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Sight Screen

Monday, June 13, 2005

Rule Brittania

England's Twenty20 win appears to have inspired a paradigm shift from cautious optimism to downright cockiness about the upcoming Ashes battle -- check out this piece, by Andrew Miller, as an exemplar. Increasingly, I get the feeling I'm alone in thinking the Brits are due a hiding to nothing -- the good bit is, we will know soon enough, and this is one series I intend to watch every ball of (and blog about); after all, the chance to scope out the second best team in the world and see who we have to beat to become heir apparent is not to be missed, yes?


  • PP,
    last wednesday, we were waiting for your final comments on the new captain (if we have one).
    did you post them?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19:46  

  • Nope, not yet. I was hoping to see some more discussion on that, on here... in any case, I reckon either tomorrow or day after, latest, I will just go the heck with it, and post my own pick. :-)

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 19:51  

  • That's great news. I guess we will come to know by the first day of the first test itself as to what will happen for the rest of series. I am personally quite optimistic about England doing better than they have in the past. I dont think that they will win the Ashes but then you never know. I think the key is that most of the England players that are selected performs. Crucially, their bowling has to click. I remember the last Ashes series when Gough and Caddick had no back-up and England could not sustain any kind of pressure on Australia.
    Anyways, should be a very interesting summer of Cricket.

    By Anonymous Rishi Gajria, at 20:24  

  • *grin* Nope, Rishi, you won't. You will, though, know at the end of the first day who said what about the day's play -- the other, I'll reserve for when, and if, I ever start a nostradamus blog!

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 20:35  

  • Australia will win, and win big! A win in a chicken chess match will not be able to beat a grandmaster.

    You are not alone Prem, Australia will win.

    By Blogger AM, at 20:52  

  • Prem, you are not alone in feeling that way. I think this english team needs to lose this ashes and they will. Winning that slam-bang i throw (oops..bowl!) u hit match means nothing.
    They might do better but eventually will lose. Like you said, they are "due a hiding to nothing".

    By Anonymous karthik, at 22:19  

  • The poor English don't know what's going to HIT them.
    Winning a Twenty20 match and jumping up and down about it like NAsser Hussain and David Lloyd (commentators) were is downright laughable.
    Darren Lehmann (commentating) was just sitting there and thinking "boy, I cant wait till the Tests start"
    Neither can I.
    It must suck to be British. These Ozzies are going to pulverize them.

    By Blogger Dhruv Deepak, at 22:58  

  • You are not alone prem..

    To think that a win in a 20-20 game is an indication of the result of the ashes is laughable. Once the test matches start, lets see who is jumping up and down.

    By Blogger karram, at 23:08  

  • I remember a Billy Joel song that went,
    "Darling I don't know why I go to extremes.
    Too high or too low, there ain't no in-betweens"
    Where are the in-between fans?!!

    By Blogger avinash, at 00:12  

  • Typical Englishmania. Every year before the Wimbeldon begins the brits hype up Henmen as if he is the best player on the earth, and same goes for Pre-Ashes. Perhaps they have to fool the Pom fans so that Stadiums are somewhat occupied.

    I am so looking forward to Australia thrash England in every International game.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 00:58  

  • There does seem to be a lot of hype around England and lots of articles around how their chances of winning the Ashes are great most of which seem empty "talk-ups".

    I did read one article by Tim de Lisle in the Times though that had a radical suggestion.


    By Blogger Kaushik Bhattacharya, at 01:32  

  • You are not the only sensible person left on this planet, Prem. I don't see any reason why post 1989 history shouldn't repeat.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 07:54  

  • Prem, you will be the only one watching every ball! I know only fools (and Nostradamus) predict the future, but three years ago I bet my friend that England will win the Ashes in 2005.

    My confidence in this English team was not down to the Flintoffs or Harmisons, but on the ECB. The turnaround of the English game has been remarkable, and it's not down to the arrival of superstars. In fact, the set-up now creates these superstars.

    During the second Test against Bangadesh, Gravney (the chariman of selectors) came on BBC radio and said "Our biggest failure in the last 10 years have been Hick and Mark Ramprakash. We did not do enough to help them succeed at the international level. We want to make sure we never repeat this mistake again".

    I remember watching Flintoff against the WI in 2000 at Durham in a ODI. He was fat, overweight and could not run, and was booed by the crowd. The ECB, instead of dumping him, nurtured him into becoming the player he is today.

    Four years ago (when England was ranked 8th in the world), the ECB came out with a simple mission statement "We want to be the Best Test team in the world by 2007".

    They may or may may not beat the Aussies, but it is only a matter of time before this English team becomes the number one team in the world.

    By Anonymous Saurabh wahi, at 10:19  

  • >>>but three years ago I bet my friend that England will win the Ashes in 2005. <<<

    I hope you know that Ashes is being played between England and a team called AUSTRALIA and not West Indies or South Africa which are two of the worst Test teams right now.

    England is over hyped so is Harmison and Flintoff. If Thrope plays then yes England will be able to draw some of the tests or win the last test in a dead rubber otherwise I dont see these Englishmen standing up to Mcgrath, Gillespie, Lee, Warne, Kaspa and scoring more than Hayden/Langer/Ponting/Martyn/Clark/Katich/Glichrist.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 13:46  

  • One of my biggest weaknesses is the inability to have meaningful conversations with Anonymous people...

    By Anonymous Saurabh wahi, at 02:23  

  • This might interest you - From

    Memory Lane...
    by Scott Wickstein

    Goodness me that 20-20 match was a bit of a shot across the bows, wasn't it? It is not every day that Australia get bowled out in 14.3 overs, for 79. And it is not every day that Australia lose a cricket match. Since England famously defeated Australia in the Champion's Trophy at the tail end of the last England season, Australia have only lost two matches of any kind since, despite touring both India and New Zealand and having a full domestic summer as well.

    Losing a game here and there is one thing, but losing like that is quite something else. Something certainly has changed about England, and it seems that they might quite be in earnest for the Ashes. A competitive Ashes series has been a long time coming.

    In fact, a competitive series involving Australia is pretty rare- usually, India are involved, and apart from that you have to go back to the time West Indies were a power in world cricket to find Australia really in a fight.

    Which got me thinking back to my favourite series of all, the 1991 Australian Tour to the West Indies (series page). This remains to this day, my own template of what seriously competitive cricket SHOULD be. It was a brutal, rugged, emotional battle between two teams desperate to win, and both sides were chock full of talent.

    There is a bit about the 2005 Ashes that suggests that this series could be like that two. A young talented team, against the undisputed World Champions, but the Champions are getting on a bit. In 1991, Australia had come up to be the second-best side in the world, and to win this would confirm us as the best.

    It wasn't to be. Champions do not give up without a fight, and even though Australia threw everything they could at the great West Indies side, there was just a little thing missing- that mental self-belief. It was not for want of effort, though, and the lessons learned ensured that victory would crown their efforts in 1995.

    But from a spectator's point of view, that 1991 series was something else. It was something Australian fans were looking forward to, almost from the time the 1989 Ashes were won. Channel 9 even broadcast the series, an expensive lesson that they chose not to repeat, so there were many bleary eyed cricket fans.


    By Anonymous Rishi Gajria, at 03:34  

  • Nice one Rishi. A more balanced view then the ones we are used to hearing about the up coming Ashes Series.

    Thanks a lot.

    By Anonymous Saurabh wahi, at 07:19  

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