Sunday, 26 July 2009

The Longest Record...

Second Test, Lords: England 425 & 311-6 dec beat Australia 215 & 406 by 115 runs

For all that Ricky Ponting is a fantastic batsman, and the biggest risk to Sachin Tendulkar’s reign as test crickets most successful run’s scorer. He has garnered some unwanted records as Australia’s captain. The first Australian captain in 18 years to relinquish the Ashes, the first Australian captain to lose a test series at home in a similar period and he missed captaining Australia (in 2004) to their first series win in India since 1969/70 through injury, only to lose heavily when he did captain Australia when they toured there last autumn. The latest mark on Ponting’s captaincy came on Monday when his team became the first Australian test side to lose an Ashes test at Lords for the first time in 75 years.

The reasons for Australia’s defeat are familiar ones, as they were trotted out when they inexplicably drew in Cardiff. Bowlers taking longer to adapt to “English” conditions seems to be the chief reason, another reason could be that Australia are actually a bit light in the seam/swing bowler department. This is a more likely reason for Australia’s predicament. Witness the strong start England made, the 196 run 1st wicket stand being the platform which Australia could not overcome.

Not to take anything away from Strauss and Cook, but they did cash in from some poor bowling. Mitchell Johnson has been particularly disappointing on this tour, given that he was the fast bowling star of Australia’s series win in South Africa in the spring. Considering he was touted as Australia’s new main strike bowler, he looks to be the main candidate to make way for Brett Lee once he returns from injury. All of which makes the exclusion of England’s destroyer 30 months ago, Stuart Clark, all the more baffling.

England though were fantastic, though 425 somehow doesn’t do justice to their batting performance. Pieterson was in hindsight struggling with injury and Bhopara needs runs quickly as he looks to be struggling in the number 3 position. There are still too many poor shots made by the England batsmen to say that England are on their way to another Ashes series win. How they replace Pieterson will be key to how they get on.

No comments:

Post a Comment