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2021 - 2022 Ashes

As winter weather draws in, COVID restrictions tighten, faith in the government erodes yet further… along comes an Ashes tour to bring some much needed relief into our lives!

Or not.

It’s been a pretty brutal start. Who’s been watching?

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Watched bits, I’m finding it a bit painful though. There seems to be some head scratching about Root’s decision to bat first. But then I’ve never been as impressed as some by his captaincy. The Gabbatior strikes again. Poor old Leach, tough on the nerves for a spinner that kind of treatment.

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On a brighter note good to see Wood bowling fast again.

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Well I have been loving it!
Hard to stay up with kids and job but have and will be catching up on the highlights on iPlayer and listening to TMS.
Sounds like Trav Head (a great South Australian!) has put the Aussies in prime position to go 1-0 up.
Should make 400+ and the weather looks alright for the next 2 days at least so can’t see England coming back from here.
Adelaide could be a different story though…

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I feel like batting first is always the default choice, and that most captains would need to have extremely compelling reasons to opt out of it. Based on the conditions though I certainly think there was a case for bowling first.

A few of our wickets were a bit soft, but I thought Australia bowled very well. You don’t really want to see your opener walk across his stumps like that on the first ball, but that was a beaut of a delivery.

Let’s hope that England can build a bit of form as the series progresses. At the moment it feels like Australia’s batting lineup has more substance than ours, and their bowling attack has more talent and a lot more pace. It’s not looking great.

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A couple of mistakes made I think before a ball was bowled but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I’m baffled why they didn’t pick Broad particularly with no Anderson. I know he is maybe on the fringe but he has made David Warner his bunny in recent times.
Imagine this… They pick Broad instead of Leach, Root wins the toss and bowls (Cummins said he would have batted anyway) and England’s 4 quicks are bowling on that surface in those conditions and Broad is knocking over Warner from around the wicket and momentum is with England. Might not have happened of course but you never know. A big ‘What if’ moment I think.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m very partial to a bit of Ashes cricket whoever is winning, and in fairness I think not enjoying it has more to do with me than the spectacle on offer. But there is something a bit haphazard and lopsided about England cricket.

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Yeah I’m the same. 2005 Ashes series still the greatest series for me even though Australia lost.

It’s always the same….great expectation in the build up that almost always disappears rapidly as soon as the game starts.

England need to write off this match and hopefully come back stronger with team selection and performance in the next.

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So who would you drop for Anderson for the next test at AO?

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Leach is the obvious candidate, but I suspect Wood may drop out given his injury record and squad rotation. Although if Stokes is not fit to bowl this could effect team selection.

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They say that an Ashes series is often defined by the first ball. Think Harmison’s wide.

Doesn’t bode well, does it?

Brisbane is usually a graveyard for overseas teams. They play there first for a reason.

Australian attack is very good and disciplined. They had a plan for many batsmen and bowled to it, caught well too.

I had written this one off before it started tbh.

Really unclear as to why Leach was playing here…thinking that Burns, Root and Stokes can’t all fail second time around, but it needs two of them to make tons to be honest.

The no balling is just poor, from bowler and umpires. They weren’t close…who was meant to be watching?

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Are we all holding our breath in case we break the spell and one of them gets out?

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:face_with_raised_eyebrow: @prufrock

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Yet another England batting collapse. Why? All too often because of poor shot selection. Malan and Pope both out to indifferent batting. Why was Pope trying to cut a ball that was far too straight and full? Malan came right down the pitch and played no real shot. Why was Robinson playing the reverse sweep? A high risk shot for a number 6 let alone a No. 8. Root played at a ball he should have left.

Stokes was obviously woefully short of practice and was carrying an injury. He got himself in a real tangle.
It seemed to me that batsmen misjudged both bounce and length. Let’s hope that they focus on learning from that.
I remain doubtful as to whether Burns is a test opener. He is a better bet than Sibley but not that much better.

Unfortunately England are not spoilt for choice in the batting options, and less so now on tour, who do they pick now? A number of players have been given sufficient chances and still make the same mistakes time and again.

Pope may average 99 playing at the oval but hasn’t shown anything like that in an England shirt. Agree Burns is not a test opener. Malan should be persevered with. By the time Robinson got out the damage had long since been done.

Second innings total was probably about par, though collapse disappointing. Match was lost and won in first session Day 1 really, though several opportunities to get back into were spurned, and with the limitations of this England side, that can’t happen.

Pope’s shot was poor - cutting an off spinner is risky anyway, and Lyon always gets bounce. I had some sympathy with Malan, he was trying to be positive but got done in the flight and had to change shot. A gutsy knock. Hameed looks like he will be a player, and technique a lot better than Burns.

Agree re Robinson but not sure it mattered. Root played well and just a lapse in concentration. Even he is human. I’m more worried about his captaincy than his batting.

Aussie tail puts on a lot more runs than England, and that’s been the case for years now. It matters. No real chinks in Aussie attack either. England pace attack looks ok, but spin is not. Leach is a worthy second XI player, but unlikely to be more. Why play SLA against about 5 left handers?

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It was perhaps a little harsh of me to criticize Root and his batting. In fairness he has time after time played a captain’s innings in recent years.
Buttler hardly moved his feet on his shot.
With regard to Robinson from what I have seen he is a tough competitor. He can bat a bit and it would have helped his cause had he been focussed on not giving his wicket away. It was a chance for him to show if he had the mental toughness to stick around. OK if he had got out to a good ball then no one can blame him.
But what is genuinely worrying is where we go from here. In Australia pace is critical. With both Archer and Olly Stone injury stricken we have apart from Wood no real quick bowlers. Stokes had to do too much bowling in the test. He is now injured.
England have I think no more practice games before the next two tests. Burns’ confidence will be at rock bottom. Much hope will rest on Anderson and Broad.

From what I understand there are no state games between tests. How on earth someone coming into the side is supposed to be match ready is beyond me. The state of the county game is worrying as time and again the test team seems woefully underprepared coming into a series. The blame lies entirely with the ECB and their ludicrous scheduling of the county championship and the chasing the golden egg of the hundred and T20.

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