Australia v England, 4th Test, Melbourne, 1st day December 26, 2010

Dominant England bring Ashes triumph nearer

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England 0 for 157 (Cook 80*, Strauss 64*) lead Australia 98 (Tremlett 4-26, Anderson 4-44) by 59 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It was meant to be Boxing Day, not Boxing Australia Around the Ears Day. Within three sessions of complete England dominance at the MCG, they moved to within touching distance of retaining the Ashes by dismissing Australia for 98 and passing their total with no wickets down, leaving Ricky Ponting requiring a late Christmas miracle to avoid leading Australia to three Ashes series failures.

Chris Tremlett and James Anderson collected four wickets each, backing up Andrew Strauss's decision to send the hosts in, before Strauss and Alastair Cook showed that with discipline, batting wasn't that hard on a pitch with a little juice in it. The day could not possibly have gone better for England, who finished at 0 for 157 with Strauss on 64, Cook on 80, a hefty first-innings advantage in prospect and a 2-1 series lead on the horizon.

For Australia, it was up there with the opening day at Headingley against Pakistan this year, in terms of disastrous cricketing dates. Back then they chose to bat and managed only 88, but this time there was one slight difference - their dismal performance will probably cost them the Ashes. Not since 1936 had they scored a lower Ashes total at home, and that was in the days of uncovered pitches.

It took Tremlett, Anderson and Tim Bresnan less than two sessions to run through the order as they hit consistent lines and kept the runs tight. They also exposed Australia's team-wide inability to handle seam movement and swing, which is no great revelation but could not be ignored in front of 84,345 fans on the biggest day in the Australian cricket calendar.

Every batsman fell to an edge caught behind the wicket, six to the wicketkeeper Matt Prior, two to slips and two to gully. Too many men played with hard hands away from their bodies, and they struggled to work out which deliveries to leave and which ones to play. The questions that the batting coach Justin Langer must consider surround not only technique, but also judgment.

England picked up four wickets before the first break and in one particularly impressive patch they collected 3 for 0, as Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson all failed to make solid contact with the face of the bat. A rain delay had extended lunch by nearly an hour, but even that wasn't enough to help the Australians survive until the scheduled tea break.

But England's bowlers certainly earned their wickets, especially the early strikes. Shane Watson was dropped twice on 0, as Paul Collingwood at slip and Kevin Pietersen at gully denied Anderson an early breakthrough. It was a sign of things to come, and Watson had only made 5 when he was surprised by sharp bounce from Tremlett and fended a loopy catch to Pietersen.

Soon afterwards, Phillip Hughes (16) tried to cover-drive and edged to gully to hand Bresnan his first Ashes wicket, and without further addition to the score the Australians also lost Ricky Ponting. Again it was the rising ball from Tremlett that did the job, and this one nipped away significantly off the pitch, so much so that Ponting, on 10, did well to even get bat on ball as his edge flew to second slip.

Australia's recent saviour, Michael Hussey, joined the procession in the last over before lunch, when Anderson produced a pearler that moved away from Hussey and found a thin edge through to Prior. Then came the rain, an early and prolonged lunch, and after the break the dismissals got a bit softer, as Australia's middle order failed to exercise due caution.

The hosts want Steven Smith in the side for his energy and all-round talent, but as a Test No. 6 his technique needs a lot of work, and all it took was a probing delivery outside off stump from Anderson to draw an edge behind when Smith had 6. The top scorer Michael Clarke, who made 20, also wafted outside off at a ball he could have left, and edged behind off Anderson.

And 5 for 77 soon became 8 for 77 when Haddin drove at Bresnan and gave Strauss a catch at first slip, before Johnson tickled a catch to Prior off Anderson. A few late runs came via Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle before Tremlett finished off the tail to finish with 4 for 26, a much deserved return after he was the best of the bowlers early, extracting bounce from a pitch expected to be as stodgy as leftover Christmas pudding.

By the time Australia bowled, it looked like any spice in the pudding had lost its kick. In reality, they just didn't bowl well enough, while Cook and Strauss defended solidly and left the right balls, also ticking the score along by chasing the bad deliveries, like an uppish cut to the vacant third-man area from Cook when he was given width.

That Strauss and Cook both registered half-centuries before stumps was the perfect finale for the visitors, and Cook was already within sight of his third hundred of the series. Australia's four-man pace attack had little impact - Michael Beer was made 12th man again - and by the close, Smith had tossed up a few overs of unthreatening legbreaks, including one that was slog-swept almost for six by Cook.

Smith wasn't born last time England won the Ashes in Australia, in 1986-87. He's about to see it happen first-hand.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 28, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    @Marcio; interesting to see that you have been posting on this conversation. Why don't you come out and give us your description of reality in current conversations? Or have you "not got anything positive to say"? Aus have been crushed out of sight at the MCG. Perspective, yes perspective. If, by some divine miracle 2-2 is achieved by Australia it'll be the oddest draw in the history of Ashes series. I saw a lot of one-sided Ashes series during the 90's and this is another one. "The key: get silly ego out of the way, trust ability, conditions and intuition". Agreed.

  • POSTED BY westindiancanadian on | December 27, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Shame on you Ponting for disrespecting the game that you made your living by. Shame on the ICCf or not fining him more. Shame on international cricket for not introducing UDRS earlier in cricket as Australia got away with too much for too long. Sadly the world will remember Ponting for his unsportsmanlike actions, his immaturity and cheating. His batting will not be the first thing that come to mind.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    I'm a Notts and England supporter. As such I have followed David Hussey for many years. His first class average is over 55 and he always inspires confidence. He's now 33 years old. For how much longer can Australia afford to ignore him?

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    If it was any other team (most-likely a sub continnent team) harsh penalties would have occured... Its just unfair seeing australia and england and a few other teams always getting away with plenty of things during cricket.. for example this incident with ricky ponting and when stuart broad threw the ball at Haider and it hit him and nothing happened.. its just totally unfair.. no point of watching cricket if there just mistreating teams for example pakistan.. really really sick of it!

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    I agree, that the Respect towards Opponents, Umpires and Game is Most important and the AUS are NOT HAVING IT. ( put it in other words.. Some are exceptions ). Every decision they want has to come their way.. else fighting.. this looks too stupid. Ponting MUST MUST be BANNED .. Siddle Must be banned.. and few could also be fined. We have to keep the respect for Decisions from umpires. The Joke is, this Ponting says, captains should accept the words of the Fielders in Catches... Its really funny, this fellow will not listen to umpire on the field, 3rd umpire... but will belive in fielders :) Joke Joke...

  • POSTED BY crcketfan0 on | December 27, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    The lack of respect towards the game, opponants and the role of umpires regularly shown by the Australians was evident again this afternoon in a disgraceful act of arguing an unsuccessful appeal with the umpires by Ponting. Peter Siddle joined in the intimidation from nowhere to add more insult to the incident. There's no way any captain and player anywhere in the world would get away atleast without a couple of game ban, but it'll be interesting to see what action will be taken by the officials against this disgraceful act by Ponting and Siddle! The millions of little kids wanting to grow up to be like their heros will follow the Pontings & Siddles, that's why it's important that these to should get the maximum possible panelty for their behaviour in bringing the game to disrepute infront of the millions of Cricket fans!

  • POSTED BY praume2001 on | December 27, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    @mitcher...there's no comparison between Australia and India at the moment... and this is not India's best side still...bcoz we dont hv bowling attack...coming back to the point of India doing badly in SA...firstly we dont hv home advantage...second we r known to b bad travellers especially in SA (the image which we r changing)... thirdly Aussies were not batting on absolute green top with overcast conditions twice consecutively.. fourth SA has the best bowling attack currently unlike england's which is also good... and last but not the least we r improving frm our last score of 136 and didnt got our a**kicked at 98...our captain dosent boast of 5-0 victory..we like to b realistic and dont dream of impossible...wht we knw is to give a good fight and play spiritedly... by the way ur whole team managed just two runs more of sachin's total international centuries...well this time they managed to surpass sachin ...well congrats for tht... now u can chuckle or two...

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 27, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    I must add that England bowled perfectly well, and then batted perfectly well according to the conditions. That's the application and technique part. In response to a few of the folks here who don't understand why all my predictions for outcomes of games are right, and why most others are wrong: it is simple. The reason why both experts and laymen are so bad at picking the results of games is because they rely too much on immediate emotionality - the excitement of success, the disappointment of failure. I said AUS would win in Perth straight after being thrashed in Adelaide. I was right. I said England would win in melbourne, despite just having been thrashed in Perth. Right agaion I predict AUS will win in Sydney. I made these predictions four games ago, and immidiate form and conditions make no difference to me. The key: get silly ego out of the way, trust ability, conditions and intuition (which is not the same as emotionality, and dare I say, chest beating and doom and gloom).

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Well, Well how history repeats itself.....after an era of domination the Australian run is truly over.............this is very similar to the West Indian Era of Domination........hope this time something is they learn from the mistakes of the past

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | December 27, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    jnrmorris, I'm sorry. Bringing back Buchanan would make no difference now - this is a new cricket dispensation. There is new technology to indicate when people are 'OUT or 'NOT OUT'. Hence, the Australians cannot bat five times in an innings anymore, nor can they pick up catchesl from the ground and shout successfully for appeals. The problem too is that some of their cricket seniors (not Ian Chappell for sure), but Bill Lawry the chief culprit made them feel that they were so good when they were only mediocre players. I am longing to hear him saying, 'Ricky Pontin is the best batsman in the worldd, in all forms of cricket'! Or 'Mitchell Johnson is the best all rounder in the world' after scoring one centurt and taking a few wickets!

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | December 28, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    @Marcio; interesting to see that you have been posting on this conversation. Why don't you come out and give us your description of reality in current conversations? Or have you "not got anything positive to say"? Aus have been crushed out of sight at the MCG. Perspective, yes perspective. If, by some divine miracle 2-2 is achieved by Australia it'll be the oddest draw in the history of Ashes series. I saw a lot of one-sided Ashes series during the 90's and this is another one. "The key: get silly ego out of the way, trust ability, conditions and intuition". Agreed.

  • POSTED BY westindiancanadian on | December 27, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Shame on you Ponting for disrespecting the game that you made your living by. Shame on the ICCf or not fining him more. Shame on international cricket for not introducing UDRS earlier in cricket as Australia got away with too much for too long. Sadly the world will remember Ponting for his unsportsmanlike actions, his immaturity and cheating. His batting will not be the first thing that come to mind.

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 11:05 GMT

    I'm a Notts and England supporter. As such I have followed David Hussey for many years. His first class average is over 55 and he always inspires confidence. He's now 33 years old. For how much longer can Australia afford to ignore him?

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    If it was any other team (most-likely a sub continnent team) harsh penalties would have occured... Its just unfair seeing australia and england and a few other teams always getting away with plenty of things during cricket.. for example this incident with ricky ponting and when stuart broad threw the ball at Haider and it hit him and nothing happened.. its just totally unfair.. no point of watching cricket if there just mistreating teams for example pakistan.. really really sick of it!

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    I agree, that the Respect towards Opponents, Umpires and Game is Most important and the AUS are NOT HAVING IT. ( put it in other words.. Some are exceptions ). Every decision they want has to come their way.. else fighting.. this looks too stupid. Ponting MUST MUST be BANNED .. Siddle Must be banned.. and few could also be fined. We have to keep the respect for Decisions from umpires. The Joke is, this Ponting says, captains should accept the words of the Fielders in Catches... Its really funny, this fellow will not listen to umpire on the field, 3rd umpire... but will belive in fielders :) Joke Joke...

  • POSTED BY crcketfan0 on | December 27, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    The lack of respect towards the game, opponants and the role of umpires regularly shown by the Australians was evident again this afternoon in a disgraceful act of arguing an unsuccessful appeal with the umpires by Ponting. Peter Siddle joined in the intimidation from nowhere to add more insult to the incident. There's no way any captain and player anywhere in the world would get away atleast without a couple of game ban, but it'll be interesting to see what action will be taken by the officials against this disgraceful act by Ponting and Siddle! The millions of little kids wanting to grow up to be like their heros will follow the Pontings & Siddles, that's why it's important that these to should get the maximum possible panelty for their behaviour in bringing the game to disrepute infront of the millions of Cricket fans!

  • POSTED BY praume2001 on | December 27, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    @mitcher...there's no comparison between Australia and India at the moment... and this is not India's best side still...bcoz we dont hv bowling attack...coming back to the point of India doing badly in SA...firstly we dont hv home advantage...second we r known to b bad travellers especially in SA (the image which we r changing)... thirdly Aussies were not batting on absolute green top with overcast conditions twice consecutively.. fourth SA has the best bowling attack currently unlike england's which is also good... and last but not the least we r improving frm our last score of 136 and didnt got our a**kicked at 98...our captain dosent boast of 5-0 victory..we like to b realistic and dont dream of impossible...wht we knw is to give a good fight and play spiritedly... by the way ur whole team managed just two runs more of sachin's total international centuries...well this time they managed to surpass sachin ...well congrats for tht... now u can chuckle or two...

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 27, 2010, 1:14 GMT

    I must add that England bowled perfectly well, and then batted perfectly well according to the conditions. That's the application and technique part. In response to a few of the folks here who don't understand why all my predictions for outcomes of games are right, and why most others are wrong: it is simple. The reason why both experts and laymen are so bad at picking the results of games is because they rely too much on immediate emotionality - the excitement of success, the disappointment of failure. I said AUS would win in Perth straight after being thrashed in Adelaide. I was right. I said England would win in melbourne, despite just having been thrashed in Perth. Right agaion I predict AUS will win in Sydney. I made these predictions four games ago, and immidiate form and conditions make no difference to me. The key: get silly ego out of the way, trust ability, conditions and intuition (which is not the same as emotionality, and dare I say, chest beating and doom and gloom).

  • POSTED BY on | December 27, 2010, 1:03 GMT

    Well, Well how history repeats itself.....after an era of domination the Australian run is truly over.............this is very similar to the West Indian Era of Domination........hope this time something is they learn from the mistakes of the past

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | December 27, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    jnrmorris, I'm sorry. Bringing back Buchanan would make no difference now - this is a new cricket dispensation. There is new technology to indicate when people are 'OUT or 'NOT OUT'. Hence, the Australians cannot bat five times in an innings anymore, nor can they pick up catchesl from the ground and shout successfully for appeals. The problem too is that some of their cricket seniors (not Ian Chappell for sure), but Bill Lawry the chief culprit made them feel that they were so good when they were only mediocre players. I am longing to hear him saying, 'Ricky Pontin is the best batsman in the worldd, in all forms of cricket'! Or 'Mitchell Johnson is the best all rounder in the world' after scoring one centurt and taking a few wickets!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    THE MOST DISASTROUS DAY IN THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN TEST CRICKET--NO EXCEPTIONS--NO EXAGGERATION WHATSOEVER. Australia are carrying too many passengers in their team such as Hughes, Smith, Clarke and yes Ponting. We need our best spinner who is Hauritz, who was only unfairly dumped because of a bad tour of India, (where Warne never even did well) but the selectors are not willing to admit they made a blunder by sacking him. One of our toothless tiger fast bowlers would have to go, probably Hilfenhaus, but Johnson is sooo unreliable. On his day, eg in Perth he is a world beater, but now, more often than not he bowls tripe. He has no consistency, you never know what Mitchell Johnson will turn up. Again, Australia need Hauritz back, as you need to select a side for 5 days, not one day!

  • POSTED BY BlueyCollar on | December 26, 2010, 23:09 GMT

    Success is not cyclical. Australia has dropped the ball by 1 - Having no succession plan for recently retired champions, 2 - Not investing in junior cricket by supplying better coaches to kids wanting to develop sound techniques, 3 - Not concentrating on the theory of the game and having programes to develop great captains, 4 - Allowing participation rates in junior cricket to drop and concentrating on kanga cricket not club cricket, 5 - Australian cricket is ellitist ignoring public schools and indiginous kids. There should be a redistribution of the revenue earned from cricket from the top to the bottem, need a talented, visionary ceo with high level corporate experience to do this, 6 - Nepotism is rife, those with parents heavily involved in the game seem to get more opportunities than those that don't and 7 - Jobs for the boys, just because you have played cricket at a high level does not mean you are going to be the best coach, selector or administrator.

  • POSTED BY PlayingItStraight on | December 26, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    Finally the glaring lack of batting technique in Hughes, Ponting, Clarke & Smith has been shown for all to see. Watson and Hussey both got absolute jaffas and shouldn't be blamed for this pitiful score, but the rest all played at balls they could have left. Michael Clarke must surely have now used up all his credits and needs to be replaced, probably by Khawaja who is technically fairly sound and in form. Even though he's not young, David Hussey deserves a chance at some stage, even Shaun Marsh has a better technique than Clarke and Hughes. It was time for change two tests ago, now there's no excuse.

  • POSTED BY offcutter on | December 26, 2010, 22:29 GMT

    Have the Australian selectors considered perhaps turning to Cosgrove? He may be distinctly plump (that is a polite way of putting it), but he would certainly show more grit and determination, and no less aggression than the technically incompetent Hughes, who seems to lack any real discipline at the top of the order, or a more robust and competent alternative to Smith. So he may be sluggish in the outfield, but the notion of beggars and choosers springs to mind.

  • POSTED BY Clive_Dunn on | December 26, 2010, 22:17 GMT

    It seems to me that the central issue is that Punter appears to be clashing with the selectors, it looks like they've forced Smith & Hughes on him and he has little or no faith in them. To be fair, Punter is bang on - neither are test class at this point in their careers.

    I was worried about the WACA test before it started, England have a nasty habit of playing consistently good cricket for sessions and then following it up with a test of being able to do nothing right - we were due that after the dominance of the previous 7 days of cricket and the addition of the WAGs just meant the timing was right for an all too familar England crumble.

    I'm pretty convinced this Australia team isn't as bad as it looks, but the selector / captain issues need to be resolved before the team can move forward. After watching the Atherton / Illingworth clashes I know this can destroy even average teams. There are enough decent cricketers in Australia to form a good team.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    As I commented on yesterday in this segment, the pitch offered too much movement and favoured unfairly the team bowling first, in this case England due to wonderful gutsy captainship from Strauss. I agree with some of the previous comments regarding our Aussie players lack of technique and yes, surely our coaches need some investigation. How can Johnson loose his abilty to swing the new ball in a matter of a few days. What I don't agree with, is that our selection process has caused this debacle. In summary, England is a superior team at the moment. And unfortunately, the selectors do not have a list of capable replacements. Ferguson has a poor Shield average and I am not sure Khawaja is ready. Before dropping Ponting, he must have a couple of hits batting at 6. But the query, who is capable of batting 3. Possibly Haddin, but probably (short term), Hodge. Hughes and Smith, and obviously Beer are not ready for Test cricket. Hopefully Katich returns for Sydney.

  • POSTED BY BlueyCollar on | December 26, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    Whens the footy season start

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 22:02 GMT

    @Indian_fan777: at least aus admitted they played badly too... Not like harbhajan Singh who claimed at centurion that they were in a bad position just because they lost the toss, thereby hiding the gutlessness of their own batting lineup.... Also, notice no stupid comments by aus along the lines of " we will show you what batting actually means"... Thirdly, how long has it been since India last won on a greentop? I can remmber 2006 in joburg ( Perth 2008 was by no meeans as green as the one used for this ashes)... When was it aus last won in a greentop? 6 days ago.....fourthly, please note that none of the aus players were diagnosed with curious illnesses on the day of the match ala ganguly and harbhajan in Nagpur? 2004 on the sight of a greentop. So who is better?and on your talk of home advantage , ple remmber Nagpur 2010 vs south Africa and Ahmedabad 2008 vs Sa.... Innings deficit in both these games which even included a first innings of s ore of 75 by India at Ahmedabad...

  • POSTED BY m_baker on | December 26, 2010, 21:59 GMT

    Scenario for the remainder of the test: Australia bowls out of their skins on Day 2 and restrict England to a lead of 250. Australia bats second and with the ball no longer moving Ponting and Clarke both made double hundreds, giving Australia 550 and a lead of 300. Ponting heaves the finger in the direction of the press box as he leaves the field. England bowled out by Smith on Day 5. Australia leads 2-1 going into Sydney. Will someone just wake me it's over?

  • POSTED BY phermon on | December 26, 2010, 21:39 GMT

    Everyone is talking about how it wa the toss to win - as though in hindsight it was a no-brainer that Strauss would send Australia in. Maybe it was for him but Cricinfo reported that Punce was in two minds about what to do if he won the toss. So not only was it a good toss to win but a good decision and excellent support for that decision.

    I cannot follow the Punce's decisions around whom to bowl and field placements - and he has no idea about spinners.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 21:38 GMT

    Englishmen are really pumped up. They are quietly taking revenge without exchanging words with Ozies this time. This is right way to keep the opposition quite and shut by performing great as they did today. All invective is back on OZIES again. Again their bowling attack has been exposed. How could they keep Hilfanhaus still in the squad when he got only 1 wicket in 3 tests ? this is just ridiculous. They can not find any backup domestic bowler who is capable enough to get more then 1 wicket in test matches ? they made huge gamble by including Johnsan again for this test. Johnsan statistics has certainly shown us that he can bowl good in WACCA only. Today he was no way near good standards. He was bowling too wide of the off stump :) and leg stump 5 wides :). It was surely an action replay of his bowling at the 1st test before being dropped for the second one. England has nothing to loose in this match if i ll be more realistic. Its an action replay of the second test match performance.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | December 26, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    @landl47 Spot on mate, the only guy who got himself out was Hughes, all the rest were from good deliveries ,or the pressure of not being able to score because the bowlers kept it so tight. After a few overs, the ball stopped swinging and it was mainly down to great line and length that brought the wickets. Really pleased for Bresnan, people really do underestimate him,going at 1.9 a over and getting 2 wickets with some pacey bowling, constant 87-89mph all way through the innings.

  • POSTED BY karansagar on | December 26, 2010, 21:27 GMT

    Well I was hoping that England would take the lead and they did. (Hey Australian fans don't think I don't like Australia or anything but you guys have lead the Ashes for years and well I really want to see something new in cricket. In my "ranking" England and Australia are tied for 2nd) The pitch at MCG looked good for the seam bowlers and batsman for me. And a big part of what I just said is true. You see that Anderson and Tremmlet were both seam bowlers and added the pressure. Brensan (I very much dislike him) also added wickets as a seam bowler. Swann was the only one that did not add wickets (But hey he only did bowl 2 overs in which 1 was a maiden) And then when Strauss and Cook went to bat the pitch did help them bat well. For Australia the only seam bowler who had a tough time was Johnson who had leaked 42 runs in 7 overs at an economy of 6 (But hey he had a good comeback in the 3rd Ashes Test) So an summary of what I just is that England had a perfect 1st day against Australia

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    WINDIES R A BETTER TEAM THAN THE AUSSIES.POOR JOB BY THE AUSSIES.I GUESS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE WOLD BE TO BEG WICB FOR BRENDAN NASH TO BAT AT NUMBER 4.HE IS SO MCH BETTER THAN CLARKE N CREW

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 21:01 GMT

    wow what a series .....oscillating strength in this series is exhilarting unlike the one sided India VS South Africa affair......

  • POSTED BY Cricinfojunkie on | December 26, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Go England. This will surely signal the end of Ponting's reign as captain, and maybe questions should be asked about the current team's commitment to playing 'quality' test cricket! Maybe they should stick to playing against lowly ranked teams only now!

  • POSTED BY Rehan497 on | December 26, 2010, 19:24 GMT

    Tbh i was pretty sympathetic that Ponting was having a tough time, and kind of felt sorry for all the Australian fans however it's the fault of Ponting and the selectors. How can you continue to ignore Khawaja and Ferguson, both of them have proven themselves for 3 years in the Sheffied Shield which across the cricketing nations is the most challenging first class season. It's organisation is superb but there is no use of that system if you don't pick players who perform at first class.

    Khawaja has scored a ton of runs against quality opposition and is at his peak atm, he should have been picked in this game, if they really felt that Beer was the best spinner in the country then they should have played Beer in place of Siddle, and Khawaja in place of Smith. Poor Selection has cost Aussies.

    This ashes defeat will hopefully wake up CA but with all the talent in CA; from what i see in the shield and when i compare that to the English Domestic season here, Australia has more talent.

  • POSTED BY dissapointed on | December 26, 2010, 18:36 GMT

    At the age of 10 I was told to defend with soft hands. At 21, playing club cricket in South Australia my captain, the late David Hookes said always play with soft hands early on if the pitch has a bit in it. What the hell? in 30 years of watching the game I have NEVER seen any team play as crap as the 1st day. England bowled well, nothing spectacular, Australia's performance dictated my mood for the rest of the evening, first time this has happened. Sack this useless coach, bring back Simpson, just practice doing the basics. If Australia can get away with a draw it will be a bloody miracle...

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 18:26 GMT

    Why is Cameron White not considered good enough for number 6 ?

  • POSTED BY a1234s on | December 26, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    after a decade and a half of false dawns, it is good to see the english team finally having the players to match australia.

  • POSTED BY Indian_fan777 on | December 26, 2010, 18:02 GMT

    India scored 'twice' that of aussies score 'with out' home advantage against equally attacking bowling line-up and still have wickets in hand on Day 1 of Boxing day test.. Who's better..?

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 17:57 GMT

    This is not spurious invective, but Ausies need certain major surgery in their line up. Their batting has been totally exposed in this series so far. They were highly dependent on Hussey throughout the series. Actually i was expecting today that hussey does not click or score runs then what happens to AUSIES. See the result, they lost the hope straight away when hussey was departed. Being a England supporter i really wanted cook (as i narrate in my previous posts over here) to fire today and loads a tun of runs and become a leading run scorer. I love the way his front foot as guided by GOACH started to work. He amazed every one including Mark Nicoles too. Now England has bright chances to wrap this test as quickly as possible. Before Swann shines for the SCG test match :) and leaving no escape for AUSIES and put themselves in complete Shambles. I would suggest and really like England to make 500 plus here because in this way they would on Ausies mind till SCG psychologically.

  • POSTED BY swarzi on | December 26, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    I still maintain that the true Australians are now revealing themselves. Ricky Pontin himself has never been any class act; as Bill Lawry always tried to suggest to the world. He thrived on long hops dished out by low rated mediocre military medium fast bowlers from weak international teams. He was also very much dependent on the imposing power of Matthew Hayden in the opening position, and the good patnerships that Hayden produced with Justin Langer. The experts should note that since Hayden played his last match on Jan 3, 2009, Pontin has batted in forty five innings, scoring two centuries only (including 209 against Pakistan when he was dropped from a sitter on zero). His average since Hayden's departure is 37.5 which I think is a manifestation of his true ability, when he faces test bowling that is at least just above average. I am therefore not surprised at his returns lately. It is not a matter of him not being in form. He is now exhibiting his true ability.

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | December 26, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    @landl47 Spot on mate, the only guy who got himself out was Hughes, all the rest were from good deliveries ,or the pressure of not being able to score because the bowlers kept it so tight. After a few overs, the ball stopped swinging and it was mainly down to great line and length that brought the wickets. Really pleased for Bresnan, people really do underestimate him,going at 1.9 a over and getting 2 wickets with some pacey bowling, constant 87-89mph all way through the innings.

  • POSTED BY GoCric on | December 26, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    The Aussie selectros are either living in the past or or have their heads in the sand. This aussie side is too weak to beat the WI or even Bangladesh. Watson needs to go to no six to solidify the lower middle order.Groom a real opener, and get rid of Smith. There are only four real natsmen in this Aussie team which speaks to the arrogance or foolishness of the selectros. Smith will not make any other test team....

  • POSTED BY OutCast on | December 26, 2010, 17:52 GMT

    where were you all English fans when OZ was dominating since Dinosaur era... everyone loses... its big when OZ loses coz they are not used to losing... its EVEN BIG WHEN POOR ENGLAND WINS COZ THEY ARE NOT USED TO.....BTW I am not an OZ nor an OZ fan......

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 17:39 GMT

    first ponting is playing for his career. Thankfully clarke is not doing better with the bat. The way England is playing i don't see a contest next year when they play India. With all the Australian greats gone WELL COME AUSTRALIA to the pack. After leading the way for years now you know what it feels like to be on the receiving end.

  • POSTED BY Tim40621 on | December 26, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    This was an amazing performance everything even the way the weather changed just at the right time made me laugh. Maybe if KP had caught Watson on 0 we could have bowled them out for 93 and our lead would be 64 now......im joking! Top stuff boys, Anderson swung it beautifully and Tremlett is the real deal as a test bowler now, producing the sort of ball he got Ponting out with will cause havoc to many other batsmen in the future if he can keep the consistancy. I cant say im a massive Tim Bresnan fan but he in the right conditions is a decent member of the attack. Even some average batting tomorrow and we England will be in complete control.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    @jr1972 - at least our batsmen are fighting in alien and tough batting conditions. Not like your sissy team who are struggling even in home conditions. I knew you guys had it the moment that genius Greg Chappell took charge. Who had the wisdom to hire him anyway?

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is finished.......even as a batsman...he should realize that there is no point in chasing tendulkar now...he should retire before cricket Australia kicks his butt....hard...!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 16:37 GMT

    yes australia did bat poorly with some indifferent strokes and cant find a decent ittled side but why does it always be its australia and not a great england side because by this rate england-india next year will be a better contest based on talent

  • POSTED BY Instinctively_Innocuous on | December 26, 2010, 16:33 GMT

    The way the Aussies have batted in this series in general and this match in particular, and given England's far superior bowling, there's no reason why Strauss shouldn't feel confident enough in wrapping up this match by day 3. Score 300 odd on day 2, for a lead of 350+, give the Aussies three days to survive, and bowl them all out again on day 3 itself. Although I'm an Aussie fan, but this is terrible! That 100th test win for Ponting has to wait a while now, because you have to believe he's a goner now! Such a shame.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | December 26, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    The dream day of them all. This was the sort revenge I used envisage in the '90's when we were getting hammered. Broad's early departure seems to have strengthened the attack as Tremlett has done everything Broad did not. I actually like much about Broad so this is not spurious invective., and I like his batting loads. But Tremlett is no frills,just efficiency and bite.really great from him and Jimmy who is at least as good as Steyn now. I am delighted to see Cook moving in on a ton, making this a truly great series for him. Hopefully Strauss will join him there. And one or two others. Wither Ponting? Hopefully into the refuse bin of failing captains!!! No mercy, England please.

  • POSTED BY HAS2SIK_786 on | December 26, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Come on ENGLAND!!!!! the Poms are bashing the Ozzys around Melbourne lol

  • POSTED BY Jithinvsjj on | December 26, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    Its very sad to see the Australian team performing like this....

  • POSTED BY zimzim on | December 26, 2010, 14:52 GMT

    Aus will be peferct team to give Zim in its first year back in test cricket we want a peice of them..............

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 14:32 GMT

    @ TheLoneStranger I totally agree with you

  • POSTED BY ya-zi-r on | December 26, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    its been too much bluffing about mitchell jhonson during the last cuple of weeks..,ok he got six wickets .,but,after how long.,as far as i know,apart from thesouth africa tour.., he's been struggling b4 and after all the way.,wasnt consistent against pakistan ,faired very badly against india and also during srilanka's short tour and was hammered during the first ashes., but yet i dono why,,, the commentators during the ashes has been spaking about him so highly as if there are no other gud bowlers around.,gud bowlers dont take so long to to get back to form,,may be he was too luckey in sa., to my knowledge he's a gud bowler but certainly not the best of the Australian seamers..in fact i doubt whether hes among the gud bowlers in world cricket..,

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    d Best Boxing Day start, Ever. HAT'S OFF, 2 TREMLETT & ANDERSON:)

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 14:26 GMT

    I wonder that talent they see in Steve Smith as a specialist batsman. Seriously they are up on a gum tree to consider him as Australias best cricketing talent. Watto is ideal for opening but Phil Hughes has to play more first-class & sheffield shield cricket. Khawaja is a must when he is in his peak form.Feel sorry for him after getting 2 close opportunities only to get ditched. Get rid of clarke, he is just surviving for being a celebrity icon. He has to work harder to retrieve what he has lost. Same with Punter.

    Greg Chappel has been an utter failure as a selector. Bringing in Beer out of nowhere when Hauritz is performing well, persisting with Clarke, overlooking the likes of David Hussey. Hopefully this test would make a drastic difference in Australias approach.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    Some interesting comments here. I thought Hughes was the only batsman who could claim to have been a little unlucky, as he middled the ball and happened to pick out the fielder. Why popcorn levels all his attack at Hughes I'm not sure. The toss was important, but the pitch didn't change that much in the break between innings. England batted better than Australia. Smith bowled the only over which bothered the English batsmen at all, so his bowling was OK. He doesn't look anything like a test #6, but that's another issue. These are NOT two evenly matched sides, Marcio; England have far more players playing well than Australia. Hussey and Johnson's magic spell at Perth have hidden how weak Australia is as a team. Tremlett has more wickets in 3 innings than any Australian bowler in the series. He's been a revelation. Good selection of Bresnan by England; don't know what the Aussie selectors were thinking, playing 4 seamers plus Watson. Siddle bowled well, the others didn't.

  • POSTED BY voma on | December 26, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    Incredible day for England , and broad isnt playing ! . Many of the comments by aus fans are so funny , talking about selection changes . England have made 2 changes and 1 of them forced by injury .Anderson and Styne surely are the best fast bowlers in world cricket now .

  • POSTED BY SwaZim on | December 26, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    England have Andy Flower as coach ------ a Zimbabwean! He's an outstanding personality and follows another Zimbo: Duncan Fletcher. Go for it, England!

  • POSTED BY Jaggadaaku on | December 26, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    Aus. fans, one thing just put in your mind that "as long as Punter is leading, Australia won't be back on the top". Because he is failing in every innings, so he cannot talk about other failed batsmen. Punter was very good three years ago, but now he is history. In last 3 years he has reached at triple figure only twice, and in this last 4 tests of Ashes, he made only one in-important half century. Hilfenhaus captured only one wicket in last test, but found a place in this match. Why?????? Because he is punter's cousin. You guys don't know. What ever would happen, I mean Punter makes century or not, Hilfenhaus captures wickets or not, they both would be in every game. Punter is very smart. He is struggling to make runs, failing in every innings, he is injured too, but doesn't leave and rest because he knows if he would rest when team is winning, he may be wouldn't find his place back. and Australian Cricket is also favoring him. "AUSTRALIAN CRICKET BOARD MAHERBAAN TO PUNTER PAHELWAAN"

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 26, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Chappell...your UNDER ARM STINKS.....even after 29 yrs of that famous under-arm delivery that you asked Trevor to "Deliver" to NZ.......TILL NOW YOUR UNER-ARM STINKS....guess you cant ask Ricky to deliver an Under-Arm to Eng now....beacuse Eng are on cloud 9 and too high for your Under-Arm

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 26, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    Well, Trickster, would you like to take a bet on this series ending 2-2, because I will take you on any day? I have been 100% correct in my predictions here on cricinfo so far (including this game, with Eng winning _ I predicted Eng in Adelaide, AUS in Perth). I know it's scary to consider, but Eng couldn't score more than 160 in either innings in the last game, and they lost by nearly 300 runs. What has changed? Ability? No. The conditions have changed. Australia to win in Sydney. Your team simply isn't that good, and that's the reality, and AUS isn't as bad as bashers are saying. Form and fortune go up and down (and they have fluctuated wildly in this series), but ability remains stable in the long run. As for the argument that AUS can't win without Hussey and Clarke, that is, again, based merely on temporary form. Clarke and Ponting average 50 runs an innings. How long do you think they will continue to fail? The law of averages, dude... Same for conditions. Things will swing back.

  • POSTED BY CricketKeeper on | December 26, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    A great day of cricket it must be said: excellent bowling and excellent test-grade batting. The fact that both of these points were contributed by England is unfortunate for my fellow Australians but the reliable quality of the English game exhibited today is indisputable. I have to say though that anyone wanting to see the back of Ricky Ponting as captain should ask themselves who they would have instead: VC Michael Clarke should be the first person dropped from the squad. He's never shown himself to be a Test-class cricketer: limited-over cricket perhaps, but a long way from Test. Watson is out of form but has shown in the past he's test-worthy; Haddin is as capable a keeper as the next man, Katich is not in bad form and Hussey is the only Australian in this series to perform to a true test standard - he made that catch at the WACA that got things started; Johnson was lucky, it was Hussey that saved the match for Australia. I say well done to the Poms so far, and so long Clarke

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | December 26, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Okay, I think at the start of every cricket season, the selected Australian test team should play a practice match againts the Victorian team to test to see whether the selectors (all SFBs) have got it right. Victoria will undoubtedly smash them because: they have better batsmen, better bowlers, better wicketkeeper, better fieldsmen, better Captain, better coach and.......yep, most importantly a quadtrillion billion billion megmillion better selectors. Um, yeah.....the last one is really important. And I don't think anyone in Australia would disagree with that!!!!! (No, I am not Bill Lawry!)

  • POSTED BY HamzaAftab on | December 26, 2010, 12:56 GMT

    The Indain played very well in home aginst all teams. but its look like still they could not adjust in south Africa boucny trackes. this is real test for strong Indian batting line. Dohani 11 is really in trouble after Laxmen wicket.

  • POSTED BY Hooves on | December 26, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Can't seem to find Ricky ponting on Twitter? STRANGE

  • POSTED BY HamzaAftab on | December 26, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    what a crowd at MCG. but they colud not enjoy the real Australian cricket. its look like this is not real Australian team.they way they were giving ages to Wicketkeep and slips look like that they are on nets. Poiting should not take part in this test with broken finger. may be this will cause in coming world cup 2011. where austalian need fit pounting. I think they should give the chance to Kawaja.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    Hussey...what a key wicket...and you can't under estimate getting Johnson out for 0 either as I feel he bowls better when he gets a decent knock behind himl. Well done Strauss and Cook...keep it going tomorrow. They are a class opening act.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    To use a famous quote: "Rome wasn't built in a day. But it was burned in a night." Much like Aus now, they need to rebuild which will take a while. Very easy though to break any progress though by cutting players left right and centre.

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | December 26, 2010, 12:30 GMT

    @praume2001: Aahh buddy, so you're proud of how India have performed in Sth Africa!?!!?!?!? Don't even know how to respond to that. Guess I'll have a chuckle or two. I'm happy to admit this Aussie side ain't much chop and England have been far superior. Sad thing about India is, this is your best side ever (words of Indian fans, not mine) and you're still getting your backsides handed to you by a very good, but far from great side. If you guys are happy with that then, my hearty congratulations.

  • POSTED BY Something_Witty on | December 26, 2010, 12:29 GMT

    I really can't say I'm surprised. Watson and Hussey have been holding our batting together this series, and there was inevitably going to come a day when they would both get out cheaply. That day was today, and the results are plain to see. I for one now hope we lose this and the test at the SCG, because maybe, just maybe someone will realise that the selection panel and the coaches are not on the job. A truly disgraceful performance from our boys today, but hopefully this will actually spark some changes and make some heads roll. Smith is a position too high at number 6, if you want him in the side, play him as a spinner and bring in Khawaja. Clarke really has looked horribly out of form this series, he's got some real work to do to stay in the team.

  • POSTED BY Narkovian on | December 26, 2010, 12:26 GMT

    AUSSIE FANS ATTITUDE IS DISAPPOINTING. As soon as they start losing they all go home ! 84,000 in the morning. MCG nearly empty for the last couple of hours. So it will be interesting to see how many turn up tomorrow, and support the team .

    Wanna buy a ticket for the SCG... going cheap ?!!

    I reckon selectors should sack most of them and pcik a virtually new team for SCG. Including a new Captain. Then after that sack themselves.

  • POSTED BY kdcricket on | December 26, 2010, 12:21 GMT

    BTW.....Pontings quotes seem funny now, Aussie 5:0 LOLOLOLOL...they are beaten so bad, he cant even dream 5:0....forget actually achieving it

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 12:18 GMT

    On there way up Australia rubbed up the whole cricketing world the wrong way, now that they are comming down the steep hill they have to face a lot of what they had been dishing out as can be read from the long list of comments. People are being to harsh on Ponting i believe, his growth graph has gone the wrong way. He inherited the best side in the world and owrds the end of ponting's carrer he has been given a new side which is not as talented and experienced compared to what he had before. So as a captain it is hard to adjust to such a change at the end of your career. Normaly captains work hard at the start to build a team and then enjoy the success later on, but Ponting has got it the other way around. Its just too difficult. Now someone new needs to step in with revised goals and a fresh mind set, i think Ponting's approach is draging the side down and you dont want your young guys to come into the team with tthe burden to play as well as the previous batch, let them enjoy!!

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | December 26, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    @Marcio Really? evenly matches teams, don't make me laugh, but for Hussey and to some extent Watson this would have happened , in the last test, those 2 have hidden a very poor Australia team, from a even worse series.Even in your own back yard England are clearly a better team and have proved it. If you think it was the conditions that gave England 10 wickets you are clearly deluded, the ball did a bit, but nothing outrageous, it was just good honest line and length that did for Australian batsmen, as well as a few loose shots. When England batted,they left all the good balls, even though there wasn't that many and Johnson bowled tripe again, siddle was alright, but the rest were all over the place and Englands' openers punished the loose balls.No one to blame except for the Australian team.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    good bye ponting. next test will b ur last

  • POSTED BY jr1972 on | December 26, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    This is one for all those Indian supporters who continue to spend more time posting (anti-Australian sentiment) on the Ashes site than they (show their team support) on the SA v India site. I see that your boys are in the midst of yet another batting calamity. I suggest you put your stones away and advise you to consider supporting your own team and maybe think in real terms about what the near future may hold for Indian cricket and a national team that will be losing Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag in the not too distant future. Sounds a little bit like the Langer, Hayden, Martyn, Gilchrist, Warne, McGrath.....etc. story that you so fondly keep on regurgitating. Australians are well aware of the effect of losing so many great players in such a short period of time and those guys actually won something. Please don't tell me a T20 WC is winning something, It's a bit like Tiger Woods winning a crazy golf tournament, mind you, he'd be pretty chuffed with that at the moment.

  • POSTED BY TheLoneStranger on | December 26, 2010, 11:46 GMT

    If you want an ACCURATE bowler who also takes wickets, what's wrong with Stuart Clark? He's still bowling well for NSW and I never could work out why he was dropped, anyway. You also have Clint McKay, or Andrew McDonald if you want an all-rounder. (Hang on, I think McDonald's injured now, so can that). Anyway, I named a team above, but if you want some accuracy, leave Siddle out and instal Clark or McKay. Stuart Clark, by the way, has an excellent Test bowling average. It seems that dopey Hilditch and co. simply wrote him off after the 5th test in England. Bring Clark (instead of Siddle) and Hauritz back for the Sydney test, for Heaven's sake.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 11:44 GMT

    Oh! come on guys ....give them a break.... they are trying.... they have defeated & mauled so many for so long that this new situation is a little alien to them..... i'm sure Aussies would be back with a bang..... i admit i'm not a huge aussie fan..... but it's not nice to see such a good team so low on confidence..... give them a couple of months to settle down..... they'll have a better team.....

    p.s: they are one innings away from a ponting classic

  • POSTED BY TomNightingale on | December 26, 2010, 11:40 GMT

    England stuff the ChrOZmas turkeys.

  • POSTED BY ell_bee on | December 26, 2010, 11:37 GMT

    in the past Australia has come out for the new day with dirty clothes, unshaven and with a second class attitude. I notice that the England team has a shower a shave and fresh clothes and a fresh attitude. Maybe its time australia did the same. The hunger for success is lost with Ponting, Johnson, Clarke and its time for fresh - selectors and coach included

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Congrats to England, on their first day, but really its not over yet. Yes the Aussies did poor on the first day, but its also possible they can change the entire game by tom so lets wait till the game is over. Another thing what m not understanding is, why are there so many Indians here going after the Aussie, i mean India is playing very poorly in South Africa.......or maybe all Indians are watching the Ashes instead of India South Africa series....lol.

  • POSTED BY Howling_Wolf on | December 26, 2010, 11:30 GMT

    I think it was an important toss to win, but I think England's star is in ascendancy, whereas Australia is in definite decline. England have a very well balanced side, for all conditions - maybe the only missing piece in their armour is a genuine fast bowler. Ponting visually appears to have a cluttered mind when he goes out to bat - too many thoughts from a burdened Captain, and this is having an impact on his batting. England have fine replacement bowlers (seam and spin) and batsmen, so have their bases covered in case of injury. They will challenge India and South Africa as the best side in the world. And with many young players in the squad all acquiring experience, they will be the future.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Marcio made Mitcher proud !!

  • POSTED BY kdcricket on | December 26, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Well, to be frank there is precious little Ponting or anyone else can do....they are a mediocre side now period. For all the brashness and arrogance of yesteryears, it was backed by excellence. Here you have a bunch of inconsistent bowlers and flat track batters who are above ordinary at best. England have not done anything outlandish. They have stuck to the basics and being a better team have come up trumps. I do not see Aussies succeeding home/away over the next few years. They better adapt to loosing gracefully and not sulk. The battle for pinnacle of cricket is now between Poms, SA and India....bring on more series' involving these three instead of one sided Ashes...

  • POSTED BY Chapelau on | December 26, 2010, 11:12 GMT

    @marcio - which is it dreamer or loser? .... blame anything but the truth - England have outplayed Australia in this series - Aus can only realistically claim 4 days versus England on top for 11 so far ! Well matched - maybe, but using the conditions, their skills and common sense - England win hands down.

  • POSTED BY Davo25 on | December 26, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Ha ha, all those dud New South Wales players: Clarke, Smith, Hughes, Bollinger, Haddin, Lee - how have they kept getting games?

    Only because of the letters "NSW" after their names.

    No doubt the selectors will now choose more of them directly out of Grade cricket!

  • POSTED BY UtpalKhardenavis on | December 26, 2010, 11:10 GMT

    Big Mouth' Punter' has failed again and so has his team. Now some people who were saying that Ponting should remain captain will be questioning themselves. Ponting shouldn't be captain because looking at his current record it would be tough for him to justify his place in the team and to be a Captain you need to be in the team. Australia's fall looked inevitabletoday considering that their trusted players Watson, Hussey and Haddin didn't make much impact. This is not to take credit from England who have played fabulous Cricket if I had been English supporter I would have felt extremely proud of the team and the barmy army's support. Trimmlet and Anderson literally trimmed Australia today.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | December 26, 2010, 11:02 GMT

    I have repeatedly been saying that Phil Hughes is NOT Opener material for Test Cricket.He has NO Technique against the moving ball. He is a FLASHER, not a GRAFTER.His game is better suited to Twenty20 or 50 over cricket. He is UNDEPENDABLE, unlike Simon Katich, or Phil Jaques or Chris Rogers,one of whom must be brought into the SCG Test to salvage our pride.These are the ASHES, for God's sake, blood Phil Hughes if you must in the Bangladesh series.Even Mark Taylor says that his technique against the moving ball is poor - he may have scored a century in each innings against South Africa - but the pitch conditions were different. Phil Hughes has DONE NOTHING TO IMPROVE HIS TECHNIQUE AFTER HE WAS DROPPED in the 2009 Ashes. As for steve smith, he,and the selectors need to remember that he has been taken for his leg spin bowling - his batting, if any, is a bonus.Australia do not have a good N0.6. Perhaps Usman Khwaja can fill that place, and move up to No.3 after Ponting retires.

  • POSTED BY praume2001 on | December 26, 2010, 11:00 GMT

    @Mitcher....u proving perfect aussie... on one side u talk abt Indians blaming toss and conditions (which actually is and aus dont hv tht excuse to make even) and on the other hand u asking for rain (Almighty)...so tht u can get conditions to rescue u... hahahaha... just chk out the way Indian batsman r playing the best bowlers on the worst possible pitch and overcast conditions...learn Aussies learn...if not...at least learn to accept ur defeat...

  • POSTED BY AsherCA on | December 26, 2010, 10:45 GMT

    Their "Great" Australian batsmen know that when they are in trouble, Umpire's decision is not final, UDRS will come into play. As such, well-timed "human errors" to help "lucky" Australians are no longer available. It is very easy for any batsman to plonk his foot in front & swing his bat, knowing that LBW is out for him, only when his team is in a good position & his nicks will be "missed" by the umpires. UDRS has only eliminated the "human error" element of ICC's umpires. We can all now see the ethically correct class of Australian cricket. Australia led by Ponting will soon be fighting WI for # 8, maybe Zimbabwe for # 9.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | December 26, 2010, 10:43 GMT

    I was at the MCG today, and i can tell you that it seemed as though the aussie players had had one slice of turkey too many, they were leaden footed. Add on the bad fielding 2 or 3 dropped catches IIRC. Mitchell Johnson was back to the form he was in in Brisbane.

  • POSTED BY sunnymachoo on | December 26, 2010, 10:40 GMT

    I dont know whats going around in Australians' minds... and as I always say after each day in this year's series, "England is ALL over Australia!"

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    It's funny how you Indian supporters claim we are sore losers, you people haven't been particularly gracious in attacking the carcass of Australian cricket, and Ponting in particular! You might be ranked number 1 in the world, but you aren't fdoing particularly well in South Africa at the moment. Talent wise, there isn't a lot between the top 4 or 5 sides in the world, but in this series, England's bowling has been top rate and we have too many players out of form. Ponting is a massive concern, and this doesn't bode well for our world cup chances either, but who knows, if England can collapse like in Perth, we may have a sniff.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 10:28 GMT

    "What goes up should come down!" That's the exact thing happening to Ponting and Australia. They are searching for the secret ingredient for success by any means but only thing they get is failure. Perhaps they should consider the idea of cloning of Glen Mcgrath, Shane Warne and all other former Australian elite guys!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 10:22 GMT

    Just an outstanding performance by the whole team A great way to celebrate Christmas

  • POSTED BY RayBand on | December 26, 2010, 10:10 GMT

    As I said, for anyone who has played cricket, the idea of a captain, who is undoubteably the best fieldsman in the side, fielding bat pad, is insane, and I would want to play for that guy. Wake up gang! 2. Hughes is the best option at the moment. Sorry to say, but he is. Diabolical technique, but he is. Dropping Clarke? C'mon, I love David Hussey but his record is flattering and putting a 30 odd middle order bat in the team now just defeats the hard yards we've made trying to blood kids. This was always going to happen, as Roebuck said , This was a slide we all knew was coming, and it still hasn't reached the levels of disaster we expected. Sorry, but gazing ovr the Oz 1st class scene over the last 18 months, I'm happy the ashes were even in the balance by boxing day. Cycles guys. 3. I love the way India play, and have played there as a junior. Im really disappointed with how vitriotic so many of the comments have been against my country. This blog is about a cricket team, not a people

  • POSTED BY Australia17594 on | December 26, 2010, 10:01 GMT

    Let's compare. Wait a minute, the only difference was that Hussey and Haddin grew tired of saving Australia and just failed.

    Why is Hughes in the team?? Why is there no spinner, just look at Smith, he actually got and edge on strauss.

  • POSTED BY jr1972 on | December 26, 2010, 10:00 GMT

    England were all class today. Outstanding seam bowling albeit in favorable conditions. They took full advantage of Strauss' decision to have a bowl and blew the Aussies away. I can't remember the last time Australia played so poorly in a single days play. Surely the wicket which got a mid-day watering from on high was not that different to the one that the 3 English seamers bowled so well on. Strauss and Cook looked comfortable aside from an over from Smith at the end of the day. I am not as quick (or as vidictive) as some to right Australia off but it is really difficult to see this particular group of players coming back from this. I see large scale changes ahead for the ACB and it's current playing staff.

  • POSTED BY RayBand on | December 26, 2010, 9:58 GMT

    Alright here goes. Congrats to England, they have won about 80% of the series and two spells by Siddle and Johnson in the first and third tests respectively have salvaged some pride for us (Oz). The Poms are a fantastic, well drilled, disciplined side and the best I've seen bar '05 for thirty years. BUT... cricket works in cycles and the Oz side is going through one now. To everyone who thinks they know better, let me say. 1. Ponting is not the best tactical captain I've seen, one of the worst, but shrewd field placings and astute bowling changes don't change matches when you're a poor side. Leadership does. I'm not talking about his on field behavior which has been very disappointing over the best part of his tenure, but he is a born leader, to his troops, on the field. When a wicket is taken, the team runs to Ponting. He is the spirit that courses through their veins and I have never seen a captain put a helmet on and field bat pad before Ponting started....

  • POSTED BY coolcarl on | December 26, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    What a great day.......really impressed with England's application especially after Perth. I'm convinced Perth was a fluke and just a one off abject performance by England ( don't ask me why ! ) Anyway someone suggested that these teams are evenly matched.........you must have been watching a different series to me. England is clearly a better team. Just admit it! I was happy to admit you were for years even last year when we won in England I felt the aussies were unfortunate to lose as they were as good if not better than us. But not any more not by a long shot......Steve Smith wouldn't get in an England 3rd team!!!!

  • POSTED BY tjsimonsen on | December 26, 2010, 9:49 GMT

    @Marcio: I think that to get the full image this quote should be added to your rather biased assesment: "By the time Australia bowled, it looked like any spice in the pudding had lost its kick. In reality, they just didn't bowl well enough, while Cook and Strauss defended solidly and left the right balls, also ticking the score along by chasing the bad deliveries, like an uppish cut to the vacant third-man area from Cook when he was given width." - In short: England took (not were given) the oportunity in better conditions and used every inch on offer. Australia were unable to use anything on offer. England's batsmen clearly applied themselves to the task - Australia's didn't.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 9:45 GMT

    unthreatening legspin from smith included @ edges, one not carrying to slip and another ball beating the bat of strauss. he bowled quite well except for a couple short ones

  • POSTED BY hurrysh on | December 26, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    D Hussey would have and should have rightly been in this team. At the moment, only 3 of the 11 are scoring. About time Mike was made the captain, and clarke was let go to play domestic cricket. He may come back stronger...

    I cant think of any logical reason to have smith over D Hussey. He can even roll his arms over... which is what smith does.

    Boycott would have (might have) had a field day with smith... :) ala NIcky boje. :) "Who would you want to bowl at you when you are in the 90s." warner like sehwag could be used to demoralise opposition. May be the selectors could try him out as an opener in the next match. If you can select Smith you can select anyone.

  • POSTED BY vk71 on | December 26, 2010, 9:35 GMT

    I have never seen Australia in such helpless situation. I did see them losing. But not before watching a great fight. Current Australian team can't play even with high school league teams. Watching Strauss and Cook batting against Australian bowlers is the great test cricket experience. Pitch still got lot of life and bowlers can do a lot. May be we are going to watch worst loss Australia ever suffered in the test cricket history. May be such loss benefit Australia to go back to the drawing board for better preparation before World cup. Right now Australia is tamed. I am really looking forward to see mighty bull dozing from England that can crush Aussies superiority and stupid aggression for long years to come. Cheers to England.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    Finally Aussie players are learning how to feel the real heat,as they are only good in sledging the opposite team or to imitate them.Finally a strong England team is giving them the real fight which we always imagined for years.For Ricky Ponting- its time to go Captain,enough of yours encourgement to your team for sledging other players,how shameful for an international player who cant even control his team players for oversledging in previous matches.Stop comparing yourself to Sachin Tendulkar,your sun is about to set,so its better leave the team with your good records,rather then they kick you out.

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 26, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    few weeks ago Nathan Hauritz was seen with a box outside his house, when a bloke asked him what was he doing there, he just pointed at the box and said he's just trying to sell-off some of his cricket gears to raise funds, to pay-off his loans.....what a downfall for Ausie cricket.....gosh...wow wow wow... MCG has shown the trend....soon more of these Ausies "Sledging" blokes will be sitting outside their home....with more boxes.....

  • POSTED BY PYC1959 on | December 26, 2010, 9:27 GMT

    Get rid of Chappell and Hilditch as selectors, they have NO idea. There is so much talent in Australia and they come up with Smith and Hughes for the biggest series in Cricket........................... Chappell you proved you were a failiure in India and you are proving it once again.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    This is Armageodon for the Aussies but unfortunately theres no Bruce Willis to save them. The Perth win papered over the huge cracks and the full extent of the shambles has now been fully exposed. What a shambles, Sack the lot of them!

  • POSTED BY masterblaster1971 on | December 26, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    There are some really nobbish comments here. Ponting has played his last series as an Australian captain WITHOUT A DOUBT. The best Australia can do from here is draw this test and that will mean retention of the Ashes for England. England is the far superior team there is no luck in the toss or conditions Mario! The long reign of Australian world domination is ending....

  • POSTED BY Narkovian on | December 26, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    Taking into account 2 great players ( Clark and Ponting) loss of form. Perhaps and probably permanent... This has to be the worst batting line up AUS have put out for as long as I can remember. Certainly since 1985. Watson should be 6. Hughes simply is not good enough, he has been found out and will not make runs against a half decent bowler. Smith shouldnt be there at all, as for batting at No.6... a joke.

    Bowling ain't much better either! Sad really. N

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    That was an embarrising display from the Aussies and the Poms deserve to give us the biggest flogging we have had since we got sent this great land we call Oz!

    This time we deserve every whip we get for we did not just steal a loaf of bread, we sent it to the Poms with a ribbon on top!

    Merry Christmas England!

  • POSTED BY johntycodes on | December 26, 2010, 9:04 GMT

    Like I've said many times before I don't even follow the cricket that much any more and didn't even watch one ball today. I went to the races. Why should I watch a team that is supposed to be australia but hasn't got the best players in australia playing for it. The coach is a joke and greg chappel is a failure everywhere he goes.

  • POSTED BY mayur07301 on | December 26, 2010, 8:59 GMT

    Guys..! come on ...give the kangaroos a break..! plz!!! i mean the best team in the world for nearly 15 consecutive years can have a lean patch,given their big names have retired in a cluster.I am pretty sure their resurgence is not far away.comments from some of our indian brothers are just hard to swallow & shallow.This jingoistic approach is just unwarranted.Common and be a sport..!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Ray24 on | December 26, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    More happy Indians here than Englishmen!

    Aus needs to make some changes - Ponting needs to stay and he will find form in a matter of time. Clarke, Smith and Hughes should be shown the door as they are not test match material. We hear a lot about Khawaja, about time he should be tried. Three seamers plus Watson and a spinner should be a good attack - why doesn't Clarke bowl BTW? Need someone filling in for Clarke and Smith - Katich for Hughes once Katto is fit.

    Aus needs to score over 600 in the 2nd innings if they want to ensure a draw - seems highly unlikely with their form though.

  • POSTED BY Vroomfondel on | December 26, 2010, 8:56 GMT

    Only joking! Well done, England. Come on, lets have a 400+ first innings lead.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:55 GMT

    Think England can declare at lunch tomorrow and win the match by stumps

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 26, 2010, 8:54 GMT

    Ricky...a broken captain, a broken batsman, a broken player, a broken bloke, a broken leader, a broken person, a broken mate, a broken team, with a broken finger......checkmate....mate....all over for you....just call it quits....

  • POSTED BY Vroomfondel on | December 26, 2010, 8:53 GMT

    Well played, South Africa B.

  • POSTED BY suresh_sksj on | December 26, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    Ricky...a broken captain, a broken batsman, a broken player, a broken bloke, a broken leader, a broken person, a broken mate, a broken team, with a broken finger......checkmate....mate....all over for you....just call it quits....

  • POSTED BY coeurlion on | December 26, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    As an Australian fan, I'm disgusted! Boxing Day in Melbourne. Ashes on the line! What do I get? 98 all out! Totally unacceptable. There was no discipline, no application. Sheesh! Mr Cricket can't save us EVERY time! However, all credit to England. Bowled extremely well (Tremlett/Anderson 4 wickets each!), and the openers demonstrated what was required batting on such a pitch. There are still 4 days to go, but to save this match, they'll have to play out of their skins! Maybe a Warne or a Border gets in the rooms and lights a firecracker under them. They sure need it! Otherwise the light we see in the tunnel is the light of an oncoming train. And selectors, what have you been smoking? 'Cos I sure want some of that.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    What's all this noise about uncovered pitches..."not since 1936 had they scored a lower ashes score at home, and that was in the days of uncovered pitches". Balls made those days were definitely not of the quality as they are now, so after a few overs they would have lost the bounce and bite they had a few overs back,....and of course there were no overly fast bowlers like now. No scientifically trained bowlers back then. Back then it was players who played cricket as alternative job. Very few teams played with obviously little number of players, so, not that much preparation was required. Cricket was its toughest from the 70s during the West Indies era and its got more tougher now with all the media exposure and lot more people watching.

  • POSTED BY adamgilly on | December 26, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    shame!!!!!! shame!!!!!!!! SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!! will someone show courage to sack aged uncle ponting.......... brainless cricketer....... hopeless batsman.......... may be we will see first instance in crkt history when both captain and vice captain are dropped.............hope that happens........

  • POSTED BY dsig3 on | December 26, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Well a very sad day for Australia. We really have lost our way now. There really isnt anyone to blame because everybody failed. England bowled really well and made the pitch look like a minefield. There really was no swing out there just a little seam movement. Cook and Strauss reminded me of langer and hayden today, they looked invincible. Sad day.............

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | December 26, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    Selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors, selectors. It's all the selector's fault. They made the same stupid mistake as they made at The Oval last year. They came off a win with four seamers, so stuck with that. Morons. And of course they've left good Shield batsmen rotting on the tree over the last couple of years while waiting for guys like Hussey, North, Hayden etc to find form. Will these selectors become the first to lose three Ashes? Actually, correction, give away two.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    glry days for australiya r over now.. its time for them to face the musicccccc..

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:33 GMT

    Well it's obvious you can see GREG CHAPPELL mark all along. Players to be picked at random and left to rot if not performing.Ricky turns out to be the worst Aussie captain ever having lost everything in the recent past .GREG did this to India and left INDIAN cricket in shambles with players losing their confidence and trust in cricket and now you see the same situation in Australia.

    Let RICKY go, get a new captain, get some quality spinners if you want to sail back else enjoy the doom!!!

  • POSTED BY sarthak1 on | December 26, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    This is the down fall of a team which ruled the cricket world for over a decade and this is their destiny too the same had happened to then mighty West Indian.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:22 GMT

    Too much for Australia to climb, you can climb the Everest (With help of Hussey) once, not always... desperately feel for ponting... but at the same time can't dis-respect the English... they are in a position to finish this game in 3 days... Indian team can take a lot of heart from this performance of English men... as the last week there wasn't much of a difference between India and English... still you can't compare the Fast and Furious English bowling attack to the toothless (in absence of Zaheer) Indian attack... Dhoni, please read the pitch maps of the English men and ask the indian bowlers to deliver the replica... copying can't be a crime... :)

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:20 GMT

    This was inevitable. Jus look at the quality of the English openers and the Australian openers. In tests, you need to have a specialized 1 & 2. The moment your openers and no. 3 (Wretched form of Ponting) fails, you have to do the catching up. Sadly, Australians never recovered from there. Cant expect Hussey to do a resuce everytime. Bowling is 1 dimensional too. At the moment, English are a better team and it showed today.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    I'm just wondering what popcorn will complain was unfair to his idols- the weather, perhaps? The system of tossing a coin to decide who has choice of innings? Australia only being able to play 11 men?

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    englang has bowled well but i think they are lucky enough to won the toss and made a right decion to bowel first. why Aus need 5 regular bowler in the team not 6 regular batsman do they think they have enough strong batting line up to win a test.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 8:09 GMT

    This is one hell of a spineless batting display. Absolutely, unexpected from Oz :(

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    This has to be one of the most one-sided days of test cricket that I've ever seen. Australia looked completely helpless against some decent English bowling, then when England batted there seemed to be nothing in the pitch at all. Mitch Johnson's renaissance lasted exactly one game- today he was back to the bad old Mitch, all over the place, no swing and leaking 6 runs an over. Even so I thought it was extraordinary that by the time England went ahead, after 30 overs, he'd only bowled 3 overs. Ponting was caught in the slips again; I'm sorry, but hitting a couple of short balls for 4 doesn't mean he's in good form.That's 6 innings out of 7 now that he's made 12 or less. Anderson, Tremlett and Bresnan all bowled well and tight. Cook and Strauss hardly looked in any trouble at all. A dream day for England; now they have to push on, score a lot of runs and bat Australia out of the match. With 4 days to go, it's going to be hard for Australia to save the game, but you never know.....

  • POSTED BY MENDIS_Forever on | December 26, 2010, 7:57 GMT

    australia is now a spent force.all out for 98 on their home soil.what a terrible shock! Now I think they have to dig the grave of theDON and call him for a second comeback to rescue the team.

  • POSTED BY Iceborn999 on | December 26, 2010, 7:56 GMT

    @ amit1807kuwait .... What are you blaming me for??, I or the people who contribute to these cricinfo conversations didn't vote Greg Chappell into the role. Blame cricket Australia... not me LOL!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Well there will definately be some changes if AUS continue like this for the rest of the test. If we lose this, I think it should be time to blood youth and begin the rebuild - kids like Hughes, Smith should be given some time whilst others like Khawaja, Hazlewood, Ferguson, O'Keefe, White and possibly Maddison should be given their chances. Bringing in older players like Hodge is just silly. He had his chance at test level, didnt perform consistently and was dropped, Im afraid his time has really passed. We need to look and build for the next Ashes.

  • POSTED BY VSDADV on | December 26, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    A very immature or rather stubborn selection from the Aussie think tank! They made a mistake by dropping Hauritz and to justify that, they made a lot of other mistakes hoping other selected spinners will bloom all of a sudden and make their decision right. For some reason, they were not selected in the playing eleven and that also did not happen. I wonder if any of this has to do with a gentleman called Chappell ( greg). As such he has a dislike for aged cricketers and hope this is not a conspiracy to drop Ponting. Anyway nothing can be counted out. Ain't there any better openers than Hughes in domestic cricket. Watson could be a much better batsman at number 6. Bring back Hauritz. Smith, is neither a good number 6 not a good spinner at test level. Get 2 experienced openers from Domestic level who can play the swinging ball. Movel Clark to number 6 and Hussey to number 5. Persuade Tait to come back to test.

  • POSTED BY praume2001 on | December 26, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    guru greg chappel is doing to Australia wht he did to India...u Aussies deserve this... U made lot of fun laughin on others all these years...now its ur time to face the music... and the whole world knows...Aussies r the worst loosers... well i hv one suggestion... y dont u guys call Bangladesh team next year boxing day test... but still i m not sure whether u will win or not... hahahahaaha...

  • POSTED BY AndyVine on | December 26, 2010, 7:17 GMT

    ashes gone, abt time for ponting to go... he never was a good captain, just that he was so lucky to have such a consistent flow of such talented players... i think warne would have been the perfect captain to follow steve waugh... if warne can achieve what he achieved with rajasthan royals with a bunch of not so talented players & just by inspiring them, just imagine what he could have done with an aus team with such awesomely talented super players... looking at ponting does not install any confidence... how can he inspire anyone when cant inspire himself... enough of calling ponting as the best captain right now... he is not even the best in australia...

  • POSTED BY upper_tier on | December 26, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    Haha...Go Greg Go...fully agree with Amit...the visionary that was out to destroy Indian cricket has now got a shot at the Australian cricket team - and he is determined to finish the job this time...I remember him talking about building academies where kids will be taught to be ambidextrous - bat right-handed or left-handed depending on the bowler and field placements...Well looks like the Aussie top-order is taking some classes in that academy...The form that Ricky Ponting is in, is worse than what Ganguly had in his days with Greg - and yet, Ricky still gets to lead the team out in a crucial test with a broken finger...talk about double standards...!Btw...why does Dave Warner not play test cricket?It will at least be entertaining to watch!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    wat an incredible turn around . . . .

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | December 26, 2010, 6:59 GMT

    AS Christmas day finally comes to an end here in Arizona I'm contemplating sleep - the Christmas spirit has finally got the better of me! As I write this, England are 11 runs ahead and all wickets remain. Thank you Santa you've been too generous and maybe we can post 500+ and not have to bat again? One happy Englishman this Christmas - now come on lads; finish the job with an almost Australian ruthlessness! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY Mitcher on | December 26, 2010, 6:57 GMT

    This is worst day I've ever seen from an Australian team. Shame had to come on such an important one. I guess if I was an Indian fan i'd blame the toss, conditions and the Almighty. But as much as it hurts all I can say is well played England. Outbowled, out batted and out fielded us. Thoroughly deserved. Any monsoons on the way to Melbourne?

  • POSTED BY Marcio on | December 26, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    98 is an embarrassing score, but England were always going to win this once they won the toss. It would have been nice if the Australian batsmen could have put up a simple fight, though. But the truth is that England were presented with perfect English conditions yet again, and to quote the commentary on cricinfo, "the sun is now out, the pitch has dried out and its perfect batting conditions." That's after AUS was all out, that is. So luck does have a lot to play in this, and this pattern has been prevalent in several tests so far. Anyway, Australia will win in Sydney for a 2-2 result. These are two evenly matched teams (Eng. couldn't score 200 in either innnings in Perth, the only time they have had battting conditions thatb were not perfect). Nothing has changed.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    So all the talk about sledging and playing hard which had stopped after the infamous Sydney test and restarted in the Perth test in the current series was a load of rubbish!!! You arrogant bunch, it is pleasing to see the English bringing you guys back to earth!

  • POSTED BY Suresh123456 on | December 26, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    And they say Indian batsman dont have right technique to play swinging/seaming ball in overcast conditions ?? just wait for couple of hours more guys.. SA decision to make a bowlers friendly condition may also backfire if MS Dhoni wins the toss.. which i guess he will (going by law of averages..) come on india

  • POSTED BY TheLoneStranger on | December 26, 2010, 6:46 GMT

    I am going to crow, along with many others; I don't care if we score 500 in our 2nd innings. Hughes: should NEVER have been selected. Ponting: one of our worst ever captains who should have been shunted down to 5or 6 over a year ago. Beer: a complete waste of space; nowhere near ready for Test Cricket. Clarke: should have been rissoled for this test. Watson, Hussey and Haddin have all had 1st-innings failures, hence no-one else to bail us out. Don't blame them; you cannot score 50+ every time you walk to the wicket. It was a good toss to win, but would the UN-astute Ponting have batted, had he won it? As a middle-order batsman he still may have something to offer; bot NOT at number 3! Next test: Watson, Katich (if fit; or Cosgrove), Khawaja, M.Hussey, D.Hussey, Ponting, Haddin (C), Hauritz, Siddle, Harris, Bollinger. (Johnson or Hilfenhaus 12th). Oh, and mark my words; Michael Clarke should NOT be our next skipper! Finally, sack the selectors. I'll quite happily fill one vacancy!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    they just hyped too much about this test..england is well settled aussie is having many issues...they just have to change whole team structure or they'll be ranked below 6....

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    sensational bowling performance by england

  • POSTED BY Chamindra on | December 26, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Still 4 days to go Anything could Happen.. But Aussies seems to be Pussies this time.. England will retain the Ashes.. Good Lesson for Aus.. for not using young talent.. Hope they would learn a good lesson from this Performance..

  • POSTED BY jrnmorris on | December 26, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    What a disgrace! The Aussie coach and most of the players dont belong in the international cricket arena! Infact, they are the laughing stock. A am ashamed to be an Aussie supporter! Bring back John Buchanan and sack the pathetic selectors!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:36 GMT

    got 11 out did we, because i saw the not out hilf get out

  • POSTED BY m_baker on | December 26, 2010, 6:35 GMT

    Well done England, but geez you're playing against an absolutely horrible team. The important thing now for Australian cricket is that England go on and finish the demolition -- only a good 3-1 whipping will do now, because only that will induce the clean-out necessary. Ponting, Clarke, Hughes, Hilditch and Chappell must go at an absolute minimum. The recovery will take years and perhaps even a decade but a start must be made as soon as possible.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:28 GMT

    A great X'mas gift by Ricky Ponting for the Austrailians, could he be more generous in gifting his farewell to all forms of cricket, irrespective of the final outcome of this boxing day match, wherein the Englishmen have done a knowkout job. The Austrailians are reaching great depths under his captaincy. All the hard work the hard work of his predecessors is being undone by him. His successes as captain were only by the hard work of Shane warne,Glenn McGrath, Mat Hayden.

    Ricky's personal performances in this series, make him eligible to stop competing for Hundreds and runs with Sachin Tendulkar, Jacques Kallis, let his nails have respite from chewing, or else he will be having none by in after thoughts of what went wrong in recording the lowest total in 74 years.

  • POSTED BY koldmeat on | December 26, 2010, 6:26 GMT

    Australia & Pakistan are the two best teams in the world at this moment. They will play in the World Cup 2011 final for sure. :-)

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    Pathetic batting display by the Australian batsman. I dont know why no one shows the temperament of a Cook or a Anderson. They just want to WIN but dont want to do the work. Ponting is more or less a done DEAL. He needs to assess what he wants to with the rest of his career. 4 quicks is not the answer for Australia's bowling woes. A spinner is a definite need. Bring in young blood in place of Clarke and a Ponting. Hauritz is the best Australia have, but Ponting thinks otherwise. Beer can also be experimented. I personally feel Usman Khwaja can solve the middle order problems. But Australian Management has always been a little adamant about bringing in new faces in the middle of a tour. Maybe the Ashes loss teaches them a lesson or two.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:15 GMT

    Last week, the oft-repeated "India are tigers at home, pussycats abroad" line was doing the rounds. It is now fair to say "Australia are pussycats at home, pussycats abroad". :)

  • POSTED BY nataraajds on | December 26, 2010, 6:12 GMT

    Outstanding bowling. getting Aus out for 98 in Aus is something great. poniting's downfall continues. Eng has got a very rare opportunity of win ashes in Aus.

  • POSTED BY jrnmorris on | December 26, 2010, 6:10 GMT

    How many chances must Rcky Ponting get? He is clearly the weaklink in the team! I hope England wins the test and series!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 6:00 GMT

    if u look closely into this series, its Aussie batting which has disappointed more than their bowling.. bcoz in bowling, every bowler has delivered atleast one match-winning performance, siddle, mitchy, harris n also ben in bits n pieces. but except hussey n haddin, no other batsman has delivered a quality knock so far in the series.. but the irony is, its the bowling unit which has undergone so much scrutiny, shuffled more n more, n criticised. but not even a single batsman has been dropped yet. idiotic selection decisions...!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    right.. that's it, Ashes over.. it was a 4-game series with only one good test match played.... as usual what an overrated series.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    Remarkable opening day for England.Another stupendous bowling performance to bundle out Aussies under 100 and Strauss and cook have already scored 50+. Every single one of Aussie batsmen were caught behind!!!!!Amazing!!Go poms...The Ashes is yours!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:48 GMT

    australia has lost its way in dis match.........they should have played usman khwaja for peter siddle.........and some of the aussie batsmen bat as if they dont care about their team.........i am talking about phil hughes,shane watson,ponting himself has benn off color........australia has to regroup otherwise they wont even reach d semis of the world cup........bring back brett lee n shaun tait....play hauritz........bring in brad hodge........

  • POSTED BY AnoopKerala on | December 26, 2010, 5:47 GMT

    Why Steven Smith? Why selectors are so impatient? Hauritz has some quality with him. But you simply threw him out for 1 or 2 failures. Otherwise why did you keep playing spinners of low qualities. White ...Hauritz... Doherty... Smith...Instead simply use a medium pacer allrounder. Collingwood is taking wickets regularly, here also. Why didn't Australian selectors try so? For spinners, try to find young talents from school level and give them training, since Hauritz is the only promising spinner available now in Australia.

  • POSTED BY amit1807kuwait on | December 26, 2010, 5:45 GMT

    For all my Aussie friends on this message board who are wondering about their team composition and why the selectors are being such fools (dumb****s is a better word) - well, the writing is on the wall my friends. You have that great spotter of talent, the great visionary, the greatest coach of all time, the Greg Chappell in a chief electoral capacity. If you guys elect to ruin yourself even after seeing his dismal record, only you chaps are to blame!!

  • POSTED BY AKG0479 on | December 26, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    3 tests in a row.. chek the first innings scores.. & this one was Ghoshh... but now will someone say Aussies also as 'Flat Track Bullies' or its meant only when India skittles out like this !(for all those refer how much India scored in the 2nd innings - I guess a record) .. come on u hypocrites...

  • POSTED BY jagatr on | December 26, 2010, 5:40 GMT

    Cant believe Ponting carried an injury into the game. He hasnt been in the greatest form anyhow for a while now - IMHO, the likes of Khwaja O'Keefe have been hard done by...

  • POSTED BY mazhardxb on | December 26, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Well done England hope you win the series, need the same bollowing attack in the 2nd Ingnings

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | December 26, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    Well there we go. Thanks Hilditch & Co. Match lost by lunch time on the first day. Your dodgy NSW players ALL failed. Hughes...NOT TEST STANDARD!!! Clarke...NO LONGER TEST STANDARD. SMITH.....Lucky to be State Cricketer...NOT TEST STANDARD. HADDIN...Irresponsible short...NOT TEST STANDARD KEEPER. Johnston...back to recent normal. Harris....looks like every step hurts. Hilfenhaus....a swing bowler that doesn't swing it???? Oh the pain. We need wholesale changes starting with the selection panel, then the coach....and most of the players.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    I Read the preview of the match this morning somebody had commented that the MCG was pontings favorite groung and he would make just 10 and the prediction came right

  • POSTED BY chappelis_last_blast on | December 26, 2010, 5:32 GMT

    Finally England Have bowled out the Aussies for what they deserve. Australia got away with it in the first three tests. But It's looking grim for them Now!

  • POSTED BY rachits on | December 26, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    i knw this is an ashes test and there isnt a mention of india anywhere...YET i shall be the first one to jump up n down in utter glee and rub this one in the faces of the fans who dissed indian batting for getting out for 136 (more than 98, innit?) to a way better bowling attack. guys, take a look at ur own batting performances over the last year...and dare we even say the magic words "home advantage" or "home track bullies"...well, we atleast are that!! LOL right back at ya...go poms!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:22 GMT

    From here, it's England who has to bat miserable to loose the match and the ashes....they wouldn't get the best chance to nail the Aussie as this one..hope they bat till tomorrow and press the throttle and seal the series...if they do, am sure Ponting will be axed so will Greg Chappell from selection panel and James Sutherland

    Go Barmy Army Go !!!

  • POSTED BY AviPratapSingh on | December 26, 2010, 5:21 GMT

    The frailties in the batting order were exposed as every man but the not-out Ben Hilfenhaus was caught behind the wicket, unable to handle a little bit of movement off the pitch.

    I thought it was Harris who was n.o.??

  • POSTED BY VEGHA on | December 26, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    This time Austrlia is going to lose series and Ponting must go.He is not scoring runs and poor captaincy too.He is running out of ideas and I think better captain lead the team.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:15 GMT

    It's time 2 go Ricky, NOT that it is solely his fault,,but we need some fresh blood,,he has overstayed his captaincy...

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:12 GMT

    Oz has changed a lot from past a year after the retirement of Gilly and Hayden...! the selectors have failed a lot in selecting the a balanced side...! Ponting has forgotten cricket

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Just recapping: Pointing (the guy with big mouth and small bat) predicted 5:0 in favor of Australia.

  • POSTED BY braindead_rocker on | December 26, 2010, 5:11 GMT

    Too early to comment but 98 all out is pathetic. This is really bad. But I hope England is not complacent...Anything less than a win for them from here on will be disappointing.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 5:05 GMT

    Maybe asking for a juiced up wicket has backfired.

  • POSTED BY mraviteja on | December 26, 2010, 5:02 GMT

    Australia are no more superior in their home conditions also....

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:58 GMT

    huh...the aussies were on their shouting best after the third match which was just a blip. this match is gonna be the KO blow.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:50 GMT

    Shouldn't come as any great surprise. Watson and Hussey have been the mainstay of the Australian batting. They failed and the rest managed about 90 - perhaps the series average of the nine people put together.

    WHAT AN ANTI-CLIMAX so far - The most awaited Boxing Day Match .. The outcome is clearly written on the wall ..

  • POSTED BY ubl2729 on | December 26, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    i am indian i like ponting batting after sachin.without ponting get the big score aus never struck to eng becouse his score give confedence to remaining players.he will out of the form selector give a chance to c white,b lee, s marsh.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:43 GMT

    Job well done ENG expect something like this in 2nd half also...:)

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    The scores of Australian previous test innings would also might have been similar to 98 if it was not for the Hussey, haddin and watson... for the first time they fell cheaply, together.. see where the score is..and they were talking of excluding Hussey from Ashes team line up !!! Australia at top of the game was always a good thing for the game..now to watch them falter is not a pretty sight, just like wood's fall and to some extend Fedex's losing wimbledon and No:1 ranking..

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    98 :-) lets see how much the poms get now!

  • POSTED BY AndyZaltzmannsHair on | December 26, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Becoming a bit of a habitual problem this for Australia. Seems to be the 6th time they've collapsed this year against good quality fast bowling. If this was a few other teams in world cricket whom I won't mention, people would be sharpening their knives to dig it in. This was not a pitch to get bundled out for 98 on. The pitch wasn't fast, it had a bit of bounce, a bit of away swing outside off, but it was just basic, disciplined bowling. The Aussie batsmen kept poking,prodding and swishing away outside offstump. It just goes to show the standard of decline in cricket, where once the balls moves a little with a bit of pace or bounce, the batsmen don't have a clue. Supposedly the finest batsmen around the world and they're left clueless against a mildly swinging ball.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    Retain the Ashes England, we are with you ......... go and beat them , let them bite the dust !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    Possibly Australia may have "come Undone" on a wicket prepared for seamers and with a belief that Straus would never bowl first if he won the toss. Whatever, certainly a strange"drop in pitch" and one that only favours the team bowling first. A crucial test match could be decided on the fall of a coin.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:22 GMT

    A score of 98 is officially a disgrace!!!!! Clarke and Ponting have again let the team down. Hussey, Haddin and Watson can be excused given the series they have had...as eventually you expect a failure.....the bowlers while some may suggest are there to bowl ...need to show more resistance when have the bat in hand. That leaves Hughes....need to persist with.....and Smith.....surely there are better batsmen in the country that deserve a spot in the Top 6 of the batting order...should be batting at #8. Lets pray the bowlers can get England out for less than 200....then may be game on!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    yipeeeee.. tak dat australia!!

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | December 26, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    OK .... 98 all out will do nicely! Innings break right now .... what will England do? Thanks Santa :~) Come on England!!!

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2010, 4:17 GMT

    I guess we've seen how Australia get on when Hussey fails- all out 98. Now let's see how England can bat on a wicket that offers help to the seamers. This might turn out to be a very short test match indeed.

  • POSTED BY Australia17594 on | December 26, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    @landl47 I agree completely with the HUssey thing. This is what would of happened if Hussey was out of form. All out for 98

  • POSTED BY Trickstar on | December 26, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    See if England can get them out for under 100 on 96/9 at the moment. Great bowling from England and some gash by Oz.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    they are playing 4 fast bowlers cause someone has to make some runs for australia

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 3:54 GMT

    Promising start from England. Now can they finish the job and not let the Aussies off the hook? It seems as though conditions suit England and they need to dismiss the Aussies for less than 200 ...... 150 would be nice! Welll see how it goes after lunch and after the rain..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | December 26, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Half way through 2nd session and revised ambitions from this England fan.... maybe Aussies all out for less than 100.... And then WE have to bat... DOH! COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 3:43 GMT

    Will England get the last 2 wickets before I go o sleep?

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    Australia are gonna loose selectors have to rethink their strategy....if this goes on even the week teams would defeat Australia...they have pump in some young blood and captaincy should be changed......... Australia cant even reach 100 they asked the groundsman to prepare a greenish pitch which backfired on them.....

  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    It's amazing to me that Australian selectors didn't see this collapse coming. There's a serious lack of batting depth in this team when your handy all-rounder is coming in at 6 on a seaming wicket. Unbelievable. All this talk of Siddle or spinner is ridiculous - extra batsman PLEASE! It seems as an opener Watson is no longer considered a bowler too...

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    Good start from England. 5/66. Can they sustain it? Bad selections from the aussie slectors

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 3:10 GMT

    haha Aussies on ur face !

  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    1. Watson, 2. Khawaja, 3. Ponting, 4. Hussey, 5. Ferguson, 6. Haddin, 7. Smith, 8. O'Keefe, 9. Johnson, 10. Harris, 11. Hilfenhaus is what I would've gone with this match.

  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 2:44 GMT

    Can't believe Australia are playing 4 fast bowlers plus Watson plus Smith when it's a decent pitch for the bowlers anyway and our top order has been struggling. We need more batting depth. Siddle is an unnecessary luxury - should be an extra batsman or even an all-rounder in there (6. Khawaja/McDonald, 7. Haddin, 8, Smith OR 6. Haddin, 7. Smith, 8. O'Keefe/Butterworth). Aussies are going to lose this test with a disastrous first innings and they actually need to use 6 bowlers to get England out then the match will already be over. In Perth Johnson and Harris overshadowed the fact Siddle was not really needed to get that result, especially given Watson bowls well in helpful conditions and has the best bowling average of anyone in the side. Bowlers will get the job done on this pitch, but Smith is way too high up the order on a bowler's paradise.

  • POSTED BY Tim40621 on | December 26, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    Excellent bowling from England and in particular Anderson he bowled some beauties first up. Thats the way it goes bowl a lot of good stuff for nothing and on comes Bresnan bowls one short and wide and gets slapped to gully. But he comes back and gets the big fish Hussey. Nice work so far keep your foot on there throat!

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | December 26, 2010, 2:17 GMT

    Eek! I want to start again. Not happy with this start at all. Can't we claim the scorers weren't in position? And the selectors have seen fit only to include Smith on a track that should turn a bit, and that we will be bowling last on. This, apart from the original decision to drop Hauritz, is the most perplexing selection of the series for me. I can only hope that I'm wrong. I see it's raining now! That may be our best chance. Terribly un-Australian of me I know, but apart from the possibility of Harris and Johnson cutting the English batting line-up to pieces we're in a wee touch of bother. Most ungentlemanly of the Poms to upset my boxing day sloth session in this way. Shame on you John Bull, Shame!

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | December 26, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    Promising start from England. Now can they finish the job and not let the Aussies off the hook? It seems as though conditions suit England and they need to dismiss the Aussies for less than 200 ...... 150 would be nice! Welll see how it goes after lunch and after the rain..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Bring Home the Ashes !!! Go England Go !!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    Yet again a cracking start by the Poms...hope they can bundle out Aus less than 200 and bat well to pile up runs..fabulous contest in hands with 90k attendance, what else to expect out of the Ashes !!

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2010, 1:55 GMT

    Up to now Australia have been in trouble early on in every innings (except the few overs they batted in a dead match at Brisbane) and every time Mike Hussey has bailed them out. Eventually he had to fail and now we'll see what Australia has got without him to anchor the innings. Good bowling from England on a pitch with some movement; Bresnan has looked useful so far and on this pitch he's probably a better option than Finn. Still, Australia was in this position at Perth and went on to win, so it's far too early to be making predictions.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 1:39 GMT

    Ponting has done the first damage - Gettin out cheaply yet again.

    His second installment - damage as captain is due.

  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Why do Aus selectors think they need 6 bowlers to get the job done on wickets like this one and the WACA? Our batsmen have been struggling all series, why not pick an extra batsman like Khawaja (6. Khawaja,7. Haddin, 8. Smith, 9. Johnson) or even another all-rounder in place of Siddle to lengthen the order? If 3 fast bowlers plus Watson (who would be one of our better bowlers in these conditions - better bowling average in Tests than anyone else in the side) plus Smith can't get the job done, is Siddle really going to make the difference? I would have either Khawaja/O'Keefe/McDonald/Butterworth etc in for Siddle. Low first innings score will lose this test.

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  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    Why do Aus selectors think they need 6 bowlers to get the job done on wickets like this one and the WACA? Our batsmen have been struggling all series, why not pick an extra batsman like Khawaja (6. Khawaja,7. Haddin, 8. Smith, 9. Johnson) or even another all-rounder in place of Siddle to lengthen the order? If 3 fast bowlers plus Watson (who would be one of our better bowlers in these conditions - better bowling average in Tests than anyone else in the side) plus Smith can't get the job done, is Siddle really going to make the difference? I would have either Khawaja/O'Keefe/McDonald/Butterworth etc in for Siddle. Low first innings score will lose this test.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 1:39 GMT

    Ponting has done the first damage - Gettin out cheaply yet again.

    His second installment - damage as captain is due.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | December 26, 2010, 1:55 GMT

    Up to now Australia have been in trouble early on in every innings (except the few overs they batted in a dead match at Brisbane) and every time Mike Hussey has bailed them out. Eventually he had to fail and now we'll see what Australia has got without him to anchor the innings. Good bowling from England on a pitch with some movement; Bresnan has looked useful so far and on this pitch he's probably a better option than Finn. Still, Australia was in this position at Perth and went on to win, so it's far too early to be making predictions.

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 2:05 GMT

    Yet again a cracking start by the Poms...hope they can bundle out Aus less than 200 and bat well to pile up runs..fabulous contest in hands with 90k attendance, what else to expect out of the Ashes !!

  • POSTED BY on | December 26, 2010, 2:06 GMT

    Bring Home the Ashes !!! Go England Go !!!!

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | December 26, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    Promising start from England. Now can they finish the job and not let the Aussies off the hook? It seems as though conditions suit England and they need to dismiss the Aussies for less than 200 ...... 150 would be nice! Welll see how it goes after lunch and after the rain..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | December 26, 2010, 2:17 GMT

    Eek! I want to start again. Not happy with this start at all. Can't we claim the scorers weren't in position? And the selectors have seen fit only to include Smith on a track that should turn a bit, and that we will be bowling last on. This, apart from the original decision to drop Hauritz, is the most perplexing selection of the series for me. I can only hope that I'm wrong. I see it's raining now! That may be our best chance. Terribly un-Australian of me I know, but apart from the possibility of Harris and Johnson cutting the English batting line-up to pieces we're in a wee touch of bother. Most ungentlemanly of the Poms to upset my boxing day sloth session in this way. Shame on you John Bull, Shame!

  • POSTED BY Tim40621 on | December 26, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    Excellent bowling from England and in particular Anderson he bowled some beauties first up. Thats the way it goes bowl a lot of good stuff for nothing and on comes Bresnan bowls one short and wide and gets slapped to gully. But he comes back and gets the big fish Hussey. Nice work so far keep your foot on there throat!

  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 2:44 GMT

    Can't believe Australia are playing 4 fast bowlers plus Watson plus Smith when it's a decent pitch for the bowlers anyway and our top order has been struggling. We need more batting depth. Siddle is an unnecessary luxury - should be an extra batsman or even an all-rounder in there (6. Khawaja/McDonald, 7. Haddin, 8, Smith OR 6. Haddin, 7. Smith, 8. O'Keefe/Butterworth). Aussies are going to lose this test with a disastrous first innings and they actually need to use 6 bowlers to get England out then the match will already be over. In Perth Johnson and Harris overshadowed the fact Siddle was not really needed to get that result, especially given Watson bowls well in helpful conditions and has the best bowling average of anyone in the side. Bowlers will get the job done on this pitch, but Smith is way too high up the order on a bowler's paradise.

  • POSTED BY kalon97 on | December 26, 2010, 2:54 GMT

    1. Watson, 2. Khawaja, 3. Ponting, 4. Hussey, 5. Ferguson, 6. Haddin, 7. Smith, 8. O'Keefe, 9. Johnson, 10. Harris, 11. Hilfenhaus is what I would've gone with this match.