England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 4th day August 24, 2013

Faulkner criticises England tactics

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James Faulkner has learnt the Australian art of sledging the English. Even after only four days of his Test career. Even when he hasn't taken a Test wicket. Even at 3-0 down in an Ashes series. Not surprisingly, Faulkner is a favourite of Shane Warne, the man who captained him at the Melbourne Stars, promoted him as a Test cricketer and presented him with his baggy green on the first morning at The Oval.

"The way they batted yesterday, they chose to bat that way. If you're 3-0 up there's no reason why you shouldn't push and try to be 4-0 up," Faulkner said after the washed-out fourth day at The Oval, and following a third day on which England had scored 215 in 98 overs. "That's their choice ... I know the fans get a refund for their ticket today but maybe they should've for yesterday."

There is no question that Faulkner was selected in part to see what he could bring to Test cricket and to assess him ahead of the home Ashes, and because it was believed that he would add some toughness to a side that had perhaps been lacking it. In the Sheffield Shield, Faulkner is a wicket-taker - he has picked up 111 in his past three seasons - but he found it tough going on day three against England, who took only 29 runs from his 12 overs but offered no real chances.

"It didn't surprise me. Any time they feel threatened they sort of go in their shell and play pretty defensive cricket. That didn't really surprise me at all," Faulkner said of England's approach. "I think when they come to Australia it's going to be played on our terms and I think they'll be in for a hell of a challenge back home."

Whether Faulkner is part of that home series remains to be seen. Graham Gooch, as England's batting coach, will have a major role in preparing his batsmen for the different challenges of an Ashes series in Australia, where the pitches are expected to have more bounce and carry. He said it was understandable Australia would be frustrated at the match situation but that England were comfortable with their position.

"The Australian fast bowlers have bowled exceptionally in the last two or three Tests and they've really put our top order under pressure," Gooch said. "Credit to them. Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle in particular have been exceptional. We'd have liked to be in a slightly different position, a more advanced position, but it didn't happen. It's not the end of the world. We're not frustrated, because we're the ones with three Test wins, they're the ones with nil Test wins.

"I don't think any team goes out there to bat slowly. Sometimes you find the conditions a little bit easier to score than others. We certainly would've liked to have scored quicker. But we want to compete every ball and play tight, and we didn't move the score along as we'd have liked. Sometimes that happens in Test cricket. Sometimes you score 300 in a day, sometimes it's a bit harder work."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • smudgemax on August 24, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    We really need to stop thinking that every match has to be an advert for test cricket and entertaining. Not every game will be a good one, this test match is the equivalent of a goaless draw with few chances, which sometimes happens.

    If every side were to try and go out and entertain regardless of the situation it would in actual fact be less entertaining because it would mean less meaning to winning a match. England couldn't have won this match after 1st innings especially with the weather around, they could only lose it. Their tactics showed a desperation not to lose.

    The great thing about test cricket is that after 5 days of playing it really means something to win, lose or draw. Take this desperation away for a few hours of thrills and we will all lose out.

    Maybe the great Aussie teams of the past would have played it differently, but they were a great side and England is not at the moment, just a good one trying for the best result in every match, the way they know how.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    I don't think there is any shame in trying to save a test, especially after the team batting first makes such a large score. Whilst winning has to be the obvious first thought when playing any game, there isn't any requirement to score at 4.5 runs an over when trying to shut out the opposition, is there? Some of the great test matches have involved the battle to address a heavy disadvantage, even when only batting for the first time. Sure we'd have liked to have seen England come out and chase down Aussies large score but they are obviously looking at this test as not just part of this series but as an important piece in the whole dynamic of 'back to back' Ashes series. Why give Aussie a confidence boost with a potential win here when they can stop Aussies gathering momentum before the Australian homes series begins? Faulkners criticism won't be so valid if Aussie are 2 up in their home series and then attempt to shut out England.

  • SuperSharky on August 26, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Well played England. Because you are the creators of the Test Cricket Game, you did the necessary basics just right to feel comfortable. And with that, reminding Australia what is Test Cricket. Maybe they forgot about defensive cricket and thought it was an entertaining monkey event for eager spectators, who only want to see a result, wickets and runs. Maybe they were wishing it was still their KFC twenty twenty bash where all the hot auzzie action is. I can watch for 5 days an defensive match and still feels entertained by Test Cricket. Graeme Gooch summed it up perfectly by saying that it was understandable Australia would be frustrated at the match situation but that England were comfortable with their position.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on August 26, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    England is the last country that can point fingers at others for ruining a Test match for the spectators. They score dreadfully slow - by nature. They take their time to bowl their overs when the other side is in a strong position. I've seen the English bowl all over the place when the batsman on the other side is taking them to the cleaners. I've seen their opening batsman and current captain score 16 runs off 90 balls with the very clear intent of drawing that Test. Yes, it's no shame to play for a draw, but then don't call yourself a better side if you do. I think Michael Clarke was more of a man than the English who decided to play SAFE after a 2-0 nil lead in the series going into the last Test!

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    "Any time they feel threatened they sort of go in their shell and play pretty defensive cricket."

    Yeah, I mean, what kind of team resorts to deliberately spraying the ball down the leg-side to prevent the other team scoring runs? That's pretty defensive cricket, no doubt about it, I can't believe Cook would resort to that...

    Wait, what do you mean it was Michael Clarke?

    While I don't think there was anything wrong with what Clarke did, will Faulkner be as quick to criticise those tactics? This nonsense that Clarke's declaration shows he was willing to lose in order to win was shown up when Clarke resorted to slow over rates (in the hopes they'd go off for bad light) and firing the ball down the leg-side.

    Nothing wrong with that, England's tactics have seen them win this series 3-0, why not try and emulate them? But stop with the hypocrisy.

  • king_julien on August 25, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    @David Allen...The best top 5 of all time...really!!!! now that one had me in splits. Maybe you started following cricket in the last 3 years, even there they do not have best top 5.. Not even one in the top five have an average of 50. Even in current SA side Amla, Kallis and AB average above 50 with Smith not far behind.

    In the English side, Root is a prodigy but yet to prove himself, Bell for all the Ashes heroics is walking wicket against quality spin (UAE anyone), Trott similarly has a poor record in sub-continent. Both of them have poor record against SA.

    Only Cook and Kevin Pietersen have performed at most places..but then again, most good teams at all times have 1 or 2 great players.

    Even if we go back a mere 7 years Aus had Hayden, Langer, Ponting ,Clark, Hussey and India at same time had Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman. These are just 2 small examples. We could keep going back.

  • Jaffa79 on August 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    The Australians on these pages are embarrassing. Worst winners and worst losers in the world. This once proud country has to spit the dummy and make excuses for their woeful on the field and off field performances. I don't think the Aussie ego can cope with losing; this is why they whinged about the pitches in India, claimed S.A were lucky in Aus and now every excuse under the sun has been rolled out in England. Pathetic on one hand but hilarious on the other.

  • JustIPL on August 25, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    What do you mean Faukner.? Aussies bowled their heart out but england survived due to Petersen, Bell experience. Do you want england to get out early so that you win the test? I think you regret your contribution with the bat and then with the ball as it is a totally different scenario than IPL.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I'm guessing he'll feel a bit better now. I think what he really meant was "England's batsmen should play some loose shots so I can get some wickets, because I looked about as threatening as a newborn kitten when they actually played properly".

  • on August 25, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    A good point made by smudgemax. England aren't a great side but they probably do have the best top five of all time. For me the bowling let's the side down when conditions don't suit.

  • smudgemax on August 24, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    We really need to stop thinking that every match has to be an advert for test cricket and entertaining. Not every game will be a good one, this test match is the equivalent of a goaless draw with few chances, which sometimes happens.

    If every side were to try and go out and entertain regardless of the situation it would in actual fact be less entertaining because it would mean less meaning to winning a match. England couldn't have won this match after 1st innings especially with the weather around, they could only lose it. Their tactics showed a desperation not to lose.

    The great thing about test cricket is that after 5 days of playing it really means something to win, lose or draw. Take this desperation away for a few hours of thrills and we will all lose out.

    Maybe the great Aussie teams of the past would have played it differently, but they were a great side and England is not at the moment, just a good one trying for the best result in every match, the way they know how.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    I don't think there is any shame in trying to save a test, especially after the team batting first makes such a large score. Whilst winning has to be the obvious first thought when playing any game, there isn't any requirement to score at 4.5 runs an over when trying to shut out the opposition, is there? Some of the great test matches have involved the battle to address a heavy disadvantage, even when only batting for the first time. Sure we'd have liked to have seen England come out and chase down Aussies large score but they are obviously looking at this test as not just part of this series but as an important piece in the whole dynamic of 'back to back' Ashes series. Why give Aussie a confidence boost with a potential win here when they can stop Aussies gathering momentum before the Australian homes series begins? Faulkners criticism won't be so valid if Aussie are 2 up in their home series and then attempt to shut out England.

  • SuperSharky on August 26, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Well played England. Because you are the creators of the Test Cricket Game, you did the necessary basics just right to feel comfortable. And with that, reminding Australia what is Test Cricket. Maybe they forgot about defensive cricket and thought it was an entertaining monkey event for eager spectators, who only want to see a result, wickets and runs. Maybe they were wishing it was still their KFC twenty twenty bash where all the hot auzzie action is. I can watch for 5 days an defensive match and still feels entertained by Test Cricket. Graeme Gooch summed it up perfectly by saying that it was understandable Australia would be frustrated at the match situation but that England were comfortable with their position.

  • TheOnlyEmperor on August 26, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    England is the last country that can point fingers at others for ruining a Test match for the spectators. They score dreadfully slow - by nature. They take their time to bowl their overs when the other side is in a strong position. I've seen the English bowl all over the place when the batsman on the other side is taking them to the cleaners. I've seen their opening batsman and current captain score 16 runs off 90 balls with the very clear intent of drawing that Test. Yes, it's no shame to play for a draw, but then don't call yourself a better side if you do. I think Michael Clarke was more of a man than the English who decided to play SAFE after a 2-0 nil lead in the series going into the last Test!

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    "Any time they feel threatened they sort of go in their shell and play pretty defensive cricket."

    Yeah, I mean, what kind of team resorts to deliberately spraying the ball down the leg-side to prevent the other team scoring runs? That's pretty defensive cricket, no doubt about it, I can't believe Cook would resort to that...

    Wait, what do you mean it was Michael Clarke?

    While I don't think there was anything wrong with what Clarke did, will Faulkner be as quick to criticise those tactics? This nonsense that Clarke's declaration shows he was willing to lose in order to win was shown up when Clarke resorted to slow over rates (in the hopes they'd go off for bad light) and firing the ball down the leg-side.

    Nothing wrong with that, England's tactics have seen them win this series 3-0, why not try and emulate them? But stop with the hypocrisy.

  • king_julien on August 25, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    @David Allen...The best top 5 of all time...really!!!! now that one had me in splits. Maybe you started following cricket in the last 3 years, even there they do not have best top 5.. Not even one in the top five have an average of 50. Even in current SA side Amla, Kallis and AB average above 50 with Smith not far behind.

    In the English side, Root is a prodigy but yet to prove himself, Bell for all the Ashes heroics is walking wicket against quality spin (UAE anyone), Trott similarly has a poor record in sub-continent. Both of them have poor record against SA.

    Only Cook and Kevin Pietersen have performed at most places..but then again, most good teams at all times have 1 or 2 great players.

    Even if we go back a mere 7 years Aus had Hayden, Langer, Ponting ,Clark, Hussey and India at same time had Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman. These are just 2 small examples. We could keep going back.

  • Jaffa79 on August 25, 2013, 15:34 GMT

    The Australians on these pages are embarrassing. Worst winners and worst losers in the world. This once proud country has to spit the dummy and make excuses for their woeful on the field and off field performances. I don't think the Aussie ego can cope with losing; this is why they whinged about the pitches in India, claimed S.A were lucky in Aus and now every excuse under the sun has been rolled out in England. Pathetic on one hand but hilarious on the other.

  • JustIPL on August 25, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    What do you mean Faukner.? Aussies bowled their heart out but england survived due to Petersen, Bell experience. Do you want england to get out early so that you win the test? I think you regret your contribution with the bat and then with the ball as it is a totally different scenario than IPL.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    I'm guessing he'll feel a bit better now. I think what he really meant was "England's batsmen should play some loose shots so I can get some wickets, because I looked about as threatening as a newborn kitten when they actually played properly".

  • on August 25, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    A good point made by smudgemax. England aren't a great side but they probably do have the best top five of all time. For me the bowling let's the side down when conditions don't suit.

  • Trickstar on August 25, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    @ RandyOZ Tell me exactly how England got lucky at Durham, please enlighten everyone. Also tell me how England were lucky at TB and please don't mention umpire calls because the one that made the most difference was when Agar should have been out stumped for 6 when Aus was 100 odd for 9, you would have been absolutely hammered without that call, you could also mention the Trott one as well. Suck it up mate, you Aussies have completely and utterly embarrassed yourselves this tour with all the whinging and whining to the media and on here. I've never seen at team that's taken getting beaten so badly.

  • Int.Curator on August 25, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    Sledging thats not sledging. The Australian team came to England with 5 openers and without a batting order. This series has sorted this now. After Bell they are the 4 next top scorers. England did enough this series. They do not have the depth of players that they will require to win in Australia.

  • on August 25, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Australia have bowled quite well but rely heavily on Harris and Siddel. Lyon has bowled competently but doesn't get people out as frequently as Swann. Their problem is poor batting, the direct result of players who just aren't good enough, and that won't be solved in a couple of months. It's good though to see them whingeing, posturing and complaining, I suspect there will be even more of that when they are well beaten again in Australia. The best sides usually win.

  • liz1558 on August 25, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    An outside possibility is that England bat so well that they get within 50 runs of Aus and declare with 60 overs left, and Aus collapse the way SL did a couple of years ago in 30 overs.

  • bobmartin on August 25, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    One well-known England Rugby Union captain once said he'd sooner win ugly than lose pretty... Sounds like common sense to me...It's that sort of attitude that breeds winners... The opposite breeds losers. Take your choice.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    Excellent point by sameer_anwar, and it's great to hear it from an Indian fan who's seen it first hand. They were pummelled in England, and in the aftermath, we were told we'd be in for "revenge" in India on turning pitches.

    While India were actually much improved at home, we not only won, but did so due to our spinners out-bowling India's.

    Tremlett, Bresnan and Anderson all enjoyed bowling on Australian pitches last time out, against an arguably stronger batting lineup (with Ponting and Hussey). Though you could say our batsmen only prospered because the Australian bowlers didn't do too well, it's worth pointing out that Siddle started the series by taking a hat-trick on his way to a five wicket haul. Harris bowled superbly at Adelaide.

    I think Australia will be better at home, but these sorts of comments are actually a dangerous road to go down. England used to routinely win dead rubbers, think we'd been "unlucky" to lose the series, only to go on and lose the next one too.

  • on August 25, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    The headline for this should be 'Faulkner Doesn't Understand Test Cricket'.

  • __PK on August 25, 2013, 11:57 GMT

    A weak piece of writing - a sure sign of that is when you read the weasel works "There is no question..." in lieu of an argument which proves it. The only sledging I see here is from the author. Faulkner gave a balanced, reasoned opinion, with no effort to insult the opposition - something the author should have done.

  • markatnotts on August 25, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Well said sachin_vvs fan. I actually tried to post a comment here that among other things pointed to the fact Australia were not exactly aggressive with field placings. The pitch by the third day was also much slower than the first. Some people just look at a scorecard and make judgements base to suite their own prejudices. All in this has been a very poor pitch though. Indeed the Oval generally hasn't been good for years since it lost the pace and bounce.

  • sam_cg on August 25, 2013, 11:34 GMT

    Has nobody told him that almost every member of this England side has in fact already been to Australia and while there beaten them rather convincingly?

  • sachin_vvsfan on August 25, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @himanshu.team Pretty much my thoughts. I don't understand all this fuss about defensive tactics. I still remember what cook said after that drawn test in Nagpur. They had to sweat it even for a draw and i have already said that even a draw has to be EARNED. If Aus are so aggressive and attacking then why they didn't they attack Eng batsmen and bundle them out cheaply?

  • Beertjie on August 25, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Agree @himanshu.team on (August 25, 2013, 4:54 GMT) that it's all about how to "break them mentally and frustrate them as much as you can". Although there are some young players like Starc in the team, I doubt others will be affected. Lyon will be positive as will Harris, each for different reasons. Of course the team will be disappointed, but come the Gabba it's all square. An attack of Pattinson, Bird, Siddle, and Starc/Faulkner at the WACA will give the Ozzies one win irrespective of the toss provided the top 6 bats are settled. Note I omitted Harris who won't be needed if the injuries to Pattinson and Bird are not overly serious. As for you @liz1558 on (August 25, 2013, 7:20 GMT), I'd take 1-1 and build a team to regain the Ashes in England in 2015, irrespective of the wickets and tosses!

  • mikkkk on August 25, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    @WAKE_UP_CALL More self serving waffle. Remind us all of what the Aussie crowds did during the last Ashes tour of your country. Shall I remind you? They didn't turn up did they. Was it Botham who said they thought it must be fancy dress and you were all there dressed as plastic chairs? What sort of sporting nation is that? We turn up through thick and thin so we need no lectures from the likes of you. There's a chant in football that goes "you only sing when you're winning". Well to sing you have to turn up in the first place. Aus support is like any glory seeker, fickle and shallow.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    Woakes looking a bit giddy this high in the batting order.

  • voma on August 25, 2013, 10:52 GMT

    @Eight8 , you make some interesting points . I certainly wouldnt argue with you about Englands batsmen , being found out . But how can Australia , be finishing stronger in this series . They keep getting bowled out ! .

  • Yevghenny on August 25, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    Everytime Australia have been threatened this series, they haven't had time to go into their shell as they were trudging back to the pavilion

  • on August 25, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Wow, this is getting embarrassing for the Aussies. Desperately trying to blame anyone but themselves. So England only lost 4 wkts because they cheated and didn't throw the bat and give their wkts away. Wah! Wah! The sound of whinging Aussies is music to the ears

    Sobering fact for Aussies is that England aren't playing well (barely out of 2nd gear) but are cruising to a 3-0 series win and have the player of the series by a distance (who also happens to be an English Batsman).

    Sorry Aussies your an average side with a few decent players but you crumble when you are put under any pressure. Go and look at Cook's 2010/11 series stats to cheer yourself up

  • mikkkk on August 25, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @Daniel Sijmons "England need to look at themselves.." The only thing England need to look at is the score. As do Aussies. You don't lose the Ashes in 14 days and look at the opposition for answers to your abject failure you look at yourselves. You don't look at the 3-0 scoreline and blame luck, DRS, umpires, weather, pitches, planet alignment, cheating, eclipses, comets. You look at yourselves and face up to why it has happened. The only people who are responsible for failure are the failures themselves. Now the question is can they man up, admit it, and do something about it or will they forever resort to bluster and hope to one day get lucky and win a match. England used to win the last match in a series they had been stuffed and convince themselves they had "turned a corner", "if only the series was starting now". Feeble Aus are in that same state now. They simply refuse to see how bad they are. They are drowning but instead of trying to swim they are content to wave.

  • 2MikeGattings on August 25, 2013, 10:32 GMT

    Pattinson came with a snarl and left with wet cheeks. Bird fluttered and was gone. Faulkner will spend most of the return series looking for his name on the team sheet. We hear a lot of bark from these young Aussie bowlers. Bite on the scoreline.

  • on August 25, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    The way Cook bats is a disgrace, and his captaincy is equally defensive. Mind youhe has been found out in this series because his shrinking violet style of batting just lets our bowlers get on top. Frankly, if I was an English supporter I'd want him dropped.

  • Spinetinglers on August 25, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Whingeing auzzies. Love it. 3-0 down and they think they're ahead in this one. Vaunted bowling attack gets 4 wickets in 3 days! When they're winning, it's 'gold for australia', when losing it's 'the pitch, the weather, the ball, the opposition' etc etc. That's what is boring! Being 3-0 up with one to play and seeing a supposed brilliant bowling line up bang their heads on a brick wall then whinge about it is highly amusing. How they forgotten Mr Grinder himself, Steve Waugh? The man who took 90% of his shots out of his game so he didn't get out - now that's 'gold for australia', as it was one of them, so is different...Ha ha

  • on August 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Dear Mr Faulkner, England have won the Ashes. You have given them the opportunity to have a 3 day net against your best bowlers. See you in Brisbane

  • Malvino on August 25, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    @Rishabh Jain - Cook was aggressive in India because that is what was needed to stop India from winning. He was defensive in New Zealand because our batting was mostly terrible and we could easily have lost games, the one time we had the chance of a win he enforced the follow-on and set an attacking field.

    I think in Australia he will do the same, play to deny the other team a win, and push for a win when it's sensible. It may not be the crash and bash cricket some love - who cares? I'll take a series win down under however it comes, why does it always have to be about domination and complete destruction of the opposition, what's wrong with simply winning series?

  • wik8 on August 25, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    Fair play to England, they have the better team and the better gameplan. But Lord is it boring to watch! At a rough estimate i'd say Cook, Root, Bell and Bairstov have clipped along at an average strike-rate of 28/100. Not everyone can smack it like Hayden and Gilchrist but surely after yet another innings of 30 off 150 balls Cook must be wondering if he's holding the right end of the bat.

    Also it looks as if we've picked Faulkner because he's a good sledger more than anything else. No idea why he's in the team, we need some quality batsmen, not bigmouths.

  • markatnotts on August 25, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    I do wonder if half the people who comment on here watch very much of the cricket and just actually look at the scorecard and make judgements that suit their prejudices. I actually watched a significant amount of this game including all the third day. It is quite apparent England could have scored maybe 20 to 40 more runs, however the pitch has slowed up considerably from the first day. Also as well as Oz bowled the fields were not the most aggressive for a team with nearly 500 on the board. Indeed the whole plan went along the lines of trying to get wickets by stopping the runs. England can be just as guilty. Overall this is quite a poor pitch. Mind you the Oval is often like this these days and it is a mere shadow of what it was in the 1990's with its genuine pace and carry.

  • RandyOZ on August 25, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    I am in agreement with Faulkner, England are not an attacking team and got lucky with all their wins bar Lords.

  • shotnot on August 25, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    I hope England play the same way in Australia as they have in this series, in fact, as far as I can remember, England are snails when it comes to batting. Which is why they'll never be much better than they are now. I love their defensive style; it usually gets them out for fairly low scores, (how many times did England score 400+ in this series?), and their slower scoring rate gives most teams who play them an advantage. I'm sure when they come to Australia, their dream will be over, and they can look forward to a good old fashioned caning.

  • on August 25, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Strange how the Aussies don't think that bowling wide of the off stump hoping for Pietersen to have a go (which he eventually did!) is not negative cricket???

  • RichardHeade on August 25, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    More rhetoric from the Aussies, a marketing strategy for the upcoming series on their home soil no doubt. At least we can all say that there won't be many rain delays and abandoned days due to the weather down there, all English cricket fans should look forward to the contest, then we'll see who really is the best between our 2 nations.

  • on August 25, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Funny how all and sundry are bagging England and yet they are the team that's 3 nil up !! I think tactics have worked well thanks mr Faulkner

  • skilebow on August 25, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    @Daniel Sijmons - Honestly for all the talk otherwise I just don't think England really care about this series anymore. It was won ages ago and their motivation seems to have gone. Sad for an Ashes series but apart from a few sesseions this has been fairly boring. Hope the next one is better and think it will. It'll be closer but I think a motivated England team will have enough

  • polbeeuu on August 25, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    11 overs in an hour plus repeated offences during the series it is simple Cook should not play in the next Test.

  • on August 25, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Moan, moan, moan. You should listen to yourselves. We have been well short of our best in this series but we are still 3-0 up. What does that tell you about the Aussie performance? If they were that good, they would have cleaned us up, playing defensive or no. Reality is they are a one-day team training to be a Test team. Their recent record in five-day cricket doesn't lie.

  • Twoodius on August 25, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    England now have 6 batsmen that average over 40 in test cricket who will make up six out of their top seven. 4 of those batsmen average over 45. I am not concerned for England in Australia, the backfoot styles of Cook and Root will be far more suited to the conditions in Australia than the English wickets. Class is permanent: KP, Cook, Trott and Bell are all top class batsmen and will produce between them a lot of runs in Australia.

    As for their delaying tactics, I think there is more nostalgia than there is truth in people recollection of the "Ruthless" Aussies, they routinely lost dead rubbers. I think it is far more ruthless to kill off any game that the opponent performs well in than to lose it. England have gone to win the game when they've been on top, they won from behind in Durham and when they've been on the back foot they have killed the game to prevent a loss. Nothing in this series to make me doubt their tactics or thei mentality.

  • cozens on August 25, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    bless him. No win for Austrailia in the pevious 8(eight) test matches (7 losses!) and he's giving out advise on how to approach a test match. Perhaps he should help his team get their own house in order first?

  • phoebeminder on August 25, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    A pretty dire day's cricket on Day 3 - series circumstance, poor cricket wicket, a defensive mentality from England, and some good bowling from Australia. But not such a bad thing that batsmen need to show the required technique (eroded by a surfeit of one day and T20 cricket) to deal with these conditions. What is inexcusable is the deployment of slow over rates as a defensive tactic, largely by England. What is even more inexcusable is the failure by the umpires to do anything about it; 12 overs an hour, means 18 overs short in 6 hours of play. Would be interested to see Aus vs Eng over rates for the series, normalised for mix of spin and pace. This could be one area of the series where Australia have had a win (or another loss, depending on your point of view and level of cynicism).

  • pmaya on August 25, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    I cannot wait to see Australia get to the top again and start thrashing everyone like they did a while back. That is the only chance you will see an end to this rubbish coming out of their mouths. Coaches and players, can we just keep it SHUT until you let the wickets, runs and the wins on the board do the talking?

  • oval77 on August 25, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Jeez they talk a lot this current Aussie set up don't they. Need to learn to win the odd game first. It looks pretty pathetic from where I'm standing. From school cricket upwards aren't you taught to play hard and play the game, not just nark gripe and whinge which is what this bunch of (literal) losers only seem to excel at?

  • on August 25, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    James Faulkner is in no position to make these comments. Its test cricket, no one said you have to score at a certain rate. If you cant bowl a team out twice then you cant win, as simple as that. I think the auzzies are frustrated at how weak their attack is compared to previous series. Im a kiwi whos actually supporting auz in this series but I think England deserve the right to play how they want.

  • Damo_s on August 25, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    Whinging aussies again. Youve lost the series, you have been unable to bowl england out twice, and all you can do is moan about it. England have done what they needed to to in order to not lose. simple. Australia bowled well to restrict the scoring but not well enough to take wickets. See you in oz.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    I just love how the Aussies are looking for the slightest possible excuse to slander the Poms. Crying about a run rate of 2.12? Son this is test cricket, thats how the game SHOULD be played. When the series is in the bag 3-0, and with not very good chances of winning the game, why risk going for the win against such unlikely odds? Aussies just cant stomach the fact that theyre the inferior team and that theyre being sent home with their tails between their legs. England's defensive tactics are perfectly fine and within the spirit of the game. Whinge about something that's rational, for heavens sake.

  • aracer on August 25, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Those suggesting Cook and England are being defensive and not playing like the dominant sides of the past - have you not noticed that the current England team are nowhere near the level of the 80s WI and 90s Australia? The reason they're doing well at the moment is that they're playing within their limitations. Half the top order aren't in form at the moment for whatever reason and even the supposedly reliable bowlers are having off days and even off matches - given that I'd suggest he's done remarkably well to end up on the right side of a 3-0 scoreline. Meanwhile Clarke isn't coming in for similar criticism despite his team performing above all expectations yet still not winning a match.

    I'll be interested in hearing what Faulkner has to say when he has 100 test wickets to his name - or maybe just one. For now I suggest he concentrates on getting the ball to do the talking.

  • milepost on August 25, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    He's spot on. This isn't whinging, he's stating the obvious. Who wants to see a draw, especially at 2 an over? Maybe England supporters are used to hoping for rain and draws but no cricket fan wants them. And there's nothing wrong with a bit of niggle. Good on him.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    What he means is disappointed that England didn't give Australia a chance to make it 3-1. Australia had their chances to win earlier in series but didn't take them. Well done England.

  • 64blip on August 25, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    No play til 1pm today at least. If only England had played more positively! Lots of bluster and hypocrisy all around. Not sure why so many posters are so keen to tell England what a 'great' team should be doing. I'm sure England, and most of their supporters, will settle for 3-0 mediocrity.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    I'm surprised Faulkner, with his wealth of test experience, wasn't more concerned with the fact that he and 5 other Aussie bowlers could only manage 4 wickets between them.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    I am a big fan of Faulkner since i saw him playing for Rajasthan Royals. The time has changed now James, and if you want to comment on english side, u should have done after first test. you are 3-0 down and if you want to think, Rain could have done some damages with Aussies also. Aussies are dead and burried after 3-0 down, Sydney Herald is saying some beautiful act of some specific aussies pkayer evey day after 3-0 down. my question is are you ppl came here just to play game and commenting or you are here to win a test and series?? are you OK with 4-0 down? you will get your answer in a giid manner by this. Good Luck James for the upconing cricketing season..Cheers!!

  • xtrafalgarx on August 25, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    I love how Warney, even though Australia is losing, is STILL able to get under the English's skins. They never seem to look at themselves and always have one eye looking over the fence.

    Anyway, the comments by Faulkner may seem brash, but hey many a' player never speak their mind and just answer the questions the way they think people would like, like Clarke. His comments are unpretentious and forthright, good on him.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    Here we go again... only days after Lehmann's rant and another Aussie is whining - where is the spine of this team? Isn't the press even sick of this now... bring some class back into the game people. England's batting wasn't pretty, and they may not have been as attacking as they should have been, but how is that any of your concern Faulkner?? They are 3-0 up in the series, so it's all a bit rich to be criticizing their current formula when Australia looks like it can lose ANY test in a matter of sessions.

  • maddy20 on August 25, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    These comments by Faulkner are very much in line with my views, which is why I stopped following the Ashes after the third test. If you are playing the fourth-innings and playing for a draw , then its fine. But playing for a draw in your first innings is unacceptable. I don't support the Aus team but this is one thing I agree with them on. Add to that, the time-wasting in the third test by Broad and co tying their shoe laces every 30 seconds and other such antics. How they got away without a fine for slow over-rate is beyond me. This is exactly why England can never be a champion team like Aus in their prime or the current SA , regardless of how much their fans drum up their team!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 25, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    He's only just joined the team, but already Falkner has adopted the role of the whinger-in-chief. England batted on day 3 with the clever and fully understandable mentality of 'try to get us out and we'll sit back and watch you wilt'. Well Faulkner wilted off and on the field all right: all he and his teamates could manage was measly wickets. He is most likely struggling with the realisation that he's walked onto a sinking ship. Get over it Mr Falkner, there's going to be plenty more to moan about back on your home soil when England start racking up the wins again.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Fast forward, Melbourne Christmas time, the Aussies are 2-1 up, England bat first, put on 600+, what do the Aussies do? You bet they bat for time, slow the game down, bore everyone to death. When the cap fits.

  • YorkshirePudding on August 25, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    @Daniel Sijmons, wrong SA do do that, they have been known to shut games down to avoid defeat, 2nd test in Aus 2012, RPO 1.67 from SA's second innings, slightly different position as SA batted first. Australia need to make the running in this game to salvage something, the problem is their bowling attack isn't penetrating a very solid defence, which must be worrying and frustrating them, hence the comments from Faulkner.

  • robinp on August 25, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Maybe fans should have got a refund. And maybe one day Faulkner will get to play in a test in which Australia beat England. All of these things are imponderable.

    The cricket was definitely boring. But in terms of the result of a game of professional sport... what England did was completely fine. History will simply record this series as one in which Australia could not find a way to beat an under par England team.

    Furthermore, I predict England will win at a canter in Australia, where bowling conditions are less favourable than English ones for the Australia bowlers (oddly).

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    A silly comment from Faulkner. Any Test side batting second when the opposition put 500 on the board will be playing to draw.

    The occasions when a side won from that position are very few in the vast number of Tests that have been played.

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    It's becoming boring listening to you whining Australia. One day you'll learn how to read a weather forecast and play accordingly. You're 3-0 down because you don't understand strategy. Simple.

  • asraruwant on August 25, 2013, 8:10 GMT

    All this talk About England is just done by the Aussies because they are not able to beat them. The Aussies want England to Play aggressively and maybe in process loose a test match. Cook and Flower know that this England side is good but not great. England is playing the brand of cricket that suits them and i see absolute nothing wrong in that. England have made themselves a very difficult side to beat and that's the reality. They have built their team as such that if they are not dominating the match they scrap and make sure they don't loose it. They are not risking and taking gambles. In poker terms England are going all in when they have 2 aces Or just folding ensuring they don't loose. And i believe with the team they have its a perfect strategy. These comments that are coming from the Aussie camp are coming out of frustration. They have bowled nearly 120 overs and yet got just 4 wickets. Finally England are playing like boxers. Punch-Punch-Block-Punch-Block. RESULT 3-0 Perfect !

  • on August 25, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Yes. England must be bad. Aussies, after all, cannot take even 5 wickets in 116 overs with 5 specialist bowlers. England must really be bad. And of course, Australia will win the series down under 0-3 ;)

  • Steve355 on August 25, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    For some reason I can't seem to add a comment to the Lehmann article (pc censorship?), so I'll add it here. The England tactics in this series have been deplorable. Appalling time wasting, blatant pushing up to the limit (and beyond in many people's opinion) the laws and spirit of the game, playing for a draw from the first over, and so on. They obviously don't care about cricket fans. I've just returned from the UK where we went to the Durham Test. Had a superb time, but I'm here to tell you that the English crowds absolutely gave Dave Warner plenty (quite rightly in my view). Broad will get plenty when he comes here (again quite rightly. The way he plays his cricket is a blight on the game). But for the ECB to carry on the way they are is pathetically limp-wristed and a joke. Lehmann was just telling it how it is. I guess they "can't handle the truth".

  • pom_don on August 25, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Well here we go again....whinging Aussies.....I love it, while they whinge & TRY to wind us up they are losing..... great words to associate with the Australians these.....losers, runners up, second place, also runs.....long may you carry on whinging.....you won't be in the photo shoot with that little urn at the end of the series James, you might not even be in the line up for the home series......nice ring to that.....James Faulkner...loser!

  • YorkshirePudding on August 25, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @espi, it may be a valid point but the truth is Australia need to win more than England, and so England were within their rights to bat game time down and order to frustrate the australians. Judging by the remarks, that is exactly what has happened, its also a distraction from their poor bowling that has resulted in 4 wickets from 116 overs, thats 1 wicket every 29 overs.

    THis also sends a message that 'we control the game' to the Australians and its true England are in total control of the game at the moment.

    The final consideration, is that the effect the result will have on rankings, and a 3-0 scoreline is better than a 3-1 scoreline in terms of points, as it moves england to 2nd I believe.

  • on August 25, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    If any one wants to be entertained The Royal Albert Hall or the London Palladium is the answer!!!

  • on August 25, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    As a long term English fan I have no option but to agree. In pure cricketing terms, as a bowler I would love to see top quality batsmen patting half volleys back to me rathe than giving me problems. Our typical English approach of fearing to lose more than desiring to win allows bowlers to gain rhythm and confidence and means that the momentum is now with the Aussies. Additionally the English over rate is a disgrace. Yes, while umpires are weak England have the right to play the game however they like but they can't expect to win new fans who ultimately pay their wages by playing in such a negative way.

  • on August 25, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    I'd rather Faulkner picks up his own wickets rather than criticise the batsmen for it.

  • mudders on August 25, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Firstly I would like to say I agree that no Australian player is in a position to complain about English tactics, especially someone like James Faulkner.

    But just as equally England's approach makes a mockery of all their bluster before this game about how the job isn't done. They have played this game with their tail between their legs. Their performance here stands out from Australia's performance in Adelaide in 2006. That is the difference between a great side like that Australian side, and this England side.

  • Ravi1504 on August 25, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    for a team that has lost 3-0, and from a test cricketer who is barely 1 test old, James Faulkner classifies as what we would call down here as a 'BIG MOUTH'. These guys really need lessons in humility

  • mahi678 on August 25, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    Oz have dominated the cricket world for 10 years. during the 10 years aussies have developed a sense of superiority complex and used a method "sledging". now thier big guns gone and new ones are nothing. so they choose to moaning(if they win they do sledging) over DRS,umpiring, whether and now for englands game.

  • on August 25, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    espi and gudolerhum,

    Why are Cook's tactics deplorable? Why would such things lead to the death of test cricket...In the EPL, for example, games are free flowing (attack being the primary mantra), while in the CL, teams are more defensive and deploy defensive tactics...yes i know they don't run for 5 days but nevertheless its comparatively boring...it's not going to die though!

    the point here is to break down the opposition...Cook, in this case, knows that the opposition is weaker than they are...do they opt for an aggressive stance or a defensive kill? It's my belief that he's aware that England aren't in the best form (at the moment) to go kick Aussie arses taking an aggressive stance each time...therefore, they have been defensive...I am surprised no1 here is really talking about how England fought back despite the Aussies being 147/1 needing only another 150 to win with 9 wickets in hand in the 4th Test...

    As for Faulkner, he's new...so credibility is obviously low!

  • liz1558 on August 25, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Lots of evidence of hubris in this Australia side - the comments about Broad, the belief that only the weather, DRS, slight inexperience, cheating poms, unfair pitches, unsporting batting, have prevented them from winning 4-1. Just wait until we get you back home in our conditions, we'll show you how WE play the game - the way it ought to be played. Clarke, Lehman and all the players believe itall the posters on cricinfo believe it; most old pros believe it, probably with the exception of Benaud. Hubris is always followed by nemesis. 4-0 to England down under.

  • on August 25, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    England need to look at themselves.. They are supposed to be the dominant side and are playing the most unsetteled line up in a long time.... Yet on both occasions Australia won the toss and batted first, they looked straight for a draw and cried how it was a "flat deck"... Australia would have never done that when they were dominant, South Africa would never do that either... This is why Cook's men never reached their full potential; they are too afraid to loose and too ready to accept 2nd best. If I was English I would be far more against these tactics than Faulkner is...

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 25, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    I love reading comments like this from nobodies like him. They always rebound. It's 3-0 Faulkener See you in November. If you are still even in the squad. ( Hope so tho! )

  • on August 25, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I think the only time I had seen a pro-active and aggressive Cook was in India last year. He was a different man altogether there.

    Otherwise, he is what he has been in this series - Defensive all the way. Of course England batsmen are well within their rights to bat with extreme caution with the series already in the bag. But they don't show the attitude of a champion team. Remember the Windies of 1970s-80s and the Aussies till about 2003. If England aspire to lead the rankings for a long time, they have to change their attitude and show some intent even in toughest of situations. And only the captain can inspire that change.

    Sometimes while looking at the decisions that Cook makes, it reminds me of Ricky Ponting when he was in his last days as Aussie captain.

    I am quite sure England will receive a beating in Australia if they continue playing the same way.

  • djy1 on August 25, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    @ espi and gudolerhum - test cricket on the line? From one washed out bore draw? These types of games have occurred in series over the years since the dawn of time. England didn't invent delaying tactics to avoid defeat - they are certainly not the first team to do it and won't be the last. I also have a hunch that Faulkner doesn't have the long term interests of test cricket at heart in his comments. He's trying to be a wind up merchant, pure and simple. We'd all love to see thrilling cricket matches and aggressive 'go for it' tactics all the time. However, as with every other sport, sometimes it just doesn't pan out like that because as much as teams want to win, they also don't want to lose. Dull games happen but they make the great finishes all the sweeter. Philip Mckay makes the valid point here - punish hard for slow over rates. Also let cricketers play in slightly less than perfect conditions - some of the decisions on light are a farce

  • on August 25, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    The ICC is too lam efor teh slow over rates as they are weak and spineless body. the batting slow is how they play the game when they are 3 -0 up its up to them Faulkner as an rookie in test cricket you still have a lot to learn , or maybe taking a cue from Chappell and Warne when they loose its everybody elses fault and try and play mind games

  • Eight8 on August 25, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    The greater sentiment in the whole cricket community only gaining momentum at the moment is that England play an extremely conservative brand of cricket. Despite such a powerful early series position they have played cynically (OT and this match). That is why they might well be a good team, but will never be a great team like the dominant teams in history who have played an exciting and attacking brand of cricket during their heydays.

    Much of their batting lineup (with the exception of Bell) have been exposed and worked out by a more than serviceable attack in Australia's. England have relied on what is a weak Australian batting lineup and favourable turns of events in the main part to be 3-0 up. They have actually trailed the first innings in 4 of the 5 matches (assuming they don't get to 500 at Lords), but the Aussies have batted last in the 3 games unaffected by weather and have forgotten how to win.

    The Aussies have certainly finished the series (last 3 matches) the stronger.

  • skilebow on August 25, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    What next? Are the aussies going to wheel out the team bus driver? the chef? the kit man? Its funny how our Antipodean cousins are getting more whiny and pathetic as the years go by

  • WAKE_UP_CALL on August 25, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Well congratulations to England winning this Ashes series 3-0 .However deep down in their heart they also must be feeling that truth doesn't lies in numbers.Australia have come a long way ahead with on and off field issues surrounding and still can proudly take the reward of being the ambassadors of test cricket.In the earlier comments i mentioned that test cricket will be pumping blood in the big 4 but its awful to see abomination of test cricket in front of cricket paying public whose fault was nothing but to come and expect a contest.Faulkner may be is blunt but the fact it is time for the decision makers of this game to come forward and tighten few things such as over rate,time delaying tactics and dull boring draws.Every test match should have an impact towards the points of test championship so that no team starts playing for draw from the first innings onwards.If fans are not taken seriously by players then the game will be threatened to slide for doom.

  • on August 25, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    I agree Faulkner is right, England played cricket yesterday like they have played rugby for twenty years. Boring as bat shit. I don't necessarily agree that it should be entertainment but that is anti entertainment. At some point, when they bowled on day two, 11 overs an hour. Inexcusable. If you don't want to play top quality cricket stay home and let others who do have a go.

  • Gareth_Bain on August 25, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    The first rule of test cricket is make sure you don't lose. Why should England take risks that don't reward them in any way???

  • on August 25, 2013, 6:05 GMT

    I dont think aussies or any other side in this particular situation of the match should be blaming the opposing team. Aussies batted brilliantry. Aus should have bowled well enough to get england all out. If we say eng batted slowly or are playing for a draw, even then aus have to be good enough (or find players of the caliber of Mcgraths, Warnes, etc) to bowl them out. Aussie bowlers of the 90s and early 2000s have gotten sides all out in any situation. If a team plays for a draw, they usually go into a shell blocking most bowls and get out in that process. Maybe english players mind set was different (i.e play the ball on its merit). Aus bowlers have to be better skilled that english batsmen or get them all out.

  • DrSeussXI on August 25, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    Let's give Mr Faulkner's rather baseless comments some much needed context. England has been playing this type of cricket for a number of years now and it has served us well. The difference between this series and others is that our top order, who normally grind it out for us, have struggled for runs which has meant this job has fallen to our stroke makers. Add this to the general slowness of the wickets and some good bowling on occasion from Australia and you have the potential for a perfect storm of pretty hard graft. I call it proper test cricket.

    Whilst I think we will play the same way in Australia, I can't see it producing the same results. Form comes and goes and the wickets will see the ball coming onto the bat a bit more. This should suit us as much as it will Australia.

    Let's talk in January James...

  • topeleven on August 25, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    England doesn't want to play second in this pitch. That was their tactic. Sometimes u have to play according to the situation.... Australia is finding some reason or other to take the credit from England's win.....It's time they concentrate on their game plan rather than poking needlessly on the opposition's game plan.........

  • on August 25, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Throughout their so called dominance in Test Cricket England has been the most appalling in terms of competitive cricket. They can never bat with good strike rates coz they dont have the ability to do so , their inability to win any world 50 over tourney is a testament, not sure why Aus or any team is surprised...Moreover they dont know how bounce back when rattled...Poor quality n application of Aus has hurt them more than England playing well...

  • on August 25, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    to navin 84, he makes absolutely no sense when he says that faulkners career is short lived , probably he hasnt seen faukner bowling in the sheffield shield cup, or for melbourne or in the IPL... only a die hard english fan can speak like this.... what faulkner has said reflects the reality of todays test cricket and unless it is made interesting by agressive batting will be killed... so it is absolutely incorrect to criticise faulkner

  • on August 25, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    Awww Mr Faulkner & the rest of the Australian bowlers cannot get England out, so let's have a whinge instead.

    One should look at your own game before criticising others Mr Faulkner.

  • on August 25, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    The bottom line of this story is that Ausi bowlers are unable to take wickets when a team goes into a defensive mode. But english bowlers took wickets in the matches they won irrespective of the batsmen's mode. If he get bored when a team is defending, perhaps Faulkner shouldn't have come to test cricket. He should have stayed in playing cheap T20 cricket.

  • on August 25, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    English bias fans can say all they want but England are an incredibly overrated team which will lose the ashes in australia. They have been very lucky and as far as being better than India is concerned, despite your thrashings against india in englandand india, india still had th #1 test ranking longer than you guys. India also has 2 world cups, 1 t20 wc and 2 champions trophy titles. England have never been successful in any format of the game for a long period of time which is a shameful considering the fact that they have been playing longer than any other team in the world. England and their fans can justify all their negative tactics all they want, but fact of the matter is that in Australia, Austrlaia will completely dominate and then you allcan go into hiding and live off brief past glorly for the next 2-3 years.

  • sameer_anwar on August 25, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    3-0 down, the statements coming out from australian coach and players appear to be an attempt to hype up the home series after abysmal display in england. its like a sense of deja vu for an indian fan. when we got thrashed in england, our players commented about wanting to see the English batsmen handle turning tracks, here the Aussies are asking for bouncier pitches.. not sure how this fragile aussie batting line handle tough pitches against decent pace bowling..this might b a heart breaking summer for australian fans.

  • Malvino on August 25, 2013, 5:06 GMT

    I like Cook's captaincy, I like not losing games. I'm very happy with 3-0, the last time the Aussies came over here and got nothing was in 1977, I was 3 and don't remember it, but I clearly remember '89, '90 and 2006 where we came away with nothing.

    What I don't remember is anyone complining that Border didn't try to win the 3rd (Edgbaston) test in '89, it was all fun and games to bat out a draw for the practice of it and to demoralize England even further.

  • himanshu.team on August 25, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    I won't blame England one bit. They are 3-0 up in the series. They know that the game is going to be shortened by the rain. they know that Australia had no real plusses from the series. Why give them any plusses in the dead rubber, that is unlikely to have a result anyways? If England had won the toss, they would have batted pretty much like Australia in the first innings. When that did not happen and Australia scored nearly 500, it is nearly impossible for England to win the test from there. Add to that the rain factor. The best they could have done was to make Aussie bowlers bowl as many overs as possible. Even if the skies clear out today, their approach should be to let the Aussie bowlers do all the bowling and get tired and frustrated in the process. You have already beaten them, now break them mentally and frustrate them as much as you can Poms.

  • landl47 on August 25, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I think there's something in what Faulkner says in that the entertainment on offer yesterday was pretty minimal.

    I'm just surprised that he is honest enough to admit that England should have scored much faster off his gentle medium-pace, straight-as-a-rail bowling.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    It's quite possible that the England batsmen have made this pitch look slower than it is but it does still appear to be slow. I think that they have figured that, given Australia's good score and the lack of pace in the pitch, they would be unable to score quickly enough to get in a winning position. If they did try to do so anyway then losing wickets would be a more likely result than scoring runs. As such, while they probably could have scored faster, not losing wickets became the priority and they have done that well enough. Seems pretty fair to me. I think that Faulkner and Australia need to realise that, while England are always likely to score at a lower rate than Australia, England won't be playing like this on fast, bouncy pitches. They have plenty of batsmen quite capable of taking advantage of what Australian pitches have to offer.

  • jmcilhinney on August 25, 2013, 4:29 GMT

    I'm quite sure that Faulkner and the rest of the Australia team are far more concerned about whether they win or lose than the crowd's entertainment. If they're annoyed at England's approach to batting it's purely because it reduces their chances of taking wickets and therefore winning the game. While I'm not a huge fan of such a low scoring rate either, I'm more concerned about England not losing. I'm in Australia and I stayed up until stumps to watch day 3 (about 4 AM) and I wasn't especially bother that it wasn't a spectacular day's play. It's worth noting that players like Trott, KP and Bell were having trouble timing the ball so free-scoring probably wasn't an option. I could believe that Trott and KP were out of form but not Bell too. It's also worth noting that all the experienced England batsmen have scored well in Australia before so they will probably prefer the pace and carry of Australian pitches too.

  • hambat on August 25, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    Aus could be trapped by this late surge of form of both bat and ball when the Ashes series moves down under. The selectors will likely stick with the current bunch of players who, given their patchy performance so far, may come short again if Eng's top order find form away from home.

  • millsy24 on August 25, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    Totally agree gudolerhum. FlashAsh, the way those you mentioned have played this series, particularly Cook, Trott and Prior, the Aussie team has nothing to worry about with them. The bowlers have had really good plans against those 3 and executed them very well for the most part, they haven't been allowed to play their normal game and proved that they don't have a Plan B. No doubt by the return leg they will have good plans for Bell also. And playing on pitches that will have something for everyone and not just those prepared for Swann will be better. I have tickets for the Sydney test and if the crap that was this test is what I have to look forward to, I would rather sell them and get my money back. Hopefully Broad will by then find some shoes that he is comfortable wearing so that he doesn't have to take them off all the time at the most inopportune moments and hopefully your bowlers get over all the injuries that cause them to go on and off the field, even 10 mins after play starts

  • on August 25, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Swinging the tongue in the absence of ability to swing the ball.

  • on August 25, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Faulks is absolutely right. The old English mindset is coming back if we can't win draw into our shells and bugger the spectators. I think these are the first shots for November and bring it on and lets see how the poms go under a bit of real pressure. As a red blooded Aussie Faulks said what everyone has been thinking and I would expect his teammates to back him to the hilt. Get ready Aussies our dawn is about to arrive and lets be brutal about it. It is our way and I b... y love it Tom

  • ANUJA1 on August 25, 2013, 3:47 GMT

    I think England is a tough team & the playing conditions in Australia is not alien to them. They have experienced attack and most of them are part of past Ashes wining squad like Cook,Peterson ,Trott, Anderson.But Cook and middle order need to do well to gain an advantage.If Cook settle down then Australia have to think twice of their wining chances.Nevertheless Austrlia have the the home advantage and a good bowling attack which will capable of doing early damage.

  • on August 25, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    England have the right to pay any way they want to, but as a cricket fan who is only interested in Test match cricket the players (both sides) need to realise that they must entertain or else I won't bother losing my sleep an I'll just watch more AFL. The Ashes are supposed to be the pinnacle, but right now I'd rather watch AUS vs India, SL or SA - probably even NZ.

  • on August 25, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    I agree England have every right to bat and play however they like but equally others are free to comment on what they think of their tactics. If all members of the Australian touring party refused to speak to the English press, imagine the outcry. At least they speak their mind, not recite off pat some prepared response. As for ECB carrying on about incitement - what a load of rubbish. The crowd at the MCG on Boxing Day will need no encouragement to get stuck into Broad or any other Pom they decide on. Maybe no member of the ECB will attend the Boxing Day test fearing for their safety!

  • bjg62 on August 25, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    Hats off to England... they played the better TEST cricket. If Australia wants to regain the urn on home soil, they had better learn how to bat out long periods of play and shut out the opposition. So when Faulkner says 'When you're 3-0 up you should push for 4-0 up' -- why the hurry?? Australia have already shown they can capitulate inside 30 overs (ie one session of play) so what's the hurry?

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 25, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    I guess tomorrow's headline on cricinfo will be "Australia declares cricket is a stupid game"

  • on August 25, 2013, 3:07 GMT

    England is the most defensive team in test cricket today. If you are batting at 130/1 against england, they immediately go for an in-out field. bowl defensive lines and squeeze the runs. slow over rates, tuk-tuk batting etc all of these are a part and parcel of their cricket. they are winning at the moment and all seems well. tough times are not far away mr.cook

  • on August 25, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    @Usman Sharif : they could have won because they'd already taken 3 wickets in 20 overs. The fans apply your same principles of mathematics, but do so in the knowledge that the pitch is actually a factor in a game of cricket.

  • Mighty_Hawk on August 25, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    England are killing test cricket. No wonder nobody wants to go anymore. Already conceded that the best they can do is draw. Pretty hard to get wickets when nobody is playing a shot. Shame because England are the better team just that they don't back their own ability to win in any situation.

  • on August 25, 2013, 2:53 GMT

    Agree with espi in his reference to gudolerhum but another very interesting point was made by Phillip Mckay - the time wasting. Mr. Mckay though probably should have also mentioned not only Englands atrocious over rate but the antics of its batsmen, Trott in particular, in the scurrilous act of time wasting.

    Maybe this last Ashes test of this series will be remembered as "The Ashes of Test Cricket"

  • Unbelievable1 on August 25, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Maybe Australia should have considered declaring earlier - its not like they didn't know it could rain in England!

  • OneEyedAussie on August 25, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Faulkner et al. can complain until they are blue in the face but they need to look at their own game to see why England are playing this way. Australia have been playing patchy cricket since Cardiff 2009 (i.e. getting themselves into good position and then being unable to finish off the opposition or losing the game in one poor session). England know they can play conservatively during Australia's good periods and cash in during the bad ones. They know they can win a game in one session against Australia - all they have to do is curb the damage when Australia have their tail up.

  • on August 25, 2013, 2:34 GMT

    This has been the case all along. I think the Australian cricketers should look back their decline in the last few years in the standard and the their word ranking. This should be the eye opener and it is apparent to naked eye. The day in which they became No.1 test side , the writing on the wall was certain. So is the case for England and India.As long as you think sledging and public comments on opponents and try to create a scare to opponent will not work my boy . Instead try to raise your game.The present Australian team is weaker and it is a fact. You were riding too high on the back of few outstanding cricketers at that time.

  • farkin on August 25, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    look its Australia's fault if you don't bowl straight and make that batsmen play shoots you get boring games never mind that the English side are to laze to move much when fielding or from the crease when batting so its up to Australia to get the English to move around so they get fit . because if you don't make them play you cant get wickets

  • LETSCOMPLICATEIT on August 25, 2013, 2:21 GMT

    I am a diehard English Cricket fan. I know we are on a high now, with a 3-0 win. However, one has to seriously question the English think tank. It is depressingly devoid of imagination and positivity. The slow, dull and passive approach will hurt us very soon (in Australia), and we can forget about winning any one day championships. Today's game reflected poorly on English Cricket administration, Captain Cook and seriously dampened the spirit of every cricket fan.

  • PFEL on August 25, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    I Agree with @Phillip Mckay completely. The slow batting may be boring, negative cricket, but I wouldn't say it's bad sportsmanship. What's been really disappointing from England has been the over rates and general time wasting in general. If they aren't severely punished for it then something is terribly wrong, and maybe give Cook one more chance but if it happens again he needs to be suspended for a few Tests, because all this is doing is hurting Test cricket.

  • TopC on August 25, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    I'm Australian and, quite frankly, I'm ashamed of the constant winge that comes from the the Australian players, media and commentators. If Australia are winning, the opposition are pathetic, useless and unfit to grace the same playing surface as the 'champs'. If Australia are losing, the opposition are cheats, employing doubtful tactics etc., etc. It makes me sick!

  • heathrf1974 on August 25, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    England can bat how they like. They are a team that can up the ante and slow it down when needed, either batting or bowling.

  • niazbhi on August 25, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    Gracious response from Faulkner the newbie... Gooch was all praise about aussie bowlers. England does not have as many great fast bowlers like SA, they donot have that many great stroke players like india, they donot have as many talents like australia or Srilanka, they are the smartest team. They used their potential with grace and humility. (Root vs Warner, Lehman vs Gooch, Faulkner vs any english player). I am not English.

  • Vindaliew on August 25, 2013, 2:15 GMT

    I'm sure if Faulkner had figures of 0 for 290 instead of 29 he'd write about what a great day of cricket it was... People saying how the great Australian and West Indies teams would have gone for the win are forgetting that those great teams would have run through the England (or indeed, anyone's) batting lineup regardless of hard they tried to stonewall and defend. Remember how helpless Boycott looked against Holding? You can only decide how to play your game, not the other side's, and if your efforts aren't good enough you have no business to complain that the other side didn't oblige and play according to how you wanted them to. As a spectator (or at least a radio listener) I found the play gripping and satisfying - with over 500 runs conceded it's pointless to go for a win after losing those top-order wickets, so just frustrate the Aussies and deny them the chance to take more "positives" home for the return leg. Sounds like a plan to me.

  • Rahulbose on August 25, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    Unfortunately sledging to the media only works if you can back it up on the field. If not you just end up looking silly.

  • BRUTALANALYST on August 25, 2013, 2:06 GMT

    I have been really disappointed with Englands defencive play and selections but more so in ODI and T20 format. Test however you get a pass I do feel this was weak and sends wrong message however at 3-0 up with Oz tour around corner England should have been really lookin to rub salt into wounds instead they look like they were playing for the draw like their lives depended on it to secure a tied series . . .

  • RednWhiteArmy on August 25, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    I think its funny how people are now accusing England of "killing test cricket" for scoring 210 runs in a day. If anything is going to kill cricket it will be the unrelenting criticism of the umpires by the australian press & public because i can assure you, in quite alot of suburban games, the players themselves are having to do the umpiring!

    Get a grip australia, you lost, just accept it & stop whingeing.

  • Dr.Qwert on August 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    The discrepancy in talent in this series between Australia and England is far greater than it was when Aus beat Eng 5-0 in 2006-'07, but this series has been a lot closer. First test could very easily been Aus' but for a little tickle off Haddin's bat, the third should have been an Aus victory but for rain to washout much of the last day and the fourth test again should have been Aus' bar an unexplainable collapse.

    On a flat, albeit slow pitch they'd batted for a draw starting on day two, contrast this with Australia in Adelaide with an unassailable 3-0 lead, down in the test batted aggressively and declared aggressively and were rewarded, moving to a 4-0 lead.

    Don't get me wrong, England deserve to have won this series, they're far superior with the bat, gloves and spin. However, a bit of luck for Aus and this could be the deciding test. Real great teams are more aggressive and put their foot on the throat of oppositions, even when down, a la Aus in Adelaide.

  • Ozcricketwriter on August 25, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    Faulkner perhaps isn't the right person to be making that statement, but perhaps England's absurdly negative attitude, when 3-0 up and on just day 3 of the test match, already going for the draw, should draw some criticism. I mean, seriously, with the amount of rain we had this was always going to be a draw so there was no need for them to disappoint their fans so much. But perhaps the England fans would rather them be 4/247 after 92 overs than be all out for 350 and looking down the barrel of a possible defeat. Test cricket was originally timeless and it is up to the bowlers to be good enough to bowl the batsmen out. So, while it was boring, perhaps England were fair enough to bat like that.

  • on August 25, 2013, 1:29 GMT

    I think that if the weather blesses us with a full final day's play, Clarke should instruct all of his 5 quicks in the side - yes, including Watson and Faulkner - to fire up and deliver all of England's batsmen a full diet of chin music! Nothing to lose! I agree that England have been the better side for most of the series but some of the things they have perpetrated leave the spirit of the game in tatters. Gooch says England didn't purposely go out to bat as they did on day 3...and pigs might fly! And Broad tweets for all comers to a party at the end of the last day! Well said, party pooper....or maybe just pooper! Australia can take a lot from this series despite a 3-0 scoreline.Definitely outplayed by England in 2 out of 5, denied by weather in 2 out of 5 and a narrow defeat in the other. Interesting. Roll on the Aussie summer - we will have a real welcome waiting for you, England!

  • xtrafalgarx on August 25, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    Good on Faulkner, speaks his mind and isn't afraid what will be made of it. I prefer than to the rehearsed and robotic responses of the English, On ya' Faulksy!!

  • siddhartha87 on August 25, 2013, 1:22 GMT

    In my opinion AUstralians should learn how grind too.They would have saved at least one test if they knew how to protect their wicket. Faulkner's comments reflects Aussie's cake or death attitude. When they used to be no 1 ,they use to crush every single team under the sky.No 1 teams after them (India,SA and England) are not even half as destructive as Aussies used to be . They just play to somehow win the series. That is the reason why England can never beat Aussies 5-0. They are lucky this time that they got an inexperienced Aussie side. Next Aussie summer there will be no hiding for them.

  • TheBigBoodha on August 25, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    This wouldn't be news if anybody else said it. The criticisms are obvious ones, and I'd say the vast majority of people watching the game would have to agree. Naturally a few English fans will be angered by them, but in much the same way as anybody gets annoyed when told a home truth in a very direct way.

    Kill the game.

    Kill the series.

    Kill the sport.

    Teams like Eng will just keep doing this as long as they can get away with it. Take the time wasting stuff, for example. It is far more detrimental to the game that Lehman's comments about S. Broad. The ICC acted on the Lehman incident right away, but absolutely nothing has been done or said about the far more series issue of time wasting. As I've said before, Eng got away with it in Cardiff in 2009, & it won them the series and the Ashes. Nothing was done then, & nothing is being done now. As long as the admin and the rules reward conservative, unimaginative and timid cricket, it will remain - until fans no longer bother to show up

  • The_bowlers_Holding on August 25, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    It is a little strange that England are perceived as struggling when victorious; whenever England have looked in danger someone has stepped up to the mantle and turned the game. England have developed the ability to avoid defeat very well as seen in India and NZ and now at home. Batting long limiting chances is a skill that not everyone can do and I don't remember SA getting flack when they did it in Aussie. On reflection England have been below par batting, Harris and Sid have been very good mind, and the slow pitches due to the weather have been a factor; in the return series the quicker pitches will suit England more a I fancy a similar result unless Patto and Harris are both fit for all 5 test and that isn't happening. The betting is 2-1 Aus, 4/5 Eng so for all those predicting an reversal based on a couple of performances after the lord mayors show why not have a wee wager, I might go for 5-1 for the draw.

  • on August 25, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Maybe the Australians could have make it more exciting by taking wickets? So much ego from this team who has not won a game in 9 matches.

  • Sendhil.Kumaran on August 25, 2013, 1:14 GMT

    Clarke's era is synonymous with batting woes for Australia. They have lost series after series including Ashes and yet revel mocking England's return Ashes series.

  • PYC1959 on August 25, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    Sadly Englands only form of attack is to defend nowadays, the only real attacking player England have is Pieterson and even he seems to have succumbed to the defensive attitudes of the team and team hierarchy. This sort of boring non sporting attitude may work in England where alot of games are decided on the weather, however overseas this will pose a problem. Sadly England do have the team to get to the top and stay there by playing attractive cricket, they choose not to and this decision will be their downfall.

  • on August 25, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    What is the right for Faulkner to criticise English tactics? They already won the series and they dont want to lose a test match. Its upto them. Your think-tank should have foreseen it and should have gone with better tactics. As a true and neutral cricket fan, I can understand that his comments are not due to the love towards test cricket or the spectators. Its truly out of frustration

  • Gibbo64 on August 25, 2013, 1:00 GMT

    I have had a rethink and maybe Faulkner is right. England should declare now and have the follow on enforced to make the game a spectacle...and also give Australia a chance to win. If at tea England are only 2 or 3 wickets down and NOT scoring at 4 per over, the batsmen should retire and try to keep the game alive for a positive result.

  • Int.Curator on August 25, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    To order flat doctored wicket. James Falkner 23 runs off 21 balls. Sounds about right. England 247 runs off 696 balls. Sounds about right. England Day 2 playing for draw. Sounds about right. England are a team that has compromised greatness for mediocrity. Can't blame Australia for England's approach to cricket.

  • Greatest_Game on August 25, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    Faulkner shows great promise, but he has again proven that talent & tact are rare in a 1 test expert! 23 runs and 0/29 runs means that his stats as a test all-rounder sum up to minus 6 runs! He and Rob Quiney have much in common, except Rob kept his silence. When Faulkner said "I think when they (Eng) come to Australia it's going to be played on our terms and I think they'll be in for a hell of a challenge back home" he must have forgotten the last Ashes in Aus, which is better described as a "hell of a hiding than a hell of a challange!" He was not doing much thinking, despite saying, "I think" twice in the same sentence. Being a favorite Shane Warne seems not to require a startling intellect.

    Aggressive posturing and sledging are not a prerequisite for cricketing success. Murali, Dravid, Kallis, Sachin - all greats, and all quiet, polite men. Faulkner will learn quickly that sledging without results is liable to create the impression that he is more a fool than the future!

  • stueyh1 on August 25, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    Oh for goodness sake!!! When will the Aussies stop this eternal whining! They feel such a sense of sporting entitlement that they have real trouble coming to terms with the fact that they have lost 3-0 and England can bat any they want. Deal with it guys and stop the whinging!

  • featurewriter on August 25, 2013, 0:46 GMT

    FlashAsh, it's neither Biff nor Barf...it's Boof. And it will be a different series in Australia. Bell enjoys his flat tracks. Put him on the turf at the Gabba, WACA or Sydney and see his true abilities. Cook will do well. But the Australia bowlers will generate a different result. Watch out for Clarke, Warner and Watson on Australian wickets. And the Australian selectors picked the wrong Tasmanian all-rounder - it should have been Luke Butterworth!

  • Hoff90 on August 25, 2013, 0:36 GMT

    Faulkner was just telling it exactly how it was, and people having a go at him will eat their words in Aus. English play super defensive cricket and it is extremely boring. At any chance they could lose a test match, rather than attempting to counter attack, they curl back into their shell and it will be their downfall soon. All seriousness, Aus could have easily won game 3 and game 5 without weather intervention, game 1 was extremely tight, and if the weather played a part in any of the English wins, the series could have easily finished 2-2. Looking forward to watch the aussie bowlers rip through the english top order in aus later this year... slow boring tactics wont help them on fast bouncy pitches!

  • Titsmcgee on August 25, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    You can say what you want Jimmy, but at the end of the day you're coming from the side who haven't won an ashes series in 6 years, maybe you should look at your own teams methods before you start criticising the english.

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:29 GMT

    Criticise the English all you like - it is Test cricket, and they have won the series easily. The English strategy worked, and the Australians could not counter it. Even when the English were in trouble, they prevailed in previous tests in this series. If Faulkner believes the English tactics are negative, then he should re-think his potential career as a test player.

    The greatest disappointment of this series has been the Australian performances. I am hoping they can put up a better performance in Australia.

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    James Faulkner should let his ball do the talking. His team can strangle runs but haven't been able to take 10 wickets in 116 overs. Can he really be a Glenn McGrath and say it will be Australia who will win downunder. We can see here that whenever Australia has scored runs and declared, they put England under pressure only to have the rain intervene. On difficult pitches, they collapse as if their batsmen doesn't know how to bat.

  • Chris_Howard on August 25, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    Welcome to Test cricket James. Seems to me, England already have got inside your head. If their tactics bother you, than they're working.

    I think some people are critical of England playing this way without understanding it's not negative, it's simply an obsession with not losing.

    As Faulkner shows, that obsession is playing with the minds of the opposition.

    So, England are totally achieving their objective, which is to get the opposition worrying just how hard it will be to win against them.

    I could imagine the Aussies crying out in frustration (as Faulkner has), "These guys just don't give us any chance to win!"

    What do they say, "Never give a sucker an even break".

    It's not pretty cricket, but it's tough and brutal, and if Australia aren't good enough, they're not going to win.

    As an Aussie, I've got to begrudgingly respect the Poms. We really have to beat them if we want to win, they aren't going to make it at all easy for us.

  • r_s_ on August 25, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Maybe if England had been nice to those poor bowlers and played more carelessly, Faulkner would actually have a test wicket. So far the only thing he's contributed to this series is lame smack talk.

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Wow how some of us have short memories!! One dull game and Test cricket is suddenly in danger again!! Trent Bridge was one of the greatest Ashes tests in history and had drama EVERY DAY!! Plus does Faulkner really think England are going to be intimidated at the end of the year given nearly their entire current side crushed the Aussies in Oz 3 years ago??

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    @Usman Sarif how can you blame the Aussie bowlers? Starc and Harris were bowling 90mph stump to stump and the English just stood their blocking and not one got close to a hundred in spite of batting 116 overs.. terrible

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    There seems to be a lack of insight in some of the comments. Apart from Watson and the latter part of Smiths innings, Australia also batted very slowly. Sometimes the pace of the wicket combine to make it both hard to score and difficult to take wickets. That was the case here.

  • dunger.bob on August 25, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    Dear oh dear James. .. is there some sort of Taurets virus sweeping the Aussie camp. First Boof spits the dummy, now Faulkner.

    I think the best thing our boys can do now is get this final Test out of the way then get the hell out of England. .. Come on home lads and when you do you need to have a serious think about some of the things that have been going on. Not a good look most of this stuff. Not a good look at all.

  • H_Z_O on August 25, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    @bashbash "They may say whatever they want, but unfortunately they will soon be playing in front of empty stands."

    Considering this Test match sold out before Christmas, that's doubtful. Test cricket is immensely popular in England, and most true fans of Test cricket realise that run rate is a poor metric of good Test cricket. We don't judge batsmen in Tests by their strike-rates, but by their average. England averaged 61.75 per wicket yesterday.

    Talk of "greatness" is misplaced. England aren't great, and we gave up on that lofty goal when South Africa showed us true greatness. But we're still good enough that we've won this series. Of our 3 wins, two came having given up a first innings lead.

    Maybe someone should remind James that the last time Australia trailed by 500 in this series they were bowled out for 235 at 2.59 an over and England went 2-0 up.

    The quickest run rate in this series by a side trailing by 500 was England's 2.63 at Old Trafford. "Defensive cricket" indeed.

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    If I supported England I certainly would be more outraged than any Australian... This is a team England have been dominant over and just came back from a hiding in India... yet England are willing to put in these meek displays when they loose the toss because "it's a flat track"? Australia under Ricky Pointing would have never settled for second best the way Cooks men are... And that's why this English side never lived up to it's potential...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 25, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    He's only just joined the team, but already Falkner has adopted the role of the whinger-in-chief. Australia have been hammered this Ashes series by 3 games to nil. England batted on day 3 with the clever mentality of 'try to get us out and we'll sit back and watch you wilt'. Well Faulkner wilted off and on the field all right: all he and his teamates could manage was measly wickets. He is most likely struggling with the realisation that he's walked onto a sinking ship with a captain that 'nobody likes' (KP). Get over it Mr Falkner, there's going to be plenty more to moan about back on your home soil when England start racking up the wins against you again.

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    lol australia needs to accept that they are in the rebuilding mode and none of their tactics worked besides steve smith i didnt see any australian batsmen and bowler do anything besides siddle in the first test. steve smith should be vice captain for australia

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    There seems to be a lack of insight in some of the comments. Apart from Watson and the latter part of Smiths innings, Australia also batted very slowly. Sometimes the pace of the wicket combine to make it both hard to score and difficult to take wickets. That was the case here.

  • smudgeon on August 25, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Well said, gudolerhum.

  • Gibbo64 on August 25, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Maybe Australia should have declared earlier, scored faster or instead of whinging, taken more wickets. They batted for 2 days on a flat track and left England with only 2 possible results. Play for a draw or lose. I think if the shoe was on the other foot we would have similar tactics. I also find it strange that Australia are asking for a test match to be played like a ODI. When a team is behind3-0, they are the ones who must chase games and go for results. What happens if Cook, Trott and Prior fire on Aussie wickets. They have had a terrible series in England and still won 3-0.

  • on August 25, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Has anyone actually read the article? Calm down England fans, you lot are so ready to give it to us Aussies but you sure need to learn to take it back

  • Biggus on August 24, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Many posters condemning Faulkner for his comment on the basis of this being his debut test. Well, how many posting here have played even one? Yet we feel free to say all sorts of things. Nothing he said was inherently offensive but more a statement of fact. England have chosen to play this way, 3-0 up and rain in the forecast, and no amount of defensive posting by defensive English fans can obscure that fact. We've had a glimpse of what happens when this England team feels threatened, and it isn't pretty, all men on the boundary and a pantomime of ridiculous time wasting tricks, all it would appear a legacy of years of mental torment at the hands of our team. Even 3-0 up in this series the English seem deep down terrified that the Australian cricket monster will wake up and all those painful memories will come flooding back once again. England feel that shutting us completely out of this game will crush us but they've done the exact opposite. We've seen that they're still afraid of us.

  • hyclass on August 24, 2013, 23:57 GMT

    Its remarkable how silently and eloquently, wickets, runs and winning speak on ones behalf. Perhaps the Australian team should try it sometime.

  • Vishnu27 on August 24, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    FlashAsh: last time round there wasn't any bounce outside the WACA. This time ought to be a whole lot different though. The 'Gabba won't be the sodden post-apocalyptic flood plain it was last time & the 'G drop-ins seem to have been mastered & have some real nip now on the first days. The only place there was ANY bounce & carry last time was Perth. We all know what happened there! The England batting order truly relished all that extra zing, didn't they?? Rattled, more like, whilst comfortably leading the series. Again exposing the English issue with short fast bowling on bouncy pitches. I am really looking forward to the Ashes back at home, & cannot wait to be in attendance at the WACA in December. However, all credit to England in this series. They have done what they needed to win & respect must be given for that. However, it is very far from an exciting, attacking brand of cricket. It is an ugly grinding style that wins very few outside admirers.

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 24, 2013, 23:54 GMT

    every match every day was sold out... a great feat for a 5 test series... now what were people saying about test cricket dying?? England fans appreciate the game and home of test cricket... all these whingeing fans from other countries make me laugh when one sees their empty stadia,. or leaving the ground early like @ the MCG last ashes and never returning!

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    defensive approach towards the game is eventually going to kill the test cricket. pretty sure majority of the people who bought the tickets for this match are not going to buy it again. Australia has been by far the most aggressive team in last 10 -15 years. when they win they really impose themselves on the opposition and even with a weak side when they are loosing they still play aggressive cricket. other teams should learn from them if the test cricket is to survive.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    Cook is an unsuitable Test captain. He's too defensive and will immediately push fielders back, even at the start of an innings. Whenever there is a chance he will lose he will play for a draw. England need someone more aggressive when they come to aus our they will lose quite easily when there's no rain to save them. I think aus are a much better team than the 3-0 scoreline suggests.

  • keithmillersmesserschmitt on August 24, 2013, 23:44 GMT

    I don't know why people are getting so up in arms. Faulkner is stating the obvious---England's batting was not a spectacle most people would want to spend money on. It was boring. Very boring. Whether they avoid losing games or not---it's not good for test cricket. I'd rather have a team that lost a bit more (especially in dead rubbers!) and played with a bit more passion and commitment to the game.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    Wow some of you people are saying this is bad for Test cricket, and that it will spell the end of test cricket blah blah blah. Its those comments that will end it. What would you rather see them try and smash 500 off 120 overs, get all out for 150, and lose the game inside 4 days? And then you would whinge about another test match falling short of the 5th day. This is Test Match cricket..... Australia couldnt get them out, England are 3-0 up..... Why would you give Australia a chance for victory?

    I woiuld be interested to see the ages of people who posted these comments. I cant imagine how frustrated you must of been 20 years ago watching Test cricket, when there was a higher percentage of "boring" draws.

    P.s. I admit, England have been boring to watch, but i wouldnt change it for anything. They are 3-0 up, they can do whatever they want at this point. All of this coming from an Australian!

  • HatsforBats on August 24, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    I can't agree with the criticism England are getting for their run rate. Australia have bowled accurately and to their plans, and have largely kept England's batsmen under control. And England prepared slow pitches that have been hard to force the pace on. Early on day 2 Aus were a little slow out of the blocks (fair enough if Smith was a tad nervous), had they forced the pace then and declared before tea they might have given England more incentive to attack, but as it stands they batted too long for too many runs and now the weather has called time. Even when Aus had a great side they had a tendency to lose dead rubbers, England have put in a thoroughly professional performance to ensure the series ends 3-0. Sure they won't win any awards for their dazzling cricket, but they are easily the 2nd best team in the world. I personally think they have the capacity to play more attacking cricket and still win, but this is their default position and it works well for them.

  • Vishnu27 on August 24, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    Usman Sharif: that is THE most ridiculous statement ever. On a pitch that is about as English as a tropical oasis, to expect the bowlers to continually winkle out wickets when no batsmen are prepared to play their shots! Please spare as all the nonsense

  • hyclass on August 24, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    For the entire time that behaviour like Faulkner's has been condoned and encouraged by CA, it has backfired. This has gone on for years without one player getting it right. It's symptomatic of a low standard of personal behaviour that CA manifests as part of its charter and indicative of those who head it without accountability. The players and coaches are employees afterall and would hardly dare to behave this way in contravention of instructions. CA cant complain about Arthur's behaviour. He's only doing what everyone else has been doing for years. The noise is a useful device when attempting to obscure a staggering lack of results that stretches far back. It also helps to misdirect attention away from the complicity in and undermining of Test team results, institutions and a 'lack of investment in' traditional cricket by CA, who would rather point at other causes. The entire process has unfolded as I said it must years ago if CA pursued their, undermine Tests to promote 20/20 agenda

  • Prized-Ass on August 24, 2013, 23:33 GMT

    He needs to concentrate on his bowling then worrying about sledging For a start Australia won the toss , got the better of the batting conditions & well done to Shane Watson & Steve Smith England don`t need to WIN this Test As a 3 - Nil result heading to Australia for the return Ashes is much better than a 3 - 1 result with Australia gaining momentum Considering England are almost playing this Test match with 9 players after there poor selection ...How the hell Steven Finn , Chris Tremlett where`nt selected is abit of a joke And also safe to say that if Simon Kerrigan is Englands next best Left arm spinner than Monty`s position is safe even if he has a few issues to over come

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    I think Faulkner's comments are unnecessary and while some of the Aussies will agree with him, from an English perspective, the England cricket team's approach to batting in the 1st innings is based on how the team assess the situation. Credit must be given to the Australian bowlers for their tough and discipline bowling which have forced the English batsmen to play defensive. I'm not certain if his comments are well justified given the fact that the Aussies have taken only four wickets and England won the series quite comfortably.

  • Blokker on August 24, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    You wonder what this prolonged mindset is going to do to England's top order. This series, apart from Bell, they have been woeful. How ingrained is their dullness becoming? And what is the point of it? Their time-wasting tactics have been bitterly disappointing aas well. 'Professionalism' stretched too far. They remind me of Italian footballers diving to slow a game down.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    sledging when the score is 3-0 somehow loses its effect. Note how the seasoned aussie sledgers have kept stum Looks like Freddies claim of Oz not winning a test will be proven, I didn't expect that. In the final analysis, however you dress it up, the reality is Oz have folded at the pressure moments and generally Eng have not Blame the weather, blame the umpires, blame Broad, whatever you want the score remains 3-0 and for people who would rather see their team playing great cricket but losing, I suggest that's easy to say when you are in fact losing This will be 8 games without a win, 6 losses in 8 games. Yup Faulkners the man! Looks to me like Oz have simply forgot how to win and based on evidence Eng will do whatever is required not to lose. Empty seats in the return leg? hope not

  • robelgordo on August 24, 2013, 23:22 GMT

    As an Aussie, it's pretty embarrassing when the players always make statements like this. It's meant to be tough I imagine, but it just seems insecure.

    If you're really in the fight, you let runs and wickets do the talking.

    Why would England take advice from any Aussie other Clarke on what to do 3-0 up? Not like they have an experience on the matter. Especially from the guy who couldn't even make a badly beaten side until the dead rubber.

  • Shan156 on August 24, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Boring or not, England's strategy is mighty effective. As an England fan who has seen England go through some really bad periods, when the only question when we enter a series was the margin by which we will lose the series and if we will sneak one win (remember those 0-5, 0-4 results?), I will happily take this period where we have gone defeatless for 12 tests (13 after this one), while winning 7 of them in the process. How can an ultra-defensive team win all those tests including 2 in India, the toughest place to tour where 'attacking' Australia lost all 4 so easily that it was a shame to term it even a contest? And, defensive mentality is not such a bad thing. It would be tough to win after conceding nearly 500 runs. Had Eng. attacked, they would have most probably lost. Aussies badly wanted at least one win in this series. They are upset it did not happen. Some of their players are talented but as a team they are highly inconsistent and that is why they lost this series.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    Assuming this 5th test is drawn, which looks likely, let's not get too carried away with winning the series 3-0. We could so easily have lost 2-3, but for the rain. Two losing draws and one match which could have gone either way puts it into perspective. Cook is a good captain when things are going well but he seems to lack imagination or inspiration when the going gets tough. In this series Joe Root is actually top of the bowling averages and also has the best economy rate (admittedly after very few overs) so why does Cook have so little faith in him. We will have to be far more pro-active to have a chance of winning down-under this time.

  • on August 24, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    Does the cricketing public see value in a game where one side digs in and bats very slowly to take time out of a test match when the other side has such a commanding first innings score? If the series was one all and England did a similar feat, would they attract the same criticism? If not, then change the formula of test cricket to a two innings limited overs match of 120 overs per inning per side. This would take out such tactics as well as time wasting, slow over rates etc........I'm really not sure.

  • Nerk on August 24, 2013, 23:06 GMT

    As an Aussie, I'm quite disappointed with our tactics. They weren't exactly aggressive. When you are bowling well outside off-stump, how do you think the batsmen are going to respond? I don't think I saw one over where every ball was aimed near the sticks, there were always 2 or 3 that were unplayable. If we want to talk defensive tactics, then both teams are guilty.

  • orangtan on August 24, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    @espi if I read you correctly you are saying that most Test captains would have followed Cook's tactics and then you go on to deplore the future of Tests. But given the fact that the Australians batted for most of 6 sessions, and rain was always gong to be a factor, what else could Cook have done to contrive a result. I think he is realistic, he knows he doesn't have batsmen who can achieve a 3.5-4.0 scoring rate in such conditions against a good attack ( Faulkner being the weak link) so he plays conservatively, yes way too conservatively but that's the nature of the game. And the Aussies were just not able to achieve consistent breakthroughs, so they didn't measure up.

  • HawK89 on August 24, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    They did this against NZ as well. NZ had them around 100 for 50 overs, run rate around 2. Their tactic was to bat the day out and have Pietersen, Bell and Prior hit the run rate up, by slogging it. Didn't work, they came in and got out. If you're going to do that, do it properly and get Geoffrey Boycott to coach.

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    I love how Faulkner fails to mention the fact that England stifled the Aussie bowling attack for an entire day. How dare this debutant claim England played negatively when he couldn't even take a wicket? Only 4 were taken for crying out loud!

  • nareshgb1 on August 24, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    doh - at last hte Aussies can "brag" about something huh?

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    England did not need to win this one,they only had to make sure that the did not lose.Had Australia been in a similar situation,I'm sure they would have done the same thing.Australia had to bowl England out and this sounds like sour grapes to me.England won the series deservedly and Australia have to improve to win back the ashes in the upcoming series in Australia.

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    The one thing English batsmen did was put a price on their wicket, and it turns out we didnt have enought to pay the piper. Perhaps our top 6 could learn a lesson from the days play.

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:42 GMT

    England only won the matches where the won the toss. Australia were in commanding position in both those matches where they won the toss, but weather played spoilsport

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Lol @ Faulkner shooting his mouth off in his first Test match. England were defensive, but why couldn't Australia get them out? Let's be honest, this Aussie attack is very one-dimensional and hence if the wicket's slow or flat they can't take wickets. They don't have the x-factor -- this is what Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann bring to the table for England. They're very workmanlike and hence when England bats/Australia bowls, the cricket is attritional and boring.

  • northumbriannomad on August 24, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    I agree entirely that Test cricket is on the line. However, with England 3-0 up, and with England having gaily selected two debutants in a spirit of experiment, it might not have been unreasonable for England to experiment with the idea of actually playing high-risk, high-returns cricket, maybe to win, maybe to lose, maybe to learn something about themselves, rather than inflicting a day of pointless tedium on the public who, in England only, are patient and enthusiastic enough to pay to watch this stuff. Much more of this computerized professionalism, and Test cricket will die. As an England supporter, I have to say, the spirit of Test cricket this summer has been held high by Australia, and good luck to them.

  • JustAnotherCricketFan on August 24, 2013, 22:32 GMT

    thumbs up to gudolerhum (please get an easier to spell name). You have been right on the money my friend. Its why no one hates south africa for being number one, but respect them. because they are number one team in all sense. england is a good team but a team with fundamental strategies and tactics like that of england belongs in third position not first. and gudolerhum is right too about test crickets future. Everytime our faith in test cricket is restored, its by exciting contest between teams fighting to the bones for a run or a wicket (fortunately that happens more often now thanks to more hungry teams) not by teams whose strategie is to bore their opponents to death to win.

  • Jaffa79 on August 24, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    Faulkner is learning the Aussie way fast: run your mouth off and whinge. Get some runs and wickets mate before you give it out. He probably wants to impress Lehmann through his bleating and he probably will as well.

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:13 GMT

    With his wealth of test experience, I'm surprised Faulkner isn't more concerned with the fact that he and 5 other Australian bowlers could only manage 4 wickets between them.

  • on August 24, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    Well said Faulkner!! Nice to see all the poms take the bait..

  • littleeden on August 24, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    All of those commenting about England's defensive batting seem to have forgotten that there was another team on the field at the same time, and I didn't see them doing too much to open the game up either.

  • Rich1973 on August 24, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    Got a lot to say for themselves these Aussies, I'd be more concerned about their own failings if I was them, we have been well below our best but still beat them 3-0, can't see it being much different over there in fact think wickets will suit our batsmen better

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    Don't know why the English fans are getting upset since Faulkner has only really stated the obvious facts - 1. Defensive no-risk cricket is boring to watch 2. An Australian side would never accept they couldn't win a match after only two days and would try to win and not draw 3. It will be a different matter to try to perpetuate this tactic in Australia where the pitches and weather will be vastly different. Any clear thinking individual would come to the same conclusion and state the obvious.

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:53 GMT

    It used to be that you had have some standing in the sport of cricket to voice your opinions. This guy who is yet to take a wicket in test cricket and all of three days of cricket under his belt has strong opinions. No respect. But what else can you expect.

  • Fifthman on August 24, 2013, 21:52 GMT

    Another mouthy Aussie trundler who is pretty average in the bowling stakes but thinks he can can make up for it with the verbals. Give it a break, and come back when you've actually achieved something.

    The score line is 3-0. That's the top and bottom of the whole deal.

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    I think someone needs to advise Mr Faulkner how to wind his neck in!

    England are doing what they need to do to ensure they are unbeaten in the series. With interference from the weather it was unlikely England could manufacture a win so the next thing to do is ensure you don't lose.

    To be honest Faulkner's been given too much air-time here.......

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    This coming from a player on his debut is a bit rich, particularly when he remained wicketless. As a mediocre bowler of old I loved it when batsmen had a defensive mindset as it allowed me to be more aggressive and try more variations in an effort to get a wicket. Nevertheless I have felt that Cook in particular has taken a very conservative approach to his game and this has meant he has got bogged down. He hasn't played one free flowing innings and his defensive mindset has meant that even when he has got in, he has been overly cautious. I think this is why he has nicked out so many times; he knows he has been in long enough to play a more aggressive shot but his focus on defense has meant he doesn't fully commit to the shot.

  • mikkkk on August 24, 2013, 21:40 GMT

    Another one of their show ponies they raved about and delivered little. Talks a better game than he plays. It's why the English take great pleasure in humiliating Mitchell Johnson - chirps like a world class fast bowler but very rarely plays like one.

    Johnson to Anderson: "Why are you chirping now mate, not getting wickets?" Next ball Anderson gets a wicket, turns round to Johnson with his finger to his lips. Classic:-)

  • espi on August 24, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Hats off to gudolerhum for a comment that actually relates to the more fundamental point of this article. This is not about Faulkner. Most others are shooting the messenger here. Test cricket is on the line here. If I was a Test captain who lost the toss, failed to contain the opposing team in their first innings knowing full well a test can only be five days and with modern technology rather more accurately predicting the weather ahead, I would be rather inclined to instruct my team to bat as England has here. I may well not lose the test but I have clearly given up playing to win it and in the end, the only loser is Test cricket itself.

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:29 GMT

    @Usman Sharif: Brilliant comment! That should definitely get picked!

    Australia are getting more and more irritated and desperate.

  • harry93 on August 24, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    Glenn Haslam. What are your test averages like? First class even?

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    This is Test Cricket.... it's not for everyone....if you don't like it go watch something else.....

  • harry93 on August 24, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    Where's the sledge? It seemed a reasonable and accurate assessment to me. Are they even going to play the last day? I suppose the English would turn up after all they find this to be thrilling cricket. See you at the Gabba

  • on August 24, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    Congratulations. Arrival of another player with big mouth in Australian team. No wonder they have not tasted victory in 9 tests now and have lost 7 of them. England on the other hand are undefeated in last 13 tests... Australia need big performers, not big mouths

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on August 24, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    What a whinger Falkner is. At least take defeat gracefully. You have been beaten 3-0 after all.

  • thegreatwhiteduck on August 24, 2013, 21:11 GMT

    Yeah, and I'm estimating how much the England team and management care about Faulkner's views ... four words, of which the first three are "not a flying" ... three-nil will do me ...

  • 200ondebut on August 24, 2013, 21:05 GMT

    The Aussie travelling supporters should definitely get a refund on this basis!!!

    I'd expect Englands batsmen will look forward to the quicker wickets in Oz and expect to see another one sided series.

  • CricFan78 on August 24, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    Dear Glenn Haslem by same logic you need to zip your mouth too , at least Faulkner has a Test cap

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on August 24, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    Faulkner - Lower order slogger, feeble medium pacer with a horrid action and awful fielder. Good luck not damaging that 1 cap James!

  • Indiaoneone on August 24, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    Interesting to see how a bad run can change the perspectives. Out of all the teams, Australia is talking about cheating and fair-play. I believe in Karma now.

  • gsingh7 on August 24, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    england were very conservative and timid in their approach. thats why they can never dominate world cricket with such defensive gameplay.I concur with Faulkner. England played for the draw. They knew that any enterprise from them would have put their chances at risk. So they played NOT to lose instead of winning. Some England fans will say that there is nothing wrong with that given the series is won 3-0. However, I disagree. their are icc ranking points and at this rate only india can cross sa in near future if they win 3-0 in test series in sa later this year.

  • on August 24, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    question to ask is if the positions were swapped how would Australia do? possibly they might of scored more runs but more than likely they would of been more wickets down and struggling to save thr game.

  • on August 24, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    Yes 116 overs and Australian bowlers got only 4 wickets, Overall Strike rate of 174 balls per wicket. Extremely boring for a fan. The fans tickets must be refunded from the match fee of Australian bowlers.

    Australian fans always making assumptions about ifs and buts. England has been better team, its bottom line. If you can take only 4 wickets in 116 overs, how can you assume them to get 7 wickets in 70 overs in nottingham had there been no rain?

  • JG2704 on August 24, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    I'm sure England players will be gutted that the global superstar AKA James Faulkner doesn't like the way Eng have gone about their business.

    Personally , I think some of the stuff Lehmann said re Broad and , Faulkner about England as a whole will only make England dig in even more. I think they're trying to play mind games and when you're 3-0 down (deservedly or not) it doesn't have the same effect

  • Navin84 on August 24, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    You give a boy a chance at a man's game and what does he do after 4 days....So may great cricketers spend more than 5000 days of their career and never utter such statements. I see his test career will be short lived.

  • Matteroffact on August 24, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    May be Falkner wanted England to score over 700 runs in a day and half to go 4-0 up in the series. What if Australia trailing nearly 500 runs, do they take chance. Let see in the return series, why rush.

  • on August 24, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    That's right Faulkner. Given the considerable amount of test cricket you have personally played & the great success you have achieved at that level, including your own team of late, you are obviously well qualified to comment on the team that's currently kicking your ass in this series...

  • MartinC on August 24, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    Maybe it would do Australia well to reflect that it's England's approach of not giving anything away and being very very hard to beat which has meant they have had the reliance to come back when behind in games this series and capitalize when on top. This is Test cricket played over 5 days not a 20/20 romp and patience and making sure when you are behind in a game you don't lose are skills that seem to have been lost on this Australian team.

    It's Faulkners job to take wickets, not moan when batsmen don't give it away.

  • FlashAsh on August 24, 2013, 20:08 GMT

    Eng doing exactly the right thing even playing some of their top 5 back into shape for the Oz follow up! I think the Aussies have something coming to them if they believe that they stand more chance at home? Cook, Trott, Prior & KP positively enjoy the extra bounce etc down under and Bell will just be Bell!

    As for Faulkner he needs to do what Biff (or is it barf?) should do and shut his mouth and concentrate on his own team and abilities!

  • gudolerhum on August 24, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    Faulkner makes a valid criticism. The fact that this is his first or his last Test is completely irrelevant to what he has to say. England's tactics throughout the series have been deplorably defensive. They have won the series because Australia are by far the weaker team, not because they have imposed themselves on the Aussies. Cook has set defensive fields as a first option, not as a last resort. If that is the strategy of the coach and management team it is not a good omen for the future. Even the English commentators have remarked on his unwillingness to be aggressive in his field placings. Yesterday's crawl was not unexpected; fortunately with television one can turn to another channel. Pity the folk at the ground who expected to be entertained! This is exactly why Test cricket has so many critics who would like to see its demise. If this approach is continued they may get their wish sooner rather than later.

  • on August 24, 2013, 20:04 GMT

    England have the right to bat however they like, they are 3-0 up. However, their slow over rate on day 2 is something that they had no right to do. 11 overs an hour is atrocious and they should be penalised for it. The on field umpires have allowed so much time wasting over the course of the series that it needs to be addressed. The provision to fine teams is there, lets use it. This game was always going to be a draw once they made the pitch a road to bat on. I think this was England's tactic so that our much maligned batting order might make a few runs and go home thinking that they could actually be competitive. I am unsure if we have enough test quality players in the side to make the big scores on Australian Pitches with the ball doing a lot more than in this test. Our best chance would be to have roads to bat on in all but Perth, where we have our best chance of winning. Then we could win 1-0 with 4 dull draws and retain the ashes.

  • on August 24, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    Wait, what James? You're not good enough to take wickets and this is somehow england's fault?

    Yes, yesterday wasn't the most edifying spectacle, but I'm a little confused as to what England should have done, hand the game up on a plate?

    And finally, I seem to recall another team getting a hiding here and then mouthing off about what would happen when we got back to theirs. Didn't work out so well.

  • on August 24, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Faulkner can whinge as much as he likes and he probably thinks he has a valid point. However, the Aussies are going to lose this series 3-0 following on from a 3-1 defeat in 2010/11 and 2-1 in '09. The margins are getting bigger James...

  • on August 24, 2013, 19:32 GMT

    Cook has captained England 16 times now and has only lost one match. Faulkner has much to learn. I don't think England are playing as well as the last time India toured England. The Indians didn't win a single game in Test, ODI or 20/20 ! England followed that up with a series win in India. Australia recently lost 4 nil there.

  • djy1 on August 24, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Faulkner makes a good point - "Any time they feel threatened they sort of go in their shell and play pretty defensive cricket". This is true - England hate losing. Australia on the other hand are proving rather adept at losing. Maybe its because whenever Australia feel threatened they collapse like a deck of cards. I agree this was pretty turgid stuff but there is a massive series coming up down under in a few months called The Ashes - there was no chance whatsoever that England were going to give Australia any momentum. I also agree with Pyketts - the Australians have taken moaning to a level that they once took cricket (DRS, Umpires, Weather). 3-0 chaps. Suck it up and we'll see you down under.

  • pity_aus on August 24, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    To reach greatness you have to take risk. England in this match does not seem to take any risk at all. That is why the third day of play was rather boring. Pity the crowd who had to witness rather lame tactics by English team. Sport is about entertaining the crowd. If England or any other test nations keep playing like this, one, they will not reach greatness and second they will kill the game. No one will want to sit in the stadium for five days and watch a premeditated drawn game.

  • oze13 on August 24, 2013, 19:21 GMT

    The best thing to do Mr Faulkner is let your cricket do the talking. You're 3-0 down and finished with 0/29 yesterday. Needs to concentrate on his own game than worry about what the other side is doing. England haven't broken sweat and have given you a hiding!

  • TommyLee on August 24, 2013, 19:16 GMT

    Yet another Australian player whinging again.

    Look if you want to watch attacking cricket there is T20, this is test cricket and it is not always exciting. The reason Australia has lost this series is because of poor batting in three tests. In particular, they played a T20 style in the 1st innings at Lords and were bowled out cheaply, going on to lose the game substantially. It is up to the Australian bowlers to take wickets and they only took four yesterday.

    England have been off-colour with the bat but it shows how much of a good team they are to still win a series 3-0. The Aussies have only really had a sniff in this series because of their excellent bowling attack and winning the toss on very good batting pitches (OT and the Oval). The latter is demonstrated by the fact that Watson scored a century in this match! The Australians need to stop being delusional and get into the real world. And stop being bad losers!

  • timjevons on August 24, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    3-0 is always better than 3-1 once Australia posted nearly 500 why would England want to give them any fillip for the return series doesn't make sense. Cook maybe on the defensive side but Clarke I am afraid to say is not an attacking Captain as portrayed by Shane Warne yesterday almost entirely negative encouraging England to shut up shop. If he Captains in this country again I suggest he puts faith in the weathermen and their forecasts and if indeed he is attacking he should have declared in Manchester 30 mins before tea and declared at The Oval on 350 by not doing so he lost all chance in this series. If anyone thinks it's going to be much different down under be prepared to be shocked I cannot see where Australia can win.

  • jabberwocky123 on August 24, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    With today always almost certain to be rained off how exactly were England supposed to 'push for 4-0' when they started the day 460 runs behind with only two days left?

    Let's say they'd batted more aggressively and were now 340-8 rather than 247-4. They'd still be 150 runs behind with absolutely no chance of winning this game whereas Australia would have a much better chance of victory. For all the criticism I think I'm right in saying that only four teams in history have lost after posting 492+. How is a team supposed to bat when responding to all but 500?

    The reason this game's been dull is Australia's first innings of 492. 450+ first innings scores tend to make for dull matches. The Aussies may be frustrated that they haven't been able to take wickets but they could start by bowling Lyon over the wicket into the footmarks with the field up rather than complaining. With 500 on the board you'd rather KP hit a couple of sixes then got out rather than batting for three hours.

  • king_julien on August 24, 2013, 18:56 GMT

    I disagree with people who say England should have gone for a win. Off course as a neutral fan I would have loved to see a well contested test match not such a dull affair. But don't let the 3-0 scoreline fool you into thinking that England were utterly dominant. A few chances here and there, Bell not having a golden run and the results could have been entirely different. England's top order has been failing miserably, most of their batsman were struggling, without runs under your belt even great batsman start losing their confidence. Given England batsman's form it would have been foolish to try to force issues with 1-2 batsman in form.

    People talking of West Indies and Aussies, England at the given point is just a good team not a great one (3-0 in UAE, losses to SA). With Aussies back then it mostly came down to whitewashes or losing a match in trying for it. Its much easier to play aggressively then. The line between being Daring and foolhardy is a thin one.

  • on August 24, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    Why is it any of Faulkner's business how England conduct their cricket? Perhaps if Australia weren't such a mediocre outfit themselves, whingeing at every turn, they wouldn't be 3-0 down in the series. Go work out how to take a wicket on an unresponsive pitch lad, and then maybe you wouldn't have to bowl to a defensive bat all day.

  • sheila_4 on August 24, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    I'm sure England will be really grateful to have some constructive criticism! Despite the weather ruining England's chance to end the series 4-0, this has been a most enjoyable series. Even with home advantage, Australia will be lucky to win a single match in the return series. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if England won by an innings three times. Again.

  • bashbash on August 24, 2013, 18:43 GMT

    Test cricket has moved on since the days of Mr Boycott. We want test cricket to be the Best of all cricket, we want test cricket not just to survive but survive well and draw full house everyday. But clearly England's such lackluster defensive attitude is a terrible advertise for test matches. They may say whatever they want, but unfortunately they will soon be playing in front of empty stands. England is good team no doubt, but there is that difference between a good team and that of a great team; unfortunately this England team under a highly defensive captain and management will never reach those dizzy heights of greatness of 80's West Indies or 90's Aussies. England do far more tough and flamboyant talking which raises fans expectations unrealistically high. May be they are tough but really really really boring to watch which even put Mr Boycott to sleep yesterday.

  • Jackalope on August 24, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    Suggesting refunds for a slow scoring rate is an absurd notion! This implies that runs are the sole signifier of 'quality'. I enoyed watching some excellent bowling yesterday, and some watchful batting. These kind of comments usually display a lack of appreciation for the subtleties of the game, and can be attributed to your typical 'football fan' cricket follower, titillated only by smashing the ball for 4 or 6. These shots have their place, but the cricket on display yesterday was equally as valid.

  • Jackalope on August 24, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    I was at the Oval for the final session and enjoyed the cricket I watched. The bowlign was very good, and the batsmen played it accordingly. Test match cricket is a deeper and more absorbing form of the game, and sometimes the scoring rate will drop, but that does not mean that the cricket is of a low quality or value.

  • on August 24, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    I think that was really defensive play by England. Scoring 2.12 with 8-9 down in a day can be understandable in todays era but with only 4 down, they were playing to draw the match when they should have pressed on to win and win the series 4-0 and drive home the advantage before the next Ashes. And KP batting like this was really tormenting. Cook is a really defensive captain and this series seals it. And I would like to say that today's wash out was more entertaining than yesterday's pathetic batting display from the English.

  • EnglishCricket on August 24, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Although the test series unsurprisingly has been exciting despite the scoreline saying 3-0, this final test match apart from Shane Watson blitz!!! has been boring and mainly because of how flat the pitch is and neither fast or slow bowlers cannot get much out of this pitch. People pay to see a good contest between bat and ball for a test match, not countless of runs and batsman on good batting wickets defending most of the day like England did yesterday. No wonder they are not world number 1 in tests anymore and people pay very good money and deserve a much better showing for this test match than what we have see thus far. Down under there is no escaping for England no doubt about that :)

  • Pyketts on August 24, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Not saying I disagree with his comments but is anyone else getting bored with the Aussie moaning? I remember the days when they had great players who could get under the skin of teams and then beat them with ability!

    Concentrate on playing mate, from what I've seen you need plenty of practice.

  • AltafPatel on August 24, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    He is more T20 player. Comment from bowler who didn't complete first match of career, and went wicket-less as well, doesn't make any sense.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 24, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    I concur with Faulkner. England played for the draw. They knew that any enterprise from them would have put their chances at risk. So they played NOT to lose instead of winning. Some England fans will say that there is nothing wrong with that given the series is won 3-0. However, I disagree. The WI and AUS teams of recent vintage were great for a reason. They believed they could win anywhere given any condition and they did. This England team lacks that and have proven to all on numerous occasions that they are far from being a great side. Being a good side is not a big deal; many teams can be good at the same time. Being great takes a special effort and initiative, qualities this England team lack totally. I hope the Oval faithful get partial refunds at least. Even mother nature has had it enough with this test match.

  • TomPrice on August 24, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    Pretty big talk from a fringe player on a side that didn't get a look in all summer. Just imagine the noise Faulkner would make if he ever ended up on the winning side.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 24, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Dangerous words Mr Faulkner, but what will be will be. It's true that Australia's bowlers have mostly done nothing wrong, and it's taken a few exceptional knocks by individual England players (mostly Bell) to keep England's noses ahead. But I'd expect these words and 'threats' to come from the likes of Harris, who has proved critics like me wrong and delivered all series - not from a guy who has only faced 21 balls batting and bowled 12 overs so far in the entire series.

    Gooch's comments are mostly spot on; I still maintain that I saw a 'change' in England's body language and aura after Watson completed his ton and Smith was motoring on... kind of like: "that's it, winning's out of the question; ensure the draw at all costs, and critics/paying fans be damned." That strategy is always going to split cricket fans. 3-0 will be this series abstract; the remaining chapters in that book have much more to say.

  • niazbhi on August 24, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    England was not in a position to win. They played to keep wickets and succeeded. This is how test cricket is played. Russel is a very good 20/20 player, does not get a place in the tests. There is a good reason all the english test batsmen averages over 40. The method Faulkner is suggesting would not get that.

  • py0alb on August 24, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    As the side attempting to save the game, England's defensive tactics were perfectly justified.

    On the other hand, as the side supposedly attempting to force victory, Australia's incredibly defensive field settings were completely unjustified and put England under no pressure whatsoever. Michael Clarke should personally reimburse the entire crowd.

  • py0alb on August 24, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    As the side attempting to save the game, England's defensive tactics were perfectly justified.

    On the other hand, as the side supposedly attempting to force victory, Australia's incredibly defensive field settings were completely unjustified and put England under no pressure whatsoever. Michael Clarke should personally reimburse the entire crowd.

  • niazbhi on August 24, 2013, 18:07 GMT

    England was not in a position to win. They played to keep wickets and succeeded. This is how test cricket is played. Russel is a very good 20/20 player, does not get a place in the tests. There is a good reason all the english test batsmen averages over 40. The method Faulkner is suggesting would not get that.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 24, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    Dangerous words Mr Faulkner, but what will be will be. It's true that Australia's bowlers have mostly done nothing wrong, and it's taken a few exceptional knocks by individual England players (mostly Bell) to keep England's noses ahead. But I'd expect these words and 'threats' to come from the likes of Harris, who has proved critics like me wrong and delivered all series - not from a guy who has only faced 21 balls batting and bowled 12 overs so far in the entire series.

    Gooch's comments are mostly spot on; I still maintain that I saw a 'change' in England's body language and aura after Watson completed his ton and Smith was motoring on... kind of like: "that's it, winning's out of the question; ensure the draw at all costs, and critics/paying fans be damned." That strategy is always going to split cricket fans. 3-0 will be this series abstract; the remaining chapters in that book have much more to say.

  • TomPrice on August 24, 2013, 18:19 GMT

    Pretty big talk from a fringe player on a side that didn't get a look in all summer. Just imagine the noise Faulkner would make if he ever ended up on the winning side.

  • Cpt.Meanster on August 24, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    I concur with Faulkner. England played for the draw. They knew that any enterprise from them would have put their chances at risk. So they played NOT to lose instead of winning. Some England fans will say that there is nothing wrong with that given the series is won 3-0. However, I disagree. The WI and AUS teams of recent vintage were great for a reason. They believed they could win anywhere given any condition and they did. This England team lacks that and have proven to all on numerous occasions that they are far from being a great side. Being a good side is not a big deal; many teams can be good at the same time. Being great takes a special effort and initiative, qualities this England team lack totally. I hope the Oval faithful get partial refunds at least. Even mother nature has had it enough with this test match.

  • AltafPatel on August 24, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    He is more T20 player. Comment from bowler who didn't complete first match of career, and went wicket-less as well, doesn't make any sense.

  • Pyketts on August 24, 2013, 18:24 GMT

    Not saying I disagree with his comments but is anyone else getting bored with the Aussie moaning? I remember the days when they had great players who could get under the skin of teams and then beat them with ability!

    Concentrate on playing mate, from what I've seen you need plenty of practice.

  • EnglishCricket on August 24, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Although the test series unsurprisingly has been exciting despite the scoreline saying 3-0, this final test match apart from Shane Watson blitz!!! has been boring and mainly because of how flat the pitch is and neither fast or slow bowlers cannot get much out of this pitch. People pay to see a good contest between bat and ball for a test match, not countless of runs and batsman on good batting wickets defending most of the day like England did yesterday. No wonder they are not world number 1 in tests anymore and people pay very good money and deserve a much better showing for this test match than what we have see thus far. Down under there is no escaping for England no doubt about that :)

  • on August 24, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    I think that was really defensive play by England. Scoring 2.12 with 8-9 down in a day can be understandable in todays era but with only 4 down, they were playing to draw the match when they should have pressed on to win and win the series 4-0 and drive home the advantage before the next Ashes. And KP batting like this was really tormenting. Cook is a really defensive captain and this series seals it. And I would like to say that today's wash out was more entertaining than yesterday's pathetic batting display from the English.

  • Jackalope on August 24, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    I was at the Oval for the final session and enjoyed the cricket I watched. The bowlign was very good, and the batsmen played it accordingly. Test match cricket is a deeper and more absorbing form of the game, and sometimes the scoring rate will drop, but that does not mean that the cricket is of a low quality or value.