Open Ashes thread

By skepticlawyer


The first test gets underway in Brisbane today. At this stage, we still don’t know who’ll get the final fast bowler’s spot – young left arm quick Mitchell Johnson or the more experienced Stuart Clark. Johnson is a Queenslander and has the advantage of playing at home. Clark is from NSW and not as quick, but by the same token proved himself wonderfully well in South Africa.

As events unfold on the field, leave your cricketing insights here. Here’s to a cracking series!


  1. Posted November 23, 2006 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Jesus it’s annoying I have to bloody work today!

  2. Scott
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Work? Pfft.

    Stuart Clarke will get the nod. The conservative nature of our selectors will be our ruin, I fear.

  3. Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    1/109 at lunch. Now 2/168. Langer out for 82 – pity, he was going well.

  4. JC.
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Can we try to limit this type of thread? It just gives Homers an excuse to show up and ruin other threads as a result of his obsession with keating and Clinton.

  5. Jason Soon
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Albert Langer? Still getting arrested is he?

  6. Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    He was fine on the other Ashes thread, JC – very funny in fact.

    If he puts stuff about politics up on a cricket thread I’ll delete him. I’m sure he knows I’m happy to be dictatorial about my sports threads.

  7. Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    No Justin Langer, Jason. When I turn up in Sydney I’ll have to improve your sporting education. The quintessential properties of civilisation are the cover drive and the English language.

  8. Scott
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Not enough women in Australia think like you do, SL.

    Drinks, 2 for 169. Flintoff playing a ‘lone hand’ for England so far as the bowling is going. I hope Ponting is digging in for the long haul.

  9. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Albert Langer was an example of Moores law!!!

    This will be an over-rated series.

    The Poms should have picked Read, Monty and Mahmoud.

    We should have picked Tait.

    JC has been keating for a long time as he never pays his Bill

  10. JC.
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    That’s funny Homer. You know I IS kidding right?

  11. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    JC you have been over the hilary for years

  12. Jason Soon
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    ‘JC you have been over the hilary for years ‘

    I’m not sure if that’s the sort of picture JC wanted in his head, Homer.

  13. Posted November 23, 2006 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Back to the cricket people, rather than disturbing images of USanian politicians. Ponting is 50 up.

  14. Posted November 23, 2006 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Martyn out to Giles for 29, caught at slip. Bugger, if Giles does well, Monty won’t get a look-in.

  15. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    is he the full monty?

    I have always said Sikh and ye shall find.

  16. Brendan Halfweeg
    Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Walking around the office today in London with a smirk on my face. I was here when we lost it, and I can’t wait to get that urn back.

    Would have liked to see Tait get the nod, simply to see Lee steaming in from one end, Tait from the other, both with off-side AND leg-side slip cordons.

    Going to be a long, little sleep, series.

  17. Posted November 23, 2006 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Jesus Brendan, they’d have given you a pizzling. If Australians are sore losers, well the Poms are sore winners.

    But yes, 3/346 with Ponting and Hussey going like a train looks very good.

  18. Brendan Halfweeg
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Yes, it hasn’t been a fun few years for an Australian in old Blighty. It all began 3 years ago almost to a day in Sydney and one god damned drop goal, and climaxed last year with the Ashes. We’re not going to be getting the RWC back anytime soon (especially after that dire Ireland game I was unfortunate to witness last weekend in Dublin). I can only hope that while the boys in the baggy green are tearing England apart, the boys in canary yellow can do over Scotland this Saturday at which i’ll also be present.

  19. Posted November 24, 2006 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    Yair, Sir Jonny & friends. Luckily 1999 was one of the years I was living in the old dart so I got to gloat just a bit.

    Trying to think of ways to skive off work Friday…

  20. .50cal
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Do any of you think it curious that when England won the Ashes the Queen of Australia awarded every England player either and MBE or an OBE. Perhaps she should have waited to see if they could keep it up.

    I didn’t get to see a ball. Ponting’s knock must have been good.

    Did England drop any catches, did their bowlers bowl crap or was it just a good performance by the Aussie bats?

  21. Posted November 24, 2006 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    .50cal: First session the Poms engaged in a serious bout of pie-chucking, except for Flintoff. Second session they improved, but there was still plenty of pie-chucking (except for Flintoff and Giles), especially at the start of the session. Third session they all bowled pretty well, but by then Ponting and Hussey were set like concrete.

  22. .50cal
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Back to the old formula get 600+ runs in the first dig and spend three days bowling them out twice. Any score under 500 now will be a poor one. Pointing must have played a wonderful knock. it is good to see Langer digging in. However, if England get the line and length right, it might be different… to hope they can get the ball into,the lane.

  23. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Poms should have played Read, Mahmoud and Monty.

    They start badly in series so this is no different and they accepted a program which was nothing less than a disgrace.

    Can you believe:
    One couldn’t take a backpack into the ground, you had to pay $5 for the privilege of getting it at the end of the day,

    you couldn’t take food nor drink into the ground so in ground caterers could gouge any money out of you,
    people were thrown out for the temerity of blowing a trumpet and starting a Mexican wave.

    Cricket Australia is going to mess this season up big time

  24. .50cal
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    What were they charging for bottled water?

  25. Posted November 24, 2006 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard some pretty ordinary crowd control stories too – the usual pinched beach balls and price gouging to the power of ten. My boss was there so I’ll ask him what he thought, it’s just he’s really busy right now.

  26. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 11:06 am | Permalink


    tell him it is catallaxy business!

  27. Posted November 24, 2006 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    4/427 at lunch. Hussey missed his hundred – bugger.

    The security were really fierce on the beach balls and trumpets, apparently – were confiscating the lot.

  28. .50cal
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Ponting gone for 196 Gilchrest went shortly thereafter.

  29. Posted November 24, 2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    From the cricinfo commentary:

    Matt says: “I was at the game yesterday and the crowd are quiet because there are cops and security staring down the crowd and the fans are too scared to cheer or do the Mexican wave for fear of getting ejected! They have ruined the atmosphere!”

    “Are they allowed to have beer, I thought the fun police banned that too?” we are asked. Anyone know?

  30. Scott
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Oh they’ll let you get as pissed as you like, they make a motza out of price gouging beer.

    Cricket authorities suck bigtime.

  31. Posted November 24, 2006 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Yair I blogged on that over at Thoughts on Freedom. Some very dodgy stuff going on.

  32. Posted November 25, 2006 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Well so much for all those people who thought McGrath was over the hill. He’s like the Energizer Bunny, keeps on keeping on.

  33. .50cal
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Any thoughts on Ponting not enforcing the follow on?

    Of couurse Cricket Australia and the Gabba trust will fget the benefit of five days takings instead of four.

    My thinking is that McGrath’s heel was playing up and that the batsmen saw it as an opportunity to get an edge over the England bowlers. Not only couldn’t they bowl Australia out but now have the added embarrasment of no 2nd innings wickets (Hayden was run out).

    England batting improved in the second dig. It is fdar too early to crow. The England Bats are not scared….over enthusiastic (collingwood, Strauss and Flintoff) but not scared. If England can get it’s attack to click, Tight line and length we will still have a series on our hands.

    Crowd control at the Gabba is over the top.

  34. Posted November 27, 2006 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    One of the trumpeters they kicked out was the Barmy Army’s official trumpeter – he’d got permits and everything to be in there with a full-sized trumpet, yet he still got booted.

    This is complete bullshit.

    Agree with you about not enforcing the follow on. Ponting is looking after his players, I think. Apparently McGrath had a king-sized blister on his heel.

  35. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    McGrath was feeling his age and so was Warney.

    Did you see them field in the second innings.

    The heel excuse is claptrap.

    If his heel was okay to take six wickets then it was okay for another innings.

    It was the team’s age.

    IF it rains today and then they lose the toss in Adelaide then they are gone big time.

    England can have confidence whereas they wouldn’t have by enforcing the follow on.

    Ponting is in Border’s class as a captain ie bottom of the class

    Harmison’s problem is twofold. His grip on the ball is all wrong and it is making him bowl at an angle rather than coming down from that large height.

  36. .50cal
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    What part of McGrath’s heel is claptrap?
    He bowled 23 overs in the first innings as opposed to Lee 15 and Clark 14
    In the second innings Mcgrath bowled 12 overs as opposed to Lee17 and Clark 19

    Give us a break McGrath’s heel is playing up.

    I can see no good reason for not enforcing the follow on unless players such as Mcgrath needed a rest.

    Harmison is all wrong, his rythm is not there. As for the grip I agree with you.

    Agree re Ponting’s captaincy, he is not in the same league as Waugh.

  37. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Err sonny did you see him field.

    lt looked as though his back wasn’t the full monty.

    Same with Warne. They are feeling their age now on hot days.

    Harmison’s grip and action in delivery are at fault and any decent bowling caoch could rectify it mind the same could be same for Gillespir last year and no-one woke up to his faults either!

  38. .50cal
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    “Er Sonny”….sledging is such a wonderful part of cricket. …a comment such as this usuall calls for a caustic response denegrating the person by making reference to sexual activity, age, girth sexual prefernce or oriface or a simple Pietersenesque reference to sex and travel….in any event consider yourself thus described or told.

    You could see that the heat was getting to Warne late in the day. When he threw the ball at Pietersen’s head he was displaying a brainless temper tantrum.

    It is quite possible that McGrath’s heel was playing up and he was buggered all at the same time.

  39. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I heartilly and readily apologise if you thought I was sledging you.
    I do not allow sledging in my team thus and unreserved apology is happily applied.

    Oohahh has taken painkillers before in similar situations.

    The way he fielded told my he was feeling his age.
    He stooped to get the ball like I would and I am 15 years older than he

  40. Posted November 27, 2006 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Pietersen gone first over.

    I think the decision not to enforce the follow on was a good one. The chance of a draw would have been much higher. The pitch is a good one overall despite a couple of cracks, and if a couple of the pom’s had dug in like pietersen and collingwood did then they could have been facing bowlers who were exhausted after a couple of days in the field.

  41. Posted November 27, 2006 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    All finished – Australia by 277. Let’s see if they can do better in Adelaide. I am looking forward to being in the UK for the rest of the matches.

  42. .50cal
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Adelaide to look forward to.
    pity Pietersen didn’t hang around. He needs to have Geoff Boycott give him another lengthy lecture.

  43. Posted November 27, 2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    If the Poms win the toss and bat on a road like Adelaide things could get interesting… once Pietersen gets going he really gets going.

    They are missing Vaughan (especially) and Simon Jones, which means they’re not as good a unit as they were last year, but there are still some good players in the side.

  44. .50cal
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Ponting has put it down to the fact that the Australian team was “good” rather than that the England team were bad. There is some merit to that I thought the Australians were very focused and keen to prove their point. Langer exemplifies the arguement.

  45. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Poms were appalling at bowling.

    Anderson was obviously in to swing the ball but couldn’t bowl a decent length nor could Hoggard.

    Poms were unlucky that the ball didn’t swing much there when it usually swings all day.

    Adelaide will be decided by the toss.
    Perth will be a draw.
    Melbourne could be a beauty.
    Sydney looks a draw with slow spin.

    Damn Cricket Australia.
    This could have been one of the great ashes series and all they could see was money.

  46. .50cal
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Yousef has tonked his eigth century this callander year for Pakistan. The Pakistan -v- West Indies series is interesting, attached is an ABC article on it.

  47. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    one more ton and he equals the Don

  48. .50cal
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    And Pakistan have one more test this year….so he has a chance.

  49. .50cal
    Posted November 30, 2006 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Piocked up from….no wonder England struggled

    Nick Place writes:

    “Here’s a strange quote. English captain Andrew “Freddy” Flintoff, speaking immediately after Monday’s loss to Australia:

    Maybe it started with a few nervy lads knocking around and it took our time to get into the Test match. But having experienced that now and had a taste of what Ashes cricket is about playing (in) Australia … we can go into Friday knowing what to expect and how hard Australia will come at us.

    This ranks, for mine, as the strangest comment heard yet in the saga of this Ashes series; a saga that seems to have been going forever, although it is but one actual match down.

    What was Flintoff saying? That somehow, in the 14 months of taut anticipation between the Poms beating Australia in the last series, it hadn’t occurred to him or his team that Ricky Ponting’s side might come at them “hard” in the re-match? That playing Ashes cricket in Australia might need some sort of mental and physical preparation?

    The lead-up to this series was like cricket’s version of purgatory, day after day after day of former stars being quoted, experts yapping, the players themselves talking of their anticipation and the problems they saw within their opposition camp. When they finally made it onto the Gabba, England players were apparently stunned that somebody yelled “action”.

    And now, after a whole four and a half days of mostly one-sided action that saw Australia take a decisive 1-0 lead in the series, Flintoff says: Gee, this time, in Adelaide, we’ll be ready for the fact Australia will be playing to win.

    You know what, Freddy? That’s an excellent idea.

    No wonder Ricky Ponting had that dangerous and ruthless look in his eye when he looked towards Friday’s Second Test and said: “There’s not much time for England to go away and do much to get their games in order.”

    Earth to Freddy: Adelaide ain’t going to be no picnic either”.

    Well…. I again hark back to my previous complaints about the scheduling of the tests. If there were one or two state games between tests Harmison might play himself back into form…but like Inzy in the Pakistan series if you start in bad form it is likely you will remain in poor form for the whole series.

  50. Bring Back CL's Blog
    Posted November 30, 2006 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Back when I was a lad the poms played WA then SA then Victoria, then NSW then Qld and then the first test.

    Had they had that schedule they may well have won indeed if the ball swung all day as it usually does in brizzy they may well have won but like our schedule in 2005 it is hopeless

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