Ambassador, with this humble pie you are really spoiling us

To be fair, we did say that batting was only easy after 20 overs. Inherent in that comment is the fact that it is DOUBLY important to see off the new ball.

At 53-3 after 17 overs, England have manifestly failed to do this, in much the same way as they manifestly failed to make use of the ball for the first 20 overs when bowling. This is thrown into even sharper relief by the fact that Glenn McGrath didn't waste one single delivery. As expected. Andrew Strauss can feel particularly ashamed. We miss you, Marcus.

England are already unlikely to save this Test, but there's still plenty to play for. They certainly shouldn't give up on the draw, so they can try for that as a primary aim. It's still a good pitch, so it's not beyond the bounds of possibility. It's just unlikely. Secondly, they should aim to make life difficult for the Aussies. If they allow themselves to get steam-rollered there'll be no respite until they go home at the end of the tour.

Finally, they can aim to do some damage to the Australian bowlers. They can do this in two ways. They can score runs against them and show that their wickets will be hard to come by for the remainder of the series. They can also bat for a long time (they hardly have a choice). It's not so ridiculous as it sounds to say that they can wear out Australia's bowlers. Sure, they're professional sportsmen at peak fitness and all that. On the other hand, there are only four of them and they're getting on a bit. There's a reason why players retire.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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Anonymous jp said...

England are quite clearly lulling the Aussies into a false sense of security, ready to unleash havoc when they are least expecting it. It's classic w-g-gracian behaviour, a la Ashes tour of 1891-92.

12:24 pm  
Anonymous Mike said...

Sadly I didn't have Sky for the 1891/2 tour so missed most of it so don't know if I can compare the two. All I do know is that I'm tired, my eyes are so and I'm not happy.

We really have been second best in every department so far. The Aussie swagger is back. It does not look good.

1:32 pm  

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