Each element was written at the same time or just after the end of each match of the series
Sunday – first one day match at the MCG – England win.
I leave Australia and England win? Are the two events connected? Would the ECB like to pay me not to watch England live?
A change of personnel, a change of captain and a new approach or is it that English cricket just has a one-day mentality and we don’t really want to play tests at all but need to go through the motions otherwise all credibility will be lost? India had the same ‘illness’ a few years ago and were reluctant to play the longer game but at last wise heads have prevailed – how long will it take the millions at the ECB to realise the same? Treat tradition with distain and it will come back and bite you in the ‘tonsils’.
On the other side, were Australia really that keen or interested? They soon lost heart once Roy got going and the bowlers were not that impressive but it’s early days as yet. And why no Lyon? Perhaps workload has become an issue and they’re saving him for their tour of SA in a few weeks’ time – that will be a real test for all of them, a much better trial for them than perhaps the offering from England in the Ashes.
Nonetheless, a good start from England and it’s always good to beat the Aussies – even at tiddlywinks!
Friday…Brisbane…two wins in two matches! What’s happening here? Good performance by England in all areas and nice to see Smith perplexed as to how to stem the flow of runs. The Aussie batting is not firing on all cylinders whilst the bowling is completely different from the tests; to an extent an experimental team I think from Australia whereas England are probably playing their best combination- especially in the batting line up and improving with each game. Hold the thought that we could win the series by Sunday morning! Who knows?
Sunday…Sydney…so three in a row and the series is ours! Interestingly news programmes not screaming this from the roof tops but I suppose good news never sold newspapers! Buttler is in a class of his own when on form although I thought he ‘keeping the other night was not as good as it has been/can be; but suppose I’m being picky! Good performance by England again whilst Australia look like work in progress and progressing backwards; selection looks a bit odd but I suppose they’re managing workload ahead of the SA tour. Onwards the team goes to Adelaide and Australia Day – how sweet a win would be there!
Friday Adelaide and Australia Day…could we make the next step towards a whitewash? As has been often said cricket is played more in the mind than at the crease or with the ball. Roy has regressed to type after his excellent innings earlier in the series, Hales is just not firing and finds Australia difficult to play against (ok the ball that got him was almost unplayable), Root – why play that shot given the state of the innings? Jonny and Josh just got caught up in the overall panic but it needed the wise heads of Morgan and Woakes to steady the ship towards respectability. All in the mind? Ok the new ball bowling was excellent with two of the test stars in action but have we taken our minds off the game/series?
And talking of memorable unplayable balls – how is it that the Aussies bowl them and we don’t? Starc to Vince in Perth (I still don’t believe what I saw live), Lyon to Cook in Sydney (again I…) and now Cummins to Hales (nicely dissected by Channel 9 commentators, can’t say the same for the BT team in Stratford!).
Australia winning at a canter – ok a few alarums on the way but they know how to play this format.
Sunday…Perth and the final match but the first in the much vaunted new stadium to replace the WACA. This was Australia’s match to lose after the start they got and lose they did. Ali’s caught and bowled of Marsh was the turning point…great catch but not a patch on Lyons at Adelaide in the test. England won with fine contributions from Curran but Ball looked out of his depth (again) and ok he may not be well but I don’t see an England future for him – happy to be proved wrong!
Gained the impression (ignoring the dire BTSport interjections) that Australia didn’t want to be there; the series was lost and they’re just going through the motions since they had to.
What it does make clear to me – from ball one of the first game to the last of this – is that each team has different priorities;
Australia to win the Ashes (not at all cost but clearly their main focus for the summer) whilst England looked to the one day and shorter format as the be-all-and-end-all of the tour, especially after the wheels came off on Day 3/4 of the 1st Test. Even paid commentators see England’s top priority and perhaps only one is to win the one day World Cup next year in England as this will be the salvation of English cricket.
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…