the pitch. As if the groundsmen are obliged to deliver a pitch in such a way as to compensate for the lack of ability of bowlers.

Posted by dscoll on (November 29, 2010, 11:29 GMT)

Aus have 3 players who whould not get into any of the other top 4 test teams: North, Hilfenhaus and Doherty, think about it, who would get dropped from SA,Ind, SL or Eng to be replaced by one of these donkeys.

Posted by www.mail.yahoo.com on (November 29, 2010, 11:20 GMT)

ha ha ha ha:) wonderful article:) couldn't stop laughing throughout:) yeah the curators prepared a national highway on the ground:) i guess aus didn't wanna lose 5 0:):)

Posted by rht_rex on (November 29, 2010, 11:15 GMT)

Rubbish.A lot of bold claims made in this single article!!!!! Don't know about these but one thing is certain that Cricinfo has lost its gravity and sincerity in its articles now a days. You can mimic Aussie bowlers but which team has the perfect combination of bowlers these days??? Has the no. 1 ranked Indian team possess the best combination of bowlers?????????(no way) or SA team....which always go on defensive side(especially if a pitch is even a bit slower), so every team has its problems like Aussies have.After the second innings in the match you look quite confident that Aussie main bowlers always take 0 wickets in an innings.I strongly suggest you to write this type of mimicry columns for all the teams, one each day. Grow up man. Should have rather read a cartoon instead of this.

Posted by slugger1969 on (November 29, 2010, 11:02 GMT)

More Aussie bashing from serial offender Peter English. Albeit tongue-in-cheek, you can read the smugness in his written word. Obviously England lorded it all over the Australians because the Aussies managed to only get 11 wickets for the test match, whereas England managed to take, wait a minute, only 11 as well.

Posted by CMIS on (November 29, 2010, 11:00 GMT)

@Bluey Collar, brilliant point there. I'm sure taking one wicket in 152 overs and one wicket in 26 overs is the same, or for that matter taking 11 in 229 and 11 in 184. That's why the aussies are probably on IVs and the English drinking tea in their hotel rooms.

Posted by Vijay_MatchWinner on (November 29, 2010, 10:58 GMT)

Poms cameback superb and made the most of it. Aussies will definitely face tough time in further matches... BTW, yeah now these pitches too are heading for draw matches? :D anyone to take it?

Posted by Bigbanger666 on (November 29, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

@Scroggins, Couldn't agree more. You summed up things perfectly. Boring and bad!

Posted by rizzz86 on (November 29, 2010, 10:49 GMT)

Hey cricinfo why are you publishing these type of articles .. Australians are taking it serious .. write something real please .. write the same nature of article on Asian teams ;)

Posted by Spotty_Fixer on (November 29, 2010, 10:45 GMT)

Santhosh3186

Agreed about the pitch it was utterly lifeless and never a result wicket. My worry is that it will be worse in Adelaide and Perth.

I may sound biased but I find Test Cricket played in England much more interesting as the balance between bat and ball is much more equal. Compare the first test at Cardiff last year to this one for example.

Posted by Sgroggins on (November 29, 2010, 10:22 GMT)

The Australian team looks boring as well as second rate. North! haha. There are no characters or interesting players to watch, just a set of non-entitities. Katich, Watson, Clarke, Hussey...who are these people. Same with the bowlers. If any of them suddenly retired no cricket fans in any part of the world would even remember who they were. This is the sign of a side in decline.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (November 29, 2010, 10:20 GMT)

I laughed so hard reading this. Even more amusingly, some people took it seriously.

In Adelaide, where it is easy to bat, you need extra bowlers, not batsmen. Harris and Bollinger have to play. Drop Johnson and North and go in with the extra bowler. I know it is risky as you might be bowled out but it gives the chance of bowling England out twice and forcing a result. I just can't tolerate North in the team for one moment longer.

Posted by stormy16 on (November 29, 2010, 10:19 GMT)

I find this article rather distastful and totally unprofessional and doesnt seem to focus on the game and the great back to the wall batting of Eng to save the game. Also top scoreres Cook and Hussey came in with lots to prove and did well - so much real issues to focus on which the article missed. Instead its focusing on North/Aus in a rather childish and distastful manner. Grow up and write something real!!!

Posted by   on (November 29, 2010, 10:12 GMT)

Funny how test cricket seems to be dying in one part of the world and flourishing in another! The same stuff was played out the last 2 weeks between Pakistan and South Africa and people were saying that, that was the end of test cricket! And yet England score over 500 for the loss of one wicket and everyone on Inside cricket on fox sports (In Australia) seem to be claiming it as one of the best test matches.

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (November 29, 2010, 10:10 GMT)

@Rameshn007 - well said, mate! Draws like these make for boring viewing, whether played in the subcontinent or elsewhere. Much rather have pitches which are fast in Aus/SA/WI, seaming in Eng/NZ, spinning in Ind/Pak/SL/Bang. Let the batsment earn their runs!!!

Posted by Santhosh3186 on (November 29, 2010, 10:04 GMT)

One of the worst GABBA pitch one has ever seen!!! If the same happens in India then we all curse the curator... What abt GABBA!!! Ashes is followed by Non Aussie/Englis as well. We would like to see result and result oriented pitches. Is Aus conservative?

Posted by RakarthIX on (November 29, 2010, 9:59 GMT)

Good to see people picking up the tongue in cheek nature of this article lol

Posted by popcorn on (November 29, 2010, 9:56 GMT)

Peter English(are you a Pom?), you should stop writing. You have shown YOUR desperation several times. Don't expect ANYBODY to listen to you, let alone the selectors. If you have been given a column, you should be objective - not in the same league as Dean Jones and Geoff Lawson, who are sttill aching from past wounds. Your sarcasm is wasted. I wouldn't pay even a dollar for your piece.

Posted by Iceborn999 on (November 29, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

Worst article I have ever read, sorry. It was pathetic........

Posted by ravi_hari on (November 29, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

In an earlier article we had discussed about Ponting vs Strauss. I think this test proves my point on how Ponting does not know how to tackle attacking batsman and how Aussie bowlers forgot how to take 20 wkts. in a Test. I think the writing on the wall is very clear. If Australian selectors keep reposing faith on non-performers, they would be relegated to the 8th position. The joke is instead of thinking of people like North, Jhonson, Clarke, Ponting, they are talking about Hussey! What a class act he is. But for him, England would have rapped up the match on day 4 itself. Wake-up Aussies, wake-up. You need to bring in wicket takers and performers. Replace Jhonson with Ryan Harris and North with Philip Hughes. Make Watson your permenant No. 6. It would change the entire mindset and you will start winning again. Finally, I think Ponting has past his time. Aussies should make either Hussey or Watson the captain sonner than later. Hari Ravi

Posted by Spotty_Fixer on (November 29, 2010, 9:34 GMT)

Andrew Strauss has an English mother and has lived in England since he was 7 years old. He's as English as I am. The same goes for Matt Prior whose father is English and came over at an even earlier age. Even KP has an English mother. Under ICC rules Trott qualifies to play for England, what are the selectors supposed to do? I can guarantee that Cricket Australia wouldn't ignore him under the same circumstances.

When Usman Khawaja plays for Australia does that make them Pakistan as that was where that lad was born to Pakistani parents. Good luck to him if he gets picked, he fight show a bit of fight and character.

Posted by rizzz86 on (November 29, 2010, 9:28 GMT)

North must be part of the Australian side. Aussies cannot miss him at any cost. Selectors know that North will perform in one of the 10 Ashes innings. And they also know that North will perform in the 10th inning of the ashes. Another thing that selectors know is, North can only perform in the 10th inning if and only if he fails in his all 9 innings. That's why selectors cannot miss North Star at any cost. He will perform .... Yesssssss.

Posted by danifilth on (November 29, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

wow @warnerbasher good job typical australian not noticing how poorly your team played which in case u didnt notice was 2/10 max and put all the blame on englands south african player wow grow up and realize that Australia has passed there prime long past it and are going to lose the ashes and go a long period of rebuilding in which they will loose many matches

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (November 29, 2010, 9:22 GMT)

Not a very gracious article, Peter. North has had some success bowling at the international level, though. Still, given how poor his batting is, we would have better luck bringing in another spinner and dropping him.

Posted by JD60 on (November 29, 2010, 9:11 GMT)

Ease up Peter, Doherty should have had Strauss for about 60 when Johnson dropped a pud. Give him that and the catch that Ponting took and he gets two in both innings. Fact is there is no spinner in Australia who would have taken more than one or two in those conditions with England batting that well. Furthermore, I think any of the top six sides would have made 500 against any other bowling attack. Not that Australia doesn't have a poor bowling attack, but please save your criticism for Mitchell Johnson.

Posted by raaghul30 on (November 29, 2010, 9:08 GMT)

i think hauritz is the best spin option in AUS... dropping north is not a fair idea... he's a nice spinner.. any how bollinger will be included in the next test. max possibility of johnson to lost his place...

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (November 29, 2010, 8:57 GMT)

I do not think Marcus should be in the team. He just got a lucky wicket. At that time Strauss was tired and thought enough for him and tried to accelerate the runrate. Marcus is selected as a batsman not as a bowler. He has to do his job by scoring.

English will be very happy if Marcus stay in the team. He can probably captain a test team of out of form. Well done CA for keeping him in the team to regain the Ashes in 2014.

Posted by Rockyyyims on (November 29, 2010, 8:56 GMT)

well, its obviously the home team that gets a bashing, whenever there is a drawn test.Let's face it Australia is nowhere near, where it used to be, and thats because of the selectors, no doubt. I can't believe hauritz is dropped, you play him for 20 odd test matches and then you drop him because of one bad performance. I seriously believe that Australia won't win a single test in the series, England's batting and spin is far better than the Aussies, never thought I would write that, but the tide has definitely turned.......

Posted by chriso10 on (November 29, 2010, 8:56 GMT)

what terrible writing, is it sarcasm? irony? an attempt at wit??

i think all australians supporters realise the glory days of our dominance in cricket is waning, with a new team in place, fresh faces and no real superstars in the making. but who cares? i am happy enough to say i grew up all my life watching an Australian cricket team that consistently slayed its opponents. even a draw felt like a loss watching the aussies a few years ago. i personally am grateful for the glory years and its only normal that the wheel turns at some point and the side declines.

we will see how well the India starts faring when they start losing their superstars like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, etc.. dont forget generational change happens in all teams.. and at their supposed peak they could still only pull out a 1-0 win over the kiwis at home.. all im saying is there is a natural cycle for teams in any sport and its part and parcel of being a fan

Posted by Biggus on (November 29, 2010, 8:55 GMT)

@Rameshn007-With all due respect mate Indian wickets are always dead to compensate for a corresponding lack of good pacemen. This is the first time in many years that Brisbane has not delivered a result and was likely a consequence of the groundsman trying to make sure the wicket was good for 5 days despite an unusually wet spring season, so the difference is that this pitch was a one-off whereas Indian groundsmen always make damn sure their wickets are doctored to suit the home side.

Posted by Harrycricplay on (November 29, 2010, 8:53 GMT)

I agree with the author of using North as spinner rather than use Doherty,Smith or even haruitz as they can deliver on good batting tracks. Bring in Bollinger use 4 quicks who can be more effective and use north if the track starts turning.Picking a spinner just for the sake of it is no use.

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (November 29, 2010, 8:47 GMT)

So where is that Cricinfo analysis which was telling the world how pathetic the Indian bowling lineup is in test cricket today while England and Australia were allegedly amongst the top ones? When the pitch stopped doing anything both attacks came a cropper - so much for that wonderful bowling talent. 22 wickets over 5 days of test cricket was brilliant to say the least.

Posted by SupernDutta on (November 29, 2010, 8:26 GMT)

North should be given one last chance to prove his worth and his capabilities in Adelaide....If he fails again he should be SACKED permanently..

Posted by SaifQazi on (November 29, 2010, 8:23 GMT)

ohh my goddd:) for the first time in 10years i suppose, since i have started using cricinfo have i seen an article like this:) i could sense the utter disgust added with in-your-face sarcasm by Peter:) and i can well understand this also, the feeling that alot of Australians would be having after their lacklustre performance with the ball in the last two days of the match.

But forgive me to disagree with it, there is hardly anything one could do on such a dead pitch, that could be used for other purposes also, like baking pan-cakes or letting the traffic use it:) its very important to understand that pitches around the world are of this nature and the game has a dearth of real good bowling talent.

Posted by frommoonman on (November 29, 2010, 8:20 GMT)

3 things tell the tale - ONE: Forget Gabba or 2nd inn or Ashes - when was the last time an international test cricket score board read 517/1? TWO: considering the 128 years of Ashes history, this is the first time Eng have top three all scoring centuries (that too in the 2nd inn). THREE: MJ - Interenational Test Cricketer of the Year 2009 - went wicket LESS for the first time. They all point to ONE thing - Ashes is going to stay with Eng (which may just lead to Ponting retiring after SCG test).

Posted by Satya_Cricket on (November 29, 2010, 8:19 GMT)

This article shows, how weak and disillusioned are Australia. England too could not exploit the weakness of Aussies.

How times change? Such a comment would not be mentioned in the deepest thoughts, when commenting on Australia. Looks like the Ashes will remain with England only.

Posted by Rameshn007 on (November 29, 2010, 8:13 GMT)

So where are all the wisecracks who kept on delivering their expert abuses on the "flat" subcontinent tracks ...:)...500+ on second innings...so either the pitch is poorest or the aussie bowling lineup is ...take ur pick...!!

Posted by ryanakajoey on (November 29, 2010, 8:09 GMT)

Wow, why did you waste your time writing something everyone already knows? What happened in this test was that poor fielding accompanied with some luck for the batsmen and some captaining decisions allowed 5 batsmen to put together 3 outstanding partnerships....neither team will be proud of the bowling, and have issues coming into adelaide...england are in need of a 5th bowler and if you call collingwood a bowler then that's a laugh<) the aussies will know that on home soil there opening bowlers will bounce back, broad and finn are in for a long summer i think and mitchell and xavier can enjoy state cricket the rest of the summer...bollinger in for johnson and hauritz back for doherty. england might well consider dropping a bat or a paceman for panesar in adelaide.

Posted by BlueyCollar on (November 29, 2010, 8:05 GMT)

Did it escape Peter English that both attacks only took 11 wickets. No mention of the British quartet.

Posted by Benkl on (November 29, 2010, 8:01 GMT)

Give Xavier a break he did better than Warne in his first match , and got the same number of wickets as Swann on a lifeless pitch AND had quite a few chances dropped.

I think he bowled great getting movement on day 1 and he kept things tight which is what Ponting wants - he wants the quicks to get the wickets at no stage was he asked to attack.

Posted by warnerbasher on (November 29, 2010, 7:56 GMT)

Congratulations to the 2 South African century makers in this test match. Fine performances and I would imagine that you have put considerable pressure on those players in South Africa A. Well done.When are England coming to Australia?

Posted by anver777 on (November 29, 2010, 7:48 GMT)

Tipped as the future captain for Aus !!!!! are u JOKING...in first place he's not deserved to be in the XI, Steve Smith would have played much better if given a chance, apart from his leg spinners he's capable of scoring vital runs. SELECTORS over to u................

Posted by andrew-schulz on (November 29, 2010, 7:47 GMT)

I hate it when journalists try to be funny, especially the bunch on cricinfo. It just doesn't work. Amid the hysteria that is bound to occur with the narrow-minded bunch of lemmings writing on the game in both countries, remember one fact: one side bowled the other out cheaply once in this game. And which was that? You are unfortunately right about Doherty. How anyone could get to state cricket, let alone Tests with such an abysmal lack of variety is staggering. Almost every ball in the 85-90 km bracket.

Posted by rohanbala on (November 29, 2010, 7:44 GMT)

It looks as though Mr Peter English has joined the Australian selectors in pushing for the selection of the under-performing and overrated Marcus North who has done precious little to warrant inclusion in the team. No wonder, Australia who looked firmly in the saddle after the big partnership between Hussey and Haddin, lost the grip in the Gabba test.

Posted by KingofRedLions on (November 29, 2010, 7:38 GMT)

A somewhat strange article.

Posted by Bigbanger666 on (November 29, 2010, 7:37 GMT)

Typical Aussie bashing from Peter. Unfortunately in this case he has summed things up pretty well. Depressing!!!!!!

Posted by Boris72 on (November 29, 2010, 7:36 GMT)

As far fetched as it is, I agree with it. Not sure if you are being serious, English, but it actually makes some sense. Australia have gone through way too many spinners, I think four of them have only played 1 Test each? How could you judge from that. Especially since the most talented spinner is McGain and he only got one match (albeit a terrible one), but he's too old anyway. Stick with Hauritz, I'm not a fan of him but he's been doing his job and his record shows. He's the third best spinner in the world currently, and the best all round general spinner in Australia. I like Doherty, but no, just no.

Posted by Rohan0309 on (November 29, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

Excellent article! And very true too! Hauritz was cut a raw deal, especially when we've had Ponting making statements like : "Hauritz is definitely on for Ashes" and the likes! Hauritz needs to be ushered in and so does Bollinger. How can a captain leave out the best performing bowler in the last 6 months just because he was playing in the Champions League T20? :)

Posted by safwan_Umair on (November 29, 2010, 7:26 GMT)

North can really give the ball a tweak .... surely doherty has to go, the lad aint test match material. Next test, play north as a regular spinner and add usman khwaja. That will give the aussies real depth in their batting. it was a travesty they played johnson ahead of bollinger! bolly has been australia's tour de force of late and provides bubbling energy to a largely insipid attack. I was watching Mcgrath n warney bowl on highlights yesterday, and even as a neutral i wished they were still playing. Watching Australia play with them n gilly, langer n haydos was a compelling experience. Sadly, the Aussies have really fizzled out since they've retired.

Posted by CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on (November 29, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

YEAH GOOD SARCASM,BUT REALLY SELECTORS GOT TO PUT FAITH IN ONE SPECIALIST SPINNER FOR A LONGER PERIOD OF TIME I MEAN FOR HAURITZ TWO POOR SERIES IS NOT THE BENCHMARK AND REMEMBER THOSE WERE THE AWAY SERIES HE AVGS UNDER 30 AT HOME AS WARNIE TWEETED SELECTORS ARE PROVED TO BE DUMB INCLUDING DOERTHY JUST FOR KP AND IT SURELY HAS BACKFIRED BRING BACK HAURITZ FOR THE ADELAIDE BEFORE THE POMS GO 1 UP THERE EVEN THOUGH SOME MIGHT CONSIDER ADELAIDE AS FLAT TRACK U NEVER KNOW WITH THE ASHES

Posted by shri619 on (November 29, 2010, 7:23 GMT)

bring nathan hauritz in the team there is no other option in spin department....!give him a last chane...?

Posted by joeythekangaroo2 on (November 29, 2010, 7:21 GMT)

I don't think you can start talking about a new make up of the side based on one ball North balled. His first-class and test bowling records show that he is a useful part timer - but nothing more. Australia has to shake-up their attack somehow but somehow I don't think North is the answer.

Posted by RJHB on (November 29, 2010, 7:19 GMT)

Not really impressed with that sarcastic article Peter. So much to respond to but whats the point? Fact: that gabba pitch turned into a road, proved when Australia glided easily to 1/100 in 25 odd overs at the death. No bowler was going to enjoy bowling on that featherbed, least of all a debutant. Fact: England took ONLY the same number of wickets as Australia for the entire test, though I'll happily concede they were definitely the better bowling side for the most part. I think that the only thing this test really provided, other than batting practice for a few happy, yet still lucky at times, batsmen on each side, was one very clear FACT: England, somehow, are a MUCH better fielding side and especially at catching, than Australia. And that could be the real difference in the end.

Posted by rajsri on (November 29, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

Being an indian I have been a great Aussie fan since 1996. The one thing that comes to haunt them now is the way they treated some of the senior talents and players.Nathan bracken was dumped uncceremoniously so to players like clark,Chris rogers, Klinger, Hodge . It looks like the current australlian side is a make shift side and has no promise to show for the future. Khwaja, hughes are still not ready for test cricket.They ned some more domestic exposure.Kreza jason was sacked for one failure in Perth and hauritz was considered ahead of him. It looks like Ponting wanted to have a test side full of tasmanians and not an australlian x1. I used to boast to my friends in india that aussies always select a australlian 11 even if it means all 11 players are from new southwales and this was a clear diffrentiator between aussies and the rest of the world when it comes to selection, coincidently this made them the best in the world. Today that practice has been shelved.

Posted by Okakaboka on (November 29, 2010, 7:17 GMT)

You have got to be joking!!! The Australian team is in Disaster Mode and you want to keep North for his little dolly popper dribbly pretend off spinners? Geez....How many district cricketers are there that are better spinners than North? Bring back McGain for a go...at least he is a real spinner. As for Johnston....well......um....errrr...oh...I know...lets get the curators to double the width of the pitch. He should be able to land most deliveries on it if we do that. .....I suppose we need new stumps too....make 'em out of 4 inch x 4 inch treated pine. Sorry, most of us want North and Johnston out and White installed as captain.

Posted by gzawilliam on (November 29, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

Right Peter i'm trying to figure out if you being sarcastic or your actually serious?

First off. North is in a position that is crucial to Australia right now. 5th bowler and 6th's batsmen. What we are missing is not a spinner but a bowler who can hold up and end and remove a partnership. Also score consistant runs. North is not that person.

So what he took the only wicket. If ricky ponting had bowled he may have taken that wicket and you would be saying use him as the main tweaker. like come on.

I think we were too harsh on Andrew Mcdonald. He was a very good plan bowler and much more capable batsmen. He could surely do more damage than norths offies.

Xavier doherty actually did the best job by a spin bowler for australia since Macgill played his last test. He had control. ( though not helped by the field ponting gave him) and he also actually spun the ball.

Posted by gzawilliam on (November 29, 2010, 7:16 GMT)

Right Peter i'm trying to figure out if you being sarcastic or your actually serious?

First off. North is in a position that is crucial to Australia right now. 5th bowler and 6th's batsmen. What we are missing is not a spinner but a bowler who can hold up and end and remove a partnership. Also score consistant runs. North is not that person.

So what he took the only wicket. If ricky ponting had bowled he may have taken that wicket and you would be saying use him as the main tweaker. like come on.

I think we were too harsh on Andrew Mcdonald. He was a very good plan bowler and much more capable batsmen. He could surely do more damage than norths offies.

Xavier doherty actually did the best job by a spin bowler for australia since Macgill played his last test. He had control. ( though not helped by the field ponting gave him) and he also actually spun the ball.

Posted by satzcrazy1 on (November 29, 2010, 7:12 GMT)

Awesome article from Peter.. As an Indian i wanted to see a result form this match. Aussies normally comment Indian pitches as Flat Tracks.. Its our turn, don't you guyz think Gabba is an flat track or do you guyz think your bowlers are incapable?. Even ponting said a lot about this pitch before the match. So aussies, please stop commenting on Indian pitches, nowadays pitches across the world are made batsmen friendly.

Posted by sajinpaul on (November 29, 2010, 7:07 GMT)

Now then, Peter English seems to epitomize the australian desperation of coming out of the current hole that they are in. I remember Bevan once played as a specialist spinner in the side after his weakness for the short ball came to light. Based on what we get to read, the australian fans seems to have lost faith in the selectors and there is considerable debates on getting their local players selected. I think the australians have lost the inherent courage they had during the last decade, though they seem to show brave faces. It is just a matter of regaining that lost guts. At the moment apart from Ponting and maybe Hussey, I think there is no one the opposition would fear or plan for. After this test, it will take some real heroic efforts if the Aussies have to regain the Ashes. 20 English wickets? Phew!!

Posted by maddaddam on (November 29, 2010, 7:06 GMT)

You got it absolutely right Peter. With Doherty's 2 for 148 (74 av.) and Swann's 2 for 161 (80.5 av.), North's 1 for 48 showed that he clearly outperformed both specialist spinners in the game. Maybe Monty should be given a go???

Posted by jezzcee on (November 29, 2010, 7:03 GMT)

I suspected you were being ironic - but I was wrong. On closer inspection I realised he outperformed Swann as well...2/161 from 51 beguiling overs.

Posted by seley1 on (November 29, 2010, 6:58 GMT)

oh my god, peter english should just be named english as his media is a english like winge. I'm sorry but terrible article worth nothing and in the end no point across. there will be changes in adelaide. one will be the inclusion of ryan harris and most likely doug bollinger. marcus north will be dropped after the adelaide test match and either steve smith or steve o'keefe will take over... even shane watson could move to 6.

Posted by Rahul_78 on (November 29, 2010, 6:56 GMT)

OMG.. Proves the age old saying, Winners have many takers, losers have none! How opt for ponting!

Posted by foramerdrilling on (November 29, 2010, 6:48 GMT)

Fantastic article! Hilarious!Would have liked to see Ponting out in the second innings..

Posted by swervin on (November 29, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

not a bad idea really! but let's face it, the gabba was a road...

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