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The Ashes

smartcooky

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Message to my namesake in the England team....


Alistair.... bat Ian Bell at first drop!!!


pretty funny since Watson and Smith just scored tons and Bailey took 28 off a Jimmy Anderson over to reach the Dec Target. After Clarke got out cheap :p

pretty much everyone is contributing for the aussies. almost no one is contributing for the poms


Yep, I agree, especially the bit about Steve Smith. He is very definitely test quality. A test average of 35 with two 100's and five 50's is a good return from only 15 test matches.

In this match particularly, he came in when the score was about 143-5, when it looked like England were getting on top for the first time in the series. Smith turned it around with one of the best "pressure" tons you'll ever see. His team was under the pump, and he was under personal pressure to perform, but he saw Australia through to 338-9. It would be a mistake to underestimate how good this young player is. He was my MOTM for the Aussies this match thought imagine either Warner or Stokes would have got the nod from the Channel 9 commentary team.
 

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Message to my namesake in the England team....


Alistair.... bat Ian Bell at first drop!!!





Yep, I agree, especially the bit about Steve Smith. He is very definitely test quality. A test average of 35 with two 100's and five 50's is a good return from only 15 test matches.

A test average of 35 is a good return for a New Zealand batsman. It is not that impressive on the international stage though. I was very impressed with the maturity Smith displayed in his innings - however he will need a few more innings like that (and need to get his average up into the 40s) before he will be regarded as anything more than a mediocre test batsman in my mind.

In general I agree with William18 that this Australian side isn't really that impressive, and generally relies heavily on 1 or 2 batsmen (though Warner is looking pretty handy at the moment!). Obviously they are too good for England (in Australia) but I think they still have some glaring weaknesses that they have not yet fixed....
 
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smartcooky

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A test average of 35 is a good return for a New Zealand batsman. It is not that impressive on the international stage though. I was very impressed with the maturity Smith displayed in his innings - however he will need a few more innings like that (and need to get his average up into the 40s) before he will be regarded as anything more than a mediocre test batsman in my mind.

In general I agree with William18 that this Australian side isn't really that impressive, and generally relies heavily on 1 or 2 batsmen (though Warner is looking pretty handy at the moment!). Obviously they are too good for England (in Australia) but I think they still have some glaring weaknesses that they have not yet fixed....

Michael Clarke 170 innings - avg 52.25
David Warner 46 innings - avg 43.2
Shane Watson 91 innings - avg 35.93
Brad Haddin 88 innings - avg 35.93
Steven Smith 30 innings - avg 35.22

Early days yet for Smith. His 138 not out at The Oval in August was outstanding, and put the Aussies in a position from which they should have won.

Smith has the full range of shots. think he really has the potential to be another Ricky Ponting.
 

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Michael Clarke 170 innings - avg 52.25
David Warner 46 innings - avg 43.2
Shane Watson 91 innings - avg 35.93
Brad Haddin 88 innings - avg 35.93
Steven Smith 30 innings - avg 35.22

Early days yet for Smith. His 138 not out at The Oval in August was outstanding, and put the Aussies in a position from which they should have won.

Smith has the full range of shots. think he really has the potential to be another Ricky Ponting.

Well that sort of proves my point. Smith averages less than Shane Watson (another mediocre test batsman) and less than the wk. I'm not doubting he could develop into a quality test batsman (though I would be surprised if he gets near as good as Ponting), but he is not there yet....
 
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Amobokoboko

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Graeme Swann retires from cricket:

Graeme Swann, the England offspinner, has retired from all international cricket and first-class cricket with immediate effect.
Swann, 34, will not play in the final two Tests of the Ashes tour and will finish his career with 255 wickets at 29.96 from his 60 Tests. However, on a disappointing tour of Australia in which England have gone down 3-0 after the first three Tests, Swann has been one of the senior players who has failed to have an impact and has managed only seven wickets at 80.

"It is disappointing. At the end of The Oval Test match last year, I think why didn't I just stop then? I knew more or less that the time was coming up. But then I'd never forgive myself. We had the chance of coming out here and potentially winning four Ashes series on the bounce. I'd never have forgiven myself had I not come out here and given it a crack."
Swann's decision means Monty Panesar is likely to take the role of lead spinner for the remaining two Tests, but the broader question of who will be England's long-term Test spinner remains unclear. Swann himself nominated the Durham legspinner Scott Borthwick as a potential replacement who could add to the all-round "x-factor" that Ben Stokes had already brought to the team on this tour.
Swann noted that the success of Stokes, who scored England's first century of the Ashes series in their defeat at the WACA, was indicative of the way the senior men had failed to stand up on this trip. It was a very different scenario in England earlier this year, when Swann was the leading wicket taker from either side with 26 victims, and at the time it appeared that he may still have some chance of surpassing Derek Underwood to become England's leading Test spinner of all time.
However, Swann will finish 42 wickets short of Underwood's tally of 297, leaving him sixth overall on England's all-time wicket tally behind Ian Botham, James Anderson, Bob Willis, Fred Trueman and Underwood. That was a significant achievement given that Swann did not make his Test debut until the age of 29, but his consistency meant that he missed only six of the 66 Tests that England had played since then.
Since his debut in December 2008, Swann was Test cricket's leading wicket taker from any country, his 255 victims well ahead of Anderson (232), Stuart Broad (207) and Dale Steyn (205), who were the next best in that period. He was Man of the Match on six occasions, most recently for his 10-wicket haul against New Zealand at Headingley in May. Swann told his England team-mates of his decision on Sunday morning in Melbourne.
"They've all been very supportive and congratulated me on my career and wished me luck for the future," he said. "I wished them all the luck in the world. I'm an England fan and I want to see England cricket No.1 in the world, winning games and winning Ashes series. I think the core of that team in the change room are the guys to do that."
England's coach, Andy Flower, said: "Graeme Swann has made an outstanding contribution to the England cricket team in all formats throughout an incredibly successful career and I would like to congratulate him on all that he has achieved.
"His commitment, competitive spirit and sense of humour have been recognised and admired by team-mates and supporters alike and he has played a big part in England's success over the last five years. The dressing room will be a very different place without Graeme's unique personality and I would like to wish him all the very best for the future."
Swann said his personal highlights included playing in three triumphant Ashes sides, as well as the World Twenty20 success in the West Indies in 2010. Apart from his Test appearances, Swann will depart with 104 wickets from 79 one-day internationals and 51 wickets from 39 Twenty20 internationals. He also paid tribute to his two county sides, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here
Feeds: Brydon Coverdale© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


 

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A real pity. Great bowler, a real loss for England, but this series he was a bit under his usual standards. If I was him I would have stopped before the Ashes or after the Ashes. I reckon England could expect a whitewash.
 

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Get the feeling he may be suffering some kind of non-healing injury, he's not been quite right for a while with his bowling.
 

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A true character in the world of professional sport although he went over the top once or twice.................my only prayer would be that he is joined in the wilderness by that oik Pietersen sooner rather than later!
 

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A shock in the sense of timing. However he deserves respect for how he's played in an England shirt and for playing with a great attitude.

What it does do is make the need to find a second spinner to back up Monty P. Despite the Oval I think Kerrigan is that man
 

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I agree that the timing of Swann's retirement is a bit strange, but if his body is telling him to stop he should probably listen to it. I think he leaves a massive hole in that England lineup, as he has been one of the premier spinners in test cricket for the last few years (and is a handy lower order batsman too).
 

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pretty funny since Watson and Smith just scored tons and Bailey took 28 off a Jimmy Anderson over to reach the Dec Target. After Clarke got out cheap :p

pretty much everyone is contributing for the aussies. almost no one is contributing for the poms

Well Watson averages about 30 in test cricket over the past 3 years. George Bailey was picked off of one day form (a recipe for disaster) but hardly ever scores runs in the shield. Rogers is probably too old. Smith could very well be test quality in the future but he is yet to perform consistently. It is a long way from the Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Clarke, Hussey, Gilchrist I remember. All of those guys averaging +40 and some +50.

A few runs when a series is already won does not make up for the fact that Australia went 0-3 in England and 0-4 India. You reckon these guys are good? Well, we'll see in South Africa.
 

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A shock in the sense of timing. However he deserves respect for how he's played in an England shirt and for playing with a great attitude.

What it does do is make the need to find a second spinner to back up Monty P. Despite the Oval I think Kerrigan is that man

I like Kerrigan and I like Borthwick too. Borthwick and Tredwell were called up last night. They reckon Borthwick might play in the boxing day test.
 

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I like Kerrigan and I like Borthwick too. Borthwick and Tredwell were called up last night. They reckon Borthwick might play in the boxing day test.

Borthwick looks an intriguing prospect. Not only is he a leg-spinner (which are always in demand), but he has been scoring a lot of runs in Country cricket (batting at first-drop). He may not be ready for test cricket yet, but England could do worse than giving him a shot - he would lengthen the batting lineup if nothing else, and I'm sure he would be a better fielder than Panesar ;)
 

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What a day in the Ashes today! After Australia's woeful first innings I thought England would really turn the screws, but now Australia have effectively eliminated England's advantage and will go into day 4 with only 200 runs to chase.
 

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Idd, what a comeback? Johnson and Haddin the outstanding men once more.
 

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Well f#ck me if the poms didn't just implode on every level this last two days! Looked on top for Days 1 and 2 and then Australia somehow managed to still thrash them. An 8 wicket victory half way through Day 4 certainly wasn't what I was expecting after watching us collapse in the first innings and give the poms a 50 run start.
 

smartcooky

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Oh dear, 4-zip

I really have to question the captaincy of my Alistair Cook. Broad gets Rogers to nick it, and its dropped, then the next over, he brings on a spinner, but not his number one spinner, Panesar, he brings on part-timer Joe Root? WTF?

Then, with Australia needing only 30 runs to win, with 8 wickets in hand and a day and a half to go, and he has five fielders on the boundary? The only way England was going to win it was to take wickets, not defending boundaries.

Go figure!!
 

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I don't think you have Cook to blame for this. The entire England have been underperforming the entire series where Australia is just lethal and has a very good fighting spirit.
 

smartcooky

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I don't think you have Cook to blame for this. The entire England have been underperforming the entire series where Australia is just lethal and has a very good fighting spirit.


Not really blaming him, just criticising his captaincy.

There have been some questionable fielding and bowling decisions made in this series.
 

Amobokoboko

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True, but when you look at the complete picture you can't deny that the English squad isn't just performing as it should be. On paper they have such a strong batting line up but the scores have been too low for the quality it represents.
 

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