Tag Archives: England

Ashes Preview

The Ashes is a cricket trophy that is fiercely contested between England and Australia. There has always been a great rivalry between these great cricket nations, and whether it is before, during or after the Test Match the players always have plenty to say.

 

The Ashes series gets under way on Wednesday, with England taking on Australia at Trent Bridge. Here are some key numbers involved matches between the two at the ground:

20 - Number of Tests between England and Australia at Trent Bridge.

4 - Number of England wins.

7 - Number of Australia wins.

9 - Number of draws.

658-8 declared – England’s top innings total, 1938.

602-6 declared – Australia’s top innings total, 1989.

112 - England’s lowest innings total, 1921.

123 - Australia’s lowest innings total, 1953.

 

Key Stats:

James Anderson needs one wicket to go past Fred Trueman’s 307 into third place on his own amongst England all-time wicket-takers.

Ian Bell needs 75 runs to reach 6000 in Tests. He will be the 14th to do so for England.

Stuart Broad needs five wickets to reach 200 in Test cricket? He will be the 15th to reach this for England and the second youngest.

 

Top sledges during the ashes:

1 Mark Waugh to Jimmy Ormond on his Test debut, 2001: “Mate, what are you doing out here? There’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.” Ormond: “Maybe not, but at least I’m the best player in my own family.”

2 Merv Hughes to Graeme Hick et al: “Mate, if you just turn the bat over you’ll find the instructions on the other side.”

3 Hughes again: “Does your husband play cricket as well?”

4 Mike Atherton, on Merv Hughes: “I couldn’t work out what he was saying, except that every sledge ended with ‘arsewipe’.”

5 Dennis Lillee to Mike Gatting, 1994: “Hell, Gatt, move out of the way. I can’t see the stumps.”

6 Derek Randall to Lillee, after taking a glancing blow to the head: “No good hitting me there, mate, nothing to damage.”

7 Ian Healy, placing a fielder yards away at cover when Nasser Hussain was batting: “Let’s have you right under Nasser’s nose.”

8 Tony Greig, England’s South African-born captain, to the young David Hookes, 1977: “When are your balls going to drop, Sonny?” Hookes: “I don’t know, but at least I’m playing cricket for my own country.” Hookes hit Greig for five consecutive fours.

9 Rod Marsh, late Seventies: “How’s your wife and my kids?” Ian Botham: “The wife’s fine – the kids are retarded.”

10 Bill Woodfull, Australia’s captain in the Bodyline series of 1932-33, responding to Douglas Jardine’s complaint that a slip fielder had sworn at him: “All right, which one of you bastards called this bastard a bastard?”

11 In 2005 Ricky Ponting was chirping Michael Vaughan as he came to the crease. Vaughan turned around and said “Get back in the slips Ponting. Who do you think you are, Steve Waugh?”

12 Ian Healy to Mike Atherton after he failed to walk when nicking one behind “You edged that you fucking cheat” Atherton: “When in Rome, dear boy…”

 

Nick Compton to switch to Worcestershire

 

 

South African born and raised until his early teens, Nick Compton has been given permission to switch county sides in order to gain vital first-class practise against Australia ahead of the Ashes later next month.

 

The opener lost his place in the Test squad after disappointing outings against New Zealand this spring, England selectors instead opting for Joe Root alongside captain Alastair Cook.

 

With Compton out of the Test scene he quickly headed back to Somerset and hit a neat 81 in his first display against a touring Australia side. That innings proved to cricket betting pundits that Compton hasn’t lost his batting confidence and thankfully for England he’s been allowed a transfer to Worcestershire next week, to again face the Aussies.

 

In earning two practice matches against Australia before the Ashes, Compton has a great advantage over his batting rival for a place in the starting XI at Trent Bridge.

 

Root is his main adversary and almost certain to earn the call, but much relies on the Yorkshireman impressing during England’s warm-up with Essex this weekend. Even if Root does hit a century or two, he won’t have direct experience facing Australia’s bowling attack until that first delivery on 10 July.

 

Compton, meanwhile, will now receive two matches worth of experience against England’s opponents and that could sway a selection in his favour. It is gratifying to see the counties working so well together to ensure their England internationals are as prepared for Australia and even if Compton misses out on the first Test the competition will keep Root on his toes.

 

England are favourites in the cricket betting odds to win the Ashes this summer but they must not let that status lead to complacency. The team suffered that ignominy against South Africa last year and when touring New Zealand this spring, two Test results that proved how fragile the top order can be when lacking competition.

England vs South Africa 1st test preview

 

As the South Africans LOOK TO GAIN TOP SPOT on the world rankings one could be forgiven for thinking they are up against the blind school.
England seemed to be mucking about in the lead up to the most anticipated series of the year. South Africa, like England, also have a renowned pace attack and Strauss confirmed he was expecting a tough time.

“South Africa have a bowling line-up as good as anyone in the world and that’s a good challenge for us,” he said. Strauss is looking forward to playing against his fellow country men and enjoys the opportunity to chat in the local dialect something frowned upon in the dressing room when KP, Trotters, Prior and himself get going. The lads think we mocking them he insinuated when probed.

England (possible) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

South Africa (possible) 1 Graeme Smith (capt), 2 Alviro Petersen, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Jacques Kallis, 5 AB de Villiers (wk), 6 Jacques Rudolph, 7 JP Duminy, 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Dale Steyn, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Imran Tahir

The weather forecast is perfect English Summer weather – bet on a draw as we likely to lose vast amounts of time to the weather. 

It will be an interesting struggleand the players to watch are: 

Vernon Philander - averaging just 13 and some change in tests, already collected 50 wickets he is a danger man. 

Alistair Cook – Run machine and no signs of letting up, he will be seen as the corner stone of the top order

Matt Prior/John Trott – Keen to stick it to the Saffas these lads will be fighting with all they have to ensure Smithers and the boys know they made the right decision. 

Dale Steyn – Arguably the best bowler in the world, hasnt got much of a chance to pick up wickets as Vernon mops up the top order like its the tail.

Biggest disappointment: KP – lots of turmoil in the mans life as he resigns from the short format then changes his mind. The weather conditions and the SA bowlers will be too much for him to trouble the scorers in both innings. Will be lucky to make 25 in both innings combined.

 

Result: Draw


How damaging could Australia’s defeat be?

by: Kyle Green

Australia’s defeat earlier this week against India will have come as something of a shock to more than a few cricket fans. Since the loss, Australian fans have reacted to it in different ways, some predicting a subsequent fall from grace for the Aussies as they prepare for even bigger challenges, and some believing it to be a minor blip. 
Brett Lee for one truly seems to believe that Australia’s defeat could prove to be a blessing in disguise as the Aussies prepare for the Ashes 2010 series against bitter rivals England. Lee reckons such a defeat “makes guys switch on a lot more” and could in fact be “the best thing” the Australians could have wished for at this stage in their preparation.
However, to many England fans, this will seem like attempting to put a silver lining on a very large cloud hanging over the Australian camp at the moment. Yes, the defeat will ensure that complacency doesn’t enter the minds of the Aussies and that expectations from the Australian media don’t reach ridiculously sky-high levels. That said, there’s something to be said for momentum, even in a sport played at a relatively low tempo such as cricket.
The problem for Australia is that they now realise, as Steve Waugh has stressed this week, that they need to bounce back from this setback sooner rather than later. Waugh revealed, quite sensibly, that “if we come away from India having lost 2-0, it will affect our form going into The Ashes“. The longer the period of time that elapses without this win coming, the more pressure will be heaped on the shoulders of the players and the more difficult it will become to bounce back.

Duckworth Lewis and Twenty20

In the World Twenty20 Sri Lanka won their game against Zimbabwe – a result that was a fair reflection of the match. England scored a massive 191 which would be a tough one to lose, until the Duckworth Lewis system entered the equation. West Indies got off to a flying start and with the match reduced due to the rain, it was a relative stroll in the park for the Windies. It is a massive disadvantage batting first and will cause many upsets and frustrations in future Twenty20 games.

I am not sure of the solution, however the ICL has already implemented an adapted version of the Duckworth Lewis method to try counter the unfairness of the method which was designed for the 50 over format. Certainly a few more results like today will ensure a new method is found sooner rather than later.