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Throwing it away

Whilst the Aussie press are blaming the pitch, the umpires and pretty much everything except the players, well except for Pointing, it seems to me that Australia still had a good chance to win the Oval test match but blew by losing three crucial wickets through non-bowling dismissals, the stumping being opportunistic rather than a deliberate ploy. And even then, had Haddin shown more composure, it looked like Hussey could have batted until November.

Of course, the test was really lost in the first innings. For me, the other main factors were Broad putting on a real class display of swing bowling, Swann being the only proper spin bowler on the pitch and bowling well, Strauss making steady contributions (in each test, not just this one) and Trott making up for the disappointment of Bopara (and to a lesser extent Cook).

In then end, Australia may have taken things too much for granted and weren't prepared for the gutsy underdog performance that a developing England side put it. Player for player, and on their day, I don't think anyone would doubt that Australia are the better side. They just forgot that you also have to prove it on the pitch.

And whinging Aussies is just music to English ears.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)
A pitch on which 1200 runs are scored in 4 days, including 340+ in the fourth innings, is not a bad pitch. And as for it favouring spin, Australia had a spinner who'd up till then been more successful than both of ours added together. The most you could say was that it was set up to get a result: and personally I think that all Test pitches should be.
Aug. 24th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
Yup, I don't think Pointing will be blaming the pitch. I think his comment yesterday afternoon 'our problem was the gap between our high points and our low points was too big' was much more like it. I can see why they didn't play the spinner (it was the wrong thing to do, but I can see why they did it) if they'd played that bowling attack before the penultimate test then I think they'd have got the result they were after.

I did like R4 this morning which was playing Aussie breakfast radio talking about the major sporting news story - Australia beating New Zealand in the womens U21 netball World Cup! :-)
Aug. 24th, 2009 02:03 pm (UTC)
Netball is big down under but I guess they're scrabbling around after having also lost at Rugby to NZ this weekend.

We tend to be quite sanguine about defeat, possibly because it's something of a relief to our national character. That said, I think the massive sporting celebrations of victory are a Good Thing, as long as we don't forget how to lose.
Aug. 25th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Speaking as an Australian, I enjoy nothing more than the cricket team getting savaged by the English. The only better thing would be punching all the whiny crybaby fans in the face when they can't take a loss gracefully.
Aug. 25th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Not a fan of most spectators sports but the company of cheerful englishmen is a pleasant change this summer. Makes a change from the normal londoner complaining about the heat and looking forward with a masochistic glee to cloudy skies and rain and a continuing recession.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )