Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day

England secure opening-day honours

The Report by Andrew McGlashan

December 16, 2010

Comments: 128 | Text size: A | A

England 0 for 29 (Strauss 12*, Cook 17*) trail Australia 268 (Johnson 62, Hussey 61, Haddin 53, Anderson 3-61, Tremlett 3-63) by 239 runs

Paul Collingwood held a stunning catch to remove Ricky Ponting, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day, December 16, 2010
Paul Collingwood held a blinding catch to remove Ricky Ponting © Getty Images

Australia's problems continued on the opening day at the WACA as they struggled to 268 against more impressive bowling from England, but even that represented a fightback after another top-order meltdown. Chris Tremlett was the stand-out performer on his recall with three wickets, while James Anderson shook off concerns over jet-lag with three for himself. During the morning the hosts were in tatters at 4 for 36 but managed to haul themselves to respectability as Mitchell Johnson top-scored with 62.

Mike Hussey's prolific form continued with 61, as did his strong partnership with Brad Haddin who made 53, yet it's a sign of the problems Australia are facing that they need to cling to half-centuries as moments of success. The lower order rallied with some style, but that can't gloss over more worrying failures from the top of the list as the country's leading batsmen struggled to adapt to home conditions.

England's openers survived 12 overs until the close with Alastair Cook upper-cutting a six to third man, but Andrew Strauss flashed a chance past Hussey in the gully which the fielder didn't appear to pick up in the setting sun. The quick bowlers tried banging the ball in, although Ryan Harris was off target and there wasn't much swing for Ben Hilfenhaus. It continued to make a stark contrast to England.

Tremlett is playing his first Test since 2007 having been preferred over Tim Bresnan as Stuart Broad's replacement. That was always the likely move and he was rewarded in his first over when he won the battle with Phillip Hughes and troubled all the Australian batsmen. Michael Clarke could only offer a weak waft outside off to end another unconvincing display and in between Tremlett's two early successes Anderson claimed Ricky Ponting, for the third time in series, when Paul Collingwood held a stunning catch at third slip. Although not quite the drama of Adelaide at 3 for 2, 3 for 28 wasn't much better for Australia.

It fully justified Strauss's bold decision to bowl first, eager to keep the pressure on Australia's fragile top order. If it wasn't for the UDRS, England would have struck in the first over but Shane Watson was reprieved when replays showed the ball had struck thigh pad and not glove on the way down the leg side. However, the visitors didn't have to wait long as Tremlett immediately made an impression. After a couple of short balls to Hughes he pitched one fuller which the left-hander tried to play to leg and was bowled. As during the 2009 Ashes it wasn't the actual short ball that did for Hughes, but more the set-up.

Tremlett almost added Ponting without scoring when extra bounce found the edge but it flew between third slip and gully, but he only lasted 10 deliveries. Collingwood's grab at third slip won't be bettered in the series as he flung himself high to his right and the Australia captain was left with another low score.

Following Clarke's brief stay, which won't have quietened the debate about whether he should be Australia's next captain, Watson and Hussey were in a similar situation to Adelaide of having to halt England's charge. Watson, though, wasn't as confident as with his twin fifties last week and departed when Steven Finn's pinpoint yorker struck boot before bat. This time a review didn't save him.

Smart Stats

  • Ricky Ponting averages just over 41 in matches played in the last two years. In 73 matches between 2002 and 2008, he averaged over 65 with 27 centuries.
  • Australia's 268 is their third lowest score against England at Perth since 1986. In the previous Ashes Test at Perth, they made only 244, but went on to win by 206 runs.
  • Michael Hussey has scored over fifty in all his four innings in the series. He has 401 runs at an average of 100.25 so far.
  • Chris Tremlett,playing in his first away Test, picked up 3 for 63. This was his fourth three wicket haul in seven innings.
  • Mitchell Johnson's fifty was his first in 2010 and fifth overall. In 2010, he averages 13.56 while his overall average if 23.23.

Steve Smith supported Hussey until the lunch interval before being superbly worked over by Tremlett in a manner that shouldn't happen to a Test No. 6 and England sensed a quick kill. However, after a period of weathering the storm Hussey and Haddin started to open their shoulders. Haddin used his feet in Swann's first over and Hussey took three boundaries off Finn's next over, the first taking him to his fourth his fifty of a prolific series from 98 balls, and it needed a superb delivery from Swann to end his stay. Initially the umpire didn't give the decision, but Matt Prior was so convinced he signalled for the review while celebrating and Hotspot proved him spot on.

It was a timely blow for England because Finn didn't last much longer before leaving for treatment on a tight calf after his 11th over. His previous three overs had cost 28, but to England's relief he returned to the attack in the final session. With Finn not fully fit, it put an added burden on the other two pacemen and Anderson responded with a fiery spell. He removed Haddin when Swann held another cracking catch at second slip then speared one through Ryan Harris, who at least managed to open his account after the king pair in Adelaide, and he exchanged words with Johnson at the non-striker's end.

For Johnson it was a vital innings, his first contribution to the series after his horrid Brisbane display. He looked far better than some of his top-order colleagues, driving through the off side against the quicks and peppered the leg side against Swann. With just the final two wickets for company he didn't hold back before picking out square leg with a pull.

Siddle and Hilfenhaus took up the attacking mindset, unleashing a barrage of shots during a final-wicket stand of 35 which shook England a little, until Swann returned to have Hilfenhaus taken at short leg. The final total was better than it may have been earlier in the day, but it's slim pickings for Australia at the moment.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 4:36 GMT)

It's time you all look at the current scores :P Well Done Australia on a good fightback!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 2:58 GMT)

Aussie had a great run. won a lot. beat every one. That was never going to last forever. Now they have to do what NZ have to and forget the past. Learn from the present. prepare for a future that's not going to be as easy as it was when the class players were around and look to perform as best they can.

Posted by CoreyP on (December 17, 2010, 2:42 GMT)

And this morning proves my point....gotta take those catches!!

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 2:04 GMT)

"I don't know why its hard for Australians to understand that, Your talent is not decreased nor that are you guys playing bad. But other countries like England, India & SA has increased their potential and their cricketing talent." Still I believe in Ausis'. You have to come up with the team effort now, not by changing the Captain or bringing Shane Warne back. . ... Now stop listening to others and work up to your true potential. Come up with flying colors. Surprise us again. Eng's are bowling well but you raise your bar and face them with your bat.

Posted by dr.thirsty on (December 17, 2010, 1:01 GMT)

Hands up if you just knew that the Ozzies would choke at the thought of actually getting a Beer in? Seriously though, they may yet regret not having a frontline spinner for this test (which should have been Hauritz of course). Love reading Marcio's comments - always finds a positive! If his house was burning down he'd probably think 'Oh good, let's make some toast' Did anyone else hear, I think Chappeli, on Channel 9 reporting the selectors official response as to why Johnson practised in the nets rather than play a Shield game? Something along the lines of 'it was better for him to bowl in the nets against Ponting & Hussey than play a Shield game against a team with no international batsmen' If this is true then I'm absolutely gobsmacked! Shows what the selectors think of the domestic setup.

Posted by CoreyP on (December 17, 2010, 0:31 GMT)

Everyone is jumping the gun a bit and missing something....In this series and yesterday was a perfect example- England have held their catches and Aus havent. Aus have dropped some easy catches at crucial stages of gun Eng batsmen. Even Pontings last night-99% of the time he would of came forward to catch it. England have taken some screamers and Aus have dropped some sitters. Catches win Matches!! If we drop catches-bowlers get upset-it puts more pressure on them then Eng post a huge score which then puts pressure on our batsmen. Honestly if we'd held all our catches things wouldnt look as grim as they do. Also Smith looked shaky-not ready for test cricket. I thought Ponting looked good early but unlucky to get out to a screamer catch..Clarke will stay in until end of series-he did make 80 odd last test. Watson needs to bat down the order-lots of starts but doesnt go on. Siddle is not in our best 11-he bowls some rubbish. Hilfy to stay at least he swings it. Be patient with Hughes.

Posted by Australia17594 on (December 17, 2010, 0:27 GMT)

@landl47 Yes. that 7 runs would of made a difference. Smith is the new generation we can't stick with D.Hussey as the new allrounder. White is no allrounder, he's a batsman.

Posted by jr1972 on (December 17, 2010, 0:21 GMT)

Great days cricket. Not as one-sided as some are suggesting and hats off to the Australian lower middle order for the dogged fight back. England continue to look a tidy outfit in the field but I can't help feeling that Australia scored 100 runs more than a truelly ruthless side should have let them. Can't wait to see today's action.

Posted by   on (December 17, 2010, 0:08 GMT)

I can't see anything happening but England piling on another huge score and leaving Aus trying to bat out the last 2 days to salvage a draw. A lot has been said about Aus decline but you cannot take credit away from Eng. The mark of a great team is a complete batting and bowling line up, which Eng seems to have. All the great teams (WI and Aus) have had complete teams and it looks like potentially this Eng team could be a great team. For this same reason expect to see India ripped apart by SA, a great batting line up + an average bowling line = an good, but not great, Indian team. Hoping SA and Eng will have home and away test series soon so we can see the 2 best teams in the world battle it out.

Posted by longdonkey on (December 17, 2010, 0:07 GMT)

John Ide says " Phil Hughes got done by one GREAT ball and every know-all in the country screams for his head. Leave Hughes there (continuity fellers) and give him a chance." I bet you were one of the get rid of Marcus North crowd where's your continuity then. For the record If Hughes played forward he would have kept that ball out. If he played back he probably would have kept it out. But he tried to play a forcing shot from the crease across the line and missed it. Play straight - NO TECHNIQUE. SA had a guy called Paul Nobes in the 80's who played similarly and couldn't get near the Australian team despite getting a mountain of runs. What's the difference? Answer : Where he's from.

Posted by xjoburg on (December 16, 2010, 23:55 GMT)

nice on landl47. the reason you have some Southafricans to play on your team is that they can't make the Southafrican team

Posted by jazzmaster on (December 16, 2010, 23:42 GMT)

OK 5Wombats, let's do away with the umpires and have the batsmen decide when they're out. So Hussey didn't walk - big deal! The umpire's finger didn't go up so he had every right to stay at the crease. And how do you know what Hussey did or didn't know? If he still didn't leave after the referral reversed the decision, that would be an issue worth commenting on but up until then it's a non-event. People only play the "gentlemans' game/integrity card" when it benefits the side which they support. I look forward to the day when, according to your Utopian ethics, acquitted but guilty criminals confess their guilt when the judge or jury get it wrong.

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 23:41 GMT)

I'm mystified as to why so many people think Shaun Marsh is the answer to Australia's prayers. He's 27 years old, has a first-class average of 38 and just 6 centuries. In a pinch he might do a serviceable job as a stand-in, but that's not the kind of record that says he ought to be a top pick for a test team. Even more mystifying is why David Hussey has never played a test. He's 33, has an average of 55 and 40 centuries. Now THAT'S a test player's resume.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 23:29 GMT)

After all the hoo ha about Mitch Johnson he did a damn sight better than his captain. One wonders if Punter should stand down and Clarke with him...wake up selectors for heavens sake we are the laughing stock of the world. Full marks to England we were outplayed AGAIN.

Posted by arebee on (December 16, 2010, 23:05 GMT)

@landl take Strauss,Pietersen,Trott and Prior out of the English side and put their respective English born replacements in the side and see how weak it is.

Posted by ygkd on (December 16, 2010, 22:45 GMT)

Steve Smith's joker role is working. His batting made me laugh uncontrollably.

Posted by da_team on (December 16, 2010, 21:14 GMT)

England are batting very well and there bowling has been brilliant, theres no fluke here they look dominating but as an Aussie fan i sit and watch every ball and still have hope that they will turn it around. I havnt heard an Idian fan on this matter talk them selves up might be because of there batting in there test against SA lol it needed to happen YAY Go the Aussies and go South Africa.

Posted by 5wombats on (December 16, 2010, 20:20 GMT)

@Kitschiguy; ha ha ha! @Marcio; we have agreed about a few things recently - but not about the possibility of an Aus win. Sorry mate - can't see it. @Something_Witty; we finally agree about something = the probability of an England win. Mind you the logic which says Englands bowlers are useless and it's dire Aus batting which is handing England the Ashes is lost on me, The net result is the same = England win the Ashes. Is there any circumstance at all in which you might credit Englands bowlers and batsmen!? It lookis to me as if England are just better than Australia in every position 1 to 11. If Hussey qualified - he would not be good enough to get into the current England team. Also - when England batsmen snick it to the keeper - they walk. Today Hussey knew he was fair dinkum - but he didn't walk, I didn't like that. I'm looking forward to a couple of days of sensible work with the bat from England. After that Something _Witty you can enjoy watching how useless Swann is again. LOL.

Posted by Mr.Bogs on (December 16, 2010, 20:08 GMT)

@ jupiterlaw "On paper, this looks like a solid Aussie team so I can't fathom why England are manhandling them with such seeming ease at the Aussies own grounds. Are the Aussie that bad or are England that good? I am really puzzled." I am more concerned that you are puzzled! Without sounding too biased, I believe that England have and are proving themselves to be a great team, finally! Aus are waning in former glory and Ponting must stop throwing the teddies out of the pram! It must be painful for Aus fans, but do not put down England's performances.......credit where its due, they look and are world beaters!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 20:01 GMT)

Re Satanswish...

Let Clarke play, give the rest of us a shot at Lara Bingle.

Posted by Sajeesh.M.S on (December 16, 2010, 19:54 GMT)

Everyone is mentioning about Australia's batting and bowling failures. I think the fielding too is making the difference. England are taking half chances while Australians are not even accepting relatively easy ones..In the second test, it was Trot's direct hit that started the collapse.Yesterday it was Collingwood's brilliance that gave England the momentum.

Posted by phoenixsteve on (December 16, 2010, 19:54 GMT)

@LGHH (too many names by far!)... England are not counting their chickens, We instead are bemused watching them run around in circles- minus heads! COME ON ENGLAND!

Posted by ToadSage on (December 16, 2010, 19:41 GMT)

Adding to my note (if it gets posted bfr this one)....Last England Series was against Pakistan in Aug-Sept......and then it was straight into ashes.....note the difference between having rest and not having rest!!!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 19:09 GMT)

Great day for England despite some evidence of throttling back to allow Australia to get past the 100.150 and 200 run mark! Now the Aussies of old (and the WI) would have completely nailed this first innings. Face it Australia you are up against superior forces and will not regain the ashes this time! There's no disgrace in losing - as much as you all hate it! losing to this current England side is something most test teams would also be experiencing! And what about India..... wow! :¬) COME ON ENGLAND!

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 19:05 GMT)

England played the best cricket in the first day and they deserve the position they are in now, but it could've been a little better if Anderson was not off the par. But no complains whatsoever. Now England has to bat for a long time and make the Australian bowler work hard for the wicket, there's no looking back for England now. All they've to do is just play to the merits...Its all good in the hood for the Englishs'....

Posted by Rajesh. on (December 16, 2010, 18:59 GMT)

Aussies being Aussies expect them to fight back..... but the momentum clearly with England !!

Posted by Kitschiguy on (December 16, 2010, 18:07 GMT)

Michaela Johnson said before the series tarted that he would target Andrew Strauss. It's a pity he decided to do it with his mouth instead of the ball.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 17:59 GMT)

@dilip. Stop dreaming. Look at ur team in sa. worlds best batsmen are looking like sitting ducks . Tigers at home and wet tigers abroad. ha ha

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 17:55 GMT)

Just a special little note to Rob Anderson. Top two batsmen in the series averages (England and Australia): Cook and Bell. Top 3 wicket-takers in the series (England and Australia): Anderson, Swann and Finn. All English born. We actually only picked some South-African born players to give Australia a bit of a chance.

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 17:47 GMT)

Comments on comments:@jupiterlaw: the answers to your questions are yes and yes. @Australia17594: so you think the 7 runs Smith scored, which North might not have scored, will be crucial? @righthandbat: Harris is 31. How much better are you expecting him to get?@popcorn: right- Smith scored an immensely mature 7. @Something_Witty: you got that right. Finn, who's 21 and in his first year of test cricket, hasn't bowled nearly as well as one of the all-time great bowlers the game has produced. However, his 11 wickets for 367 in the series compares pretty well with Johnson, Bolly and Hilf's combined 2 for 451. Of course, he was only bowling at Australia while they had to bowl at England. What did you see that was better about Johnson? He wasn't accurate, didn't move the ball and was bowling around 140k. Is that what you were hoping for? @sona123: I agree. Ponting shouldn't be imprisoned. He's playing badly and captaining worse, but he's not a criminal.

Posted by r1m2 on (December 16, 2010, 17:14 GMT)

Is this is the first instance of a team playing two pace bowlers touching 6'7" in height?

Posted by suresh_sksj on (December 16, 2010, 16:56 GMT)

Ricky it's time u decide about your future ASAP else you will be down the drain soon....I recollect a line from Clint Eastwood's movie Magnum Force ...." A man should know his limitations "......guess Ricky does not know that....and that Rome did not last for ever, he should accept the fact that CHANGE is the only thing in the world that's permanent...and it's other teams time to come up and dominate world cricket....Ausies your days of domination is done with....accept the fact...even Chappel, Healy, Shane, Billy, Slates...in the commentry team keep talking of Ausies coming back and dominating again.....god..... where do these people come from.....it's now time for Eng, Ind, SA to dominate guys....time over for Ausies....the quicker you guys digest that the better Dear Punter..leave a graceful exit, else you'll be consumed by critics who will lable you as one who lost the Ashes 3 times in a row, though you may have got the WC thrice..but that's pajama cricket...Ashes is ASHES

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 16:56 GMT)

Another confident performance from England and an inept performance from Australia's top order. The lower order showed how good this pitch is. If England survive the first hour tomorrow for the loss of one or two wickets, they should get a big score. Australia's bowlers didn't bowl very good lines or lengths, although Harris and Hilf did get one or two up. Strauss had a little bit of luck, which everyone needs against the new ball. Comment of the day: Ian Chappell. "Ponting is in great form, he just keeps getting out." Laugh of the day: Anderson catching Johnson, standing there with arms spread in triumph and then collapsing with cramp. Worst shot of the day: Clarke- that looked like a #11 hanging his bat out. Worst move of the day: Johnson sledging Anderson. Anderson promptly bowled Harris with a real quick one. Fan comment of the day: Sohel Dalal. I might have said that myself. Wait a minute- I did.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 16:22 GMT)

England have done themselves proud by another fantabulous effort of bowling Aussies out within the days play. They have made intelligent plans and have played according to their plan. Poor Australia are not having an end to the horror show they have started and it looks like English will romp Australia this summer. Finally they have realised their class.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 16:07 GMT)

Agonised Australian fans and some enthusiastic supporters of England in this series are ascribing Aus.' woes already in this match to individual failures - in the Aussie top-order, in the 'toothless' Aussie bowling line-up, to the Aussie selectors' arguably desperate chop-and-change policy. But little seems to have been said in this discourse about Strauss' captaincy. His repeated and measured public warnings (as reported in the press) that 'this game can bite you back' will have been emphasized time and again in dressing-rooms team-talks, and the England squad - this time - will have been salutarily warned (!) that chickens cannot be counted. Psychologically, Strauss proves himself thereby the best England captain since Mike Brearley.

Posted by Tom_Bowler on (December 16, 2010, 15:52 GMT)

Hey Dilip, just to let you know mate this story is about a Test match between England and Australia, India aren't actually playing so commenting on India seems a bit irrelevant. You're in luck though, India are actually playing a Test in South Africa right now. Why don't you check out the score?

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 15:29 GMT)

Tremlett apart England did not bowl as well as in the previous two Tests but they were still too good for this Aussie side outplaying them in all departments.Collingwoods catch was outstanding-almost as good as the one I saw him make at Bristol to dismiss Hayden.Time for Captain Grumpy to call it a day.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 14:58 GMT)

Not a snowball chance in hell India can do any good in S.Afr..

Posted by Marcio on (December 16, 2010, 14:51 GMT)

Despite the abysmal top order batting, I saw some positive out there. This was not an easy wicket to bat on in the first couple of hours, and 350 would have been a decent score. There is still a bit in the wicket, although (as usual) England will have the easier track to bat on, so if Australia bowl well I think they can do Eng for 360 odd. The pitch will be at its best on days 3-4, and I see no reason why Australia cannot rack up a really big score in the second innings and push for a win - as long as the lead is not much more than 100. Like I said, they will need to bowl and field really well. They CAN do it. It's time a few of these guys stood up and demonstrated a bit of self belief. It was heartening to see Johnson batting so freely. He looked happy and confident, which is exactly the spirit Australia need. Time to lighten up and enjoy their cricket.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 14:40 GMT)

Phil Hughes got done by one GREAT ball and every know-all in the country screams for his head. Leave Hughes there (continuity fellers) and give him a chance. Shaun Marsh should be the other opener and Watson down to No 4 or 5. Has it ever occured to people that Watto is playing wounded and can barely run to bowl? Look how he was walking in Adelaide, thats why they selected 4 speed merchants. Ponting really needs to get his head sorted out early and follow the poms and Hussey. Even in 4th Grade, we learned, if its moving from off then LEAVE it. Drop Clarke to make way for Marsh and put Smith at 7 not 6. However this team really needs a spinner. For my money Huritz or Steve O'Keefe, as both would boost the batting also. Beer may or may not make it but God almighty, his shield figures are uninspiring and his selection smacks of risk and desperation.

Posted by AsherCA on (December 16, 2010, 14:03 GMT)

nkjakajack, Commentators before Sydney 2008 used to say "brave umpire" if any umpire gave Ponting out LBW - Note, the umpire had to be brave, not right ! Almost every time Australian batting was in trouble, the Aussie #6 & # 7 would get "lucky" with umpiring decisions with umpires missing edges OR imagining edges depending on whether the appeal was for a caught behind OR LBW. Conversely, Umpires would imagine edges OR miss edges depending on whether Australians appealed for a catch OR LBW. Result - "Lucky" Australian batsmen got multiple battings in the same innings & the innings of "unLucky" opposition batsmen were cut short under only 1 cricket rule - "Umpire's decision is final". UDRS has eliminated all of that. Australia can only blame UDRS for their current miseries. They would still have continued as ICC's #1 ranked team with 1000's of runs coming from their top 7 & 100's of wickets to show for their over-rated cricketers, if UDRS had not been introduced

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 16, 2010, 13:47 GMT)

Just about every argument here is valid..One thing is for sure Clarke is now a dud....its gone...I'd be surprised if he wasn't dropped from the NSW team batting the way he is. Hughes, Smith (sadly) just looked out of their depth. WHITE must come in....blood him for Captain.. There is no way on earth Clarke qualifies for this job. We all screamed (justifiably) for North to be dropped. Clarke's shot today was disgraceful for a test cricketer. The look on his face as we walked off was also a concern....like...."Who cares...there is always next time!" Yeah right!! I think Finch and Khawaja deserve a go..or Marsh maybe. Build for the future...yes David Hussey deserves a game...but to what end..so does Klinger...but their age makes it pointless. I'll give Siddle this; he fought and battled for his 35 today....this is the attitude we want...he is by no means a champion but gives it everything. Hopefully the bowlers will do this tomorrow...all of them. Hilditch...go ...you are killing cricket.

Posted by Bang_La on (December 16, 2010, 13:45 GMT)

The scorecard looks like of Bangladesh, tail-enders saving face :)

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 13:41 GMT)

Have to laugh at the Aussies trying to get under Strauss's skin at the end of the game, pick your bottom lip up lads and do your talking with the bat & ball.

Posted by KAIRAVA on (December 16, 2010, 13:40 GMT)

@ Dilip Senth: Just to justify your point of view. Have a look at these stats: India was the only team to have won more than a test match against the mighty Australia at their peak when they had WARNE, MCGRATH, GILCHRIST, HAYDEN all playing together in the final XI. In fact, in matches where all these greats played in the team, Indians managed to win 2, lost 3 and drew 1 match to tally an impressive win/loss ratio of 0.66 against the Aussies. South Africa came a distant second with a win/loss ratio of a meagre 0.14 having managed to win only 1 test and losing 7 in 9 tests against the then all conquering Aussies. England was a close third with a win/loss ratio of 0.07 having won a solitary test in 16 tests and losing 13 tests in the process. No other team ever won a test match against Australia when the legends Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden all played together in the same final XI of a test match.

Posted by Puffin on (December 16, 2010, 13:29 GMT)

This coming day's play will be crucial to Australia. Early wickets are essential to give themselves a chance, the situation is such that they are now pretty much relying on England to have a poor day with the bat, just in order to keep alive some chance of regaining the ashes. Bowling of the type that led to 1/517, etc, won't help.

You just can't keep getting bowled out for under 300 on what seem to be good batting wickets, it piles too much pressure onto an already ordinary bowling attack. 4-0 to England does not seem impossible anymore, never thought I would consider this.

Posted by jupiterlaw on (December 16, 2010, 13:11 GMT)

On paper, this looks like a solid Aussie team so I can't fathom why England are manhandling them with such seeming ease at the Aussies own grounds. Are the Aussie that bad or are England that good? I am really puzzled.

Posted by shafqatameer on (December 16, 2010, 13:10 GMT)

Although I am a fan of English team and I love to see England winning even against Pakistan but Australia should win this game in order to keep this series alive... Next match should be a Draw and the last match which would be Decider should and will definitely be won by England..:p

Posted by tomphillips on (December 16, 2010, 13:07 GMT)

@ Dilip Senth - England won the ashes in an '05 against a side that included ponting/hayden/Langer/Martyn/Gilchrist/Warne/Mcgrath/Gillespie (past it admittedly). Hussey couldn't even get in the side! Hardly a weak line up!!!!1

Posted by Blakey on (December 16, 2010, 12:46 GMT)

The best part of UDRS is the reduced number of frivolous appeals. The players are starting to realise how silly they look when they appeal and then won't go for the 3rd umpire. This is reducing the stress on the umpires as well.

Posted by allblue on (December 16, 2010, 12:33 GMT)

A comment about the UDRS. I was pretty wary of it originally, and I think it still needs a bit of tweaking, but am being won round and it worked perfectly today. If Watson had been walking off in the first over knowing he hadn't hit it, or if Hussey had gone on to a ton with both Swann and Prior knowing he had snicked it, no-one would have been happy. The other two reviews that showed Watson being hit millimetres outside the line, and then Johnson having his leg bail trimmed both fell within the margin for error inherent in the technology, and so the on-field umpires discretion being upheld was perfectly acceptable IMO. As long as we accept that the technology is not perfect, and the on-field umpire makes the marginal decisions it is a positive development I would say. Another great day for England, all they have to do is keep their heads, and with Captain Sensible times two in charge, I'm confident they will do just that.

Posted by 5wombats on (December 16, 2010, 12:30 GMT)

GOOOOOOO.. ENGERLAND! @Something_Witty - I'm starting to appreciate your sense of humour now having seen Australian batting crumble again. Bad (neh SHOCKING) batting from Ponting, Clarke, Haddin. Oh dear oh dear... Bad batting against ordinary bowling; I know how hard this is to take having seen England do it so many times against Australias ordinary bowling between 1989 - 2005 (sic). Finns bad bowling (LOL) is irrelevent. I'm just stunned at how the Aus batting just completely lacks application and method. At least none of you Aussies on here are under any illusions anymore. @landl47 - are we twins separated at birth? - spot on comments, as always. Tremlett - as predicted, looking very dangerous. This game is not yet done and dusted - but if England get to lunch tomorrow with only 1 down - it'll be one-way traffic after that. I'm LOVING IT!

Posted by MM100 on (December 16, 2010, 12:29 GMT)

Not that I want them to get any better, speaking as an England supporter, but can someone explain what David Hussey has done to offend the Aussie selectors? It's not just that he's a really fine batsman, he has the added advantage that, like his brother before him, he's been outstanding in county cricket for years and so might have something of an aura where England's bowlers are concerned. I've heard rumours in the past about Hodge and Jacques being unpopular in the dressing room, which might explain their omission over the years, but Hussey always comes across as a top bloke and a good team man (again like his brother). Still, the longer he's out of the side, the better England's chances.

Posted by RashidSurya on (December 16, 2010, 12:25 GMT)

very great day for England. Thogh i'm a bangladeshi, i support England in cricket. I've been watching Ashes past 10 years. But never found England so dominating. And as far as Aussis' concern, they're my fav enemy. It's a joy to watch they're been defeated.

Posted by WilliamFranklin on (December 16, 2010, 12:15 GMT)

Well done Tremors. Bresnan would have done a job but Tremlett is a class above as a bowler.

Posted by ashes61 on (December 16, 2010, 12:09 GMT)

Despite the batsmen struggling, wickets falling regularly most of the day & a ten minute innings break, we still saw almost 300 runs in a day. Tomorrow, with in-form batsmen totally focussed, an old ball for most of the day on an absolute belter of a pitch, England's domination of a rather poor seam attack should garner 350 runs at least, probably more. Assuming a total of around 700 for not many wickets towards the close of the 3rd day, Strauss's declaration should be followed by the Australian batsmen beginning their two-and-a-bit days of necessary resistance on Saturday evening. Odds on how long it will last, anyone? Predictable accusations of arrogance, of course, will tend to ignore the one thing working against any Aussie improvement - England's absolute refusal to let it happen. Whichever side Australia had put into the field for this series it would not have been nearly good enough to trouble this excellent team. Flower has done - and is doing - a superb job.

Posted by imja on (December 16, 2010, 12:01 GMT)

Axe Ponting Clarke Smith and replace them with White Hodge and with Hauritz and see the wonder

Posted by cricodile on (December 16, 2010, 12:01 GMT)

Ponting and Clarke are pretty big names in Australian cricket. Look at their batting records. But its obvious that their records have depended greatly on opening batsman. When Hayden and Langer ( or any other better pair ) was there - Ponting and Clarke would frequently come when score was 100+. now they have to face the new ball and their weakness are exposed. No wonder neither have been able to get going for a long time. Australian selectors should consider this in their future selection ( or not for that matter).

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:58 GMT)

4 Point Strategy for Australia for the IVth Ashes Test

1.Replace Michael Clarke with Usman Tariq Khawaja 2. Ricky Ponting at No.6 and Michael Hussey at No.3 3. Its time to bring new fast bowlers - Try only new Fast Bowlers - Do not consider Siddle, Harris, Bollinger, Johnson or Hilfenhaus - Try the best performers in the current domestic season.choices: Moises Constantino Henriques, John O'Keefe, PR George,James Peter Faulkner- complete new faces 4. Nic Maddinson/Michael Klinger instead of Steven Smith/Bear/North

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (December 16, 2010, 11:48 GMT)

Just got back from the WACA...

What a day! England are firing at the moment and one more day of really good cricket tomorrow could be terminal for the aussies.

if it wasnt for the 10th wicket runs the damage woulda been much worse and the aussie crowd tried to wind pietersen up while he was fielding, which may prove to be unwise....we will see.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 11:40 GMT)

India is the only team that challenged Australia during their peak drew a series in aus and almost drew another 2-1 (Sydney) .sa only won against very weak aus team ,even England won ashes against very weak aus team. during Australia's peak days drawing a series was considered big achievement.only India was able to do that.

Posted by Dismayed on (December 16, 2010, 11:39 GMT)

What a surprise most batsmen out playing an arms length from their body with no footwork. This has been happening for most of the last 2,3 years. Get rid of the so called coach, Hilditch and Cox. Beer in the squad then not picked? what a disgace. Picking a side for the first 2 hours of a test match. Disgraceful. Cameron White or David Hussey or both must come in to be the next Capt.& VCapt. So my side Khawaja, Watson, D.Hussey, C.White, M.Hussey,S.Smith,T.Paine,S Okeefe,Johnson,Harris,Copeland. Plenty of guys going around who will show some guts.Unlike Clarke and co.

Posted by Australia17594 on (December 16, 2010, 11:36 GMT)

Point is. Would North done worse than Smith?? I certainly think so...

Posted by Chapelau on (December 16, 2010, 11:36 GMT)

Interesting stat - England's average partnership in the series so far is 89, Australia's is 34, but take Hussey and Haddin out and it's only 25 - (another) big problem for Aus therefore is they cannot build partnerships - maybe when rebuilding the side they need to look for grafters who can build an innings?

Posted by righthandbat on (December 16, 2010, 11:32 GMT)

I think that after this test Smith should be returned to domestic cricket with Clarke and Harris (yes, he is bowling well, but he would benefit from a few more games in domestic cricket). The order should be restructured to include Jaques as an opener with Hughes, Watson down to 3 (being the most reliable batsman), D. Hussey at 4, M. Hussey at 5, Ponting at 6, Haddin at 7, Johnson 8, Hauritz 9, Siddle 10, Hilfenhaus 11. Blooding new players now is dumb and experience in first class or test cricket is necessary for the remainder of the series. Sure, this list probably won't win but it has a much better chance than the current lineup. Players of the future need to be incorporated into the team after the Ashes in a transition period.

Posted by HerbertAnchovy on (December 16, 2010, 11:31 GMT)

In picking Smith Australia realy are emulating the England of the 80's/90's. He is Australia's very own David Capel - handy bowler and batsman but not test class at either. A bits and pieces cricketer which might be OK in ODI but not in tests.

Posted by chappelis_last_blast on (December 16, 2010, 11:25 GMT)

Not convinced with Hughes and Smith, Hughes needs a better defence to have longevity in test cricket. Smith will never be a test no.6. He really is a one day/20/20 player, Only have a chance in tests if his leggies become his strong point and then he can bat at eight. England we very disciplined and thats the difference between the sides I reckon. Don't know why Mitch Johnson was having a go at Strauss at the end today. Ian Chappell summed it up perfectly when he said you need to take wickets before you start mouthing off! Aussies had two chances and did'nt take them late in the day. Husseys was a shocker! But he is batting great and the aussies would be gone without him.

Posted by nkjakajack on (December 16, 2010, 11:22 GMT)

England playing brilliant cricket and Aussies not helping themselves by making such common sense errors of not promoting Hussey and Haddin one spot up. Hussey is anyways on the crease by the 5th over..might as well send him at 4. And thanks to UDRS Aus cant even blame the umpiring for their miseries. UDRS has certainly lessened the ifs and buts in the game.

Posted by flightedchinaman on (December 16, 2010, 11:17 GMT)

hussey is following a similar pattern last time he played england at home, in 2006, at adelaide 1st innings he made a 91 (2010: 93) , then 2nd innings half century (same in 2010); the WACA he made a half century in the first innings then the second one he made a century. C'mon huss we need a 2nd innings century from you again this time round. Perhaps if the aussie top order allowed their class batsman, of hussey and haddin to come in when the score was in excess of 150 the chances of a bigger aussie total would be higher.

Posted by Roods on (December 16, 2010, 11:10 GMT)

Pretty sad for Australia if Johnson is their top scorer - mind you I bet he will be the top scorer in bowling too :)........that left arm of his points towards gully every other delivery.

Posted by Fareen on (December 16, 2010, 11:04 GMT)

It's looking all england now...Pitch will not assist the bowlers that much tomorrow..And Australia's batting is a worry...Big test for Michael Clarke in the 2nd innings...Also,I didn't think S.Smith is a top order batsmen...He has to step up too...Australia needed C.White...He's a gutsy player & doesn't throw his wicket away & he did well against england in the Australia A match...

Posted by dawsonmox on (December 16, 2010, 11:03 GMT)

If England win the Ashes this weekend in Perth, the Selectors should hand over the reigns of the Australian side to the Victorian Bushrangers. Imagine the Bushrangers, led by Cameron White (the next Australian captain) featuring the likes of Brad hodge, David Hussey, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Dirk Nannes, Matthew Wade, Rob Quiney. What a side. Now I know Hodge doesn't play the longer form of the game, but I know he'd jump at the chance to play in the Boxing Day test! It's be the only time I wold ever support Australia in the Ashes since the dropping of Dean Jones.

Posted by Something_Witty on (December 16, 2010, 11:03 GMT)

And again nothing is made of Finn's extremely poor bowling. I highly doubt that Mcgrath would have bowled as many long hops and full tosses in a test series as Finn bowled today. Moving on, some more totally inept batting from the top order, lots of woofy shots and not much foot movement. There's nothing wrong with the pitch and I'm again expecting England to win this by an innings or 10 wickets. The one positive from Australia's point of view is that Mitchell Johnson looked much better in his two over spell.

Posted by amitkumaronnet on (December 16, 2010, 11:02 GMT)

Aussies have still not lost the arrogance. I remember the time when Warne,McGrath,Gilly were on verge of retirement,they talked of excellent domestic structure to find equal replacements. They still think the same, and so get any guy here and there in the test squad. It can work in ODI's but in test it will only work if the new players are shown enough confidence and are in less pressure to perform. The problem is that the Ashes is most important and it is where the selectors missed an opportunity to blood young guns during earlier tours. More so, Ponting has a tendency to put a lot more workload on his leading fast bowlers and hence the injuries. He is too much demanding of his fast bowlers. They should have someone else as captain, who has lesser pressure and legacy of the past to perform and one who can start afresh.

Posted by LancsTwins on (December 16, 2010, 11:02 GMT)

For what it's worth from a Pom, I think Aus should be wary of jettisoning good players too quickly. Ponting is a great and there's no real reason to think that he has declined to nothing. What he's having to deal with for the first time is a a side at the top of its form targetting him effectively - he's been done by some fine bowling and superb catching. Sometimes you've got to take that. McGrath made Atherton's life a misery, but daft as English selection was in the '90s, it was never daft enough to drop Atherton. No-one else would have done better. And whatever people say, Clarke is a proven performer. He's found out on bouncy tracks, but there's so few of those in the world that he more than makes up for it elesewhere. And as the selections of Smith and Hughes have shown, you haven't now got talent like Law, Jones and Blewett being passed over in the background. Times have changed, the well for the moment has run dry, keep picking your best players; they're still your best bet

Posted by tjsimonsen on (December 16, 2010, 11:01 GMT)

@Manoj Garhwal: LOL! That's a great suggestion. It may even work. Seriously though, Aus may not be quite out of it yet, though they will need several rapid wickets tomorrow morning before the last part of the new ball goes. But if they manage to make Eng bat again, they may rue their decision to go in without a specialist spinner. Good, positive cricket from England so far though. Not least in: 1) Picking Tremlett over Bresnan; 2) putting Australia in. The latter shows that a) Strauss has confidence in his own attack, and b) England doesn't fear the Australian batting lineup. Australia may have that Never Say Die attitude. But to come back from here they need both skill and luck.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (December 16, 2010, 11:00 GMT)

Australian batsmen fail again. Which bowlers will they blame and axe this time? Siddle? Harris? Also, every report of Ponting's dismissal credits Collingwood, as if it was an ok shot by Ponting and just bad luck. He played pretty much the same bad shot thru the same area in the previous over. But did he learn? Nope. But England did and got him there.

Posted by amit1807kuwait on (December 16, 2010, 10:58 GMT)

Australia need to bolster their batting by ringing in some changes. The silver lining for Australia is that at least they have some talent in the batting department as far as the bench strenght is concerned. Its their bowling where their cup of woes is overflowing. And I guess having Greg Chappell in an important decision making capacity does not help matters either.

Posted by safwan_Umair on (December 16, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

ah, what a difference can 4 years make .... 2006 it was 5-0 to the aussies, and now it will prolly be 4-0 to the poms! saddddd capitulation.

Posted by hyclass on (December 16, 2010, 10:53 GMT)

Australian cricket will not recover until James Sutherland is removed as CEO of Cricket Australia. He is ultimately responsible for nurturing a boys club who excuse every failure and remain utterly unaccountable for any of their actions. Tim Nielsen has failed for years and appears to have no awareness of the qualities of true excellence. Under his tenure, no plan has worked. No player has improved. Injury has become more common. Australia has plummetted to fifth in the world rankings. His low point must surely remain the hatchet job enacted on Phillip Hughes in his desperation to get Watson in to open. His injunction to Hughes, then averaging 58, to go and learn to bat shocked the England captains in the commentary box during the 2009 england ashes win. To his credit, Hughes, barely 22, has tried to respect that order and has never recovered. Shield cricket is filled with bowlers who average 25 and batsmen who average 50 but dont expect them to be selected. The merit system is dead

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:53 GMT)

big improvement by Australia, in Adelaide they were 3 out for 2 runs, in Perth today they were 3 out for 28 runs!!! That is an improvement of 1400% - well done lads.....

Posted by hyclass on (December 16, 2010, 10:53 GMT)

Australian cricket will not recover until James Sutherland is removed as CEO of Cricket Australia. He is ultimately responsible for nurturing a boys club who excuse every failure and remain utterly unaccountable for any of their actions. Tim Nielsen has failed for years and appears to have no awareness of the qualities of true excellence. Under his tenure, no plan has worked. No player has improved. Injury has become more common. Australia has plummetted to fifth in the world rankings. His low point must surely remain the hatchet job enacted on Phillip Hughes in his desperation to get Watson in to open. His injunction to Hughes, then averaging 58, to go and learn to bat shocked the England captains in the commentary box during the 2009 england ashes win. To his credit, Hughes, barely 22, has tried to respect that order and has never recovered. Shield cricket is filled with bowlers who average 25 and batsmen who average 50 but dont expect them to be selected. The merit system is dead

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:44 GMT)

And now all England need is for the South African batsmen, Straus, Pietersen, Trott and maybe Prior to make some big runs, and England will have Australia on the hop.

Posted by Herbet on (December 16, 2010, 10:41 GMT)

I was joking by the way when I said open with Hussey & Haddin. Although I reckon Hussey has the technique and attitude to do well there. My point was the Australian top order is so bad there is no point sending them in. Its a tough call to say who has done the worst job so far in this series; the Australian top order, the Australian bowlers or the Australian selectors! I'd say the selectors, some of the picks have been down right bizzare. I mean, you've picked Smith at 6 and no other spinner when he's not good enough to bat at 6 and not good enough to be a teams only spinner. What are you gonna do when the new ball dies, the quicks aren't doing anything and Pietersen, Bell, Trott or whoever are carting Smith to all parts? Hauritz should be playing instead of Siddle and a good solid batsman with a good record and plenty of experience - David Hussey anyone? - should be batting at 6 and turning their arm over as and when needed. Bizzare, bizzare selections.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:32 GMT)

Australia all out 268- England will be very happy with that. This pitch now looks to be playing very well. Johnson, Siddle and even Hilf were able to play their shots with no fear. England have to survive the new ball and if they can do that, they'll be set for a big score. Those 4 seamers will look very samey if England are batting against the old ball with wickets in hand. A tense few overs till the end of the day.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:31 GMT)

looks like australia is going the west indies way ... I hope that they have the worst decade ever and become the worst team of the 9 nations. Have no sympathy for them.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 10:12 GMT)

@Herbet. I bet if Haddin and Hussey had started the innings, things would have been ever more worst. Because when they came out to bat, conditions were become a bit easy. Newer ball was doing a lot for top order. How could they shuffle their batting order ? that would have been a big embarrassment. Changing players order can make their form more worst. See hussey and haddin are well settle on their numbers. Although shane warne was saying that HADDIN should have been come a bit earlier at No 6, instead of SMITH. I love the way Cook has improved his foot work, especially his front foot bended knee, that has being highlighted regularly by commentators. Graham Goach has worked a great deal on COOK`s foot work to regain his form. He is showing the shorts which had never been there by him. So good to see, teams playing well against Australia in Australia, none other then ENGLISHMEN. Great stuff. I hope they win the ASHES.

Posted by Herbet on (December 16, 2010, 10:01 GMT)

This is again a pure 90's era England type performance. Fair enough Australia were put in, but the pitch is hardly a ripsnorter and the bowling was average at best. Australia got themselves out on the most part, especially Clarke and Haddin, 2 horrible shots. Haddin if anything was even worse because he was set. You'd have to say looking at how easily Tremlett dealt with Phillip Hughes he is not test class (yet?) and needs to work on how to play full balls after a barrage of short stuff. And Smith at 6? Come on, he's about on a par with Johnson or Broad as a batsman and is nowhere near Haddin! If I were Australian I'd want to open with Hussey and Haddin, at least then you'd get some runs on the board before the wickets start to tumble. Australia's top order in this series has been appalling and if it wasn't for Michael Hussey the Ashes would already be in the bag.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 9:44 GMT)

Now we have seen that the Australian top and middle order(barring Hussey) are so susceptible to seam bowling, they can consider reversing the batting order. At least the tail have shown that they can score some runs.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 9:38 GMT)

Aussies have to strike early else it will be a misery

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 9:37 GMT)

Well... I remember in august ponting had stated that they will the ASHES by 5-0 :) and Trot said that AUSIES would bring themselves under pressure by saying that bullshits. Even Pakistan easily beaten Australia in ENGLAND. Downfall of AUSIES had been already started when they were in ENGLAND. Lost one days then lost test against pak. Ponting has been under severe pointed fingers. His form has gone. He does not know whether to go aggressive or to defense, he lost his foot work in this mind game. Where as, Englishmen are in total command they exactly know what they are up to and what is their working combination. Ausies are just experimenting too much. I have been watching this match since 7.30am in pakistan. Huge fan of England cricket and supporting them. It seems complete shambles for Ausies. If had siddle and M.johnsan not played resistively well, would have been complete disaster for AUSTRALIA. Now look at the Eng`s reply. They are making their strokes easily. Form continues for em.

Posted by itslateagain on (December 16, 2010, 9:27 GMT)

I agree that Oz selectors needs to go back to the basics, but start blooding our next generation. Michael Clarke has been utterly appalling this series, and we all know Ponts is on his way out soon enough. He's a great player and I think calling for his resignation at this stage is a bit rash. Clarke on the other hand? I just don't think he's captain material. I never though Cam White would figure as a potential captain in the past, but maybe he should be brought in for Clarket. Given how weak our batting line-up has been this series, having a kid like Smith as our No. 6 is horribly flimsy. At this stage he's just not ready: either his batting or his bowling have to improve to make him worth consideration for Test cricket. I'd rather a Ferguson, Khawaja or Marsh there. I also agree that Hughes' technique is still lacking for a test opener. We should have Jaques or Marsh there after Katich retires. And stop the spinner circus! Beer is a sign of desperation, madness or a bit of both.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

Excellent Bowling from England, as they cut short Aussies for 268 which is par below the first innings score. Now the bowling will be a tough task for them as they need to take wickets instead of containing runs. If England goes in a defensive mode, then Aussies will have a tough time. The only option now is to get some early wickets before EOD today otherwise it will be a WACA misery for Aussies. Punter is not hunting these days, he enjoyed the hot left by the previous Aussies for some time. Now that the hot is wading away, he is feeling the real pressure. No other captain in the world had got an excellent opening with great players in his hand. But Punter failed to use the great players properly. He enjoyed the warmth of Hayden, Glenn, Gilly and Warne and now he is feeling the cold. If Aussies have learnt 50% from their seniors, bowlers like Mitchie, Ben and Ryan would have shined a lot. Only players who are good in Aussie side is Haddin, Watson and Hussey. They need Marsh&Dave

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 9:23 GMT)

Not easy for England also.

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 9:16 GMT)

Australia all out 268- England will be very happy with that. This pitch now looks to be playing very well. Johnson, Siddle and even Hilf were able to play their shots with no fear. England have to survive the new ball and if they can do that, they'll be set for a big score. Those 4 seamers will look very samey if England are batting against the old ball with wickets in hand. A tense few overs till the end of the day.

Posted by nisargindia on (December 16, 2010, 9:02 GMT)

loosers as sportsmen are loosers on field too.....go england go...

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

The Catch taken by Collingwood to dismiss Ponting, reminds me of our own S.Venkataraghavan, one of the best Gully fielders at the time!!

Posted by ste13 on (December 16, 2010, 8:23 GMT)

fully agree with Davo 47, why not try Cameron White and Copeland who are doing fine in domestic 4-day games; also support for new selection panel :)

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 8:04 GMT)


Posted by anver777 on (December 16, 2010, 8:01 GMT)

Come on Mitch get a good score & boost u'r confidence so that u can perform better in u'r bowling too....Well Played so far !!!!!!!!

Posted by ricardowill on (December 16, 2010, 7:53 GMT)

Ricky Ponting needs to resign from Test Cricket and save himself from further embarrassment. It's a joy to see Australia crumble. We need a new generation of champions in Test cricket.

Posted by srivatsan on (December 16, 2010, 7:48 GMT)

@@Davo47 LoL, Add me too to selectors list. I'd sack ponting too and bring in D.Hussey.

Posted by Aussasinator on (December 16, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

If Ponting retires now, the revival programme of Australian cricket can quickly commence. But since I would like to see Australia on a perpetual downslide, I pray that he continues. I think he will because he seems to lack a sense of embarassment and responsibility while Cricket Australia is being strangely tolerant towards the non-performing Dads in the team!

Posted by stationmaster on (December 16, 2010, 7:32 GMT)

Michael Clarke.......worst shot of the series - surely if he didn;t have his feet so far under the table he would have been dropped by now ? A more sloppy, lethargic shot, you'll never see....

Posted by longdonkey on (December 16, 2010, 7:32 GMT)

Thanks you NSW cricket mafia for giving us Hughes and Smith. Again as I have been continuously saying Hughes got caught on the crease AGAIN. Can't see how I see this lack of technique but not the people who matter. I'm sure the NSW cricket mafia can now bring Hauritz, Kawaja, Copeland, Bollinger, Stark and O'Keefe into the Test team now we are losing games, and they will have their NSW XI playing for Australia like they've always wanted. Remember, NSW cricket mafia were the cheerleaders for sacking Hussey. PINHEADS

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

Well.. well... well.... Ponting can take a sabatical, starting now till the world cup ... and then the retirement post world cup.... Reason: Don't want to give Aussies a chance to win the WC. Clarke...well.. he was once magical... lost his midas touch..... Can we call Ponting's catch.... as Ashes been plucked by the Englishmen... ??

End of an Era!!!

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 7:25 GMT)

Davo47, thanks for including me in the selection panel, but I have to warn you that I'd be suggesting the worst players in Australia so that England would win.That wouldn't represent any change from the policy of the present selectors. Back to the cricket- the afternoon session has shown that this pitch is a belter. If England can get the last 4 wickets for, say, another 100, they should be well satisfied. Then, hopefully, England pile up another big score as they did at Adelaide and by day 4 Swann will be turning it. Australia will have to bat for 2 days to save the game, which they might well do; but if the track at Melbourne is like the one England and Victoria just played on, that's another draw, and there go the Ashes. Australia must win this test and at the moment that doesn't look likely.

Posted by David47 on (December 16, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

Well, now that England have retained the Ashes it's time for the Australian selectors, coach and Sutherland to do the right thing and resign. Like most Aus cricket fans, I'm not a supporter of making too many changes to the team at the one time. But.....the changes that need to be made now should have been made sequentially over the last 18 months. Now that the prize is gone, the squad for the remainder of this series and the near future needs to be along the lines of the following: Jaques, Marsh, Watson, Ponting, White (Capt), M Hussey, Haddin, O'Keefe, Harris, Bollinger, Copeland with Lynn, Finch, Starc, Paine and Usman K making up a squad of 16. The new selectors?? me, Something_Witty, Landl47 and Popcorn - we're probably a rough bunch, but I'm sure we'd be better than the current lot.

Posted by Point4 on (December 16, 2010, 5:48 GMT)

Shane Warne had said after adelaide test that when on fire Tremlett is the best bowler in the world.Probably Beer's selction was also influenced by his comment.Now,One is playing and the other isnt....will it define this year's Ashes fortune...judging by the first session cricket , it surely will....mark my words till Day4..

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 5:44 GMT)

Wow, the fall of the Roman Empire

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 5:37 GMT)

good very good !! want aussies to lose it again ...come on england you rock to de core!!! :pp..{{ four before LUNCH and TEN before de end of PLAY }}}

Posted by imja on (December 16, 2010, 5:30 GMT)

Bye Bye Aussie.See you mayb in 100 years

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 5:17 GMT)

The catch by Collingwood was undeniably the catch of the series.Ponting clearly seems to be in need of some inspiration,and so do Australia. Their Ashes are gone unless there is a remarkable counterattack by Hussey and Smith.

Posted by Okakaboka on (December 16, 2010, 5:09 GMT)

Okay..It is clear....It's all the Bowlers fault. They won't be able to get England out for below what Australia makes! (Johnston doesn't deserve to be in the team anyway!) Seriously though: Hughes looked like a grade Cricketer.....has lost that magic Clarke...now another grade cricketer who believes his own press....gone! Ponting...man batting with a problem?? Oh, and Hilditch WOULD NEVER HAVE PLAYED TEST CRICKET IF HE HADN"T PLAYED FOR NSW. It ain't work'in fellas. Blood a young team under Cameron White.

Posted by Agus2010 on (December 16, 2010, 5:05 GMT)

This is the good time for the retirement for the guys like Ponting and Clark, they are clearly struggling to score runs and this is the good time for ACB to give chance to some young guns before the World cup, shame on Ponting, he should retire himself before ACB kicks him off

Posted by landl47 on (December 16, 2010, 5:04 GMT)

I predicted Australia would be 75-5 at lunch, but 65-4 isn't bad. England need to keep pressing, because this pitch looks very good for batting and if two batsmen get in they could easily build a big partnership. Australia got it wrong by naming Beer as 12th man; that might only have worked if they'd bowled first. Now Ponting has only Smith to turn to once the shine is off the ball. So far this game looks like being a replay of Adelaide.

Posted by MinusZero on (December 16, 2010, 4:57 GMT)

Hope you enjoyed your time Ponting, but this must be the end. He should jump before being pushed.

Posted by popcorn on (December 16, 2010, 4:49 GMT)

I simply cannot understand why the Australian selectors persist with Phil Hughes. He has failed again. His footwork was zero. He is undependable - certainly not a Sehwag. EVERYBODY knows - the Selectors more than anyone else that if there is a good opening stand, a good foundation, it gives confidemce to the dressing room, and the batsmen to come can build on that foundation.Like Watson and Katich. See their opening partnership record. With Phil Hughes, you always have your heart in your mouth. Are we going to give him two more Tests to prove himself? Can he establish himself in the second innings? If he does notm, the Selectors must take a bold decision like they did when they axed him and brought in Shane Watson in The Ashes 2009. We need a GRAFTER, not a FLASHER. And Michael Clarke? Why do you fish outside the off stump, for Ashes sake? No footwork.Look at young Steve Smith. He is diisplaying immense maturity.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 4:37 GMT)

Thank God they didn't play Beer. Even still, Hughes shouldn't have played either. I'd have preferred Jaques, or else to go with Cameron White and give Hussey a chance to open. Either/or. Hughes was too much of a risk for me.

Posted by satanswish on (December 16, 2010, 3:39 GMT)

Michael Clarke fails yet again. Give him some rest to spend some time with Lara Bingle.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 3:29 GMT)

Aus dumbed yet fal in2 another big crisis as they fal 3 wicketz in d startng day f d test on 23 runs.

Posted by suresh_sksj on (December 16, 2010, 3:22 GMT)

changes changes....what difference it makes...the same story....Ricky it's time u decide about your future ASAP else you will be down the drain soon.... I recollect a line from Clint Eastwood's movie Magnum Force ...." A man should know his limitations "......guess Ricky does not know that....and that Rome did not last for ever, he should accept the fact that CHANGE is the only thing in the world that's permanent...and it's other teams time to come up and dominate world cricket....Ausies you days of domination is done with....accept the fact...even Chappel, Healy, Shane, Billy, Slates...in the commentry team keep talking of Ausies coming back and dominating again.....god..... where do these people come from.....it's now time for Eng, Ind, SA to dominate guys....time over for Ausies....the quick you guys digest that the better.....

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 2:59 GMT)

Yeah .. this is better team selection by dropping Beer than taking unnecessary risk at this crucial juncture .. One more point i want to make here is how come aussie selectors put ego first before nations pride, when they decided to include beer in final 12 list instead of hauritz .. it's a very sad thing. Hauritz deserve to have a go after been so good to australia in the current crop of spinner.

Posted by sona123 on (December 16, 2010, 2:30 GMT)

Dear viewer,Ricky Ponting is best Cricket and captain for Australia in Present team .If you see there is no another Strong contender for Constancy in present team.So please its request to AUSTRALIAN CRICKET LOVER & AUSTRALIAN MEDIA to back-up for pointing to make him boost. Please note Australian Team is now without Hyden,Gilchrist,Martyn, McGrath and Shane Warner and it take time to hail this important palces in line-up . PONTING IS INNOCENT

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 2:28 GMT)

Um Katitch isnt playing Hughes is

Posted by OL-ROWNDER on (December 16, 2010, 2:26 GMT)

beer or no beer, its a match for ponts, huss, and johnson. if ponts has no pints of centuries, australia face 2-0. and u c that ponts will be in, within 30 minutes of test match. So this is tests of ponts.

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 2:21 GMT)

oh! Beer is carrying the beers to ground..

Posted by   on (December 16, 2010, 2:20 GMT)

Katich in??? must be a mistake

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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