1. Joined
    10 Nov '05
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    30185
    03 Nov '06 12:522 edits
    The England cricket team are flying out for the most eagerly anticipated Ashes series since, um, the last one:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/england/6112630.stm

    Anticipated for different reasons though. Last time England were an in-form team, with the best chance in 18 years to finally win back the Ashes from the Aussies. This time the question is, 'is England's test team a force to be reckoned with in the long-term, just as Australia have been?'.

    Looking at the teams:
    Australia
    Relatively unchanged from the last series. They will have their legendary bowlers Warne and McGrath fit and raring to go for them. I think that McGrath's freak injury during the last series was a big help to England, and England won't be happy seeing him apparently back to his best in the ICC OD tournament. Will this translate to stirling performances over 5 days over 5 matches though? Somehow I don't think so, as he is very near the end of his career. If not, Australia may have to rely on an inexperienced youngster such as Tait or Mitchell, which could be a weakness. What's happened to Stuart Clark - Aus's man of the series against SA back in March? In batting terms, it's been a while since their last series so I'm not sure which batsmen are in form. From that SA series it looks as though the openers are misfiring, but Martyn and Ponting look good. What do Aussies think about their batting?

    England
    England's team on the other hand are very much changed. For bowlers, Harmison is bang out of form and nowhere near the man who skittled the Windies a couple years ago. Panesar looks a great replacement for Giles, though Giles's batting helped a great deal in the last Ashes. If Simon Jones could stay fit he would be one of the world's top bowlers, but alas will miss the series. Chris Read will be prefered with the gloves, but I don't think will contribute the runs as Geraint Jones would. In short we've lost some batting power. However to counteract this is Ian Bell's huge upturn in form and Ali Cook's emergence as a top quality high order batsman.

    For me though the deciding factor that will determine the Ashes will be our loss of Vaughan. He was a great captain and batsman, and leaves a big void to fill. Flintoff is a different type of Captain, and while he'd be the first over the trenches with everyone following, I don't think he's got the intelligence of Vaughan, and the inspiration to know how to pressure a team. In Australia's backyard I think this will show up, and I'm not very optimistic about an England series victory.

    I see the series going this way: I think Aus will win the first test, as they did last time. However I can't see the rallying of the English team happening as quickly as last time, and Aus will be well ahead in the series before England know what's happening. However England are definitely a team that won't get rolled over and will come back strong. I think it will therefore end up a 2-2 draw, with England retaining the Ashes.
  2. Joined
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    03 Nov '06 13:16
    Well, I totally called it last year, so I'm going to go again with it thus:

    Australia 3 - 1 England
  3. Joined
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    30185
    03 Nov '06 18:48
    Ian Bell - the ICC's emerging player of the year, set to put the Aussies on the rack:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/6114488.stm
  4. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
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    07 Nov '06 02:33
    I don't think cricket is a very good sport.
  5. Canberra, Australia
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    07 Nov '06 04:251 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    I don't think cricket is a very good sport.
    You don't know your arse from your elbow.


    (Are we allowed to speak like that in here?)


    Edit: If not, I take it back.
  6. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
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    07 Nov '06 04:29
    Originally posted by dyl
    You don't know your arse from your elbow.


    (Are we allowed to speak like that in here?)


    Edit: If not, I take it back.
    Is it your claim that cricket is a good sport?
  7. Canberra, Australia
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    07 Nov '06 04:331 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Is it your claim that cricket is a good sport?
    It is indeed. Cricket's a slow, tactical game with limited immediate appeal, but enormous longevity. Rebuttal?
  8. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
    BWA Soldier
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    07 Nov '06 04:36
    Originally posted by dyl
    Rebuttal?
    It's only played in British countries.
  9. Canberra, Australia
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    07 Nov '06 04:38
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    It's only played in British countries.
    If Ghandi were alive he'd nick your salt for that.
  10. Joined
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    07 Nov '06 09:00
    firstly, cricket is a game for the mind and body and thus a complete sport.

    secondly, i think the ashes will regretably go the way of the aussies, i concur with 3 -1.

    Thirdly, i am glad to see that the ICC finally got rid of its HAIR! that guy should never have been an umpire at international level. it is clear he carries grudges and doesn't like to be questioned and above all is biased, i recall the sa tour to oz about ten years ago where if the ball just hit a south african pad they were given out lbw, peter kirsten having played that game has been really scathing in his assesment of Hair. the wisden SA has a really good article this month about it. he has also had it in for pakistan for many years. i say good ridance to bad umpires. perhaps the long standing steve bucknor is next. he is past his sell by date and what was once a great umpire is no more. now days these guys hold the futures of players in their hands and a wrong descission can ruin a career. the technology is there, use it if you have doubt.
  11. Joined
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    07 Nov '06 21:42
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    It's only played in British countries.
    Not true:

    United Arab Emirates
    Kenya
    Nigeria
    South Africa
    Holland
    America
    West Indies
    Canada
  12. Bramall Lane
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    08 Nov '06 10:33
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    I don't think cricket is a very good sport.
    I'm a Yorkshireman... and totally agree!!!
  13. Joined
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    35068
    08 Nov '06 14:42
    Originally posted by blade68
    I'm a Yorkshireman... and totally agree!!!
    Just goes to show not everyone in Yorkshire knows what they're talking about, eh?
  14. Joined
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    08 Nov '06 22:28
    As a huge cricket fan, i've thought about putting a bet on the ashes. Although i can't make my mind up, my heart says go with england but my brain says to bet on australia.
    If it was the same test side from the last ashes i reckon england would win, but with so many injuries it has hit us hard. England finally managed to get a consistent side that bonded well for 2 years before winning the ashes, defeating west indies home and away, new zealand at home, drew against south africa but beat them in their backgarden.
    But considering the performances of the two sides australia are diffently the team in form, having not lost a test match since the ashes. Whereas england screwed up in pakistan, drew in india, could only manage a draw against sri lanka (although they made the mistake of dropping Sajid Mahmood for Lewis, which meant we only had one fast bowler in Flintoff. Sri Lanka struggled against the fast pace bowling of england but we played right into their hands in the last test.), defeated pakistan at home.
    The issue of captains, for me Ponting this time will be the better captain unlike last time. However i expect he will use Warne as much as possibly considering he took 40 wickets in england. I would have prefered to have Strauss as captain because hes done it at county level.
    The issue of fitness to me, australia seem mentally and physically stronger than the last ashes. They admitted they didn't do enough preparation on working out england, unlike the amount of homework they did for the test series in India. England for me, there are few players who seem mentally weak. Espically Harmison, a good comment i heard about him was "he runs in like curtley ambrose, but throws it like devon malcolm," i mean earlier in the year he was complaining the amount of fixtures in the international calendar, when come end of the summer it was obvious he hadn't done enough bowling. He doesn't show any aggression at all, the last time i can remeber was when he hit Ponting on the helmet at Lords and gave him a sneaky smile. We all know that he isn't the best at travelling around the world, people say he would be alright when flintoff came back but i think he needs simon jones as well. And the problem of the wicketkeeper, how long will it be before theres a swap.
  15. Subscriberinvigorate
    Only 1 F in Uckfield
    Buxted UK
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    08 Nov '06 23:37
    I reckon, Aust win in Brisbane, Aust win Perth, Eng win Adelaide, England win MCG, and England win in Adelaide. therefore 3 -2 England. I can't see any draws, England don't bat long enough!
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