Invitational XI v England XI, Tour match, SCG November 16, 2013

Bresnan absence weighs heavy

66

England XI 418 (Trott 84, Cook 81, Root 75, Pietersen 57) and 151 for 3 (Carberry 50) beat CA Invitational XI 304 (Carters 94, Nevill 83, Cowan 51, Finn 5-103, Broad 4-37) and 261 (Finch 59, Rankin 3-46, Finn 3-88) by seven wickets
Scorecard

England will miss Tim Bresnan enormously at the start of the Ashes series and his replacement will be targeted by Australia's batsmen, regardless of who is chosen by the team director, Andy Flower. So says the former Test opener Ed Cowan, who ran his eyes across the tourists' bowling options during England's final warm-up match before the Gabba Test, a seven-wicket victory over an Invitational XI at the SCG.

Chris Tremlett, Boyd Rankin and Steven Finn have all shown hints of their best in the two matches each have been granted ahead of England's arrival in Brisbane, but none have done so with the consistency demanded of a Test match bowler, particularly as one of only four options for the touring captain Alastair Cook. A sandy outfield offered some mitigating circumstances in Sydney, but Rankin and Finn still lost plenty by comparison with a far more precise Stuart Broad.

While Cowan reckoned England appeared largely ready for Brisbane, he was adamant that Bresnan's absence will be keenly felt until he can return to full fitness, much as it was during Shane Watson's domineering 176 in the final Test of the previous series at The Oval. "The only real question mark is who's going to fill that third seamer role," Cowan said. "The top order looks pretty settled, they all look in pretty good touch, but certainly I think that third bowler until Tim Bresnan comes back will probably be the one issue that keeps popping up.

"I thought Boyd bowled beautifully with the old ball yesterday, that spell screamed Test bowler, but that was the only one in the game that really lived up to what they're looking for from him. But I'm sure he'll be a very, very different proposition at the Gabba. He bowls a heavy ball, quick enough, but if you continually get too short at the Gabba you'll get murdered. [Rankin and Finn] were probably too short all game.

"I just think Bresnan's a massive player for them. Unsung hero, bowls a huge amount of overs, never really gets hit out of the attack, takes big wickets, and as we saw during the last Ashes series scores some really important runs. That's a huge out and I think Australia will look to exploit that, the third seamer."

The hosts' chances of setting a target of note for Cook's team were scotched by the loss of Peter Nevill and Ryan Carters within two runs of each other on the final morning. From there England were always likely to be pursuing something in the region of 150, enough to provide an afternoon's opportunity to groove the batting further but not the volume of runs required for the legspinner James Muirhead and the rest to have a realistic hope of forcing their own victory.

Nonetheless, Muirhead offered another tantalising glimpse of his considerable spin bowling talents, bowling Cook with sharp turn out of the rough as England's captain tried to cut, then confusing Michael Carberry over a period of time before ending his innings with a skied pull shot and a catch at midwicket. Jonathan Trott should also have fallen to Muirhead's often prodigious leg breaks, advancing down the wicket and edging, only for slip to put the catch down.

At the other end Kevin Pietersen played a brief and skittish innings, eventually bowled by a Chris Tremain delivery that deserved greater respect than the dismissive whip to leg the batsman chose to offer. Trott and Ian Bell cantered home under the SCG floodlights, though on a pitch now bearing very little resemblance to the one they can expect to greet them at the Gabba.

"It was a bit of a heyday SCG wicket, one of the best I've played on in Australia for a long time," Cowan said. "Something for the fast bowlers early, good to bat on, a bit of reverse swing and then we saw today if that was a Test wicket, there would've been significant turn late day four and day five, which is exactly what you want.

"It was great to see him [Muirhead] in the game. We saw that his best deliveries are well and truly good enough to get world-class players out. The next step is how many balls he can bowl in the right place, but it was a good guide for the future."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 18, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Bresnan's absence does NOT weigh heavy. Finn and Rankin are FAr superior bowlers.

  • tuffersmagic on November 18, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Think it's going to be a tight series - a lot of comments here and in the press saying england will win comfortably etc, but if johnson and harris are fit and firing (forgetting siddle) then the aussies will be a tough prospect for any batting line-up. From what i saw of tremlett in the warm-up games he didn't look like the tremlett of old, so i think that we are relying a lot on anderson and broad. The aussie batting line-up is a lot more settled now too and bailey adds stablility there too. However i do think a lot of the england batsmen are due big runs. So hoping for a more exciting series than the one in england (hopefully with a similar result!).

  • dunger.bob on November 18, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    @ hhillbumper: I'm sure I'll regret this, but it's killing me. I have to know. What the hell is this "aid" you use in place of Oz. I guess it's an acronym, but what does it mean. I'll also assume it's not too flattering for us, but that's OK, like I said, I'm dying to know.

  • Shaggy076 on November 17, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    hhillbumper ; Its hard to say whether the shield quality and county cricket which is the better quality. I think there are a lot more average players in county cricket but that is probably due to the number of teams. Darren Pattinson can put in performances in County Cricket good enough to get a game for England, but as an Aussie struggled for a Victorian spot. You also look at the performance of Copeland (been good in shield but excellent in county), other aussies like Magoffin, Hogan were very good and Robson couldn't get a game for NSW so became an Englishman. There are other AUssies running around like Allenby and Johnson who are quite some distant of playing Shield cricket. But we have 6 first class teams and not sure how many you have, so the extra teams means players of less quality will get games. However, the top end players are just as good in both competetions.

  • 5wombats on November 17, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    @milepost. Hilarious. You talk about "the reality of now" and then conveniently ignore it and go off talking about 2006/7. AND btw we DID mention the reality of now - the reality, if you wanted any more of it is that if England are short of 2 test quality bowlers then Australia are short of 4. Although I love Harris (a gutsy wholehearted competitor in the true Aussie spirit) - he won't play more than 3 tests and then Australia won't have bowlers at all. And if you are going to talk about sides "being short of test quality...." - how many batsmen are Australia short of, eh? 5? 6? And as for you @FFLNAH if you think we are writing about "how resilient" Aus were in England then read it again because Australia were about as resilient as a Tim-Tam in 40 degrees, especially in Durham when Broad turned up the heat. Enjoy.

  • milepost on November 17, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    hhillbumper I dont think the shield is any less competitive than County Cricket. Don't forget Carberry was plucked from Division 2 despite being heavily outscored by Compton in Division 1. In saying that, I rate Carberry and I think he might well cause the Aussies some problems if he can get some starts. Here here to all the hot air blowing away as we get to the cricket, my own hot air included!

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 17, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I can assure you it is coincidence I am one and the same :-) c'mon it is all a bit of fun. I am a cricket enthusiast and there has to be someone to counter the snooty English comments which in fairness, you have been walloping us for a few series on the trott so are entitled to. I think it is all fun, no hard feelings here. It is time we get one back though and now is a good opportunity.

  • hhillbumper on November 17, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Well not long to go now til all the supposition and hot air is over. I see one poster saying that the aid players are in form. But then having played in shield is the standard that good? England have players in touch who have done well in aid in the past. It will depend on a number of factors not least whether aid can hold it together. If the pressure comes to bear will they cope. What happens if Harris gets injured. England have a proven line-up which is something you can't say for aid. It should be good though

  • JG2704 on November 17, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @5wombats on (November 17, 2013, 9:00 GMT) Just a thought here. FFS has become prolific with his comms recently and yet we're missing a similar commentor. Re the "cupboard is bare" terminology. A new guise or just coincidence?

  • JG2704 on November 17, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - Despite what a rusty Onions did in India/NZ - I'd still have taken him over Tremlett. 1-100+ (in warm up games vs lesser players)is hardly proof that Tremlett was a good choice. In his last 6 or 7 FC matches CT took 8 for vs Durham which is great , but take those figures out and he only took 2 wickets once and that was against the weakest opposition possible. I read reports from folk who have seen CT last season and they are not good either. Even if you say Onions ship has sailed or his style isn't suited to these pitches , surely we have better options than Tremlett ...

  • on November 18, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Bresnan's absence does NOT weigh heavy. Finn and Rankin are FAr superior bowlers.

  • tuffersmagic on November 18, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Think it's going to be a tight series - a lot of comments here and in the press saying england will win comfortably etc, but if johnson and harris are fit and firing (forgetting siddle) then the aussies will be a tough prospect for any batting line-up. From what i saw of tremlett in the warm-up games he didn't look like the tremlett of old, so i think that we are relying a lot on anderson and broad. The aussie batting line-up is a lot more settled now too and bailey adds stablility there too. However i do think a lot of the england batsmen are due big runs. So hoping for a more exciting series than the one in england (hopefully with a similar result!).

  • dunger.bob on November 18, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    @ hhillbumper: I'm sure I'll regret this, but it's killing me. I have to know. What the hell is this "aid" you use in place of Oz. I guess it's an acronym, but what does it mean. I'll also assume it's not too flattering for us, but that's OK, like I said, I'm dying to know.

  • Shaggy076 on November 17, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    hhillbumper ; Its hard to say whether the shield quality and county cricket which is the better quality. I think there are a lot more average players in county cricket but that is probably due to the number of teams. Darren Pattinson can put in performances in County Cricket good enough to get a game for England, but as an Aussie struggled for a Victorian spot. You also look at the performance of Copeland (been good in shield but excellent in county), other aussies like Magoffin, Hogan were very good and Robson couldn't get a game for NSW so became an Englishman. There are other AUssies running around like Allenby and Johnson who are quite some distant of playing Shield cricket. But we have 6 first class teams and not sure how many you have, so the extra teams means players of less quality will get games. However, the top end players are just as good in both competetions.

  • 5wombats on November 17, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    @milepost. Hilarious. You talk about "the reality of now" and then conveniently ignore it and go off talking about 2006/7. AND btw we DID mention the reality of now - the reality, if you wanted any more of it is that if England are short of 2 test quality bowlers then Australia are short of 4. Although I love Harris (a gutsy wholehearted competitor in the true Aussie spirit) - he won't play more than 3 tests and then Australia won't have bowlers at all. And if you are going to talk about sides "being short of test quality...." - how many batsmen are Australia short of, eh? 5? 6? And as for you @FFLNAH if you think we are writing about "how resilient" Aus were in England then read it again because Australia were about as resilient as a Tim-Tam in 40 degrees, especially in Durham when Broad turned up the heat. Enjoy.

  • milepost on November 17, 2013, 11:53 GMT

    hhillbumper I dont think the shield is any less competitive than County Cricket. Don't forget Carberry was plucked from Division 2 despite being heavily outscored by Compton in Division 1. In saying that, I rate Carberry and I think he might well cause the Aussies some problems if he can get some starts. Here here to all the hot air blowing away as we get to the cricket, my own hot air included!

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 17, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I can assure you it is coincidence I am one and the same :-) c'mon it is all a bit of fun. I am a cricket enthusiast and there has to be someone to counter the snooty English comments which in fairness, you have been walloping us for a few series on the trott so are entitled to. I think it is all fun, no hard feelings here. It is time we get one back though and now is a good opportunity.

  • hhillbumper on November 17, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Well not long to go now til all the supposition and hot air is over. I see one poster saying that the aid players are in form. But then having played in shield is the standard that good? England have players in touch who have done well in aid in the past. It will depend on a number of factors not least whether aid can hold it together. If the pressure comes to bear will they cope. What happens if Harris gets injured. England have a proven line-up which is something you can't say for aid. It should be good though

  • JG2704 on November 17, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @5wombats on (November 17, 2013, 9:00 GMT) Just a thought here. FFS has become prolific with his comms recently and yet we're missing a similar commentor. Re the "cupboard is bare" terminology. A new guise or just coincidence?

  • JG2704 on November 17, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer - Despite what a rusty Onions did in India/NZ - I'd still have taken him over Tremlett. 1-100+ (in warm up games vs lesser players)is hardly proof that Tremlett was a good choice. In his last 6 or 7 FC matches CT took 8 for vs Durham which is great , but take those figures out and he only took 2 wickets once and that was against the weakest opposition possible. I read reports from folk who have seen CT last season and they are not good either. Even if you say Onions ship has sailed or his style isn't suited to these pitches , surely we have better options than Tremlett ...

  • JG2704 on November 17, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    @Pyketts - We don't know which Mitch will turn up. On his day he is a very dangerous bowler. He took 9-82 (match figures) the last time Aus beat Eng in a test match so when he fires he can cause all sorts of havoc. Aus seem to have a different policy re underperforming players than England so if he plays the whole series it will because he's on his game. If he's not on his game they'll not stick with him

    @dunger.bob - Fair assessment. Re KP - I can see him looking out of sorts one inns and then majestic the next or vice versa

    @Nutcutlet - Maybe he's taking the bucketful's of wickets that he's lacking on the field in the nets. If he plays let's hope he transfers his nets form on to the field.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 17, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Haha, this is all a bit funny, some living in the past, some living in the present and ultimately until we get a few days cricket in in Brisbane it is all hot air. Dunger.bob I think has your bowling issues spot on. The bravado that you will come and mightily conquer is a bit silly, you really don't have any bowlers to support Broad and Anderson and well what if one of them was injured? Not to mention you played weak opposition on flat pitches which is hardly ideal preparation. The other thing is if Mitch fires, which you may notice he has done recently, he will cause issues for even England's best. But, only the cricket will tell so carrying on about how great you are on paper is utterly pointless. 5Wombats you forgot to mention England very narrowly missed losing against NZ this year. Why? I also think you make a great case for how resilient Australia were in the last Ashes with all those great recoveries, great team efforts, thanks for emphasising that with your factsl

  • milepost on November 17, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    5wombats, Lunge, I think sponge is talking about now, not the past. Why didn't you mention the reality of now? Like you only have 2 bowlers and every Australian player selected is in top form. Also, why not mention your 5-0 pasting, it wasn't that long ago, or that Australia went toe to toe with the genuine number one side in the world. Because you cherry pick all the stats that suit you and ignore the ones that don't. It is still a fact you are short two test quality bowlers. Lunge keeps mentioning some 4-0 scoreline that no one else can find when scouring recent results. I am suggesting that Australia will win the Ashes and if they don't I will come back for a hiding but I know half of you won't.

  • CodandChips on November 17, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    @Tigg- "Is it still too late to zoom Onions over?"- well he's playing in South Africa atm so is match fit. What about Jordan too.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 17, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    @ 5wombats, I'd go easy, some have only just started following the Ashes :) Absolutely golden though, spot on. What's the answer as to why England keep winning spongey? And by 4-0 margins too? I'm dying to know!

  • Nutcutlet on November 17, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    @ JG2704 on (November 16, 2013, 16:25 GMT). i see where you're coming from, but AF & AC will go on what they see in CT now he's in Oz. At the back end of last season I had the distinct feeling that CT has been told to keep himself fit & save himself (ah!) for the Ashes. As many people noted at the time, he seemed to be bowling medium pace-ish. This coincided with the time that Bres was injured... It's a cunning plan in my over-active imagination - or is it? @ jmcilhinney on (November 17, 2013, 1:47 GMT): Spot on in every detail. See comment on CT above.

  • 5wombats on November 17, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Sponge. You like "cold hard facts", eh? All right bud lets have a look at some: In the last home and away Ashes series England are up 6-1, 3 of those are innings victories in Australia. England are good tourists; they beat India in India after being one-nil down meanwhile Australia got whitewashed. Australia are mentally weak. Don't believe me? They couldn't put SA away when SA toured Aus, and lost that home series. They lost a test at home to NZ. Australia were 117-9 in the first inns at Trent Bridge, and 231-9 in the second and only the most runs for the 10th wicket in the history of test cricket saved them from being smashed. At Lords they DID get smashed. In the 4th Test chasing 299 Australia after being 0/109 fell apart in the second dig in one session and were gone for 224. At the Oval Australia after holding a strong position stumbled to 6/111 and then allowed England to score 6/206 in 40 overs. Now what were you saying about "cold hard facts"? Chilly aren't they....

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 17, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    I think there is overwhelming consensus that England's third seamer (let alone the 4th they will need to compete in Australia) is up in the air and the cupboard is bare. That is a cold, hard fact. Root made one score in 10 innings in the last series and we are supposed to be concerned about that? Australia will win this series comfortably and then the only thing that will be empty is the cricinfo comments sections, all the English fans will be in hiding lol!

  • Biggus on November 17, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    @jmcilhinney:-I rate Bresnan most highly, as I suspect do most Australian fans. No surprise there, he works hard and he's a consumate team man. Good player.

  • 2MikeGattings on November 17, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney I think you're on the money there, Bresnan has performed better since his 2nd elbow surgery. Even so he is well down on pace since 2010-11. For me his major contribution in the last series was had Watson's number. But someone else could have had those wickets. The plan was clear, Bresnan just executed it well.

  • jmcilhinney on November 17, 2013, 1:47 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (November 16, 2013, 18:03 GMT), like a few Aussies, you need to distinguish who has said what. That was a number Aussie fans asking for Bresnan; fans who either didn't know what they were talking about or were simply trying to bait. This is Ed Cowan speaking; a cricketer who has played against England both with and without Bresnan. He knows that Bresnan is a damn good cricketer whose reputation was damaged by his being selected repeatedly while still injured. I laugh at those who claim that Bresnan's performance while injured is more representative of his ability than his performance while healthy. Talk about making facts fit your prejudice! Bresnan is not spearhead material but, since his second elbow surgery, he is back to being what he was before his first surgery: a damn good third seamer and a very handy lower-order batsman, as well as a fine team man.

  • dunger.bob on November 17, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    I took my sodium pentathol this morning, so I feel motivated to tell the truth. Just looking down the English batting card, it gives me the shivers. Cook, Trott, Bell and probably Root are pretty much bankers. They're all in form, have a history of going big and like to spank an Aussie.

    Then there's Carberry, KP and Bairstow/Prior. I've grouped these guys together because they're a bit more of an unknown factor. Carberry because I don't know much about him, same with Bairstow. KP's there because he seems fidgety and unsettled to me. He could go either way imo. Finally Prior because of his current dodgy form.

    All in all, that's a lot of work for our bowlers. On paper, probably too much. Still, not an impossible task. It's sad that I've got to say this, but we need a few things to fall our way if we're to pull this off. Stuff like winning a few tosses, having the rub of the green and generally just having a bit of luck here and there will help. Most of all, we need to play really well

  • SDHM on November 16, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    Rankin has bowled economically and the England management like that, but I reckon as he gains more confidence he could blossom as a wicket taker - his first class strike rate is up there with the best in the country, bettered only by Onions and Meaker I think. The Aussie batsmen were visibly uncomfortable against him in the ODI series back on these shores, although basing Test call-ups on ODI form is always a risky business. He'd be my pick. Can't think of a single reason for Tremlett to play, and Finn just hasn't improved on the reason he was dropped in the first place - his accuracy and consistency.

  • chechong0114 on November 16, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    This should be a very good and interesting tournament both test and one day hope the Australian people do justice by it and fill all the seats in the respective stadiums and make it a lucrative one for CA.

  • Tigg on November 16, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Is it still too late to zoom Onions over?

  • CricketingStargazer on November 16, 2013, 21:59 GMT

    @browners76 And if Onions were there and had the nightmare performances that he had in India and New Zealand last winter? Going at 7-an-over against a New Zealand provincial side will not scare the Australians much, but sure as hell will put the wind up Alistair Cook!!

    Move on. Onions is yesterday's story. I would prefer to see someone such as Reece Topley ahead of Onions.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 16, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    It really is funny to see certain quaters believe that England's replacement for the unfortuately injured Bresnan is below some kind of standard. Every Australian replacement gets completely smashed by England in every Ashes of recent memory, the hype about Pattison for one is just hilarious when one remebers what was said in the built up to the most recent Ashes. There ain't much to cling onto for Australian fans at the moment: England are the proven better team and the Aussies only have home advantage as their only card to play. It wouldn't suprise me if the last days of the Sydney test are played to near empty stadiums bar English fans, who can forget what happened last time.

  • Pyketts on November 16, 2013, 20:06 GMT

    I can't wait to see this new Aus bowler Mitchell Johnson. Given how everyone is harping on about how he'll destroy the Eng batting line up I can only assume he's better than the weak hearted, mentally fragille, consistant sprayer of the red ball with the same name who played for Aus a few years ago. Oh wait there.........

  • browners76 on November 16, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    It's going to be a real instinct call as to who they pick as third seamer. None of them have really put their hands up and said pick me. You have Rankin who is tight but not so threatening, Finn who is a wicket taker but sprays it all over the place and Tremlett who has done little to justify his selection but previous form in Australia. How they must wish Onions was in the party. If these wickets seam all over the place then Onions non selection could prove to be a massive blunder. As far as the batting goes I think everyone should be happy. It looks a reassuringly solid top 6-7.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on November 16, 2013, 19:22 GMT

    Nice for England to go into the series with a win under their belts, and all key players having had a run and (in most cases) showcased what they can do. Like some others have mentioned below, KP's attitude to warm-up games does infuriate me so, as I remember saying so in past series as well. He is not immune to replacement in my books, regardless of what the rest of you think. He is overdue a big knock of note.

  • CricketingStargazer on November 16, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    Last summer the Australian fans were begging us to pick Tim Bresnan who, they said, would lead Australia to a comfortable win. No they are saying that *NOT* having him for one Test is a disaster for England. Which is it, chaps?

    I prefer to invert the question. England have to work out who to leave out, with Finn and Rankin both having made good cases for inclusion (and yes, I know I was backing Finn after the first innings, but Rankin's second innings display has really impressed me and made me wonder if, having him to bottle up an end, will be a winner, allowing us to attack at the other end, especially if the Australians decide on a hari-kiri attack on Graeme Swann). Australia, seem more to be struggling to find a credible attack in the midst of an injury crisis that seems to have lasted the best part of three years.

  • CodandChips on November 16, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    @JG2704- agree Woakes is better than Stokes. I would also love 5-1-5 but agree Stokes isn't good enough. In the future, hopefully he might be- he's still young. But at the moment he is a bits and pieces player.

  • Munkeymomo on November 16, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    @Beertje: I've not seen much of Ahmed, but what I have seen hasn't been that special. Lyon is your best spinner no doubt. I used to make fun of him but he has improved a lot since he first came into the side. I'd stick with him for the Ashes.

    This will be enjoyable anyway and should be close. As is commonly said, the last series wasn't as one sided as 3-0 suggests (although it also wasn't as close as a lot of Aussies seem to think). I just hope it stops raining in Melbourne soon. I have tickets there!

  • JG2704 on November 16, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    @Nutcutlet on (November 16, 2013, 9:40 GMT) Yes but I thought it might also be an idea to have a bowler who also takes wickets. Look at CTs last 10 FC inns and take out the 8-96 vs Durham and only once has he taken more than 1 wicket and that was 2 vs the weakest opposition in the CC. Maybe it's a ploy that he's holding it all back. If so then it's fooling me

    @Henrik Loven - I've always liked 5/1/5 but right now who would make way for Stokes? Also I think Woakes is better than his soundalike as a number 6/7

  • TomPrice on November 16, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    A lot of chat but actually the balance of the the England side does not depend all that heavily on Bresnan. Compare the gyrations of the Australian selections and batting order in response to Watson's form and health. Broad and Swann are good for late order runs, Bresnan's batting talent is just a bonus. Rankin's 2nd innings demonstration that he can move the old ball will I think be quite persuasive to the England selectors.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on November 16, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    As England head into this Ashes series ranked three in Tests, three in ODIs and six in T20s, everyone must now agree and recognise them as the greatest sporting team ever.

  • RednWhiteArmy on November 16, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Tremletator 2: Judgement day

  • popcorn on November 16, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    Australia will expose England's weak links.

  • THEBEAST7 on November 16, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Please give a chance to Tremlett.. This is his series to shine!

  • RednWhiteArmy on November 16, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Yep, ive got a good feeling about this. I dont think it would be too premature to crack open abit of the ol' bubbly.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 16, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    England win in Australia again. The aussies must be well used to this by now. How they must be dreading the test series.

  • 2.14istherunrate on November 16, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    A very satisfactory warm up game for England in almost all respects. We won it quite easily and used up the four days profitably and efficiently whilst giving players time out to hone their skills. For the next week there will be debate over one position-long and hard I suspect. Of course they could take a leftfield choice and play 2 spinners and Stokes for the extra batsman. I look forward to the first morning of the game and hope the first ball superstition hysteria has died a death. Did we not put that to bed last time round?

  • on November 16, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    I am starting to feel a little bit better about Root being put back in the middle order and giving Carberry a chance at opening in the Ashes.

  • crockit on November 16, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    Onions has more control than Finn and probably more wicket-taking threat than Rankin and Imagine Anderson orEngland perhaps selected the 3 tall guys in addition to Broad for the tour because they were uncertain as to which was the best. Its was a However, there would have been nothing wrong with an attack of Anderson, Broad and Onions. Onions is not the kind of bowler who just does well in county cricket. relatively short and relatively medium paced bowler necessarily a tie up an end bowler but would have provided a good level of control combined with wicket-taking capacity. He

  • CodandChips on November 16, 2013, 13:23 GMT

    My teams for the 1st test: England: 1.Cook 2.Carberry 3.Trott 4.KP 5.Bell 6.Root 7.Bairstow 8.Broad 9.Swann 10.Anderson 11.Finn

    Bairstow did his job so should get a go- he scored some runs and his keeping appeared to be respectful, therefore no need to risk Prior. Finn takes wickets, and should be used in short sharp spells to do so. Personally I don't rate Bresnan, so don't see his absence as much of an issue as others do. Hope Carberry scores well but tbh I can't see it happening.

    Australia: 1.Rogers 2.Warner 3.Clarke 4.Bailey 5.Smith 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Johnson 9.Siddle 10.Harris 11.Lyon

    If Watson can't bowl he isn't worthy of his place in the side. Aus appear a batsman light, but England's bowling isn't great, and Siddle, Johnson and Faulkner can all provide useful runs. Also they need back-up for MJ and Harris.

    Should be a very close series. I can see either team winning 2-1. I'll go 2-1 England, and be optimistic. Was thinking 2 all, but ashes series are never drawn.

  • Beertjie on November 16, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Agree with you @Henrik Lovén on (November 16, 2013, 9:57 GMT) but this has more to do with the English management psyche than ordinary logic. Still as long as they are successful they can afford to thumb their nose at critics. Conditions in Oz are tough on the body and if our batsmen can keep them in the field long enough their strategy may fail spectacularly. @ jackiethepen on (November 16, 2013, 10:30 GMT), KP may succeed spectacularly like Watto in the last test, but at Brisbane I'd say both are underdone and likely to get out cheaply. Yes I know he doesn't take warm-ups seriously - just saying. Not saying KP won't do well later, but a lot depends on how they bowl to him. I'd have SOK bowl to him at Adelaide, but we all know that's not going to happen. Not knocking Lyon he's a great guy and he's spinning is improving. Just how much we'll see soon enough. If Fawad does OK, I'd consider him an option for the G unless Lyon can show his mettle. Hughes and Doolan to come into team soon.

  • on November 16, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    I would have gone for onions. Having said that, Finn is the guy who has been playing in recent Tests, and I would stick with him. In other circumstances I would like to see Boyd ranking given a chance, but the stakes are too high. Having said that, tremlett may get the nod. If he was not the best person in England last summer, I would not throw him into a Test Match in Australia. I love Panesar but they are not going to pick him. They should have picked another fast bowler, and sent for Monty, if Swann got injured.

  • jmcilhinney on November 16, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    @64blip on (November 16, 2013, 10:46 GMT), actually, I would say that it's quite possible that England's third seamer could be the decisive factor. The games in England were closer than the series scoreline suggests and it was by winning the decisive moments that England were able to win that series. They did that despite being basically a bowler down at times but doing that again in Australia will be harder. If Finn plays, he needs to take wickets if he's going to be expensive. We saw in England what can happen of the batsmen take to him and it's then that much harder for Anderson and Broad. Given that Finn was dropped last Ashes for being too expensive despite taking wickets, it's hard to see how they'd select him this time with no indication of his being more economical. Tremlett seems done so I expect that they'll go with Rankin as he seems better able to keep the runs in check. That means more wicket-taking responsibility for the other bowlers but fewer runs means more pressure.

  • landl47 on November 16, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    A good day for England, with the exception of Pietersen, who didn't look interested. Everyone else did pretty well and the bowlers had their best day of the tour. Rankin built up an impressive head of steam and, although he is still bowling a little too short, was much closer to what he is capable of today. I'd go with him at the Gabba; Finn's still bowling too many loose spells and England can't afford that. Broad had 40 overs and took 6-69 in the match, he's going to be tough to deal with in the Ashes.

    @JG2704: no, you're not a minority of one. I was impressed with Bairstow's glovework throughout the game and I like him batting at #7 (not so much at #6). I'd certainly keep him in for the first test. Prior had a poor series in England and no-one in the side should be untouchable.

    That's the appetizers taken care of- one win, two draws, two 400 scores in 3 innings; not bad. Bring on the main course!

  • jmcilhinney on November 16, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    All the England batsmen have made some runs so, while we know that it will be tougher in the Test matches, they did what they needed to do in the warmups. We all know that KP doesn't take warmups too seriously so, while it would have been nice for him to spend more time in the middle, I'm quite sure that he will treat such balls with more respect when the Ashes are on the line. I guess the only question marks at present are whether Prior is fit and who will be the third seamer. I don't think that we can be confident no matter who they select. While I can understand a certain amount of inconsistency in line and length, I don't understand how bowlers with international aspirations can be consistently too short for an entire game, particularly with a highly-paid bowling coach watching from the dressing room. I guess we'll see but we may yet be very keen to have Bresnan bowling in the warmup after the first Test.

  • JG2704 on November 16, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    @Jackiethepen - Maybe the person who wrote the report watched the game and thought Carberry looked unconvincing despite scoring 50

  • JG2704 on November 16, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Well it seems realistically that there's just one spot open. Prior will keep wicket if he's deemed fit enough) although (I may be in the minority of 1) but I'd take a punt on Bairstow regardless on how Prior is. So it's the 3rd seamer. I guess it depends what England are looking for. CT seems to have the most control , Finn seems the most likely wicket taker and Boyd seems to have much more control than Finn but maybe less likely to take wickets but has maybe slightly less control than Tremlett. For me Tremlett is not taking wickets regularly enough - regardless of his control so I'd choose between Finn and Rankin. I felt at one point (and this is purely judging by the stats) Finn was getting back into a rhythm but then he seemed to go off the boil again. Talk is there likely to go for Tremlett which I feel is a bad choice. Have no issue about Finn or Boyd. None have set the world alight. I'd probably go for Boyd right now

  • ZCFOutkast on November 16, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Rogers' selection has certainly spurred on a few guys. North gave up captaincy, dealt with his personal issues&reinvented himself as an opener. White's also given up captaincy, features in the higher middle order more and is probably the most run-hungry batsman in the whole of Australia right now(GB?). Quiney's always looked good but lacked luck. Besides, he can only get better! All these guys are brutally focused, and allround better than a lot of the incumbents in my opinion. Forget Watson: Current: rogers, quiney, bailey, clarkec, north, white, haddin, siddle, johnson, harris, lyon(12doolan) Future: sam robson, maddinson, warner, hughes, smithc, maxwell, wade, starc, pattinson, agar, cummins(12faulkner)

    I reckon the "current" side would beat the future side every day of the week, so why isn't it the XI for the Gabba! Of course the million dollar question is, would CA still install Clarke as captain of that team? Only consistency&discipline put Smith ahead of Hughes&Warner for capt.

  • Stevros3 on November 16, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    3rd Seamer I'd go with Rankin, though I think he's the least likely to get the nod, he's shown himself to be the most economical, even when not bowling too well. We don't want to be overbowling Broad and Anderson because the third seamer isn't pulling their weight.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 16, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    @aracer thanks for the advice but I leave the statistical cherry-picking to the England fans! Where will you go after you lose the Ashes? England cannot win with a 2 man pace attack, surely that is clear? @Henrik Loven can see it, you will be a few bowlers short let alone just one. May be they play Finn and Rankin to share the hammering between them, drop Bairstow and get Bell to be keeper? It's all looking pretty disorganised if they don't know who their 3rd seamer is. 3 seamers in Australia will = Ashes defeat for England.

  • 64blip on November 16, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    I suppose there's a lot of focus on the third seamer because everything else has worked out quite smoothly in the end. I'd be surprised if it's the decisive factor though. How Swann goes will be interesting as the Aussies seem determined to go at him. Bell was in tremendous form, could he carry that through a second series? Bailey's selection is a bit of a punt and I'm interested in how Rogers goes. Specialist choice for English conditions it seemed, how will he do back home? Surely the Aussie posters singing Johnson's praises have their tongues firmly in cheeks? And of course we'll be back after the first test, we're cricket fans.

  • jackiethepen on November 16, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I think it was Bell that was cantering at a SR of 110 to beat the rain. According to other reports the heavens opened just after they won the game. Bell hit 6 and a 4 in the last over. Also you would imagine from the report that Carberry struggled like Cook but he made an important 50. Why are the reports so partial? We're worried about the bowlers but good to win in style on a deteriorating pitch and Carberry assisting in that. KP is still very hit and miss. But with his 100th Test at the Gabba he will surely want to make his mark. As for the bowlers everything has been said.

  • aracer on November 16, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    FFLNAH - no, Cook has never been exposed to an Aussie pitch. Also if you think MJ has similar stats to Anderson and Broad, why don't you try looking at just recent stats for the last 3 years...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 16, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    @Trainstationer, come back after the first test, please please please!

  • on November 16, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    If Australia are relying on Johnson they haven't got a prayer. The man is not consistent enough for test cricket. Personally, I shouldn't play him in Shield cricket.

    If England play only 3 seamers, Tremlett will surely play

    I really can't see Australia taking 20 wickets in match. I predict that they will lose heavily.5-0 doesn't look unlikely. Frankly, I think that they'll be lucky to get nil

  • on November 16, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Why do England insist on a 7-4 split? Did they learn nothing from last summer's series, how that wore out their four bowlers? Let's say they choose four but the third seamer is expensive and ineffective and there's nothing to support Swann. Anderson and Broad cannot bowl unchanged, thus England needs five bowlers! Give Finn and Rankin the nod here, or Rankin and Tremlett!

  • Nutcutlet on November 16, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    @ GeoffreysMother on (November 16, 2013, 8:51 GMT): You could be right about Finn, but my hunch is strongly for Tremlett. Reasoning? Finn may take wickets, but he can be dreadfully expensive & for the first Test ( Eng always start away series poorly, remember) the one thing Flower & Cook will look for, above all else, is control-- the all-important 'bowling dry' option -- now, SF in all likelihood will not deliver that & the wickets, if they come, will be at a price. Rankin is an unknown quantity in the cauldron of a Test (let alone the white heat of an Ashes encounter) & therefore represents even more of a gamble. England doesn't gamble; Flower is not Lehmann. By default it has to be CT. The Ozzies were traumatised by him in 2010-11 & even if he has lost a little zip, he has big match temperament &, vitally, will keep things quiet. That said, were Bresnan fit, he'd be a shoo in. Tremlett will hold the line until the Yorkie is ready! That, IMO, could well be the strategy.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 16, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Geoffrey's mother, actually Johnson is bowling with control and extreme pace at the moment, he will tear through the English batting. They haven't been exposed to an Australian pitch yet. I mean let's face it Johnson averages the same as your almighty Anderson and Broad but he is a fast bowler, not medium fast like the them. At 4-5 an over I don't think England can afford Finn's wickets, Australia will love it if he plays, they smash him everywhere. He is a good bowler but seems to have a mental barrier at times, mostly the times when he is bowling. They will miss Bresnan but hopefully he will be rushed back after the crushing defeat England suffer at the Gabba. Cricket isn't played on paper but England getting sent home without the Ashes will be all over the papers lol.

  • milepost on November 16, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Daniel makes a good point. I'd go further and say that 2 bowlers is not enough and England will struggle for wickets in Brisbane. They look amount the runs but I think it's fair to say they haven't been tested by opposition or conditions yet. They will be at the Gabba which in a way will be their first practice match.

  • 5wombats on November 16, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    That was good fun. Always nice to stick one on any group of Australian cricketers. The redevelopment is amazing. I've been watching it under construction for months now and today finally saw it from the inside. Broad is in the groove - he looks really good. Carberry tried to get out early. That boy needs to learn balance and when to leave or he's going to knick off heaps. Trott and Bell both look good. Trott in particular looks very much back to his best. Rankin lacks control but is scarry. Finn also lacks control but is going to take wickets because he gets it right more often. Swann also very good on this pitch. It's going to be Cook, Carberry, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Bairstow, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson. The Gabba pitch may dictate the bowlers, but the batting is set for all to see. The lads are full of fun and chat. They're up for it. So are we. Bring it on Aussie!

  • GeoffreysMother on November 16, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    I think England will play Finn. Australia have provided flat warm up pitches and instructed their batsmen to try to knock him off his game. At the same time they are talking up their own fast but erratic bowler with fragile confidence and a mild manner as the 'Man of the Series', and - and this is the key point - preparing a wicket to suit him. Yet what suits Johnson also suits Finn. Lets remember in his only state match Johnson went at four and a half an over and has hardly played any longer form cricket for a year. England will fight fire with fire or , just possibly, embarrassment with embarrassment. Will batsmen lose their throats or will spectators at fine leg take a bruising?

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  • GeoffreysMother on November 16, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    I think England will play Finn. Australia have provided flat warm up pitches and instructed their batsmen to try to knock him off his game. At the same time they are talking up their own fast but erratic bowler with fragile confidence and a mild manner as the 'Man of the Series', and - and this is the key point - preparing a wicket to suit him. Yet what suits Johnson also suits Finn. Lets remember in his only state match Johnson went at four and a half an over and has hardly played any longer form cricket for a year. England will fight fire with fire or , just possibly, embarrassment with embarrassment. Will batsmen lose their throats or will spectators at fine leg take a bruising?

  • 5wombats on November 16, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    That was good fun. Always nice to stick one on any group of Australian cricketers. The redevelopment is amazing. I've been watching it under construction for months now and today finally saw it from the inside. Broad is in the groove - he looks really good. Carberry tried to get out early. That boy needs to learn balance and when to leave or he's going to knick off heaps. Trott and Bell both look good. Trott in particular looks very much back to his best. Rankin lacks control but is scarry. Finn also lacks control but is going to take wickets because he gets it right more often. Swann also very good on this pitch. It's going to be Cook, Carberry, Trott, KP, Bell, Root, Bairstow, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson. The Gabba pitch may dictate the bowlers, but the batting is set for all to see. The lads are full of fun and chat. They're up for it. So are we. Bring it on Aussie!

  • milepost on November 16, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    Daniel makes a good point. I'd go further and say that 2 bowlers is not enough and England will struggle for wickets in Brisbane. They look amount the runs but I think it's fair to say they haven't been tested by opposition or conditions yet. They will be at the Gabba which in a way will be their first practice match.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 16, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Geoffrey's mother, actually Johnson is bowling with control and extreme pace at the moment, he will tear through the English batting. They haven't been exposed to an Australian pitch yet. I mean let's face it Johnson averages the same as your almighty Anderson and Broad but he is a fast bowler, not medium fast like the them. At 4-5 an over I don't think England can afford Finn's wickets, Australia will love it if he plays, they smash him everywhere. He is a good bowler but seems to have a mental barrier at times, mostly the times when he is bowling. They will miss Bresnan but hopefully he will be rushed back after the crushing defeat England suffer at the Gabba. Cricket isn't played on paper but England getting sent home without the Ashes will be all over the papers lol.

  • Nutcutlet on November 16, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    @ GeoffreysMother on (November 16, 2013, 8:51 GMT): You could be right about Finn, but my hunch is strongly for Tremlett. Reasoning? Finn may take wickets, but he can be dreadfully expensive & for the first Test ( Eng always start away series poorly, remember) the one thing Flower & Cook will look for, above all else, is control-- the all-important 'bowling dry' option -- now, SF in all likelihood will not deliver that & the wickets, if they come, will be at a price. Rankin is an unknown quantity in the cauldron of a Test (let alone the white heat of an Ashes encounter) & therefore represents even more of a gamble. England doesn't gamble; Flower is not Lehmann. By default it has to be CT. The Ozzies were traumatised by him in 2010-11 & even if he has lost a little zip, he has big match temperament &, vitally, will keep things quiet. That said, were Bresnan fit, he'd be a shoo in. Tremlett will hold the line until the Yorkie is ready! That, IMO, could well be the strategy.

  • on November 16, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    Why do England insist on a 7-4 split? Did they learn nothing from last summer's series, how that wore out their four bowlers? Let's say they choose four but the third seamer is expensive and ineffective and there's nothing to support Swann. Anderson and Broad cannot bowl unchanged, thus England needs five bowlers! Give Finn and Rankin the nod here, or Rankin and Tremlett!

  • on November 16, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    If Australia are relying on Johnson they haven't got a prayer. The man is not consistent enough for test cricket. Personally, I shouldn't play him in Shield cricket.

    If England play only 3 seamers, Tremlett will surely play

    I really can't see Australia taking 20 wickets in match. I predict that they will lose heavily.5-0 doesn't look unlikely. Frankly, I think that they'll be lucky to get nil

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 16, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    @Trainstationer, come back after the first test, please please please!

  • aracer on November 16, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    FFLNAH - no, Cook has never been exposed to an Aussie pitch. Also if you think MJ has similar stats to Anderson and Broad, why don't you try looking at just recent stats for the last 3 years...

  • jackiethepen on November 16, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    I think it was Bell that was cantering at a SR of 110 to beat the rain. According to other reports the heavens opened just after they won the game. Bell hit 6 and a 4 in the last over. Also you would imagine from the report that Carberry struggled like Cook but he made an important 50. Why are the reports so partial? We're worried about the bowlers but good to win in style on a deteriorating pitch and Carberry assisting in that. KP is still very hit and miss. But with his 100th Test at the Gabba he will surely want to make his mark. As for the bowlers everything has been said.