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  1. 06 Nov '06 10:39
    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. Standard member Esoteric
    Cognitive Junta
    06 Nov '06 11:09
    Originally posted by ElleEffSeee
    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.
    Aus will win. I will get drunk.
  3. Standard member millerman
    Y.N.W.A
    06 Nov '06 12:22 / 1 edit
    Sorry ElleEffSeee,

    I can only see a complete whitewash of England.

    Without Vaughan, England are doomed

  4. 06 Nov '06 12:58
    Originally posted by millerman
    Sorry ElleEffSeee,

    I can only see a complete whitewash of England.

    Without Vaughan, England are doomed



    This is a sensible opinions only forum!
  5. 06 Nov '06 14:19
    mmm, you make some vaild and noted points, but as a nuetral party that has follwoed the ashes and cricket in general for a while. i think the aussies will take 3 -1. Yes, england have a good side but key players are out of sorts and you lack a decent captain. flintoff got spooked when the indians came at him hard and i have no doubt that the aussies, who uncanningly can smell fear, willl play on his inexperience as captain and his loss of form. pietersen (whom is a ponce, for reasons we can discuss later) is also out of form and apart from strauss your top order is shaky at best. SA cuaght the wrath of the aussies after the ashes and were completely outplayed down under. i think england stand a good chance but not this year. vaughan was key to the last ashes with strong leadership and i also think the fantastic partisan crouds helped loads for the confidence level. however, had mcgrath not been injured i dont think england would have won the ashes. the aussies are looking for revenge and their team may be aging but it is the best side in world cricket for very good reason. it pains me to say this, because i woudl love them to be toppled. as for pietersen, i have no problem with him leaving for greener pastures, but dont blame it on the quota system. he must find his nuts, strap them on and say that he left for money. the likes of greame smith, ab de villiers, johan van der wath all went through the ransk like he did and they made the side. he was impattient and greedy. personally woudl have doen the same thing but woudl have been upfront and declered money the reason.
  6. 06 Nov '06 15:27
    Originally posted by Esoteric
    Aus will win. I will get drunk.
    you used to post (possibly still do) on another site? though i refuse to quote the letter and 3 numbers
  7. 06 Nov '06 15:28
    Originally posted by millerman
    Sorry ElleEffSeee,

    I can only see a complete whitewash of England.

    Without Vaughan, England are doomed

    I think England miss Simon Jones more than Vaughan
  8. Standard member rhb
    Ginger Scum
    06 Nov '06 15:29
    It's going to be painfully humiliating to watch. Luckliy, due to the time difference, I won't have to watch much.

  9. Standard member Esoteric
    Cognitive Junta
    06 Nov '06 23:07
    Originally posted by GrumpyBoyFett
    you used to post (possibly still do) on another site? though i refuse to quote the letter and 3 numbers
    Eh? What are you on about?
  10. 07 Nov '06 12:00
    ok then, maybe you're not from there
  11. Standard member Smiffy
    SPS CLAN
    07 Nov '06 15:24
    i think it will be drawn.it depends on how englands best players adapt to the australian pitches.cook has never played out of england nor has panesar we will see.hope england win though and shove it up the aussies again.
  12. 07 Nov '06 15:30
    Originally posted by smiffy
    cook has never played out of england nor has panesar we will see.
    So India is in England?
  13. 07 Nov '06 15:36
    Originally posted by ElleEffSeee
    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?'
    Not if they can't stay fit.
  14. 08 Nov '06 10:24
    Warney not as confident as McGrath:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/england/6127570.stm