Monday, 8 January 2018

The Ashes Result explained

As the meme goes the Pommies came to Australia for nothing ( 4-0 get it).
This result was easily predicable. I said as much as at AFTERGROG CRICKET  at some stage.
So let us now look at the whys and wherefores.

Bowling
I said at the start we would win easily because of our bowling and so we did. We had three fast bowlers all of whom were different who could both swing the ball ( new and old) and bowl good short balls. Lyons was always accurate at one end tying it up as well as taking wickets as well. The bowlers were rarely tired.
The Poms on the other hand were always going to struggle in Australia. Broad and Anderson were past their best and would find it hard on our pitches. Their back up bowlers were only fast medium seamers who are very useful  in England but not here on our hard pitches.
Ali was unfortunate to have a finger injury which hampered his bowling but again where he is very useful in England his flight and spin make him six material here and he lost confidence by the bucket loads as well.

Batting
Smith towered over everyone . He is very hard to get out on flat tracks unless you have a new ball, have EXTRA pace or you have a good legspinner. If even the Marshes get centuries against you you know you are bowling badly. The only time the ball swung big time ( in Adelaide) Anderson made us look poor. Warner too thrives on flat wickets and did again.
Given that neither Cook nor Root scored centuries when needed then it becomes easy to understand why the lost so heavily.
What I do not understand is why they were so vulnerable to the short ball. They knew it was coming yet most batsmen looked as they they had no idea of how to play a short ball. If you cannot play horizontal bat shots you avoid the ball by watching very carefully.

Captaincy and Luck
In simple terms a good captains always has good bowlers so Steve Smith was always going to going to have a better series than Root. root tried things , particularly in the first two tests some came off and some did not.
What some people will forget is the first two tests were much closer than they looked.
It is obvious Smith's confidence was too the forefront after the first two tests where as it was the opposite for root.
Luck almost always favours the winning team and so it was in the this series. not just dropped catches when they matter but snicks not going to hand. Ali is lucky in England when they win over there but not here!!

The Next Ashes
We will find it much harder in England. We still have a very good  bowling line up all at their peak but the poms will undoubtedly have 5 seaming pitches waiting for us. Our Batting is much more vulnerable than we realise. Neither Smith nor Warner have scored a ton in England on a seaming track only on flat tracks. Perhaps South Africa will show up portents of what is to come in England.
On the hand hand the Poms have to come up with a consistent batting lineup. Maybe put Malan at no.3 Bairstow no.5 Stokes at no.6 and Buttler at no.7. Ali at no.8 makes a reasonable batting lineup.

We will still be favourites and we have a young team.

Postscript
I have to say something about the commentators. Nein is still poor. Chappelli is now showing signs of age , nowhere near as bad as Trump but the signs are there. The rest are average. how come former test players do not know the difference between a ball that seams off the pitch and a ball that swings through the air. I do wish someone would tell Shane Warne to grow up.
The ABC was as bad. no-one can do ball to ball commentary now not even Jim Maxwell. Their analysts are good though. I missed Aggers from the BBC. . Alison did a reasonable job but just does not have the personality of Aggers.

Interesting that the poms are all very good. Graeme Swann, Vaughn, Boycs and even Athers are all top rate although Botham of all people is boring to a tee. How come they are so good and we are so bad??