Worcestershire v Australians, New Road, 4th day

Lehmann provides relief amid toil

The Report by Daniel Brettig at New Road

July 5, 2013

Comments: 41 | Text size: A | A

Australians 396 for 4 dec (Watson 109) and 341 for 5 dec (Clarke 124) drew with Worcestershire 284 (Compton 79) and 274 for 5 (Pardoe 57, Mitchell 54)

James Faulkner runs through the crease, Worcestershire v Australians, Tour match, New Road, 2nd day, July 3, 2013
James Faulkner claimed the two Worcestershire wickets to fall before lunch © Getty Images

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann ran the drinks but the more enduring refreshment of wickets was elusive for the tourists as an obstinate Worcestershire dug in for the draw on the final day of the tour match at New Road. In a convivial atmosphere far removed from the tension likely to greet them on day one at Trent Bridge on Wednesday, Michael Clarke signalled he had given up attempts to bowl out the hosts by handing an over to Phillip Hughes that concluded with the shaking of hands.

While the match was not won, Clarke's men will travel to Nottingham with a great deal more optimism than had existed in their ranks 11 days ago when the coach Mickey Arthur was sacked and replaced by Lehmann. All the batsmen have made some kind of score, and every bowler gained enough overs to feel ready for Test match duty, even if wickets have not always been easy to come by.

Ryan Harris dismissed Alexei Kervezee and Worcestershire's captain Daryl Mitchell to claim the Australians' only wickets after lunch. James Faulkner had accounted for Matthew Pardoe and Moeen Ali amid a parsimonious morning spell of 7-4-8-2, but the rest of the touring bowlers were less successful. Jackson Bird, Shane Watson, Ashton Agar and Steve Smith all toiled without success, though the team remained chipper in the field on a picturesque summer's day.

Lehmann's appearance at drinks maintained his knack for lightening the mood, though there was briefly more concern for Ed Cowan at short leg when a Smith short ball was pulled violently into the back of his helmet. Cowan rolled around in obvious pain before resuming his post.

Pardoe and Ali resumed without any real intent of pursuing their distant target, weathering the early spells of Bird and Harris while Agar wheeled away from the Diglis End. Faulkner's introduction was to prove more fruitful, drawing an edge from Pardoe that was neatly held by Clarke at slip.

Mitchell escaped one Faulkner lbw appeal and was fortunate a second time when an apparent bat/pad chance from Agar's bowling was turfed by Smith, diving across the pitch with one hand. But Ali was not to make it to the interval, punching one attractive drive down the ground from Faulkner before being pinned on the boot by a yorker and given lbw.

Harris struck soon after the resumption, tilting Kervezee's middle stump with a ball that cut back, but hopes of a quick finish were snuffed out by Mitchell and Tom Fell, who stonewalled gravely and effectively for the remainder of the session, with Fell reaching a worthy maiden first-class fifty.

Mitchell eluded another lbw appeal, this time by Harris, before the adjournment, but did not advance much further. Faulkner claimed the catch from a shovel towards midwicket, the lack of pace in the pitch contributing. That was to be the end of the joy for the Australians, as the surface remained helpful to batsmen and impervious to the bowlers' efforts to extract any life.

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

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Posted by shuvo_bba on (July 7, 2013, 2:48 GMT)

I think going with the four pacers will not be a prudent decision. Lyon should have a go. The Other 3 pacers should be Pattinson, Siddle & Harris/Starc.

Posted by Rowayton on (July 7, 2013, 2:14 GMT)

I'm still a bit stumped by comments like Moppa's saying Smith may do all right if he comes in against spin but not if he comes in against pace. Two points Moppa - I think Cook may be able to bowl whoever he likes whenever he likes, and he might just notice that it's Smith batting; second, England only have one spinner, so Smith's going to be batting against pace at one end at least whenever he comes in. Let's not over analyse this. Smith's either good enough or he's not. I'd have him in there.

Posted by hhillbumper on (July 6, 2013, 17:15 GMT)

the worlds greatest fast bowling attack blunted? I thought this was the new greatest attack ever? I guess I have been misled by some of the comments on here and from the Aussie team itself.

Posted by Jagger on (July 6, 2013, 15:20 GMT)

Watson, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Warner, Haddin, Faulkner, Harris, Pattinson, Bird.

Posted by TheMightyPirates on (July 6, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

@RyanHarrisGreatCricketer. Harris is a liability and the fact of the matter is that he is a reserve bowler in this squad. He should be an option (along with Bird and Faulkner) to replace one of the three quicks who will start the first test in Siddle, Pattinson and Starc. There is inestimable value in being able to pick the same team for as many tests in a row as possible and Harris doesn't allow for this. As it is, Harris' recent results don't justify selection for one or two tests, because this man is a solid and respectable bowler but not a game breaker. In terms of pace, penetrating and swing, Pattinson outclasses Harris in every way. There is no place for Harris in the first test and he, Bird and Faulkner should be picked only as a result of injury or lack of form. England in 2005, Australia in 2006/07 both elucidated the benefit of being able to pick the same team, and yes the circumstances are different as these were superior teams but regardless the evidence is there.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (July 6, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke, Hugehs and Smith is my lineup. My worry is that if we put Hughes at 3 then he will be tortured in England,. With the softer ball the ball won't swing as much so best to leave him at 5. Khawaja is among our better batsman of handling swing so keep him at 3.. I think Lehmann knows this and if he plays him it will be at 3…And great to see boof move Clarke up to 4. Don't ask me about hte bowlers, we are spoilt for options there.

Posted by H_Z_O on (July 6, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

@Mitty2 We won't be 350-2, don't be silly! As an Aussie surely you know that Patto is better than Dale Steyn, Glenn McGrath and Waqar Younis combined, and Starc is a taller, faster, better version of Wasim Akram. Faulkner's a left-arm version of Ian Botham, while Lyon's actually the result of a secret government experiment to fuse the DNA of Shane Warne and Murali.

All jokes aside, I think your warmups have been good, the important thing was runs for the batsmen because the bowlers have proven themselves before. I think it'll be Starc, Siddle and Pattinson for the first Test and I reckon it's your best attack (Bird looks good, but England don't like left-armers, Siddle's the perfect Ashes battler, and we all know about Pattinson's quality).

@Eskimo Siddle would make my England team. Top bowler, has a knack of picking up important wickets and never lets the side down.

@Lliam Flynn Plenty of partisanship on both sides, mate. But yeah, I reckon both sides are fairly evenly matched.

Posted by arm_chair_Ed on (July 6, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

@Mitty2 Good points - but my comment was based on current form. Swann has not been at his best against Aus, especially in 2009. Also it seems the pitches this summer will suit him and will not suit seam or conventional swing - just reverse swing. Do correct me as this is a hunch, but I feel Eng have tended to win games in the 2nd pair of innings in India and especially NZ at Lords. I foresee a pattern of even 1st innings, Eng win on 2nd.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2013, 8:23 GMT)

Siddle has to play, he has been pretty much the captain of the bowling group, he has bled for Australia and puts it all on the line, he even gave up meat! He is the only Australian bowler ranked in the top 5 test bowlers, and the most likely to take wickets when the chips are down.

One thing i have seen about siddle is he doesn't usually go home with big hauls but the wicket he does get is usually the one that seemed impossible to get, he breaks up solid partnerships and gets wickets when you don't expect it.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (July 6, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

Bird has to play. Lyon is the worry but he should be given a chance. I think the English will fancy their chances against Lyon.

Posted by Mitty2 on (July 6, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

@arm_chair_ed, that comment is as ridiculous as FFL's! I'm sure what happens in the second bowling innings in both matches overshadows anything that happens in the first! In fact, why even have a first innings? Also, loving the swann hype, it's not like he averages above 40 against Australia or anything.

Bit disappointing, but it doesn't really matter considering that none of these bowlers will likely be picked (although of bird still isn't picked I'll be mad). Good to see the batsmen doing well - it's only out of Cowan and khawaja for first drop (does that mean we have a settled line up??) and I'd definitely go cowan. For the bowling, apart from the fact that they all need to get wickets with the new ball, it's out of bird and siddle (although it should be that starc is far from a definite) with me obviously preferring bird. But that of course leaves the doubt over what happens if England are 2/350... Who's going to take up the siddle slack?

Posted by   on (July 6, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

This match was a touch disappointing. Australia could not force the win, none of the bowlers really stood out with an exceptional match performance (Bird's 4/48 and Faulkner's 2/21 off 17 overs came close but they did not perform in their other innings), but on the other hand all the batsmen got a start and seem to be in good touch. Despite what the most partisan Pom supporters might say England and Australia appear to be pretty even in strength.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (July 6, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

good to see harris striking with the older ball that should silence any people who think siddle should play ahead of harris. the simple facts are if a 34year old injury prone quickie is being given a national contract and taken on an ashes tour, it clearly shows how highly he is regarded by aussies set up.

Posted by   on (July 6, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

zues siddle has decent career stats 7 x 5 wkts in 41 games and 150 wkt - I think the real issue, a bit like mitch is he is either spot on or pants - this is confirmed by his 4 wkt hauls only 5 Anderson has exactly double the number of tests and just over double the wkts with 13 5 Wkt (similar 5 rate) but 17 4 wkts - a massive up. This at a time of course when England have 2 other prominent wkt takers (Swann/Broad) The one thing siddle has is guts and Oz will need that because they will get pressure, some self inflicted and their confidence whilst not shattered is surely brittle

I predict a closer series than many with Eng edging it -

Posted by   on (July 6, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

The Aussie bowlers will dominate this test series.... Siddle, Pattinson, Starc and Harris will come to the fore with back up provided by Bird and Faukner

Posted by Eskimo on (July 6, 2013, 4:03 GMT)

@RandyOZ I'll also pick Bird over Siddle. The best move is always the move your opponent least wants you to make. If I was Cook, I'd hope AUS picks Siddle. Of course there is a risk picking someone less experienced, you don't honestly know what to expect from Bird. But face facts, AUS are underdogs and you'll have to take risks if you're gonna stand any chance of winning this one. Bowling is AUS's strong suit and some would even say their bowling attack exceeds that of ENG. Siddle won't make the ENG squad. Food for thought.

Posted by bobagorof on (July 6, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

@zeus_kris: While I agree that several Australian players aren't world-class, I think you'll find that Siddle already has a 5-wicket haul (7 of them, in fact), Cowan has a hundred and Warner has 3. Cowan's hundred came against South Africa, with an attack of Steyn, Philander and Morkel that has proven itself to be fairly handy.

Posted by bobagorof on (July 6, 2013, 3:48 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge: If Rogers' 75 and 26 constitute failures, then England's batting order is a shambles after their match against Essex. Cook 18, Root 26, Trott 32, Bell 13, Bairstow 23 and 28, Prior 20. Australia should have them out before lunch.

Posted by landl47 on (July 6, 2013, 3:12 GMT)

No-one should read anything into the result of this match. The 6 batsmen who played (who are the 6 likely to play in the test) all made runs; the bowlers didn't take wickets, but since approximately none of them will be in the side for the first test, it didn't matter.

Warm-ups over, now let's play some serious cricket.

Posted by Meety on (July 6, 2013, 2:02 GMT)

A win would of been a nice way to round off preparations, but a hard work out in the field has plenty of plusses. Ozzy wickets were worth 82 runs, Worcs 37. Well done to Worcs for batting out the day - but this was a pitch Oz gallopped along @ 6rpo in the 2nd innings.

Posted by CSpiers on (July 6, 2013, 1:08 GMT)

@FFL, what planet do you live on? first of all one failure of a mid twenties score is hardly a duck, why that's worth mentioning is beyond me. Faulkner and Bird were hardly humiliated, while Watson bowled tidily as was expected.

Posted by Chris_P on (July 5, 2013, 23:57 GMT)

@ Front-Foot-Lunge Who is Rodgers?. As usual, the comic relief is still very amusing, puerile, but still amusing.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (July 5, 2013, 23:47 GMT)

Neither the Australians or the Poms have looked overly compelling in the warm up games.

Posted by Moppa on (July 5, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

Siddle is exactly the sort of guy you want on a long hard day in the field like that. I'd prefer if he had more form behind him, but classic examples of him toiling away on unresponsive surfaces and extracting Test batsmen one by one include Hobart vs SL and the 3rd (Mohali?) Test vs India (both within the last six or seven months). Incidentally, he go a 5-for in the Indian test, @zeus_kris. From here I would go with Pattinson, Siddle, Bird, but I think the selectors will go with Pattinson, Starc, Siddle. Still concerned that Starc will open the Ashes with a Mitchell-esque (Johnson, that is) spell. My team: Watson, Cowan, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Bird, Lyon. Likely team: Watson, Rogers, Cowan, Clarke, Hughes, Smith/Warner, Haddin, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon. PS: picking Smith is a little risky because if the top order succeeds and he comes in against Swann, its a good move, but if the top order collapses and he comes in against pace, not so good!

Posted by oscoli67 on (July 5, 2013, 23:02 GMT)

Why would Lehmann get dressed up and run on with the drinks? Interesting that at the first sign of things not going exactly to plan he's out on the field to talk to them. He's made a big issue of taking the pressure off his captain, but isn't this sort of behaviour going to pile the pressure on? Doesn't he trust anyone but himself to give his team a pep talk mid session? What's next? Semaphore lesson for the bowlers and watch the flags on the balcony boys? Will he run the drinks at Trent Bridge ?

Posted by dr.thirsty on (July 5, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

disco_bob; Test matches are not played against Worcestershire. 'Nuff said

Posted by pat_one_back on (July 5, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Is that the best you can find to pick at F-F-L??? Rodgers made his mark in the first dig, as did the Aust bowlers. 9 for 700 odd in a canter with the bat, 15 wickets inexpensive wickets on a lifeless track, the only comparison to India is the unimaginative curator!

Posted by arm_chair_Ed on (July 5, 2013, 22:23 GMT)

This is all looking good for England. Faulkner in team and perhaps Starc who'll make lovely foot holes for Swann. Weather forecast solid sunny, dry pitch ... like the New Road one perhaps? Aus struggle to take wickets as in this 4th innings. Eng take easy wickets as in 4th innings of Essex game. Lovely. I'd love Eng announcing a 12 man squad with another spinner tomorrow: to get us all talking and winning the mind games. They have apparently already decided between Finn & Bresnan, so no harm in announcing which now.

Posted by AhmedEsat on (July 5, 2013, 21:59 GMT)

disco_bob....luck this was only a four day match or we might have lost!

Posted by   on (July 5, 2013, 21:40 GMT)

Zeus-kris you are kidding. Warner has made at least three Test tons lol. And front foot lunge goes on with the usual dribble. Rogers a failure? He made over 100 runs in the match.

Posted by disco_bob on (July 5, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

Test matches go for an extra day. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (July 5, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

So that's a failure for Rodgers going into the Ashes, and a humiliation all round for the Oz attack that was reminiscent of the India series.

Posted by trav29 on (July 5, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

@zeus siddle actually has a better ratio of 5 wicket hauls to matches played than either Anderson or broad

Posted by   on (July 5, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

@zeus_kris no five wicket hauls for siddle?? what about his 5fer in game one of the last ashes which included a hatrick?? Even if he doesnt regularly take wickets he provides experience and fire to the aussie attack without being too expensive.

Posted by Peterincanada on (July 5, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

@Greatest_Game Although from here I see no domestic Oz cricket I share your view. With a career bowling average of 22 he seems the genuine deal as a bowler and has a decent batting average for a #7. Is it that his bowling average is devalued by Tasmanian pitches? If that is the case his batting average has also suffered. Hiis figures indicate that he is a bowler who bats which is the opposite of Watson and Smith. People only seem to regard him as a fifth bowler who would only play if the keeper goes in at #6.

Posted by zeus_kris on (July 5, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

Siddle, Warner and Cowan are clear examples of mediocrity plaguing this Australian team. They managed to regulars in this team without ever being spectacular. It is time Australia went for talent instead of mediocrity. You will never see Siddle getting a 5-wicket haul or Warner and Cowan making a 100.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 5, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

It's funny how some Aus. fans believe if a bowler doesn't run through a batting line-up, they're not performing; if a batsmen doesn't score loads of runs at a fast pace, they're not performing...

Ever heard of 'containment'? 'Crease occupation'? 'Building-up pressure'? No wonder there are so many articles about short-formats hurting Aus. cricket; Few people understand tests these days.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (July 5, 2013, 14:58 GMT)

Stoic resistance from Worcs but, as we know, one wicket can bring a flood. In the grand scheme of things, the result doesn't really matter to them but I'm sure that they'd take pride in batting out the day. The result doesn't really matter for Australia either but I'm sure that they'd be disappointed if they were unable to force the win, their bowling being their strong suit and all. I'm sure that they'll be feeling much better about the upcoming Test series after a couple of strong showings in the warmups but only time will tell whether they have been flattered by the standard of the opposition or not. Nick Compton has also made a string showing in these warmups and he's been deemed not good enough for England.

Posted by AussieSam on (July 5, 2013, 14:44 GMT)

Siddle bowled really well against SA. I think it will be hard for the selectors to replace him with Bird. Even though Bird's been impressive in this match and against SL, I think his inexperience could be a problem. I still think the most likely attack is Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Lyon, Faulkner.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (July 5, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Faulkner is given little respect, & rubbished by many. As I write he has the best Aus bowling figs, by miles. 16 overs, 8 maidens, 16 runs, 2 wickets, Econ 1. Much better than his 1st inns figs. We'll see how he looks at the day's end, & if its anything like this hopefully he'll get a little respect.

Posted by RandyOZ on (July 5, 2013, 13:37 GMT)

I'd still take Bird over Siddle, but I imagine Peter is sitting far more pretty now. The only major mistake we can make in terms of selection from here is bringing Cowan in. Smith and Khawaja MUST play at all costs.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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