Australia Defeat Has No Bearing On Ashes Clash

Posted: July 24, 2010 in Cricket
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

English eyes lit up with delight upon seeing Pakistan seal victory over Australia in the second test held at their very own Headingly.

More than just the defeat was the fact that Australia were bowled out in their first innings for a measly 88, their lowest total for 26 years, since India bowled them out for 84 in 1974.

This was proof that Australia are not the force they once were and gave England their best hope of recording an Ashes series win on Australian soil for the first time since 1987. Apparently.

This doesn’t quite ring true however. Whilst Australia’s batting line-up may not be as formidable as it was 10-15 years ago, they’re hardly weak.

Ricky Ponting remains one of the finest batsmen in the game currently, whilst the likes of Michael Clarke, Simon Katich and Mike Hussey provide experienced heads to handle the pressures of an Ashes series.

Plus, England do not possess the bowling attack that Pakistan do. Mohammed Amir, Mohammed Asif and Umar Gul are world class bowlers, who fire balls down at over 90mph and look constantly capable of taking wickets.

England only have James Anderson who could realistically match those kinds of speeds, but he has been woefully out of form in 2010, looking fatigued.

Amir’s ball to dismiss Mitchell Johnson was stunning, swerving one way in the air, before swinging the other way to smash the stumps behind the beleaguered Aussie all-rounder.

With all due respect, Graham Onions is not going to be able re-produce that sort of delivery, even if he does regain fitness in time to be part of the tour. Stuart Broad won’t either and even Anderson at peak form is not capable of removing a large number of the top order on his own.

So the hopes rest solely on Graeme Swann’s shoulders. I doubt I’m the only one to realise and the Australians will have done their homework on him in order to combat his abilities. Australia will always have a chance against what is, overall, a relatively average attack, especially in comparison to the Pakistan line-up.

Also, as they proved against Pakistan, Australia have an attack which can get them out of a hole should they require. It may not be quite as formidable as the Warne/Lee/McGrath attack of 5 years ago, but they still kept Pakistan down to 258 in their first innings, to keep them within sight.

Even the second innings became nervy, as they took seven wickets from Pakistan as they chased a modest total of 180.

So to those that think England could stroll past a “poor” Australia side in their own backyard, think again. They are a whole different animal on home soil and are not as weak we’ve imagined. The batsmen will bounce back, as their pitches will now be as unpredictable as Headingly. And their bowling attack is capable of taking wickets, with even part-time bowlers such as Marcus North getting in on the act.

This will be nothing like the formality some are predicting. This Ashes series will make for interesting viewing this winter, but my money remains on the home side to regain the precious urn.

  1. Michael Williams says:

    I still think it’s kind of strange that Australia have been allowed to get some pre-2013 Ashes practice on English soil, it’s a while away I know but every little helps as Tesco will tell you

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