Friday, 9 August 2013

England will win the Ashes but Australia will take all the positives

After three Ashes tests the score stands at two nil to England. Considering this score and the fact that one test match had been rained off it may seem on first glance that England have had it all their own way. To think this would be wrong, it could be argued that Australia with a bit of luck could quite easily have been two one or even three nil up.

Before the first test match every person had written off this Australian side as being one of the worst to tour England. This criticism and the Darren Lehman factor probably was the reason for Australia performing so well in the first test. This was a test match which was only won by fourteen runs. There were parts of this game where some of the so called best bowlers in the world struggled to bowl out tail-enders.

The second test was a write off for Australia, the match where they most likely lost the whole series. I can imagine that the heavy loss of the first test played on Australian minds whilst it had the opposite effect on England. This was a match that was played only a few days after the first loss. Imagine if Australia had scrapped through the first test, England would have had the added pressure on them.

The third test saw Australia dominate from start to finish. The only good point for England in this match is Kevin Pietersen. His century and England’s unsporting behaviour in delaying every ball meant that England beat the weather to avoid an inevitable loss. Australia actually had KP out before his century but failed to review the decision, much to the annoyance of Watson. 

If this ball had been reviewed it could be argued that England’s first innings would have finished on Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday morning. This meaning that Australia would have had more time to put on quick runs and bowl England out again, even with bad light on the Sunday and rain all day on Monday.

As I write this on the end of day one of the fourth test match, Australia is once again in a strong position. They have got England down to nine wickets. The bowling is Australia’s strong point, there is a group of young bowlers who could worry any batsmen in world cricket. Pattinson, Starc, Bird, Faulkner head the list of young bowlers guided by the more experienced Siddle and Harris. Add to the list Mitchel Johnson who can’t make the squad. All these bowlers and Nathan Lyon make up a very decent attack. Ashton Agar in my mind will come back into the side one day as a batsman only, he can be a similar player to Steve Smith.

Believe it or not Australia actually can take some positives from their batting line up. With the return of Warner and addition of Khawaja they have a team full of potential. It seems that Khawaja has all the shots in the book, he is just waiting for that one innings to kick start his career. England also have some positives to take from this series.

The first being that they will probably win, the second is the form of Joe Root and Ian Bell. They also have some serious questions to answer, the first being how they have not totally put Australia to the sword apart from one match on their own turf. The second being the form of Jonathan Trott, it seems the Aussies have worked him out. The third and probably most concerning is that James Anderson seems to be carrying the bowling a little bit. Without him I feel the series would be very much closer. Whatever happens in the last two tests it seems that the Ashes series in Australia will be very much closer. 

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