Australia v England, 2nd Test, Adelaide December 1, 2010

Magical memories, but now Australia under scrutiny

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Match Facts

December 3, Adelaide
Start time 10:30 (00:00 GMT)

The Big Picture

England fought back to show character and ended up controlling the first Test, but they must build on their hard-won momentum to deliver more pain to the ailing hosts. Andrew Strauss already holds the urn so he has an important advantage in what has turned into a four-game shootout. The equation is simple: Australia must win more games than England to reclaim the Ashes.

Given the state of the sides, a local victory will be hard work in Adelaide. The back-to-back games mean both outfits will have some weary men, and the bowlers face another back-breaking week on a surface that feels like paradise for the batsmen. At the end of the Gabba Test, Ricky Ponting couldn't help but laugh at England's second innings, which finished at 1 for 517. There wasn't much else he could do after watching his bowlers provide fodder for Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott.

It is extremely unusual for the hosts to be under such heavy scrutiny so early in a home campaign, but they must discover some sustained form to win some relief. Doug Bollinger and Ryan Harris, the fast bowlers, have been included in the 13-man squad and have been trying to impress in the nets this week. The batting remains unchanged but once again this is an important game for Marcus North, the hit-and-miss batsman, and part-time spinner.

The game here four years ago is still remembered as a nightmare or a magical dream, depending on your allegiance. England entered the final day at 1 for 59, with a lead of 97 and a chance to push for victory. Instead they were rolled by Shane Warne for 129 and Australia sped to a six-wicket victory. England never recovered and the result changed the series.

Form guide

(most recent first)

Australia DLLLW
England DWLWW

Watch out for...

Ricky Ponting was relieved when he was able to leave the Gabba with an unbeaten half-century on Monday. He did enough to show some much-needed form in the Test arena and convince himself he's on target for a huge score. As Australia showed in the first game, they need their captain to fire, and will hope he does it on a ground he loves. Ponting is the leading scorer in Adelaide with 1433 runs, including five centuries and a high of 242, in 14 Tests.

Like Ponting, Kevin Pietersen produced a bright start in Brisbane, with 43 when the conditions were at their toughest on the opening day. Just as he was starting to shine brightly he pushed at Peter Siddle and edged to second slip. Pietersen is desperate for a big contribution and will start at Adelaide sans moustache, which makes him look hungry for runs instead of 1970s fun. The arena is Pietersen's favourite - although that might have changed slightly after his rain rant yesterday - but he has mixed memories from four years ago. He conquered Warne in the first innings with 158, but was bowled trying to sweep on that fateful final day in 2006-07.

Team news

Australia's bowlers are the most nervous groups of players in the country and Mitchell Johnson has already had his card marked unfavourably. Ponting has confirmed Johnson has been dropped from the side after his ineffective performance at the Gabba, with Ryan Harris and Doug Bollinger vying for his place. With a gap of only three days between Tests, the fresh men could provide a huge boost for the already weary side. Expect Bollinger to come in for Johnson, which lengthens Australia's tail, while Ben Hilfenhaus also struggled at the Gabba and will be under pressure from Harris.

Australia (probable) 1 Simon Katich, 2 Shane Watson, 3 Ricky Ponting (capt), 4 Michael Clarke, 5 Michael Hussey, 6 Marcus North, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Xavier Doherty, 9 Peter Siddle, 10 Ben Hilfenhaus, 11 Doug Bollinger.

England's bowlers also found the Gabba pitch tough work but only injury will force them into a change. Steven Finn showed he could extract some extra bounce out of lifeless surfaces, while Stuart Broad and James Anderson also had bright patches. The key for England is to get something out of their highly-rated spinner Graeme Swann, who struggled in the opening game.

England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Ian Bell, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Anderson, 11 Steven Finn.

Pitch and conditions

This will be the first Test in charge for the curator Damian Hough, who has replaced Les Burdett after his four decades at the ground. Hough expects a traditional Adelaide wicket, which means lots of runs and some unpredictable bounce late in the game. "Every year we have been able to produce a sporting pitch," Hough said. "There have been eight results in the last 10 years so I think the characteristics haven't changed." The forecast for the opening day is mostly fine, with a top temperature of 30C, while Saturday's maximum is expected to be 35C.

Stats and trivia

  • The last time Australia drew at the Gabba, they followed up with a four-wicket defeat in Adelaide. That was against India in 2003-04. England last drew the opening Test of an Ashes tour in 1998-99, which they followed with losses in Perth and Adelaide
  • After last week's run-fest, when Cook became the highest scorer at the Gabba with his 235, the players will have to do a lot better to beat the ground's high mark. Don Bradman's 299 is the top score, while England's best is Paul Collingwood's 206 four years ago
  • Two players involved in the match will start it with batting averages of more than 200 at the venue. Brad Haddin's mean is 245 in two Tests, while Collingwood's is 228 after one match.
  • Australia have won 16 of 29 Tests against England at Adelaide, while the visitors have succeeded on eight occasions. Their last victory there came in 1994-95, when Devon Malcolm and Chris Lewis bowled the hosts out for 156 in the final innings.
  • Only four of the specialist bowlers in both squads have played Tests in Adelaide. Johnson has played there three times, while Peter Siddle, Doug Bollinger and James Anderson have played there once.

Quotes

"The bottom line is we've got to find 20 wickets in the game and we've got to pick the bowlers who we think are best equipped, skill-based wise and physically, to get that job done."
Ricky Ponting

"We played a really good three-day game here a little while ago, and it was really valuable to play on the Test square. Our guys enjoyed playing on that surface."
Andy Flower, England's coach

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 2, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    Why is it so hard to find out the final team selections?? I should have thought Cricinfo would have published them somewhere.

    How does one pick a team without this info?

  • on December 2, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Cam, couldn't agree more mate

  • asraruwant on December 2, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    Guys its all predictions for now, we can only know after the match starts in about 3 hours from now, I really dont know how to react to the axing of mitch i know it was necessary but then again what if ? what if he was gonna shine in this test? One thing is for sure the Aussie Tail is now long after Johnsons Axing so this puts extra pressure on the top 7, although i think its a flat deck so 7 good batsmen should be good enough. I really feel if Aussies dont pick Harris in Adelaide its gonna be another blunder. And for sure this should be north's last chance and for some reason i have a gut feel that north is going to get a hundred in this test and take a couple of wickets on the last day. But for the Sake of the Series i would like to see england win this test match and then Australia fight back with a win in Perth, then a Last wicket Draw in Melbourne and then 5 days of immense Drama in Sydney. Final Score line??? 1-1 Drawn Series. Coz these 2 teams are very evenly matched.

  • on December 2, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    Why Johnson? He is a better batsman than North! Don't give him bowling if he cannot take wickets... At least he can score few runs!

    There were 5 bowlers when England piled on 517/1.

    Why him?

  • CandidIndian on December 2, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    The dream team of Aussies as i call it was no doubt an all time great test team with match winners like Mcgrath , Warne ,Gilly, Hayden etc .So all the teams had to give their 100 percent for giving some sort of competition to that team .Aussies have such a reputation that teams still give their 100 percent against them but the problem is team is not good as it used to be now .Hence i am sure we will see such tough decisions from Aussies selectors in future also. Apologies if i am incorrect but as far as i know this is not new with Aussie cricket , they preferred Damien Martyn over Steve Waugh in ODIs for welfare of the team .

  • Fareen on December 2, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Please drop North! Please! Why can't the selectors understand? All the aussie fans know he shouldn't be there and even me from Bangladesh understands he doesn't deserve his place.So many players are knocking @ the door.Play C.White instead of him.White already showed in the practice game just what he can do.And he can give you 10-12 overs of leg spin too.and please play ryan harris,he's a classy bowler.

  • radhegee on December 2, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Australia should have White in place of struggling North . White scored a Ton against Englishmen in australia A game and is in very good form . Its high time now , White should be in the squad as his attacking form could a great help for australia to reclaim Ashes . Even in the tour match north failed in both the innings against england . Its now time to replace western australia's skipper with victoria's Skipper in the australian national team .

  • suzyparker on December 2, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    We got two things from the Gabba. The first is that bowlers find it hard on feather bed pitches - obvious! The second is that England will not be rolled over. They have nothing to fear from a benign attack and this might change their mindset and encourage them to take the aussie bowlers apart. Them we'll see what punter is made of. By the way congrats on 150 caps! I wish the English fans wouldn't boo him. I was at the Oval and gave him a standing ovation, the guy deserves respect.

  • handyandy on December 2, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Bowlers have a right to unhappy with their treatment.

    Hussey, North and Clarke seem automatic selectons even though their performances ove the last few years have been less then stellar.

    Johnson and Hauritz on the otherhand have been generally better performed and yet they are now both gone.

  • on December 2, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    Not quite a surface where some one like James Anderson would relish to bowl, but for certain Swann is going to topple a few Aussie wickets keeping in view the reputation of Adelaide Oval. Not overestimating the strength of pace attack, the Spin department of locals seem to be pretty feeble and it might need some miracle for them to get past the English. Last time round these 2 teams met at the Oval, Colly and KP got a 300+ runs partnership, but still ended up on the losing side. However the difference this time is the absence of McGrath and Warne. All in all, a tough test for Aussie bolwers on a pitch that generally suits the batsmen.

  • on December 2, 2010, 22:30 GMT

    Why is it so hard to find out the final team selections?? I should have thought Cricinfo would have published them somewhere.

    How does one pick a team without this info?

  • on December 2, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Cam, couldn't agree more mate

  • asraruwant on December 2, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    Guys its all predictions for now, we can only know after the match starts in about 3 hours from now, I really dont know how to react to the axing of mitch i know it was necessary but then again what if ? what if he was gonna shine in this test? One thing is for sure the Aussie Tail is now long after Johnsons Axing so this puts extra pressure on the top 7, although i think its a flat deck so 7 good batsmen should be good enough. I really feel if Aussies dont pick Harris in Adelaide its gonna be another blunder. And for sure this should be north's last chance and for some reason i have a gut feel that north is going to get a hundred in this test and take a couple of wickets on the last day. But for the Sake of the Series i would like to see england win this test match and then Australia fight back with a win in Perth, then a Last wicket Draw in Melbourne and then 5 days of immense Drama in Sydney. Final Score line??? 1-1 Drawn Series. Coz these 2 teams are very evenly matched.

  • on December 2, 2010, 20:52 GMT

    Why Johnson? He is a better batsman than North! Don't give him bowling if he cannot take wickets... At least he can score few runs!

    There were 5 bowlers when England piled on 517/1.

    Why him?

  • CandidIndian on December 2, 2010, 19:55 GMT

    The dream team of Aussies as i call it was no doubt an all time great test team with match winners like Mcgrath , Warne ,Gilly, Hayden etc .So all the teams had to give their 100 percent for giving some sort of competition to that team .Aussies have such a reputation that teams still give their 100 percent against them but the problem is team is not good as it used to be now .Hence i am sure we will see such tough decisions from Aussies selectors in future also. Apologies if i am incorrect but as far as i know this is not new with Aussie cricket , they preferred Damien Martyn over Steve Waugh in ODIs for welfare of the team .

  • Fareen on December 2, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Please drop North! Please! Why can't the selectors understand? All the aussie fans know he shouldn't be there and even me from Bangladesh understands he doesn't deserve his place.So many players are knocking @ the door.Play C.White instead of him.White already showed in the practice game just what he can do.And he can give you 10-12 overs of leg spin too.and please play ryan harris,he's a classy bowler.

  • radhegee on December 2, 2010, 19:20 GMT

    Australia should have White in place of struggling North . White scored a Ton against Englishmen in australia A game and is in very good form . Its high time now , White should be in the squad as his attacking form could a great help for australia to reclaim Ashes . Even in the tour match north failed in both the innings against england . Its now time to replace western australia's skipper with victoria's Skipper in the australian national team .

  • suzyparker on December 2, 2010, 18:31 GMT

    We got two things from the Gabba. The first is that bowlers find it hard on feather bed pitches - obvious! The second is that England will not be rolled over. They have nothing to fear from a benign attack and this might change their mindset and encourage them to take the aussie bowlers apart. Them we'll see what punter is made of. By the way congrats on 150 caps! I wish the English fans wouldn't boo him. I was at the Oval and gave him a standing ovation, the guy deserves respect.

  • handyandy on December 2, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    Bowlers have a right to unhappy with their treatment.

    Hussey, North and Clarke seem automatic selectons even though their performances ove the last few years have been less then stellar.

    Johnson and Hauritz on the otherhand have been generally better performed and yet they are now both gone.

  • on December 2, 2010, 18:08 GMT

    Not quite a surface where some one like James Anderson would relish to bowl, but for certain Swann is going to topple a few Aussie wickets keeping in view the reputation of Adelaide Oval. Not overestimating the strength of pace attack, the Spin department of locals seem to be pretty feeble and it might need some miracle for them to get past the English. Last time round these 2 teams met at the Oval, Colly and KP got a 300+ runs partnership, but still ended up on the losing side. However the difference this time is the absence of McGrath and Warne. All in all, a tough test for Aussie bolwers on a pitch that generally suits the batsmen.

  • AKS286 on December 2, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    s.watson s.katich r.ponting m.clarke m.hussey a.voges b.haddin x.dohetry m.johnson r.harris s.clark

  • on December 2, 2010, 17:28 GMT

    The team with better bowling will win the series . The Australian bowlers are facing a lot of flak for the way they bowled at the Gabba, but one must not forget that England were not much better. They need Swann to regain form, and though Stuart Broad bowled well in patches; he will need to hit the right spots on a more consistent basis on a belter like Adelaide. I am hopeful that England will capitalize on the Aussies's weaknesses, but again, Australians have always been at their most dangerous when they were under the scanner.

  • on December 2, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    It is not fare australia should have to give one more chance to mitchell johnson

  • on December 2, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    North was brought in to put pressure on Clarke. Khawaja is in line too. Johnson is Australia's best bet but he need some support from the pitch too to be effective. Hilfi is good but Siddle and Bollinger are just 80s bully bowlers. Australia suffered more by the pitch, poor fielding and bad choice of players. This team may win if England stutters but nothing else. Openers are set so no need to change that. Ponting needs to take his blessings away from Clarke and North and replace with Fergie/Khawaja et al. That will help the team quite a bit.

  • Pink_Thenguin on December 2, 2010, 16:04 GMT

    On a flat track England need a fifth bowler to have a chance of taking 20 aussie wickets. I would favour Shazad, in for Collingwood, with Prior batting at 6, but Panesar also has to come into consideration - he and Swann could be a great spin partnership.

  • ZCFOutkast on December 2, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Hi all a happy zimbabwean fan here, but i love the aussies and rate them as the best despite rankings. good to drop johnson, but with all the trouble of finding the right replacement for shane warne i think you should ignore all the spinners all together leave them to battle each other out in domestic and A games so everyone can see the best one and the whole aus country should back him. Till then use North more, maybe that can justify his inclusion since he's not being dropped anyway, afterall the other spinners dont seem to be performing much more than him anyway. Katich&Clarke(barring his back problems) can back him up. My team for the rest of the series with a four-man pace attack with Watson as backup: 1Katich, 2Watson, 3Ponting, 4Clarke, 5Hussey, 6North, 7Haddin, 8Siddle, 9Bollinger, 10Harris, 11Hilfenhaus. 20 WICKETS! For all the talents of khawaja and ferguson, i can't understand why most aus fans would put them ahead of jacques, hodge&hughes!!Guys be serious!

  • Monk1974 on December 2, 2010, 13:28 GMT

    So whats happened to Geoff Marsh's son, i thought he was supposed to be next big thing. 2007 The bright young things of Aussie Cricket were Johnson, P Hughes, Marsh and Ferguson. Johnson has been poor and the others barely register.

    I'd like to know how a side has average as Australia can afford to ignore, the likes of Rogers, Hodge, Jaques and even Cosgrove.

  • SurlyCynic on December 2, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Hoping for another entertaining exchange between these two feisty minnows. Reminds me a bit of that Kenya Afghanistan game recently. May the best team win, and hopefully they can gain more experience and move up the rankings in the future.

  • on December 2, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Earlier we used to see fast and bouncy pithes in Australia..but perhaps due to their batting vulnerability they decided to have some flat dead pithes this time around.I think Adelaide would be no different...Bowlers get ready for another leather hunt.

  • on December 2, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Good decision, too much respect so far for Mitch. they should have dared to drop Hilfi for Harris and also North for Fergie / Khwaja.

  • ssm2407 on December 2, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    By all accounts the pitch will be another batsmen's paradise...Oh the Joy!.......cant wait for the tedium to start ! This overhyped series is the best medicine T20 has ever had !

  • JonV on December 2, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    drop one bowler? - you've got to be kidding surely!!! what about the failed batsmen?? Clarke needs a spell; North needs to go altogether. bring in some in-form young guns - for goodness' sake

  • Stark62 on December 2, 2010, 11:26 GMT

    LOL

    They have left out their only match winner from the side!

    Yes, he is the type of guy that will be a hit or miss but when he strikes it will mean victory because that's what he is!

    I can't see any match winners in the side!

  • on December 2, 2010, 11:24 GMT

    north is the luckiest man in Australia

  • mogan707 on December 2, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    Bowling is a worry for Australia now.I must say that they there is no settled spinner in the side.they have experimented with as many as five spinners.Dropping Mitch was one of their hardest decisions,but Ryan is not a suitable replacement for him.He has no experience in ashes.Shane Watson is overused sometimes and sometimes underused.Doug Bolinger must give big boost to the team.Peter Siddle must be consistent.Ben Hilfenhaus is probably successful with SG ball and Duke ball but not with Kookabara.Probably Ponting has to rely on many to take wickets.Surely he might make amends with the field placements this time.and finally about Marcus North he is more than part time bowler and if he is used in tandem with either Bolinger,or Hilfenaus pressure can be created and hence the wickets can be taken.

  • on December 2, 2010, 11:03 GMT

    i pray clarke and north to get injured this game... We'll finally have some awesome talent like ferguson and usman to get a nod in!

  • Green_and_Gold on December 2, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    Its a funny thing that - the Aussie bowling attack is said to have been below par in the last match and the English team got some runs. I wouldnt be too worried as an Aussie cause we still have games left to find the right attack (and the Johnson move is a positve one in doing so). I would be worried if we bowled well and they got runs - but that didnt happen. And congrats to Punter for when he walk out for his 150th match.

  • on December 2, 2010, 10:36 GMT

    The big difference here will be The Qualitly of Swann.. waych the new spin king shine, as the ozzys fall away and out of contetion, watch for K.P to pile on the runs andwatch for all you Optermistic Ozzys to reach for the Kleenex.... C mon England...C mon England

  • on December 2, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    Without Johnson.....that is a long tail.....roll on midnight!!! :-)

  • on December 2, 2010, 9:47 GMT

    jonesy2...I think you're missing the point. Broad has been delivering solid performances for England for a while (and made very useful runs in the English season just gone). Johnson is not under pressure because he didn't take a wicket at the Gabba, he's under pressure because he's had a torrid time for months and months.

  • chuckmuchingo on December 2, 2010, 9:41 GMT

    jonesy2 you sum up why Australian supporters are ALWAYS (using your love of the word) foder for England supporters when it comes to comment boards.

    Mith Johnson bowled junk @ 4.06 per over, which hindered his teamates ability to mount any pressure on the English batsmen. Thats why he has been dropped me old china!

    Stuart Broad bowled consistently well at only 2.25 par over, always worrying the Aussie batsmen and allowing Finn and Anderson to attack. Thats why his place is secure. Comprende?

    Incidentally I believe that Bollinger is a fine substitute for Johnson and will greatly improve Australia. Any complacent England fans take note!

  • on December 2, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    England should play with 2 spinners.. hmm, Paul Collingwood is the only player they can drop but last time he made a brilliant knock at Adelaide.. so whom they can drop?

  • KC1977 on December 2, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    Bring on Warney, McGrath, Gilly and Haydos. Thats the only way Aussies can win. Replace North - thats the key factor. North looks like a bowler when he is batting, and a batsman when he is bowling. And he does nothing. He is a great liability Aussies are carrying. Why selectors are not selecting Victorians at all. There are D Hussey, Hodge, Finch, Nannes, McKay who are far better than some of the current guys. Either get few of them, else call Warne, McGrath, Gilly and Haydos.....SOS Aussie Selectors...SOS

  • sweetspot on December 2, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Easy Australia. Don't let Douggie get too much work. We need him fresh for IPL!

  • SettingSun on December 2, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    @Something_Witty - did you also laugh when England hammered your bowlers in one of the most humiliating bowling displays in your country's history?

  • LALITHKURUWITA on December 2, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    It looks like Aussies have begun to fix the team by dropping Johnson. If they continue Aussie will have best 11 players by the end of the series although Poms easily retain the Ashes I assume. I am really looking forward to ODI series against POMS as Ashes is already gone

  • othello22 on December 2, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    LOL The way the media is carrying on you'd think England won by an innings. Fact of the matter is they came very close to getting spanked big time - Wayward bowling and five dropped catches by an unusually sloppy Aussie side is what got them back into the match and far too much praise is being bestowed upon their batsmen. I tipped the Poms to win the series before it began and I'm sticking to that prediction, but the truth is that they are an ordinary side at best and are only a chance to win because they're playing the worst Aussie team for decades. Someone please tell Strauss and co that they ought to get over themselves.

  • Something_Witty on December 2, 2010, 8:49 GMT

    Adelaide will be a draw unless one side has TWO epic batting collapses. Doesn't matter what bowlers go in, they will ALL be fodder on this pitch.

  • SirLen on December 2, 2010, 8:13 GMT

    Once again an Aussie attack that will not be keeping the English batsmen awake at night. The decline looks terminal to me, could be a fair few years before the Ashes are relinquished by England.

  • angrywarden on December 2, 2010, 8:04 GMT

    When you say Ponting is the highest runscorer at the Adelaide Oval, I assume you mean test runs? I suspect Darren Lehman would have a few more than 1400 in Shield and list A...

  • Rohan0309 on December 2, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    High time Bollinger got in! He can change the look of the Aussie pace attack with the new ball.

  • jonesy2 on December 2, 2010, 7:35 GMT

    weve already concieded defeat by dropping mitch. hilf had to get dropped instead. if clarke is injured which im pretty sure he is, he shouldnt play in this test. if katich is injured which im pretty sure he is, he also should rest. broad only got one wicket in the match and that was an injured katich i love how there is NO talk of him being under pressure haha that sum up why england will ALWAYS be inferior to Australia. Go the Green and Gold!

  • mrmonty on December 2, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    I beg you CricInfo. Please stop the KP eulogies.

  • BDHUNTER on December 2, 2010, 7:16 GMT

    i think Harris should play....... For the next test best combiantion can be 1. Watson 2.katich 3.Ricky 4.Clerk 5.Hussy 6.Haddin 7. S. smith 8.R Harris 9. Xavier Doherty 10. Peter Siddle 11. Doug Bollinger.

  • Micgyver on December 2, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    Thank god Davo47 is not a selector.You sound like a guy who would scream "fire fire run run!!" at the first sign of smoke. Its great to see Bollinger in for Johnson who has been bowling melons off the wicket for a while now.I'd love to see Harris play too but if he doesnt,i think Hilfy deserves another crack. As for North well..he's likely to score a hundred now.

    I agree with Redneck.How the hell isnt Ricky's 150th Test being mentioned in the press.What a bloody disgrace from any so called cricket journalist who hasnt mentioned this!Peter English is probably 1 of those guys...

  • on December 2, 2010, 7:01 GMT

    Also note that Michael Hussey averages 95 at the Adelaide Oval and Michael Clarke averages over 100 - both with 5 tests at the ground

  • on December 2, 2010, 6:51 GMT

    this test is going to decide the series aussiess will come back and show .they are the best......

  • on December 2, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    Gilly4ever u r spot on mate.... north needs to be dropped for good. aussies are making a terrible mistake by persisting with him. bad bad mistake

  • nzcricket174 on December 2, 2010, 5:51 GMT

    Bollinger and Harris are must haves! You cannot leave either of them out. They are the two top seamers in Australia at the moment. You also forgot to mention that the last time Collingwood played here he got a double century and they still lost the game and that it is Ricky's 150th test.

  • catalyst213 on December 2, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Flat pitches in the sub-continent ??? Don't remember any opposition posting 1/517 in the 3rd innings against the home side. Any comments.....Gideon/Ian Chappel ??

  • biscuit2009 on December 2, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    Actually, Australia has a great team. The problem is that no-one is in red hot form. Hussey and Haddin scored their centuries after a long streak of low scores. Siddle got a one-off six wicket haul. They absolutely need to drop North and bring in Khawaja/Ferguson/S Marsh. Bowlers like Starc, McKay and Harris need more international experience before the WC 2011. I happy that Johnson is dropped. England on the other hand are all in some form and balanced. Cook will get another hundred while Swann will rip through Aus. Series: Eng 2-0

  • on December 2, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    There have been way too many praises for the english team once the first test ended but lets face it that even their bowling dint look as if they could come anywhere close to taking 20 wickets in the first test, while the australian players have been in the media for the wrong reasons. I feel trott's was an over statement, i dont uderstand why is everyone criticizing the aussie's so much, they are a champion team with match winners and all they need is to click which hopefully they'll do in this match. I really hope ricky does really well in his 150th match, he's a legend and a champion for me. Good wishes to the aussies from Pakistan :)

    P.S: Plz everyone stop talking about so many changes in the australian line up, all this wont do them any good. Because, if they make way too many changes, by the time they'll feel the right combination is achieved, the ashes would be over.

  • on December 2, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    I don't know what the selectors are thinking. Apart from the lucky wicket of Strauss, Hilfenhaus deserves 2 be dropped 4 Harris. He has no 5-for's in test cricket, while Harris has taken 9 wickets in his 2 tests.

  • chickenpoo on December 2, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    Im a no1 Johnson fan but i must admit, he should have been dropped. He's lost his pace; rarely getting it over 140km/hr, has no swing and no accuracy. I agree with the selectors there. But thats all i agree with. Hilfenhaus should make way for Harris and Siddle should make way for Copeland as they are in form while the otheres are not. And then there's Marcus North!

  • mvkk on December 2, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Only australian selectors would be able to tell why North is in the team,this guy scores a hundred only when it is said to be his last test, perform or perish. bring in somebody else many are awaiting to shine on the big stage give them a chance. you have white,marsh,ferguson,usmank....common enough of this North Star. England will look upto Swann now, he has a point to prove here coming to Australia as the top ranked spinner in the world.

  • landl47 on December 2, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    I was a little surprised, after hearing how easily the Adelaide pitch plays, to learn that 8 of the last 10 games have produced results. This was the low point of the last tour for England, who put up a massive first innings score and then lost with a dismal display of batting (Collingwood apart) on the last day. They'll be looking to put that right this time. If the game does take spin in the later stages, it's advantage England; Doherty was economical, but too fast and flat for test cricket. I'd be happy to see Bollinger instead of Harris, since Harris looked the better of the two in England and Harris is a much better bat. With Dougie in, Australia's tail starts at 8. England need to bat better in the first innings and get one more wicket cheaply than they did at the Gabba. If Hussey had gone first ball, as he nearly did, England wins that test easily. Slight advantage to England going in, but a draw might be the most likely result.

  • Kart_in_Quartz on December 2, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Get Harris in place of Hilf... Sometimes a small surprise could be pretty beneficial... And Bollinger anyway in place of Mitch who is out...

  • Cmac389 on December 2, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    Bring back hauritz! He got 5 the other day and has proved that once again the selectors were wrong!

  • SmashingBaby on December 2, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Peter English, you said that "There wasn't much else [Ponting] could do after watching his bowlers provide fodder for Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott." You're far from being the only person to say it, but I completely disagree. Ponting has always been a conservative captain, and he showed that tendency on day 4 once again - at one stage he had 1 slip in for Johnson! It looked like the field between the 30 and 40 over mark in a ODI. I would have liked to see 3 slips, 2 gullies, and a big gap at cover, and Ponting tell the bowlers to just pitch every ball on or outside off. Obviously they would get some wrong, and without sideways movement a few would probably have gone through the covers off the middle of the bad, but I doubt they would have conceded many more runs than they did anyway, seemingly with no plan, and eventually they would have gotten an edge! Of course, the slips would have had to actualy catch the edge...Anyway, point is, Ricky: You must attack more!!!

  • on December 2, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    guys enough of the moustache jokes, give it a rest....pietersen's moustache is for the 'movember' fundraising and for a good cause.

  • PATHANIAS on December 2, 2010, 4:07 GMT

    This is absolutely pathetic to drop Mitchy. Look at his past , he has won so many matches for kangaroos. Not only with bowl but also with bat. Nobody is consistent. for that matter drop ponting drop clarke drop north.....????? If they stick with Mitchy it will be a boon. Dropping him will mean that they are under a lot of pressure and they just cannot win.

  • on December 2, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    The English came into this series as favourites. After three days of play it was Australia who were on top and England had to play out of their skins to achieve a draw. But going by the numerous articles it looks like England have won the game comprehensively when in fact they just about managed to salvage a draw. They did worse than Australia in the first innings and either team could pick only 11 wickets! Australia's bowling appeared toothless in the second innings and the dropped catches didn't help their cause but England fared worse since their spinner hardly threatened in either of the innings and was clueless when Hussey and Haddin were going great guns. Yes,Finn did take 6 wickets but it was after Australia had taken a comprehensive lead,compare that to Siddle who got breakthroughs at crucial junctures[When KP was going strong and later when Bell and Cook were threatening to build a big parternship]. Going into the second test,it's pretty even stevens.

  • MinusZero on December 2, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    North and Hilfenhaus better perform or be dropped. I see lots of comments about dropping Clarke but other saying that he shouldnt be dropped because of his performance over the last 12 months. That means nothing at all. The team needs to be picked on current form. Go ENGLAND!!!

  • Rj123 on December 2, 2010, 3:41 GMT

    clarke,north,johnson need a break for this test match,it must b very tough on dem. Bollinger,harris and ferguson can replace dem,australia still bats till no.7,also i feel WAtto shud concentrate on his bowling a bit,dat can help australia,as far as spin dept is concerned,all aussie options r no options really

  • Scgboy on December 2, 2010, 3:35 GMT

    Good catch redneck. congratz Ricky! A true mile stone and your right many are not so privileged.

  • Shane on December 2, 2010, 2:58 GMT

    @Davo47: Shaun Marsh or Phil Hughes in for Katich - seriously??? Katich has been the glue of the top order for the last couple of years. He along with Ponting is probably one of the least likely to be dropped. His one failing is not converting as many of his 50's into 100's as everyone would like but otherwise he is very sound. As you point out changes have to be made in the attempt to find a winning combination but I think this is one we can do without.

  • smudgeon on December 2, 2010, 2:50 GMT

    I think with the Rug on board in place of Johnson, we'll have a much happier attack that can bowl all day and keep the pressure on the English batsmen. I don't see the wisdom in swapping Hilf for Harris, however, I do like Gilly4ever's suggestion of dropping North for Harris and going for an attack of four quicks (plus Watto) + one spinner. If they want to take 20 wickets, that'd be the way to ensure it - and as long as the batsman hold up their end of the bargain (which they should in Adelaide) then there's a better chance of an Australian win. However, it'd be a bold move considering the shaky form of the batsmen, and (Doherty's selection aside) the selection panel haven't really shown they're willing to get too creative just yet.

  • on December 2, 2010, 2:48 GMT

    Davo47, Katich is Australia's rock. The current opening partnership is performing well and they complement eachother. Plus he is a great fielder and in the 4th innings can bowl some incredibly aggressive spin when there is no back-to-back game to follow. He hasn't even been underperforming so there is no reason to drop him.

  • Chetan007 on December 2, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    Johnson was a good player and the pitch at Adelaide will support the kind of bowling he bowls. With just one bad game, he must not be dropped that too at the good balling surface. The combination of Johnson, Bollinger and Harris woluld would be the best out there. but as Johnson is not in the 13 member squad Siddle should be given a chance to play.

  • kitten on December 2, 2010, 2:29 GMT

    North should be jettisoned immediately. He just scores in single digits, and in his place Australia can either have Ferguson, or even another bowler....a four pronged pace bowling attack? Australia is certainly weak on the bowling front, and if they want to get twenty wickets, then they should pack the side with competent bowlers. The batsmen will take care of the scores. Once Ricky and Clarke start firing, all will be well, take note and watch. This second test will certainly be more watchable??

  • katandthat3 on December 2, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    They had to drop Mitch. He'll be back but for the moment he needs to go back to 1st class cricket and not think about things too much. He's trying too hard to be a batsman instead of picking his ball to launch and have fun. He probably had that attitude in the preceding Shield match but tightened up in the test. Harris has to come in for Hilf too. Then Hilf can come in for Siddle in Perth. With Fergo knocking up a fine ton last night, there is more heat on Snorky to get some this test, North has to come out like Hussey did 1st test if he wants to keep playing for Australia. Go Aussies.

  • Naren on December 2, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    Anyway North has been terrible. It won't hurt to go with Harris instead of North. He might score more runs as well.. lol.

  • eyballfallenout on December 2, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    Play both Harris and Bolly, with siddle

  • SRT_GENIUS on December 2, 2010, 2:20 GMT

    Maybe Harris will do well here, but let Harris face the master blaster... let's see if he really has what it takes to be at the top level.

  • FiddyHolt on December 2, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    @Davo47: Definitiely agree with Harris, Bollinger & O'Keefe in the team.. their omission in the first test defies logic. And yes North needs to go, he has been afforded too many chance. But replacing Clarke and Katich, our 2 most consistent batsmen of the past couple of years?? Not understanding that one.

  • satanswish on December 2, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    If Bollinger is not 100% fit, it would not make any substantial difference to weaker aussie bowling attack. England will continue to pile runs against such toothless bowlers.

  • on December 2, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    Adelaide = Draw (Australia 600-6dec, England 595 All out, Australia 210-4dec, England 70-0) Match finished 2 hrs early on agreement....

  • on December 2, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    Would be fun to see Aussies go down at Adelaide... :) they dont look the unit they once were.....

  • Stevo_ on December 2, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    @Davo47 If S.Marsh ever plays for Australia, I'll be disgusted. 56 games @36 batting avg. Surely you must be joking?

  • Something_Witty on December 2, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    I burst out laughing when I read about England supposedly controlling the first test. Yes, getting bundled out for 260 on a good pitch by an attack that, in their eyes, is toothless, and then conceding a 220 run lead is definitely how you control a test match. Yep. Oh wait that doesn't seem right, I think it's the other way round.

  • maccaroo on December 2, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Gimme a break. Australia let the game get away from them. Yes, perhaps England had the potential to do something great here and cause an upset, but in reality they were nowhere near a victory - which is what matters in the end.

    Maybe if, once having established a lead of 100 for 1 wicket, Cook and Trott had picked up the scoring rate and put on a decent total... Then the English bowlers could have had a real go at the Australian batsmen. Unfortunately they just sat there slowly building up their personal tallies.

    If England wants to win the Ashes they're going to need to grow a pair and start taking the chances that are given to them.

  • David47 on December 2, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    Australia (probable)?? - no, no, please - both Bollinger AND Harris MUST PLAY. Harris is the best quick in Aus - has been for the last 12 months. Then we can get the best spinner in Aus in for Perth (Steve O'K) and the third best quick to replace Siddle (Copeland), and get rid of North and replace him with S Marsh/C Lynn/G Bailey/Usman K/Fergie/A Finch. Then in Melbourne we can replace Clarke (with another one of the above) and Katich with S Marsh or Hughes. So, by the time we get to Sydney the job will be done (at least in terms of the playing team) - WON'T IT SELECTORS/NEILSEN/PONTING??

  • redneck on December 2, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    bit disapointed with the australian cricket journos at the momment. their too caught up with calling for heads to roll that not one of thems done anything about this being ricky 150th test! well done ricky on reaching the mile stone! not too many have done it before. hopefully you celabrate with a win and prehaps double hundred too. come on aussie!

  • chickenpoo on December 2, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    So many other bowlers in Australia can be considered; Butterworth, Copeland, Swan, Cameron....etc

  • Iceborn999 on December 1, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    Great news for Australia!!!!. Dougie Bollinger will be an asset to us Aussies in this test. His never say die attitude and heart will be appreciated by Ponting, as well as his awkward style accurate bowling. It would be nice to also see Harris as well but hey. don't stress the selectors too much. I think the Aussie attack will benefit from this greatly. Siddle, Bollinger and Hilfenhous is a steady attack that will have greater control with the influence of Bollinger, there should be a different attitude from the whole attack out on the Adelaide oval as well. You could just see in Brisbane the wides that were being bowled and the look on the Aussies faces. Come on Australia

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 1, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    Drop North and bring in Harris, then we'll talk. If Johnson is bad, North is horrible. In Adelaide, we need extra bowlers, not batsmen, and Harris is quite simply Australia's very best bowler, in amazing form, and in full fitness. It is suicidal not to play him.

  • thebrownie on December 1, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    What magical memories are you talking about ?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • thebrownie on December 1, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    What magical memories are you talking about ?

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 1, 2010, 23:47 GMT

    Drop North and bring in Harris, then we'll talk. If Johnson is bad, North is horrible. In Adelaide, we need extra bowlers, not batsmen, and Harris is quite simply Australia's very best bowler, in amazing form, and in full fitness. It is suicidal not to play him.

  • Iceborn999 on December 1, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    Great news for Australia!!!!. Dougie Bollinger will be an asset to us Aussies in this test. His never say die attitude and heart will be appreciated by Ponting, as well as his awkward style accurate bowling. It would be nice to also see Harris as well but hey. don't stress the selectors too much. I think the Aussie attack will benefit from this greatly. Siddle, Bollinger and Hilfenhous is a steady attack that will have greater control with the influence of Bollinger, there should be a different attitude from the whole attack out on the Adelaide oval as well. You could just see in Brisbane the wides that were being bowled and the look on the Aussies faces. Come on Australia

  • chickenpoo on December 2, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    So many other bowlers in Australia can be considered; Butterworth, Copeland, Swan, Cameron....etc

  • redneck on December 2, 2010, 0:19 GMT

    bit disapointed with the australian cricket journos at the momment. their too caught up with calling for heads to roll that not one of thems done anything about this being ricky 150th test! well done ricky on reaching the mile stone! not too many have done it before. hopefully you celabrate with a win and prehaps double hundred too. come on aussie!

  • David47 on December 2, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    Australia (probable)?? - no, no, please - both Bollinger AND Harris MUST PLAY. Harris is the best quick in Aus - has been for the last 12 months. Then we can get the best spinner in Aus in for Perth (Steve O'K) and the third best quick to replace Siddle (Copeland), and get rid of North and replace him with S Marsh/C Lynn/G Bailey/Usman K/Fergie/A Finch. Then in Melbourne we can replace Clarke (with another one of the above) and Katich with S Marsh or Hughes. So, by the time we get to Sydney the job will be done (at least in terms of the playing team) - WON'T IT SELECTORS/NEILSEN/PONTING??

  • maccaroo on December 2, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Gimme a break. Australia let the game get away from them. Yes, perhaps England had the potential to do something great here and cause an upset, but in reality they were nowhere near a victory - which is what matters in the end.

    Maybe if, once having established a lead of 100 for 1 wicket, Cook and Trott had picked up the scoring rate and put on a decent total... Then the English bowlers could have had a real go at the Australian batsmen. Unfortunately they just sat there slowly building up their personal tallies.

    If England wants to win the Ashes they're going to need to grow a pair and start taking the chances that are given to them.

  • Something_Witty on December 2, 2010, 1:01 GMT

    I burst out laughing when I read about England supposedly controlling the first test. Yes, getting bundled out for 260 on a good pitch by an attack that, in their eyes, is toothless, and then conceding a 220 run lead is definitely how you control a test match. Yep. Oh wait that doesn't seem right, I think it's the other way round.

  • Stevo_ on December 2, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    @Davo47 If S.Marsh ever plays for Australia, I'll be disgusted. 56 games @36 batting avg. Surely you must be joking?

  • on December 2, 2010, 1:35 GMT

    Would be fun to see Aussies go down at Adelaide... :) they dont look the unit they once were.....