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Sight Screen

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ashes thread

Righto, guys... it's 12.45 and I am off, to take my medication and rest this damn fever. Will likely only catch the second day's play late in the afternoon (my morning); meanwhile, open thread for those watching, appreciate any insights as you go along. See you tomorrow... adios for now.

290 Comments:

  • Prem,

    without McGrath and to an extent - Warne, Australian attack will look pedestrian for a team with decent batting lineup. Kapra, Gilli and others are not as penetrative and probing as McGrath. If there can be an analysis on how many times Aussies have won/lost without McGrath and Warne - that will give a good pointer.

    Otherwise England made merry on day one with 400+ runs.

    By Blogger Alex Pandian, at 01:31  

  • Prem,

    without McGrath and to an extent - Warne, Australian attack will look pedestrian for a team with decent batting lineup. Kapra, Gilli and others are not as penetrative and probing as McGrath. If there can be an analysis on how many times

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 01:39  

  • This Eng batting performance reminds one of what India did, about 20 yrs ago against an English side at Madras. They raced away at over 4 runs an over but were

    done with, before the end of day1. They then swaggered out as if they had done a Windies but found themselves sauteing on the field for 2 days watching unknown

    and undeserving batsmen having a ball. The yuckiest was Graeme Fowler while Gatting took off (until Marshalls 'nose ball' and Warnie's 'ball of the century' brought

    him down)-both got double hundreds. Talking of double hundreds, look at all those yuckies who have been elevated to that rank by India- Taslim Arif, Faoud BAchus,

    Younis, even J'wardene.
    India lost that match by some distance. This test is probably going that way unless conditions change drastically/English bowlers get a transfusion like their batsmen

    did/Aussies bat like dorks(Indians?).
    My bet is on a 600+score and the Englishmen being shown their places quickly in the 2nd inn.Never mind if Auusies never made 600 recently. It is just that they wanted

    to score quickly but then knew when they were ahead a safe distance. Besides, due to some strong lessons learnt on a fine March day in 2001, they nowadays factor in

    their 2nd innings too, where they score faster to hand it back to the opponents. Lets see as it goes along!!!

    Ramji

    By Blogger Ramji, at 03:06  

  • Prem,

    I agree that England missed the trick here would have been better off with 500 scored at a slower rate.

    But given recent Ashes history, and the performance of the first Test, I think England will settle for this score.

    If you analyse the sessions and fall of wickets, you will see that England had no option but to counter attack when the did so.

    None can fault them for scoring 132 for the loss of one wicket in the first session.

    Again, when they lost 3 quick wickets after lunch, and with Flintoff & Peitersen were at the crease, attack was the only option they had.

    And lastly, having lost Flintoff and Jones quickly after tea (not to attacking shots that is), Peitersen and the Tailenders could have played only one way.

    I think if I can find one fault, it has to be the way Vaughan got out. He could have been the anchor on this pitch, but instead tried to score too quickly.

    Too early to say if the Aussies will score 300 or 650 on this pitch, but anything over 500 and England are in trouble and anything less then 450 and the Aussies will be worried.

    Anyway, great day of Test cricket yesterday, and hoping for another great day today...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 03:16  

  • It is interesting to read all the analysis after the 1st day's play. Most of them including prem thinks that England hasnt got enough and should batted for some more time. Would be interesting to see how Australia play their 1st innings.
    After the 1st innings of 1st test, John Buchanan talked about the srilanka test when Aus got bowled out for 220. Yesterday, he must have talked about the Melbourne test vs India when India started well but was bowled out for about 400. Then gilchrist and co had a ball and Aus won. Reading some quotes from England players, Freddie and KP were saying that the agreesive batting wasnt predetermined and it so happened we scored 400. Amazing to see that not many teams actually have a gameplan. It is all fun to watch teams playing with flair. Pak, India teams almost always do and England seemed to have done that yesterday. But in this age, cricket teams cannot afford to win matches just by flair. You need to have something called a gameplan and be good enough to execute it.
    The biggest reason in my mind why England lost it yesterday is the following:
    If you look at India's test victories vs Australia at Adelaide and Kolkatta, Rahul and Laxman grinded the Australian attack for 300+ partnerships. This inturn frustrated and irritated Australia that their batsman were bundled out in their next innings for platry scores. If you analyze the last Australian test series in India, one of their important plans for the series was to avoid the agressive bang bang innings and play steady with crease occupation a higher priority than scoring at 4/12 plus. If England learnt anything out of this, their gameplan must have been to bat for almost 2 days and score close to 600 runs and hopefully the Asutralian batsman would have got frustrated and tried to hit their way out in their 1st innings facing such a huge total. Cricket is a funny game and for all you know harmison and freddie might bowl with a lot of flair on a placid wicket and Aus can get bowled out cheap. That would be pure coincidence or luck or whatever you want to call it. Indian cricket at the moment is in a similar state. Most of them expect some miracle to happen that would turn things around and win the final in Lanka. That could still happen with a sehwag 100 or a spinner's 4 wicket haul. With a gameplan or strategy, you dont need to wish for miracles!! like England and India are wishing for

    By Blogger prabhu, at 03:21  

  • England scored 155 and 180 in the first test at Lord's. That is a combined total of 335. 407 looks like a big score compared to the previous 2 innings.

    Sme of the shots played by the English batsmen, Andrew Flintoff in particular, were outrageous. That shows a good attitude. If England can sustain this attitude during the bowling phase, then we may see Australia getting out for less than 300.

    I prefer entertainment rather than technically correct 2 runs an over cricket. I hope England can provide some more entertainment on day 2.

    Matthew Hoggard's the man to watch out for I think. He is the chipping-away kind of bowler who will do well in the overcast conditions.

    Looks like there might be a late start today morning.

    By Blogger Ani, at 04:02  

  • I think Warne is the key to this test now. How he performs in the 2nd innings holds the key. This is of course assuming that the Aussies get off to a flier and score 500 atleast by tomorrow tea-time.

    I think the Aussies should play a slower innings as compared to the English, but dont think they will pull back the throttle.

    By Blogger madhugr, at 04:39  

  • Hayden out first ball. AUS 0/1/

    By Blogger Jiet, at 05:36  

  • Jiet, Hayden's hanging there in the side by a Ganguly-ish thin thread. I would think only a 'big' matchwinning hundred in the series can save him. Despite their selector's ruthlessness, I think he is there in the squad only because Aus didn't want to go into their biggest battle with an untested opener.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:00  

  • Good observation. I just realized that his bad form has also reached Ganguly-ish levels. Hard to believe that he a player like Hayden is dispesnable, eh? He averages only 52. :)

    I imagine Haddin might come in if they need to make a change.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:04  

  • You know Jiet, I've pointed out here in various comments earlier also, that for all criticism Ganguly copes, Hayden's bad run is longer than Ganguly's (in test matches). If we judge by the number of innings, rather than number of months. The only difference is that he hasn't looked totally out of sorts in the crease (unlike Ganguly) and has had a few useful knocks in ODIs (one big hundred against hopeless NZ). But still, knowing the Aus selectors, they would still have dropped him earlier, had they not been worried about continuity and experience for the Ashes.

    As for averages, we (Indians) should be the best people to know that hardly means anything for current form. Simple example Ganguly's avg in ODIs. (or even in tests, as compared to some ordinary looking blokes in Eng, Windies, Pak)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:09  

  • Yeah...Ganguly does really ugly when he is out of form. I always felt that he tends to scratch around a lot more whe he is out form. He looks really good when he is looking to charge the bowlers to get them off line.

    There are better options than Gangs in Test matches, period.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:17  

  • Yes, in current form, there are better options. Infact I'm always afraid that we are not developing Kaif as we should. He looked in real good form in the Aus series and even later. Needs a longer run. (Not talking of ODIs)

    But still, Ganguly has this ODI series to show that he is back in form. That would mean retaining test position over Kaif. But I would still want to keep watching him for a while. And meanwhile, hope that Kaif keeps charged up.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:23  

  • This is my ideal line-up for Tests as of today.

    Sehwag
    Gambhir
    Dravid
    Tendulkar
    Laxman
    Kaif
    Karthhik
    and 4 bowlers

    in ODIs

    Sehwag
    Tendulkar
    Kaif
    Ganguly
    Dravid
    Badani
    Dhoni
    Pathan
    and the remaining bowlers

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:30  

  • Jiet, I personally dont make team listings..but yes for test matches, on current form, more or less what you have listed. Although I have a feeling that Gambhir, from what we have seen of him so far, would not fit in GC's plan of a winning team. He needs to have a better attitude, play longer when he's in. I'm sure there are some suprises in store in that aspect.

    For ODIs, I think Sehwag is fast approaching the phase where he would have to sort out his game. Scoring a hudred and being listless in other innings, and this when he's in the 'form of his life' indicates problems in the mind. Maybe a change in his position ? I dunno....but I think if Gang is even 80% of his best, its a good shot to have him open with Sachin. And about the Badani...well he should be given a chance, although i dont know what kind of nick he's in (in domestic games, nets etc) and the hunt for that positon should continue...keeping Yuv, Lax still in mind as of now. And the 4 vs 5 bowler theory still needs to be tried out. We may be even more hopeless with 5 bowlers, who knows ? Also, with Sachin back in side, there are better chances of getting 10-15 overs from the part-timers (also depends on badani or other guy in his place).

    And one more thing, I am not yet taking Dhoni as a permanent fixture in the side. His keeping needs a lot of tightening up, and I'm sure GC wouldnt have noticed that. His batting is also a bit monotonic (on the other extreme) but that can be groomed further. Remember Karthick is still in fray..on more good test match knock and we may have to question the automatic inclusion of Dhoni.

    ..back to ashes...Aus murdering Eng bowlers. Remains to be seen if they would commit same mistakes as Eng batsmen. Ponting is capable of doing that, not Langer or Martyn or Katich

    By Blogger worma, at 06:42  

  • ..oops GC 'would' have noticed...
    and oops...'the Badani' ? :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:45  

  • Giles on!! interesting

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:47  

  • Tony greg, on G Jones taking a one handed take.

    "Normally keepers go with both hands and only if its out of their reach, they bring the other hand" :-)

    how many hands does a keeper have??? :-)

    By Blogger pg, at 06:48  

  • pg :-))...not only the number of hands...even the 'logic' of the sentence is wrong ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:51  

  • PG,

    Depends. Gilchrist, Healy and Alan Knott (who played with Greig) have a few spare hands.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:51  

  • Earth to Vaughan, Earth to Vaughan. Can you read me? Bring in field for Langer.

    Earth calling Vaughan. Earth calling Vaughan. Please bring in field for Langer

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:54  

  • Jiet..surely not our Adam Gilchrist ??...His keeping is nothing beyond ordinary IMO. Ofcourse by today's standards not dropping sitters is equal to having a spectacular record !

    By Blogger worma, at 06:54  

  • Gilchrist is a good keeper...maybe not as good as Healy but a good one.

    In fact there may not be a better keeper in business right now.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 06:57  

  • Yes Jiet, I agree not many good keepers around today, and Gilchrist is good in comparison to most of them (boucher is comparable, same with Sangakkara...rest are too new to comment on). But that doesnt mean Gilchrist is good. I've seen him fluff difficult chances (which u need to take as a keeper to be called good) and use hard hands for collection. FYI..here's a nice article about how to judge keepers...and Tim's take on today's crop...here in Will's Corridor of Uncertainty blog http://www.cricket.mailliw.com/archives/2005/07/03/geraint-jones-keeping/#comment-3793 (you may or may not agree, still worth reading)

    By Blogger worma, at 07:03  

  • Ponting looks like the biggest idiot in the world now.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 07:04  

  • So..Ponting 'does' commit the mistakes Eng batsmen made. And Giles gets his Ashes trophy for the year ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 07:07  

  • Thanks for the link, worma. Will check it out. Have to admit that I know keepers form what I have seen. Gilly does take some good catches and but he does drop some now and then. Guess he does not compare to the likes of Knott/Marsh.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 07:09  

  • BTW, I don't know if you guys would agree, but the Bangladeshi keeper Khaled Mashud is pretty competent too.

    By Blogger Harsha V. Madhyastha, at 07:11  

  • Ok Jiet, by that standards I would agree that he can be termed as 'good'. He does take few good ones. What I was implying was that its good only by today's much lower standards. Just one generation back we had Healy, Mongia, Russel, Latif. These were 'really' good. (not great, atleast not all)

    Harsha, haven't checked Mashud too much, but you may be right. Would check out next time I get a chance. And this WI guy, the new one (ramadin ??) also looked good the other day. Need to check over longer period of time.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:18  

  • This I think is the most imp phase of Aus innings. Would decide whether they go on to win or not. These two need to bat our for a couple of sessions without alarms. Btw, it would be interesting to see how Aus fares in 4th innings, if they are not able to build a big lead today and tmrow. I feel they haven't been v good at chasing even modest totals against good teams.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:20  

  • run-out!!

    By Blogger Jiet, at 07:27  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Chandan, at 08:06  

  • I just wonder if Aus is also showing some signs of nerves in this competition ? There are some signs in their off-field behaviour also....hmmm...interesting to see how they go on..

    By Blogger worma, at 08:10  

  • is any live video link available in the web ?

    By Blogger Shyam Prasad, at 08:10  

  • What an idiotic way to get out!! Martyn should stand with his face towards the wall for a whole day , for attempting that single in such a lethargic manner!!!

    By Blogger Chandan, at 08:11  

  • Interesting score, this. I expected Martyn to play a big role. I think one of them, Martyn/Katich has to click. Pity I couldnt watch this match. Must have been a good little knock from Ponting, that 61/76. And the boxer is still in...

    By Blogger Toney, at 08:15  

  • I think Srinath is rapidly plumbing the depths with both the spoken and written word. Heres the last line from his most recent blurb on Rediff:

    "Or will the Indian deliver the knock out punch when it matters most?"

    Funnily enough, the header to this beauty is from a completely unrelated story about Yadav and Kumble.

    Bad writing, shoddy editing or a bit of both? Time for PP to crack the whip yonder in Rediff perhaps?!

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 08:20  

  • Yeah...Ponting was looking good. Played some good shots but England probably should have tried to ball a little more on off stump. Of course he played a childish shot to get out. For all the criticism of the English batting; how do we explain the three wickets this morning?

    1. Hayden drives at his FIRST ball outside off stump to get caught.
    2. Ponting tries to paddle a ball he had no business playing; it was well outside leg stump
    3. Martyn looks for a quick single of the penultimate ball before lunch.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 08:24  

  • :-)..sinstripe...that is a wrong link in rediff for yadav and kumble story. The Sri column is on left side below, about fifth bowler etc.

    But the sentence you pointed out is really shoddy..in fact the whole para **With the finalist for the tournament have already been decided, the Sri Lankans, I feel, have reached the peak a little too early. Or will the Indian deliver the knock out punch when it matters most?** is logically wrong. The first and second sentences are implying same action, and yet there is an 'Or' in between ! And grammer is wrong, and first sentence 'alone' is logically wrong :-)

    Maybe Sri is talking about some Indian boxer in that last line ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 08:25  

  • Looks like the Aussies are focussing on unsettling their opposition, rather than getting themselves in a good position at the moment. Clarke has already run a very quick single by Test Standards.

    Silly mistakes from Ponting and Martyn. Hope others repeat them. :-)

    By Blogger Ani, at 08:26  

  • I, too, that the Aussie continue making mistakes.

    Clarke is such a good cricketer. The guy makes his call loud and clear with every shot he plays. Excellent.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 08:33  

  • how about this gem from srinath..

    "two things crossed my mind. Firstly, was he walking in to open the innings with a sense of loss and despair or he was going in to the centre with a light head?"

    hello, rediff editors..wakie wakie..

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 08:35  

  • Well, Sri has created so many of these precious stones now that the guy could well set up shop in Zaveri Bazaar! We could perhaps rename his column:

    'Jhumka gira re....'

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 08:37  

  • Langer, in the middle of an ODI(20/20 ?) game decided that he will play the test match that this was supposed to be. I dont see how they can loose a wicket if they play with heads down. Maybe Flintoff can come up with a gem ? (he can borrow one from Sri...sinstripe ? ;-) )

    By Blogger worma, at 09:01  

  • By the look of things Christmas seems to have come early...both the teams are in the gift-the-game-away mode!

    By Blogger obelix, at 09:05  

  • Well...

    Jones taking a good catch there saying low long enough. Giles has two now.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 09:35  

  • ooohh...wheely bin gets another one....'now' we have a match :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:35  

  • Prem...do remember to comment about Giles today :-) I am not a fan, and neither am I saying this 'after' the results have come. I said Giles has his use, against this Aus lineup, if Eng have runs to play. Because there are batsmen in this lineup who get frustrated...and I had listed Ponting, Clarke, Gilchrist. Lets see if he gets the third strike :-)

    Also..Giles will never 'win' a match for Eng against Aus....but still...if Aus has to chase something half decent (around 200+) they can struggle...Giles wud frustrate them.

    I repeat..am NOT a fan ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 09:40  

  • Is Giles getting some turn here?

    By Blogger rahul, at 09:45  

  • ok people...how about some end-of-the-day score predictions?? any takers?

    By Blogger obelix, at 09:47  

  • 'Morning everyone. Looks like Eng bowlers have done a fairly decent job so far. Aus 4 for 200... not too bad. Keeping them in the contest. But, Aus still has 3 big wickets left to put their heads down and score a big 1st innings total.

    Any of you guys watching live - how is the pitch behaving? Any assistance to the bowlers, esp after yesterday's rainfall? Or, is it still a batsman's paradise? Appreciate any insights...

    By Blogger saum, at 09:48  

  • My prediction for the end of the day score: 365/5. Langer and Gilchrist in.

    By Blogger Gopalblog, at 09:50  

  • Katich nicks one thru to Geraint...good ball from Freddie.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 09:56  

  • Come on Eng..don't blow it now. Grab the chance. Don't do an India.

    By Blogger rahul, at 09:57  

  • Katich gone... golden boy Flintoff strikes for Eng... as I was saying, pretty good bowling performance from Eng so far...

    By Blogger saum, at 09:58  

  • It's really hard to say if the pitch is playing differently. The main difference has been the bounce that Hamison has achieved so far. Apart from that pretty much the same. I think the pitch will start crumbling by the fourth day.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 10:00  

  • sorry...would like to add that Giles is turning the ball on this second day track.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 10:02  

  • Good time for a quick Gilly 100.

    By Blogger Shyam, at 10:03  

  • Thanks for the info, Jiet. Giles getting turn... interesting.

    By Blogger saum, at 10:03  

  • The aussie way of batting so far is that England scored their runs at more than 5 r.p.o. We can do better and score at 6 !!! Thereby all the wickets are being lost. Otherwise, I cant imagine a bowler like Giles taking wickets ever in a test match!!!

    By Blogger madhugr, at 10:06  

  • Interesting statistic this

    http://www.rediff.com/cricket/2005/aug/05lee.htm

    Brett Lee has suffered thrice, a economy rate of more than 100 runs/100 balls - twice against India!!!

    By Blogger madhugr, at 10:08  

  • As for Giles pciking up wickets, I think I can explain it.

    This guy seems to be underestitmated. That seems to work in his favor. Ponting played a poor shot. Clarke was outfoxed by a quicker ball. In bothe cases the batsmen were careless.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 10:10  

  • My prediction, 320/6 at close of play today

    By Blogger Toney, at 10:13  

  • A bit unfair to the bowler, Jiet?! He did, by your own admission "outfox" the batsman?!

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 10:16  

  • 398 all out. :)

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 10:16  

  • heck, let me predict the whole show

    Eng second innings : 198 a.o
    Aus win by 5 wickets

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 10:18  

  • in fact you are right PS,

    I guess I am trying to find fault with the batsman rather than give credit to Giles. Clarke is a good player of spin, so Giles deserves credit for that.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 10:24  

  • Good morning, Prem and folks.. So, the pressure of having conceded 400+ runs is telling on Aussies, huh?

    Yesterday, I said that Aus would not score more than 550, when Prem said Aus would end up with a 650+ score.. Now I think it would be on the hands of Gillies (Gilchrist and Gillespie) whether Aus would get a first innings lead.

    By Blogger Raju, at 10:28  

  • Precisely-this guy uses his feet to the spinners almost like a subcontinental, born and bred on a dust-bowl. Moreover, lest we forget, the bloke has a debut 100 against Kumble, Bhajji et al in India. So not a spinner's bunny by any stretch of imagination. I think for all the bad press he's got over the last few years about negative lines etc, Giles can be an irritating customer to tackle. Not too many variations, but accurate enough to force the mistake. I must add that I hated watching him bowl in India. Remember Beefy's famous joust with Nas? The one where he said Giles got Sachin out "bored" !!!!

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 10:30  

  • Stating the obvious here: Langer-Gilchrist partnership will be key to who comes out ahead at the end of the 1st innings. Still looks like a 50-50 game to me...

    By Blogger saum, at 10:35  

  • Think I missed that PS...sounds like it must have been a laugh. The commentary here is fantastic. Hussain and Holding provide humor. David Lloyd makes good observations.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 10:37  

  • Gents, sorry, not able to sit up with this darn fever... just got up to check the score and back to bed... enjoy the day; will, if I am able, do the news rounds much later in my day...

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 11:01  

  • take it easy Prem.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:04  

  • SIMON JONES!

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:07  

  • sorry...a little excited.

    Langer lbw Jones. AUS 262/6

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:08  

  • big wicket!!

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:08  

  • warne and gilchrist together...never a dull moment while these two are at the wicket

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:11  

  • take care Prem...

    Langer just out... big wicket for Eng...

    By Blogger saum, at 11:12  

  • Warne vs quickies will be entertaining

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:13  

  • Aus 263/6... see it, but still hard to believe... Eng bowlers doing a really good job here. Now, can they finish the job and mop up the tail? Or, we see Gilly do a Jayawardane?

    By Blogger saum, at 11:16  

  • My preditcion of 320/6 at end of play doesn't look too promising.

    Wonder if Harmison will give Warne the short-ball treatment. Maybe Prem needs one of those to lose his fever.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:16  

  • saum: with due respect to jayawardane...jayawardane DID a gilly the other day

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:18  

  • obelix: yep, you are right... Gilly has saved Aus a million times...

    By Blogger saum, at 11:22  

  • Warne jumps down the track and plays all over the ball. Giles has three.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:22  

  • blofeld will remain blofeld!!

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:23  

  • amazing... Giles was supposed to be put to the sword by the Aussies and ends up taking 3 wickets... will he be the one to mop the Aus tail?

    By Blogger saum, at 11:26  

  • This is good stuff from England. I was surprised yesterday by comments by Prem and others saying that the English Total was not good enough.

    Agreed it could have been more, but any team that scores 400+ in the first innings of a Test stands a good chance to win. Here are some statistics that will put it into prespective:

    1. Of the 487 times that a team has scored 400+ in the first innings of a match, only 27 times have the ended up loosing the game.

    2. England have lost only 6 of the 114 games in which they have scored 400+ in the first innings of a Test. 5 of those were in the 30's and one in 1998 against SL.

    3. Australia have won only 7 out of 62 games when the oppositions have scored 400+ in first innings of a Test. Again, only two have come in the last 10 years (against India in Bangalore in 1998 and against New Zealand in 2004.

    4. No team has scored more then 400 in the first innings of the Test in Edgebaston.

    At 274 for 7, no reason to see the above trend changing...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:26  

  • people who are watching the game on TV..how is the wicket behaving?

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:26  

  • Aus 274/7... suddenly Eng's 407 looks a very big target.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:27  

  • Flintoff drops Lee. Really tough chance;try to pluck it off the grass...died on him too. Tough chance goes down.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:28  

  • Too early to uncork the champagne though..Gilchrist is there and we know what he can do. Gillespie is the most irritating tailender and is worth 2 hours and 20 runs to his name. And England have to bat well in the 2nd innings to take the game beyond Australia. I hope they do it, but there's still ways to go.

    By Blogger rahul, at 11:30  

  • I don't think it has played very differently. There was a touch more bounce but if anything the wicket is getting slower and turning.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:31  

  • Saurabh: Very interesting stats.. thanks for sharing them with us. I still think, after Eng posted lower than a match dominating 1st innings score, Eng's bowling has saved them - not saying that it is a bad thing, but on a supposedly flat pitch (can this still be true?? if 17 wickets have fallen in 2-days??) Eng could've done better.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:31  

  • I still think the game is 50-50... maybe 55-45 in Eng's favor at this stage, but there is still a long way to go.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:33  

  • Rahul, nobody is saying that England has won the game yet

    Obelix, the cloud cover is giving a bit more assistance to the bowlers, but apart from that, the pitch is doing nothing special..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:34  

  • I agree with you shaum but it's not everyday that a team scores 400+ against the aussies. Remember, england last did it 20 years ago...

    So after yesterday, the upper hand was with england, and not austrlia, as everyone assumes..

    make that 8 down!!!!!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:36  

  • Lets say Eng restrict them to around 320. With a lead of 80+, what do you think they would do? Does another 250 in the 2nd innings look enough? Guys who are watching the cricket, please give insights.

    By Blogger Toney, at 11:36  

  • Lee caught at second slip off Simon Jones

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:37  

  • thanks saurabh

    on a side note (if that is possible on a public blog)...intelligroup ring a bell?

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:38  

  • Shaum, still 50/50?

    This is a good England side, inspite of the performance of the first Test.

    And McGrath is not playing. Another interesting fact.

    when McGrath plays, the opposition scores 260 odd runs, when he doesn't they score around 380!!!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:39  

  • Of course Intelligroup rings a bell!!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:40  

  • Aus 8 down....

    By Blogger saum, at 11:40  

  • your name sounded familiar

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:40  

  • I think there is some movement in the air. But I think this is reverse swing, not sure the cloud cover helps with that. If anything the Aussies have been irresponsible while batting.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:41  

  • England need to be careful here. Gillespie is capable of hanging around and give company...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:41  

  • alex:

    Australia (since 1993-03-15)
    P W L T D W/L HS LS MC LC BatAv BowAv R/6b C/6b
    142 90 27 0 25 3.33 735 93 705 51 39.8 27.3 3.34 2.90

    McGrath (sincs 93/94 season)
    unfiltered 110 586 61 7.51 0 1 508 8/24 21.01 27 34 0
    filtered 73 383 61 7.97 0 1 370 8/24 18.61 17 24 0


    So Australia won 73/110 with McGrath while won 90/142 without him... hence Aussies aggregate winning rate since 1993 is 90/142 = 0.633802817, with McGrath it is 73/110 =
    0.663636364, while without him it is 0.53125 ...

    so doesn't seem to be much of a difference.. (the inference might change if we filter it over shorter seasons...)

    By Blogger Gaurav Aggarwal, at 11:41  

  • saurabh: err its 'saum' not 'shaum' :) agree Aus minus McGrath is not the same, but the 2nd innings is yet to unfold... Eng may end up with a sizeable 1st innings lead, but they will have to perform. This is a much improved Eng team, but I will stick to 50-50 (maybe 55-45 in Eng's favor) until they actually deliver on that promise.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:44  

  • Obelix, your name sounds fimilar but not in the context of Intelligroup :-)

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:44  

  • Sorry for the typo Saum.

    I agree...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:45  

  • For the first time, England are odds on favorites to win this Test.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:46  

  • *LOL*

    "Tap! Tap! These Britons are crazy"

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:47  

  • ohhh nearly gone...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:47  

  • Eng has shown a much improved performance in this test so far, despite the debacle at Lord's. A good come back... definitely see that hint of a much improved side.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:48  

  • I want a boar

    By Blogger Jiet, at 11:48  

  • Balls flies past vacant slips for 4 and Gilli survives.

    He is having a go now. Interesting next 30 minutes or so.

    That guy can change the game...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:48  

  • Saurabh..Eng scoring 400 yesterday was bad 'independent' of what Aus batsmen, or Eng bowlers did today. That was a low score with respect to the pitch, the type of bowling and the balls on which they got out (also the manner). Imagine if they had put down their head and scored 600 and THEN done this to Aus...they could have sealed the game. And they had that oppurtunity via the great gift from ponting. Now their bowlers have done the good work (also Aus batsmen have given away some gifts) but 'still' Aus has an outside chance because of their (eng batsmen's) poor tactics yestday.

    By Blogger worma, at 11:49  

  • Agree a 100% with worma... Eng had the opportunity to bat Aus out of the test match.

    By Blogger saum, at 11:55  

  • ..why outside...unless they get Gillie...Aus have an 'equal' chance !

    By Blogger worma, at 11:55  

  • jiet: roasted i hope!

    By Blogger obelix, at 11:56  

  • Worma, how many teams score 600 in the first innings of a Test?

    56 out of nearly 1700 tests.

    So what were England's chances of scoring 600 against this Aussie attack considering their past performance? Nil!

    Experts will always tell you its a 600 pitch or whatever, but you got to put it in prespective.

    Also, you got to understand that England were coming from a bad performance in previous Test. Another bad performance and their Ashes dream would have been finished. They has a choise to score quickly and make 400-450 or be cautious and try to score 600 but also risk getting out for 350 instead!

    And i am not changing my opinion because the Aussies are 8 down. Read my first blog under the name of "the Orebon" from today morning...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 11:59  

  • Eng needs to mop the tail soon... before Dizzy gives Gilly time to turn the tide.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:00  

  • obelix:
    slow fire, horizontal spit...you know how it is

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:00  

  • saurabh: so which moniker is superman and which one is clark kent :-)

    By Blogger obelix, at 12:01  

  • oh, man - this gillespie is the TRUE wall.

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:03  

  • i think its harmy-time now....its been a very long spell for jones

    By Blogger obelix, at 12:03  

  • new ball due in 7 overs time...i hope the poms get the job done before that

    By Blogger obelix, at 12:04  

  • I also think Ponting's decision to put England in promted them to go for a counter attack. It was their way of showing the Aussies that they were ready for the challenge.

    Had Vaughan won the toss and batted, I don't think they would have gone with the same agressive approach.

    Remember, most of the battles in Test cricket are played in the mind...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:04  

  • Saurabh...I believe all Eng supporters, fans and even the players are going with the same mindset as you explained here. Yes 400+ is good against Aus. No doubts. But a good team plays the game 'on that day' as they face it. A full day equivalent of 'playing each ball at its merit'. The pitch, bowling etc merited a higher score. And eng had a chance. If they have to be bogged by history or thoughts like 'how many times does a team do nnnn against Aus..' they cannot win. Thats what India shunned after mumbai loss....or even in Aus tour...even recent tour in chennai...

    ..and I doubt if Eng batsmen yestday were thinking 'ohh boy....we're closing on 400....we're good...noone has done this against Aus...' They just came with an insane mindset to attack (instead of balanced aggression) and blew their chance on their good day.

    And consider this....how many times does a team win a match (esp a non dead-rubber match) against this aus team ? something closer to 56/1700 kind of probability ?

    And I never said you changed your opinion :-) Just that Aus bat badly does not mean Eng did great. But sure, will check out your blog anyways.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:05  

  • Saurabh. having fun?

    By Blogger Sandeep Nalgundwar, at 12:06  

  • dizzy is such a thorn in the flesh. chennai, sydney - he was there everywhere between us and victory

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:07  

  • Yes but Saurabh, they (and we) should have learnt from previous test that it takes more thinking than unbridled aggression to down this Aus team. And we have experienced what it takes to crush them. None of our victories against them were built on that kind of aggression. In fact even the other losses that Aus has faced in recent times (against WI, Eng) were not created that way.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:08  

  • mock turtle - so true abt Dizzy, a real pain in the neck tailender batsman. I was surprised to see Lee come ahead of Dizzy.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:09  

  • now that i think about it, dizzy would have saved the b'lore test for us, if he were on our side

    By Blogger Mock Turtle, at 12:09  

  • I think Giles needs to take a break - he maybe underestimated, overestimated, may be not even estimated, but he surely is not the bowler to mop up the tail. Plus, he has bowled almost on the trot... only reaon to keep him would be bcoz of the old bal... but still, I would rather get my frontline bowlers to mop the tail

    By Blogger saum, at 12:11  

  • Dizzy goes lbw to Freddie.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:15  

  • Worma,

    All I am saying is that a first innings score of 400 against the Aussies is a good score. Period.

    The old adage "the runs are on the board" holds with this kind of score, no matter what pitch, oppositions..


    And I think England have more faith in their bowlers then their batsmen...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:16  

  • Kasper out first ball lbw to Freddie. Freddie will be on hat-trick second innings

    England lead by 99

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:17  

  • Australia all out for 308. Lead of 99 for England. Surely england should win this now.

    By Blogger AA, at 12:18  

  • Aussies missed 650 by a mere 348 runs...

    Prem, Prem where are you?

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:18  

  • Damn.. I hate to tell now but I was going to say yesterday that Aus would manage not more than 30 run lead in the first innings. ( I wrote in the end, 520 as Aus score.. thought Prem cant be a bad prophet)..

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:19  

  • Friends Blokes Like Gillespie and Kapra are good bat only against India!! As we all know Indian bowlers are the ones who are clueless againt the tail of any team. No wonder England was able to bundle them out after the top and middle order failed for Aus.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:22  

  • LOL. I agree with you Saurabh. 400 runs is a good total. If Vaughn was told that they would make 400 in the first inning, he would take it. Especially after the 2 disasters at Lords. Now if only England batsmen would keep their heads in the second inning, we could have a rerun of Ind -Aus 2001 series.

    By Blogger Sandeep Nalgundwar, at 12:23  

  • Sriram..check out Gillespie's records against NZ, Pak in last tours. But ofcourse, not against this Eng attack. They are undoubtedly very very good.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:23  

  • whoa! I step away from my desk for a few minutes and freddie mops it up! Great job... 100 run lead for Eng.. amazing.... tensed 10/12 overs for Eng to face.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:24  

  • I love Prem but here are some of his recent prophecies.

    1. I don't see England getting 20 Aussie wickets. Well, they did it in the first Test itself. And are already half-way there.

    2. Pietersen should not be playing Test cricket. 3 fifties after three innings against the aussies.

    3. Giles should be dropped. Guess even Clare, Ponting & Warne agree...

    4. Australia to score 650+ runs. Guess he meant both innings.

    Sorry, Prem, this is not a personal attack (because I am big fan of yours), but could not resist :-)

    Where are you???

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:25  

  • Worma.. check out any tail batsman's against India And compare them against others You will see their averages a notch higher against India

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:25  

  • Hey, are you the 'pillu wala nallu'?

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:26  

  • Aus w'out Glenn are like India w'out Sachin..

    Can win against lesser teams like Zim and B'desh.. may be even WIndies.. but against others, the opposition always have a chance..

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:26  

  • Saurabh. are there any other kinds?

    By Blogger Sandeep Nalgundwar, at 12:27  

  • Banger starts off with a cover drive for 4

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:28  

  • England need to make 300+ to be comfortable. the pitch is still good..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:28  

  • Sriram
    I will take it one step further..compare ANY batsman's record against India and it will be better than the other teams.

    By Blogger rahul, at 12:28  

  • Nallu, I guess not. Call me...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:29  

  • A very very gritty and smart performance from Eng bowlers... all credit to them. As for Aus playing bad shots - I don't buy that, they knew the pitch, they knew the score, plus one night to mull over how to chase that 400 total down and I am sure Buchanan plotted all kinds of stuff. Good performance from Eng bowlers.
    I hadn't thought along those lines, Saurabh's comments that Eng has more faith in their bowlers than batsmen is very apt. They have performed very well this series.

    By Blogger saum, at 12:29  

  • wonder if Eng is going to go rampaging against the Aus bowlers a la 1st innings?

    By Blogger saum, at 12:29  

  • Saurabh while your comments on Prem's predictions is hilarious I do wannna mention that he is one of the best critic. Also giles getting wickets is not so new he is one bowler who uses -ve tactics. look at what he did with Sachin. You mean to say Sachin was a bad batsman? While on the topic giles is not successful against southpaws.
    There is a saying "One Swallow does not make a summer"

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:30  

  • Sriram, dunno....maybe I will check out some time...but sure Gillespie (and McGrath) had a good time against Nz I think recently. Also Warne has made more runs against others, hardly anything against us (I think Lee also, not sure). I dont think India has a problem mopping up the tail, esp not in India. Someone with stats may prove me wrong. And Gillespie, in recent times, is an exception of a tailender in terms of staying power, and is not limited to us.

    By Blogger worma, at 12:30  

  • Well rahul Waht can I say I was comparing Indian Bowlers when they are on a roll with other country's bowlers Even if they take the top order they give runs to the tail Look at waht happened in 2001 sereis against the same Aus.Bhajji cleaned up the top but the tail made merry ofcourse along with the Great Waugh

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:32  

  • Well Worma may be I am wrong. I am only talking interms of the games I have followed very closely.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:33  

  • Dude-Giles not good against Southpaws?!! How many spinners have bowled Brian Lara through the gate bud?! Or perhaps you follow the ToI definition of a Southpaw ie 'right-handed batsman from Hyderabad?'!!! :-)

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 12:34  

  • Rahul, there are a few guys whose record against India is inferior:

    * Brian Lara - one century in some 14 matches

    * Gilly - Though he has two centuries, a flurry of single-digit scores have made him our spinners' bunny

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:34  

  • McGrath set for 4th test return.. England would be wanting to be 2-1 up when he returns.. Man, he leaves such a shallow...

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:35  

  • Saum,

    I don't know where u are but this is what happened out there.

    First wicket - Vaughan places short mid-wicket and short cover for Hayden. First ball to hayden is full and just wide. Hayden obliges by hitting it to short cover.

    Second wicket - Giles pitches well outside leg stump and Punter tries the paddles sweep - top edge goes to the skipper - stupid shot.

    Third wicket - Martyn goes for quick single the two balls before tea. Incredibly dumb.

    Clarke and Katich got good balls. Langer too.

    Warne - blind slog at Giles.
    Lee - fishing outside off stump.


    They batted MUCH worse than England

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:37  

  • PS There is always an exception Tell me How many Southpaws I mean except Brian Lara have been good against Indian Spinners? Look at Gilly Even though he terroroizes the Bowlers across the world he has a String of single digits against India as someone here pointed out. So Do take just one person when you are doing a study that idea seems ridiculous.

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:38  

  • Rahul..any batsman ? Thats simple..check out Gilly, Ponting, M Waugh, Slater, Langer against India vs other teams ;-)
    And btw, its a big misconception that all batsmen feast against India IMO. Two reasons - one that in India batsmen generally tend to score more, because of friendly pitches, and secondly we pay more attention to these scores.

    Check out some of the great batsmen against India (or even lesser batsmen, just dont take Younis Khan :-) )...Lara, Inzimam etc. They are not exceptional against us (in fact I dont remember any truely great innings by lara against us)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:38  

  • Worma..
    If thats the case then We should be winning every damn game we play in India atleast

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:41  

  • SV- Dunno how we jumped from the alleged inadequacies of
    Ashley-the-bore-Giles to the deficiencies of left-handers against desi spinners! Too much of a quantum leap for me to debate, bud! :-)

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 12:42  

  • add to it other contemporary good batsmen like Smith, Youhana, even S Waugh...Hayden and Kallis have been good against us....anyway..so i guess the point is...its closer to normal avg....players have their favourite countries....and India is not for all of them

    By Blogger worma, at 12:43  

  • forgot Hayden guys? He scored 500+ against India in 2001...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:44  

  • I agree lets not make leaps in debates may be in career its good:)

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:44  

  • Sriram...sure we DO win a lot of those...don't we ? Not every game, but an abnormally high percentage ? compared to what other teams have done at home (in past 10 yrs or so )

    By Blogger worma, at 12:44  

  • Worma
    Do we? hmm thats news to me atleast by the last few series i mean only Home Series we tend to lose even winnable games!!

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:47  

  • Shane Warne will definately have a go before the end today. Will be interesting to see how much turn he will get...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:47  

  • Why is Aus even bothering to give the ball to Lee....try Kasper for a while...or just drop all pretence and give the damn ball to Warne :-)

    By Blogger worma, at 12:47  

  • BTW looks loke England is playing witha +ve frame of mind. good to note that

    By Blogger Sriram Vanamamalai, at 12:47  

  • Slater's comment "That is one shot from Treskothick". Great pull...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:48  

  • Eng openers on fire again.. 20 in 5th over.. again like a ODI scoring

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:49  

  • No nervous show by England..

    The openers are making merry

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:50  

  • Worma,

    again a mind game. If Lee does not bowl today, the Ponting is admitting that he does not think he is good enough. This won't do Lee's confidence any good.

    And remember the aussies play with only 4 bowlers.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:50  

  • Actually, the right question isn't whether England's 400 was enough or not. It was their pace which opened up the whole game. I believed yesterday that they should have batted at least halfway through the day. If that meant 600+, great! I think they didn't make the most of the opportunity.

    Yesterday I thought that the Aussies would now get back on track & grind England out of the match. But as Jiet pointed out, they really played irresponsibly. Hayden, Ponting and Martyn all should have known better - that's an easy 100 runs if these guys had kept their heads. Warne's batting was just ugly - and it would have been so even in a one-dayer. He should be demoted to #11.

    Anyway, that's two plum gifts that England have received - the toss and this Aussie batting performance. I would say that they are almost certain to win. But then, my track record isn't that great...

    By Blogger Jeetu, at 12:50  

  • Sriram..how long have you been watching cricket ? No offense, but do you know India, before the last series loss to Aus, had lost only lost ONE home series in almost a decade (that SA series of Cronje and Azhar fame). We did loose a few matches (I think one test to Pak in Shoaib's Calcutta test, then a few against Aus). Dude we really have been very very good at home (I am not very happy about it, cos we were pathetic outside, atleast few years back)...and this is way higher percentage of home wins as compared to most contemporary teams...

    By Blogger worma, at 12:50  

  • Well 4 of Kaspa as well...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:51  

  • What a shot!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:51  

  • Trescothick in HOT FORM..

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:52  

  • Anyone in downtown Manhattan want to dial 911 and send the paramedics round to Prem's?!

    By Blogger Painfully Sinstripe, at 12:52  

  • Wow that is brilliant. Tresco has hit the ball through the off-side as good as anyone in this Test.

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:52  

  • As predicted, Warne into the attack...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:54  

  • Whatever England do, they should not want to lose a wicket here.

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:55  

  • Saurabh I agree...cant 'open' with Warne...too bad for long term for Aus (McG out for atleast 2 tests)...

    By Blogger worma, at 12:55  

  • Damn, first ball. spun a mile!!!!!

    This will be fun...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:55  

  • Warne on for just 7th over.. all 4 bowlers being tried by Punter by 7th over.. when was the last time it happened? Aus surely feeling the pressure..

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:56  

  • Bowled. What a ball!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:56  

  • Bowled by a beauty

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:56  

  • super ball from Warne. Strauss is bowles

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:56  

  • Probably, better the the "ball of the century". Pitched way outside off, and knocked middle and leg. Remember, Strauss is left-handed...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:57  

  • Hoggard the night watchman.. Come on hoggy.. hit a few sixes before hte day ends

    By Blogger Raju, at 12:58  

  • Hoggard in. Don't think he will survive too long...

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 12:58  

  • This guy is sure great !!!...I mean ALL his cards were open...last over..going for kill...new ball...eng just has to see-it-off....and he comes up winner !

    By Blogger worma, at 12:58  

  • Saurabh: i agree

    By Blogger Jiet, at 12:58  

  • Interesting to see how bell plays him tomorrow..

    By Blogger Saurabh Wahi, at 13:00  

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